As a kid, one of my favourite places to go in Toronto was the Ontario Science Centre. Between the bouncy bridge, the electrostatic ball that made my hair stand up (mine went straight up and out to both sides), making paper, and the machine that said “coffee” in different pitches, it was a great place to spend a day. I went with school, with my parents, and with Girl Guides – usually at least a couple of times every year. Then when I was a teenager, I didn’t go as often – and when I did go I was helping out with younger cousins or my Brownie unit. As an adult, my experience with the Science Centre has been as a leader with Girl Guides (which includes 2 “Sleepovers” with my Brownie unit which mainly consisted of me chasing down 7 year olds who didn’t want to sleep at 3 am and trying / failing to convince them to go back to their sleeping bags) and taking my friends’ kids around the exhibits. While I won’t do another sleepover soon (my Pathfinders prefer to camp and are too old for the official “Sleepover at the Science Centre” program), I have quite enjoyed taking my friends’ kids to the Science Centre. The one problem I’ve had is that the while the Ontario Science Centre has a lot of exhibits that are of interest to adults, it can be hard to see them and almost impossible to interact with them when there are kids around. I mean I’m not going to push a little kid out of the way so that I can play with a fun exhibit – that’s a jerk move if ever there was one. Besides, it’s hard to enjoy the exhibit when you’re also watching to make sure that little Janey doesn’t disappear again or that little Johnny isn’t punching the kid behind him in line. [Please tell me I’m not the only one this happens to out in public]
All of this is why, whenI heard about ScienceRocks! at the Ontario Science Centre I knew I had to go check it out. ScienceRocks! is a chance for adults (19 + as there is alcohol available for sale) to explore the amazing Science of Rock and Roll exhibit without any children present. I got a couple of girlfriends together and we met up at the Science Centre not sure what to expect but hoping for a fun girls night out at the very least. We were clearly not the only ones with this idea, and a number of couples seemed to have chosen the event as a great place for date night. If you have only been to the Science Centre with kids in tow, you need to come and see it after dark. There is something about walking through the Science Centre sipping on a gin and tonic that makes you feel like a rebel.
There were so many things to do that I stayed for the whole event (which runs from 7pm-midnight). I didn’t get a chance to see the IMAX movie about the Rolling Stones (but am aiming for it this time). I did, get a rock and roll makeover courtesy of The Beauty Team. It was amazing. I sat in the audience and listened to League of Rock do a few numbers (though if you’re more ambitious than I am, you can actually play with them). I watched and participated in a presentation on neuroscience and music where we had to clap out different rhythms at different tempos. I ate some of the Fleetwood Mac n’ Cheese (topped with pulled pork – it was amazing). Then, after taking in all of the various attractions, I headed into the main exhibit. The Science of Rock and Roll exhibit has something for everyone! I loved the history exhibits with artifacts from different decades in rock history. The reactables were a lot of fun to play with and distort all the music and see what effect changing the balance or the instrumentation has on a piece of music. The hands on demo with the different instruments that make up a typical rock band was a ton of fun – I especially enjoyed the left handed bass guitar. All the adults lined up nicely to take turns and nobody felt bad about trying things out because we weren’t taking time away from a kid who wanted a turn.
All in all it was one of the most fun nights out I’ve had in a long time. Sorry you missed it? Don’t be – there is still one more ScienceRocks! Adults Only night left – Thursday September 18th! The event on the 18th features all of the fun of the earlier dates plus a ukulele choir (I have to admit, this intrigues me). There is a hands on session where you can make your own cigar box guitar to take home which looks pretty awesome. The headliners for the evening are Steve Cropper and Jonny Rosch. I’m looking forward to finding out what Johann Sebastian Joust is all about. It sounds fun.
Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door for non members and $12 in advance or $14.40 at the door for members. Parking is free.
For more information and to purchase tickets, head to the Ontario Science Centre website.