Children love to visit this museum because it is both fun and instructive, and are instantly drawn in to interact with the numerous interactive games and experiments.
Main attractions: Covering 43,000 sqm, the museum is made up of three parts: Hall A (the main exhibition venue), B (a domed theatre) and C (the Fundazzle playground for kids from 3-10).
Hall A is filled with interesting games (wonderfully explained in both Chinese and English), covering such fields as air and space, energy and transportation, materials and mechanics, information technology, life science, environmental science and basic sciences.
The fourth floor is devoted to the great inventions of ancient China and other Chinese treasures, such as medicine, printing and the compass.
Eye-catchers: The return capsule of Shenzhou No 1 spaceship and its giant, colorful parachute decorate the first floor and brighten the ceiling of the central hall.
Performances of robots cast a spell on children as they conduct an orchestra, practice kung fu, throw basketballs, and talk with children.
The Van de Graaff generator is also a favorite as static electricity makes hair stick up and out in all directions. Walking through a rotating tube makes visitors think they are tumbling when they are not, while cars, Maglev trains, gliders and bikes, all reveal their secrets of locomotion.
Note: You may well stay for longer then you plan so bring some supplies. Also keep an eye on the time so as not to miss the robot performances and other shows, many with 15-30 min intervals.
Pity: There is an extra charge to visit Halls B and C, plus the Astrovision theatre in Hall B only shows two movies.
Add: 1 Beisanhuan Zhonglu, Chaoyang District;
Entry ticket: Hall A: 30 yuan (US$4) for adult, 20 yuan(US$3) for kids; Hall B: 30 yuan for adults, 15 yuan (US$2) for kids; Hall C: 20 yuan for kids, 10 yuan (US$1) for adult escort;
Opening hours: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM, Tue-Sun;
Traffic: Take Bus No.s 101, 300, 302, 367, 387, 409, 422, 702, 718, 730, 801, 830 to get off at Zhongguokejiguan. The museum is at the northwest of Anhuaqiao Flyover on the North Third Ring Road
(China Daily March 17, 2006)