Science World is Vancouver’s giant ball-shaped science centre which has an OMNIMAX theatre and family-friendly science-related things to do and see.
Telus World of Science
Built for the 1986 World’s Fair, Science World is the modern-looking landmark building at the east end of False Creek that looks like it has a giant mirrored ball on top. Inside that ball is the OMNIMAX Theatre where you can see terrific films on the world’s largest domed movie screen.
Science World is full of entertaining and scientific displays and activities. It’s highly recommended for young children (preschool and elementary aged), but also for people of all ages (and especially those accompanying young children).
As it is almost 100% inside, and because it’s a first-rate science centre, Science World is an especially great place to visit on a rainy day.
The last time we checked, admission rates at Science World were the following (excluding taxes):
- Adults: $23.25
- Seniors (65+): $18.50
- Youth (ages 13-18): $18.50
- Children (ages 3-12): $15.25
- Ages 2 and under: free
IMAX movies in the OMINMAX Theatre are an additional $6 (plus GST) when combined with the cost of general admission. IMAX films can also be seen on their own for about $12.
TIP #1: If you plan to visit Science World more than 3 times in a year then consider getting a membership which start at slightly more than $200 for a family of four.
TIP #2: 2-for-1 coupons are sometimes available, like through Entertainment Coupon Books. You can only redeem coupons in person though, so not online.
Where is Science World
Science World is located at the eastern tip of False Creek just a short walk from Vancouver’s Olympic Village in one direction and BC Place Stadium in the other. Its address is 1455 Quebec Street which is close to the corner of Main Street and Terminal Avenue (the latter of which turns into East 1st Avenue).
Science World is conveniently located right on the False Creek Seawall and just a short walk from the Main Street-Science World SkyTrain Station.
What’s at Science World?
Live educational science shows take place at Science World throughout the day and they are usually quite interesting. They are short and feature some kind of science topic, like gravity, energy or some other entertaining and visual presentation that’s suitable for children.
Galleries at Science World include one called BodyWorks that showcases interesting facts about the human body. One of our favourite displays there when we visited a while back was a computerized program that allows you to see what you might look like as you grow older. The displays change slightly over time, however, which is nice as it keeps things interesting.
Eureka is a popular and especially hands-on area that allows you to play with water, light, sound and motion. There is also a free theatre with educational science movies playing throughout the day, plus the OMNIMAX Theatre, which is billed as the largest of its kind in the world at 5 stories high. OMNIMAX movies go for about 45 minutes each, are typically beautifully filmed, and cost an extra $6 or so (which for an IMAX film is reasonable).
New at Science World
Vancouver’s Science World has a number of recently added new features, which makes it especially interesting for people who’ve visited the place in the past. In the spring of 2017, for example, they opened a re-imagined BodyWorks Gallery, so it’s up-to-date with new and refurbished exhibits.
Science World has also opened a new and very popular exhibit for children ages 0 to 5 called the Wonder Gallery. It’s a 3,300 square-foot attraction where infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their adult caregivers can explore, experiment and learn through play.
In the Wonder Gallery there are six activity zones. In the Experiment area children get to ask questions and search for answers, conduct mini laboratory-style experiments and play in the Wonder Wheels vehicle of science.
Other zones in the Wonder Gallery include the Splash, Shine, Climb and Build areas where little ones get to play with a water tower and lights, climb structures and build things with giant blue blocks. There is also a special enclosed Crawl area, designed for infants ages 0 to 18, where parents can relax and babies can safely crawl or just lie around.
And finally, not so long ago, Science World opened up a new area for tinkering which is fun for all ages. In the Tinkering Space there are blocks and other items to build things with and experiment.
In the Area around Science World
While in the area you might want to go for a stroll along the False Creek seawall.
Facing Science World at the front, if you go left along the water (so on the side south of the city) you’ll quickly come to the Olympic Village. It’s mostly just a bunch of fancy condos now, but this was home to the world athletes at the 2010 Olympic Games. Continue on and you’ll discover a beautiful walk that leads you all the way to Granville Island. After the Olympic Village though, you’ll find the initial stretch quite disappointing, as it’s mostly just parking lots and construction to look at. Don’t turn back though as further on the walk the scenery is quite beautiful.
Tips and Advice
Below is some information to help you make the most of your experience at Science World.
TIP #1: Science World is one of Vancouver’s best places to take children on a rainy day. It can get crowded though, so on especially miserable weekends go earlier in the morning rather than later.
TIP #2: Science World is also one of the best places to take young children any time of the year. If you’re a parent of little folk and Science World isn’t too far of a trek from your home, seriously consider getting a membership! Young kids can spend hours there, plus it’s educational!
TIP #3: There is free 2-hour parking on the street if you don’t plan to stay long at Science World – look on Quebec Street and around the corner on National Avenue near the Pacific Central Bus and Train Station. If no spots are available, then on-site parking isn’t too expensive (depending on what you’re used to).
TIP #4: You can get re-entry permission, so can eat elsewhere if you want. There isn’t a lot to choose from in the area, but there is a Tim Hortons, Starbucks and McDonald’s all within a couple of blocks. If you want to eat on site, your only option (beyond just popcorn and snacks) is the White Spot restaurant, which is pretty good if you like burgers. Further along the False Creek seawall, in the middle of the Olympic Village, is the Tap & Barrel pub at #1 Athletes Way.
For more information about Vancouver’s science centre, click Science World.
For ideas on other things to do in the Lower Mainland, check out any of the following: