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.
VENUE CLOSES & THEN REOPENS
Vancouver’s Science World attraction closed to the public in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. It reopened, however, as of August 1st, 2020, with new restrictions and guidelines in place.
As of the last time we checked, visitors to Science World must reserve their tickets online. Masks are required for everyone over the age of 5, and physical distancing is encouraged via signs and directions throughout the building. The attraction is also only open Wednesdays to Sundays. It is closed most Mondays and Tuesdays (but not over the Christmas holidays between December 21st and January 3rd).
As of December, 2020, the OMNIMAX Theatre is also still temporarily closed.
For more information about the status of the attraction see the Science World website.
To learn how the coronavirus is affecting other local venues and events see our article about COVID-19 in Vancouver.
Vancouver’s 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.
Admission Prices at Science World
Admission rates at the attraction were the following (excluding taxes) as of December 2020:
- Adults: $27.62
- Seniors (65+): $22.14
- Youth (ages 13-18): $22.14
- Children (ages 3-12): $18.57
- Ages 2 and under: free
IMAX movies in the OMINMAX Theatre are an additional $6.50 or so (plus GST) when combined with the cost of general admission. OMNIMAX films can also be seen on their own for about $13.
TIP: If you plan to visit Science World more than 3 times in a year then consider getting a membership which starts at around $225 for a family of two adults and up to four children.
Where is Science World
Located at the eastern tip of False Creek, Science World is 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 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 happen 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 allowed 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 Theatre at Science World
OMNIMAX movies go for about 45 minutes each, are beautifully filmed, and cost an extra $6.50 or so (which for an IMAX film is reasonable).
Films scheduled to show in the OMNIMAX Theatre as of the fall of 2020 were Great Bear Rainforest, Apollo 11 and Superpower Dogs. The theatre closed temporarily, however, due to COVID-19.
Galleries at Science World
Vancouver’s Science World has had a number of new features added over the last few years. This makes it extra interesting for people who’ve visited the place in the past. In the spring of 2017, for example, they opened the re-imagined BodyWorks Gallery, so it’s up-to-date with new and refurbished exhibits.
Science World 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 can 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.
Not so long ago, Science World also 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.
New at Science World
Science World’s feature exhibition as of late February 2020 is Towers of Tomorrow with Lego Bricks. They’ve re-created some of the world’s most famous and interesting-looking skyscrapers. There’s also an interactive Lego section where kids and folk of all ages can use their creativity to construct their own towers.
The exhibit was going to run from January 24th, 2020, until September 7th, 2020. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the Lego exhibition got extended until January of 2021.
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 downtown Vancouver) 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 along the seawall heading west and you’ll discover a beautiful walk that leads you all the way to Granville Island. After the Olympic Village though, you might find the initial stretch a bit disappointing as it’s mostly just parking lots and construction to look at (or at least it still was the last time we went). Don’t turn back though as further along 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, 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 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:
- Vancouver’s Top 24 Attractions
- Vancouver’s Top 100 Attractions
- Rainy Day Activities
- Best Places for Children
- Vancouver’s Calendar of Events