This morning we went to the Pacific Science Center, near the Space Needle in Seattle. It was a typical Seattle Saturday; grey and wet and cold, but the butterfly garden at the Center promised a bit of the warmth Singapore has accustomed me to.
The Pacific Science Center has a fun display of dinosaurs; two skills where you can open and close the jaws by turning a crank, and then a series of animatronic dinosaurs that scan left and right and growl at you. As ever, I’m amazed by the scale of these beasts; even at half size, a triceratops is as big as the car we drove to the Center in.
The rest of the Center is good too. The butterfly area is carefully managed to ensure you don’t tread on or take away butterflies by accident (unlike my aggravating experience at Changi last week). They warned everyone to remove their jackets and sweaters, but I kept mine on; that turned out to be just right for my metabolic configuration.
Outside of the butterfly area, there’s an admirable haphazardness to the space; there’s lots of insects and reptiles to see, but there are also a couple of huge chairs, scaled up so I can appreciate what it’s like for my daughters to sit at our dining table. Then an IMAX theatre, then an area for kids to play with Lego. Around another corner there’s a health and medicine exhibit where I learned about why antibacterial hand cleaners are bad for general use, and there’s a device to test your grip strength. Sadly, there isn’t one of those fairground device which you hit with a hammer to make a bell ring, but you can’t have everything.
We spent the morning here; it’s a bit pricey (almost $20 per adult) but there’s a lot to see and do. Certainly better value than the Space Needle itself on a rainy day. Or perhaps on any day.
Later, I finished reading a biography of Emil Zatopek and wept. But that’s for another time.