Taipei Astronomical Museum

Over the years, we have visited the Taipei Science Education Center several times, but always skipped the Taipei Astronomical Museum across the lane.  After visiting for the first time early in August, the kids have been nagging me to take them back, and we finally made it again last week.  If you have a spare half-day before school starts, take the kids and enjoy their "Kids are Free" summer deal (not that it's unaffordable usually.)

You purchase tickets at the vending machines in the lobby.  Staff are very helpful so just look overwhelmed and they should come over.  You can buy tickets to:
The main exhibits
The 3D moving theater
The IMAX theater

The theaters are in the basement.  The IMAX space videos are a very nice introduction to the stars.  At the time we visited, they were showing one about the constellations we can see from Taiwan ("Star Show").  It was a mixture of cartoon and real images.  My five-year-old understood enough to come home and want to see the night sky.  English translation in headphones is available.

Part of an "archeological site" showing what our generation will leave behind.

The main exhibit floors are spacious and really child-friendly.  Children can really visualize the Earth's position in the Universe, and learn about space technology.

Telescopes with portable stepstool so shorter kids can still use them.
On the fourth floor, there is a "cool" spaceship ride that takes you through a worm hole into an alien world.  It's TWD70 a ticket, and until the end of the month it's "buy one get one free".  The ride is about ten minutes long.  The first time, we rode it together (each capsule can fit one adult and two children).  The second time, I let the kids ride it alone and I waited at the third-floor exit.  The English-language narration is really good.  There is a button inside your capsule to let you choose English or Chinese.

From inside the spaceship.

There is store on the first floor where you can pick up science books, telescopes, and space-related items.  On Saturday nights, they open up the telescope so you can view the night sky.

It's stroller-friendly.  Toddlers might enjoy a bit of a run through the exhibits but won't get much out of the education-side.  I'd suggest taking little ones in after a run at the wonderful park next door, or having a picnic after the museum trip.  I'd put suitable ages at five and up.

Closed Mondays
Address:  No. 363, Jīhé Road, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111 (臺北市士林區11160基河路363號)
Tel: +886 2 2831 4551
English Website: http://english.tam.taipei.gov.tw/

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