tony hawk rad science at the fort lauderdale museum of discovery & science

This past Sunday, my husband, Ethan and I had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Discovery & Science in Fort Lauderdale. One of the newest exhibits at the museum is the Tony Hawk Rad Science traveling exhibit which is all about the physics of skateboarding. Ethan was pretty pumped to see the exhibit, though I'm not sure he could have grasped how awesome it was before we got there to experience it! Actually, I'm not sure all three of us could have grasped how incredible the entire museum was. Neither my husband or I had been since we were children, and I'm not entirely sure why. Ethan was captivated from the time we walked through the front doors and were greeted by an up close and personal visit with a snake!

Ethan absolutely loved being able to watch all of the beautiful fish and animals up close through the little viewing windows -- and got a kick out of the turtles who kept swimming up to say "hi Ethan!" (That's what he swears they were saying, anyway!) He also discovered what coral reefs were, thanks to the museum's beautiful Atlantic coral reef, which is the largest living Atlantic coral reef in captivity!

The next area of the museum we visited was one all about recycling and going green. Ethan loved listening to the robot sing about going green and he loved exploring the (fake!) compost bin. We had to pry him out of this exhibit to continue exploring the museum!

After admiring the teeth of the megalodon shark, we ran into the amazing otter sanctuary and exhibit. The otters were so cute and friendly -- I'm pretty sure I could have watched them swim around all day. One of the things I was quick to notice was how clean and huge their home was! These are some happy, well-loved otters.

Ethan loved getting the opportunity to be an otter, too, by sliding down a slide just like one of the silly otters!

Next up, we made our way to the Tony Hawk: Rad Science exhibit.

There was so much to see, and Ethan was eager to try out everything. The exhibit is interactive and perfect for all ages -- Ethan was pretty stoked to do a jump and spin, and there were older children all the way up to adults eager to do the same!

Nailed it!

The exhibit features 25 interactive experiences, all of which Ethan was able to try even at his young age. ("Try" being the keyword -- I know he's a skater dude, but he doesn't quite have that balance thing down pact!) The exhibit was also really interesting in showing how important physics and science are when it comes to skateboarding and other action sports (did you know a skateboard is a combination of six simple machines, for example?). Ethan thinks he's the coolest kid in town when he wears his "helmie" (helmet) so the display of helmets, wristguards and other skateboarding gear and how they work was also really interesting! There was also a display by Create A Skate that showed how skateboards were made, which was really cool to watch! I liked that people of all ages could walk away from this exhibit with something: someone as young as Ethan completely wow-ed by all of the skateboards, ramps and gear, and someone older with the rad (see what I did there?) science facts they learned.

Once we were able to pry Ethan away from the cool skateboards on display (my favorites were the boards from the 1950's and 1960's!), we continued to explore the second floor of the museum. Ethan was all over the place, bursting with excitement over all of the neat things he was able to do, like send balls flying, fly planes, drive trucks -- and get blasted with the winds that simulate a plane taking off. He surprisingly loved it.

Another thing that made the museum particularly cool that day was that it was World Ocean Day, and there were plenty of ocean celebrations going on! I made sure to dress Ethan in blue in honor of this important occasion! There was a great room set up for science and crafts. Ethan couldn't wait to get started!

Ethan had a blast making art with the friendly museum employees who encouraged him to create his art from his heart, even if that meant a rainbow colored ocean! My biggest pet peeve is when we go someplace and the children are encouraged to paint according to "real life." Ethan was encouraged to use his imagination and creativity and, in the end, he created this beautiful piece of artwork! The dolphin actually moves and jumps through the ocean he painted. I thought it was pretty cool!

Ethan doing an experiment to learn why whales stay warm in the cold water

There were also pirates and mermaids in the lobby, but Ethan was (for some reason) a little scared of the mermaids, so we admired them from afar.

On our way out, we stopped by the children's play area for Ethan to do some playing. There are several large play structures for the children to explore. Ethan gravitated right to the amazing water and bubble table, where he had a blast sailing boats and splashing in the soapy water.

The children's area is also apparently pretty fun for daddies, too!

All three of us had an amazing time at the museum and left with membership information and the nagging question as to why we haven't been in so long. My husband and I both agreed that we could easily spend the entire day at the museum. Even in the few hours we were there, we weren't able to tackle everything, as there is just so much to soak in and admire! It was an incredible experience for both us adults and toddler alike (to say we had to console Ethan when it came time to leave was putting it mildly. He would have been content to move in!).

The Tony Hawk: Rad Science exhibit will be at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery & Science through September 2nd, 2013. For more information on this exhibit and the museum, visit mods.org. The Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery & Science is located at 401 SW 2nd Street in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and open 365 days a year!


  1. This looks like an amazing hands on adventure. But..how is Ethan so big these days?!!!!

    1. I know! Isn't it nuts? I swear, he grows a couple of inches each night!

  2. My kids would love this place!

  3. James and I took the kids there when we visited Florida in April! We had just arrived after bus-loads of kids had just left from a field trip, so at the time, a lot of stuff was broken/not working. I kind of wish we would have gone earlier in the day!

    We loved the giant bubbles and the megalodon shark! We took pictures while there, including a few in front of the shark, but have yet to upload them!


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