Toledo’s Imagination Station is today’s Wednesday Activity Review. Each Wednesday this summer, Ann Arbor with Kids is covering an activity typically aimed at children in Elementary School.
I have heard good things about Imagination Station in Toledo for years, but we had never visited. Last week my daughter was attending Apple Camp at the Toledo Apple Store so we decided to extend our Friday trip with a stop at Imagination Station.
Science at Imagination Station
High Wire Cycle
The first thing that caught my daughter’s eye was the High Wire Cycle. Guests who are at least 54″ tall can take a ride across the high wire on the weighted cycle. My daughter loved riding across the high wire and will definitely take a ride again next time we visit.
BOYO is a body weight yo-yo. Kids (or adults) can be pulled up via the Yo-Yo. There is a bit of a trick to getting the BOYO to pull you up properly. The boy before my daughter had it working well, but she never quite figured it out. Maybe after a couple more visits, she’ll get the hang of it. Ironically, she started good and then was trying too hard.
Extreme Science Theater
We both really enjoyed the Combustion demonstration in the Extreme Science Theater. There were several shows throughout the day, but the Combustion was the only one that worked in our schedule. We both really liked when she showed how fireworks get their different colors.
I loved exploring the Mind Zone with it’s optical illusions, distorted gravity room, and more. The area has a lot of nooks and crannies, so be sure not to get lost in an illusion and lose track of your younger kids. I had to hunt for my daughter a few times.
Design Zone is a temporary exhibit and was the last place that we visited. We were having a great time and extended our stay by 30 minutes to keep exploring the Design Zone. We could have spent even longer in this area, but needed to get home for my daughter’s softball game. In the Design Zone We had time to experiment with video game design, an algebraic balance, and pattern replication.
Other exhibits at Imagination Station include Eat it Up, Water Works, Grow U, and Energy Factory. They also offer a Science Studio and Little Kid Space. Obviously we skipped the Little Kid Space since it was just me and my 10 year old.
Visiting Imagination Station
Getting to Imagination Station
Imagination Station is located at 1 Discovery Way on the riverfront in downtown Toledo. They do not have a parking lot, so you will have to look for parking in a garage or on the street. Meters are free on the weekend. We parked in the Riverfront Parking Garage at Summit St & Jefferson St for $3 although they charge more on the weekend. The garage was a couple of blocks from the museum. More information on parking is available on the Imagination Station website.
As members of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, we received half-off admission to Imagination Station. Our admission was $10 for my daughter and I – $5.50 for adults and $4.50 for children. Regular admission is $11 for adults (age 13-64), $9 for kids (ages 3-12), $10 for seniors (65+), and FREE for kids 2 and under.
Imagination Station is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10a-5p and Sundays from noon-5p. They are closed most Mondays, although they open on select Mondays that are holidays including the upcoming Labor Day. Note that Imagination Station will be closed from September 6-22 for their annual cleaning. Note that Lucas County residents receive free admission for their children (2 per adult) on Saturdays. As a non-Lucas County resident, I suggest visiting on another day.
Imagination Station’s Atomic Cafe offers lunch daily. Since my daughter’s camp ended at 11:15, we had lunch at the Atomic Cafe. The cafe had pre-made deli sandwiches, pizza, and grill or fryer items available. The grill items which were prepared to order were the most popular items. My daughter had a Bacon Cheese Grilled Chicken sandwich while I had a Cheesesteak. Our food was pretty good. Our only disappointment was that the menu listed a side salad as an option, but the did not have any available.
Overall Review of Imagination Station
We had a great time at Imagination Station. We visit the Hands-On Museum fairly frequently, so it was nice to visit a different museum. While we’ll mostly visit the Hands-On Museum because of proximity, it is nice to have an alternative a short drive away.