If you are looking for a great way to spend the day with plenty of hands on fun, then check out Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing. The facility offers not only hands-on exhibits, but also traveling exhibits and the First Impression Room. We have a great visitor’s guide here as well as Impression 5 Science Center Photos.
Science Center guests can participate in more than 150 hands-on learning activities in the 25,000 square foot space. The activities are designed to span a wide range of science concepts and encourage children to learn through exploration, play, trial, and fun.
- The First Impression Room at Impression 5
- Hands On Exhibits at Impression 5 Science Center
- Our Experience at Impression 5 Science Center
- Impression 5 Science Center Location
- Impression 5 Science Center Hours
- Sensory Friendly Times and Resources
- Impression 5 Science Center Admission
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The First Impression Room at Impression 5
One of our favorite things about Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing is their amazing space for children under the age of five. The First Impression Room offers young scientists the opportunity to play and explore in a safe space created just for them. Parents will love some of the amazing amenities such as a family restroom and nursing room. Children can enjoy the play structure, Halrey’s Space Station, a light sensory table, the water table as well as plenty of puzzles, books and toys that will spark interest and provide an amazing, fun learning experience.
Cleanliness is of utmost importance, therefore the space is a shoe-free zone. The First Impression Room is also outfitted with safe “smart” electric outlets. The staff also adhere to a rigorous cleaning schedule and use non-toxic cleaners in the space.
Hands On Exhibits at Impression 5 Science Center
Smash: A Nuclear Adventure
This newer interactive exhibit explores the wonders of nuclear science. Guests can learn about atoms and the way the accelerate collide, separate and also how scientists detect them in simulated environments. Visitors can also learn about the various career options and skillsets in the field of nuclear science. If you like hands on learning, then check out the game Isotopolis, where you can learn about the process of discovering rare isotopes.
Flow: A Water Experience
One of the favorite exhibits here for my children is Flow. They love to explore the variety of water related hands-on science activities in this area. Guests can build and test a sailboat, play with water jets, and even power a giant flywheel that shoots a two-story geyser.
Learn about the electromagnetic spectrum in this fun, interactive exhibit. The main attraction in this space is the giant Light Mosaic. We also enjoyed the Shadow Wall. Guests can play with lenses, prisms, mirrors and more all while learning about colors and light.
Chew On This
All you wanted to know about oral health and more. Kids will love playing with the giant dental tools and also learning about how the food you eat affects your teeth. The grocery checkout is another fun and popular activity.
Another favorite for my children, Throwing Things explores kinetic and potential energy. Throw all kinds of objects, create and launch a paper airplane or hurl a tennis ball to perfect your pitching skills.
This exhibit explores a world you can’t see. Learn about nanotechnology while playing with magnetic materials, compare levels of static electricity or build a giant model of a carbon nanotube.
My kids spent a while in this area as well. Guests can build with a variety of materials including blocks, magnetic tiles, panels and more.
Pop: A Bubble Experience
One of the most popular exhibits is being able to create a bubble large enough to be inside. This exhibit provides plenty of ways to make bubbles, from large to small. Guests can also learn about buoyancy and the molecular structure of a bubble.
If you love nature, then don’t miss this exhibit. Explore Michigan nature and learn about some of the problems facing naturalists. Webcams allow visitors to check out the local birds. You can even scoop up pond water and magnify it to see what lives within.
Our Experience at Impression 5 Science Center
During our visit in 2016 we spent four hours exploring the science center with three children ages seven, four, and 17 months. All three children were entertained for the full length of our stay and didn’t want to leave. We didn’t get to explore each exhibit and we look forward to going back again so the kids can explore even more.
Naomi (17 months) and Carlyn (age 4) really enjoyed playing in the First Impressions area. This space, designed for young scientists ages birth to four years, features opportunities for children to climb, build, play in water while they discover and learn.
Carlyn and Rosaleigh (age 7) also enjoyed playing in the Build Zone. They both spent a lot of time stacking blocks and building various items.
Overall, I think this is a fantastic place for families to play and learn about science. It provides many hands-on, fun things to do that will keep everyone busy for hours.
Impression 5 Science Center Location
Impression 5 is located right off the expressway in downtown Lansing, just blocks away from the Capital Building and is just over an hour away from the Detroit Zoo via I696/96.
Address: 200 Museum Drive, Lansing, MI 48933
Impression 5 Science Center Hours
Impression 5 Science center is closed on Mondays as well as Tuesdays.
Their hours on Wednesday through Sunday are 9:30 am until 4:00 pm.
Sensory Friendly Times and Resources
Check the website for Sensory Friendly Hours (offered monthly). Select exhibits are altered to reduce sounds, scents, as well as light stimuli. They also offer an online 360° Interactive Map so you can explore the building virtually prior to your visit. Sensory backpacks are available for guests as well. The backpacks have social stories, noise-reducing headphones, PEC cards and sensory tactiles.
A limited quantity of child and adult sized wheelchairs are available on-site. They also have compression/weighted vests and weighted blankets available for guest use during their visit.
Impression 5 Science Center Admission
$12.00: Adults & Children (2 & older)
$10.50: Seniors, Military members (& immediate family)
FREE: Members, Children (23 months & younger)
$2.00: Museums for All (up to 6 guests with valid ID and EBT, medicaid, or WIC card)
Learn more about Museums for All and other scholarship programs here.
Reciprocal Admission with Metro Detroit ACTC Passport Science Centers:
FREE: ASTC Travel Passport 90+ miles
50% OFF: ASTC Travel Passport under 90 miles
50% OFF: ACM Reciprocal Network (up to 6 guests)
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Connect with Impression 5 Science Center
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Amber is the proud mother to four beautiful children, Damian (27), Rosaleigh (14), Carlyn (11), and Naomi (8). Her family also includes four cats.
She loves being a stay-at-home mom and feels blessed to be able to care for her children full-time and provide them with so many opportunities through Metro Detroit Mommy. In addition to Metro Detroit Mommy, Amber has a passion for hosting karaoke with Malibu Entertainment. She enjoys the metro Detroit nightlife especially, singing, dancing and meeting new people.