Liberty Science Center: Where Science Comes To Life


As we drove up to the entrance of Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, my whole family was excited and intrigued by the unique building with a concrete sphere attached to it. Yet walking inside the 300,000 square-foot museum was even more impressive—our eyes were immediately drawn to the enormous expanding sphere in the air, complete with a scissor-like connector known as the Hoberman Sphere, a centerpiece of the museum since it opened in 1992. With 12 museum exhibition halls, 110 species of animals, hurricane-and-tornado-force wind simulators, and the Western Hemisphere’s biggest planetarium—Liberty Science Center is an interactive museum that makes science and physics fun. We were able to be paleontologists, learn about the force of the wind, play with a bright giant light, and climb into the first suspended play space in the world. It’s no wonder this intriguing place is not only on our list of must-see museums but also on our list of top aquariums and zoos in NJ. Read on for more about our visit, what my kids learned while there (me, too), and why heading to Liberty Science Center for a day trip is a must. (feature photo taken at Liberty Science Center)

Jersey City Microbes Rule

Step inside a giant microscope at Microbes Rule at Liberty Science Center! Photo Credit: NJ MOM

From the Hudson River to the Woolly Mammoth, Liberty Science Center has it all

There are four floors of exhibits at Liberty Science Center, so we had to map out the best way to conquer the vast space and things to do. At first, we gravitated toward the Pixel Art wall, a giant wall made of 952-pixel dials. My kids were instantly mesmerized by it, and the best part was that each dial contained more than 1,000 possible color combinations (allowing you to “turn on” the different colors). Next, we learned about the importance of the Hudson River at Our Hudson Home, where we saw fish and turtles and moved sediment in a model of the Hudson River. We couldn’t resist stepping outside on the exhibit deck to get the most fantastic view of Liberty State Park and New York City. As we made our way back in, we stopped at Making Mammoths, where we learned about genetics, and then wandered into Microbes Rule! where we were fascinated by the world of microbes and took in the sights of the glowing gallery of microbe art. We also didn’t want to miss the 80-foot Touch Tunnel, where we felt our way through a tunnel in the dark. There’s also a brand new Blue Whale exhibit featuring an enormous blue whale skeleton.

Liberty Science Center Infinity Climber

The Infinity Climber at Liberty Science Center is the first suspended play space in the world. Photo Credit: NJ MOM

Climbing to new heights at LSC in Jersey City

When you look down from the fourth floor at Liberty Science Center, you will see a web suspended over the floor full of little climbers. This is the infamous Infinity Climber, and there are multiple paths to take over the nineteen miles of hand-threaded wire that runs through the museum’s center. This was one of my kids’ favorite stops at the Liberty Science Center, and with the climbing and planning skills, it was a win-win—they got some energy out and had to think about how to map out their next move. After, we made our way into the Dream Machine, a musical sensory experience, and then into Wonder Why, which housed a challenging rock wall, a wind tunnel, and a liquid table that would spin and create unique designs. It was the perfect spot for mom and dad to take a break while the kids could walk around and explore.

Jersey City New Jersey

The cotton-top tamarin monkeys are fun to watch at Liberty Science Center. Photo Credit: NJ MOM

Walking on the wild side

Naked mole rats, cotton-top tamarin monkeys, and even a rose-hair tarantula are must-see animals at Liberty Science Center. Did you know that there are over 100 animal species at the center? The cotton-top tamarin monkeys were so fun to watch, and it was pretty amazing to see the rose-hair tarantula at the Wild About Animals exhibition. There were hermit crabs climbing ladders in the Hermit Crab Playground and a chinchilla enjoying a dust bath in the Chinchilla Castle. During our stop at Our Hudson Home exhibit, we learned about the Hudson River as a means of travel and commerce, a source of food, and a place to play. Within the display are aquariums featuring native plants, fish, and animals to the Hudson River, which piqued my kids’ interest since, up until now, most aquariums we’ve been to have focused on the ocean.

Liberty Science Center photos Dino Dig

Where else can you dig for dinosaurs while viewing the New York City skyline? Photo Credit: NJ MOM

Digging the views at Liberty Science Center

During our visit, one of our favorite spots was at Liberty Science Center’s permanent outdoor exhibition—Dino Dig Adventure! This was a great place to spread out and get some fresh air as the kids became amateur paleontologists by brushing away sand to uncover fossils from seven different dinosaur species. It was also a fantastic place to take in amazing NYC skyline views. They moved around trying to discover new fossils at three other dig pits covered in over 60 tons of sand under a giant canopy inspired by the shape of an Ankylosaurus. This exhibit is a must-see for all ages if you need a slight change of scenery mixed with some dinosaur fun.

Wobbly World ohotos

Get your sillies out in Wobbly World for your toddlers inside Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. Photo Credit: NJ MOM

Wander around Wobbly World inside LSC

Littles will love the entire Liberty Science Center, but at Wobbly World, they’ll find their groove. Kids 5 and under can explore balance, motion, and cause and effect in this slightly off-kilter wonderland. Don’t miss the Body Mobile, a part carousel, part Calder-style mobile powered by play, coming to life as they move. Other exhibits include testing their balance at Balancescape, building with oversized Balance Blocks, or sorting, stacking, and balancing at the Scales and Stacking Station. The bright, airy play exhibit is so much fun that your kiddos won’t even realize they are learning.

Liberty Science Center photos food

Liberty Science Center has several food options, whether you are looking for a quick snack or a sit-down meal. Photo Credit: NJ MOM

Fuel up during your visit

We built up quite an appetite while exploring Liberty Science Center and found some excellent choices to fuel up. First, there is the Galaxy Grab & Go, where you can grab a quick snack or drink, and it’s open until the museum shuts down. It offers a variety of drinks and snacks like yogurt parfaits, applesauce, and salads. If you want a sit-down meal, head to the Cosmic Cafe, Liberty Science Center’s food hall, with everything from house-made pizza to chicken to hot and cold sandwiches. Both places satisfied everyone, from adults to kids, and we were happy we had so many choices.


There are a variety of permanent and rotating exhibits at Liberty Science Center. Photo Credit: NJ MOM

See it before it’s gone—Special Exhibits at Liberty Science Center

Any Barbie fans in your family? From now until September 2, 2024, you can immerse yourself in the beloved world of Barbie™ You Can Be Anything™, where your kids can learn, play, and encounter role models from Barbie’s history. This special exhibit is an incredible experience for kids to learn through the life-size displays about the backgrounds, struggles, and accomplishments of Barbie’s real-life counterparts. Learn about Leader, Problem Solver, Nurturer, Creator, Adventurer and all of the career-minded Barbies. The Barbie™ Exhibit is included with general admission. 

Liberty Science Center planetarium 2

No visit to the Liberty Science Center is complete without taking in a show at the largest planetarium in America. Photo Credit: Liberty Science Center

Don’t miss the biggest planetarium in America 

Liberty Science Center boasts the biggest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere with 88 million pixels and a lighting system that can produce over 281 trillion colors—that alone will let you know that you are in for quite a show. The Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium is a must-see when you visit the Liberty Science Center, and the super comfy chairs will make you want to stay even longer. We visited the planetarium toward the end because I found it very relaxing (the chairs are fantastic after a long day of exploring), and I thought it was a perfect high note to a fun-filled day. The 89-foot full-dome gave us a fantastic glimpse into space as we watched Space Trip: To Infinity and Beyond, and we all learned so much as we took a voyage through Saturn’s rings. It was surely a memorable way to end the day. My kids asked when we could return, which I count as a huge success for a museum day trip.

Liberty Science Center The Pixel Art wall at LSC is so much fun, and each dial has over 1,000 color choices. Photo Credit: NJ MOM

What to know before you go

The Liberty Science Center has four floors connected by stairs and elevators. We started on the fourth floor and then headed to the lobby to end our day, but you can begin anywhere to explore the permanent and temporary exhibits. There are bathrooms on every floor and a nursing room for mothers on the second floor. The building is ADA-compliant and stroller-friendly, so don’t hesitate to bring the little ones. 

It is strongly recommended that you buy tickets online—tickets are $27.99 ($25.99 for advance general admission) for ages 2-12 and $32.99 ($30.99 for advance general admission) for adults. The planetarium shows are available as an add-on to your general admission ticket. Click here for ticket information and learn more about becoming a Liberty Science Center member with many perks, like free single-use passes for planetarium shows. The planetarium and some exhibits are an extra fee.

There is a daily schedule available so you can plan your day with shows on your must-see list. Because Liberty Science Center has in-house food venues, no outside food or drinks are allowed. A gift shop on the first floor has lots of fun science toys, like Astronaut ice cream and NASA merchandise. If you would rather pay before getting into your car, stop by the parking kiosk in the main lobby outside the gift shop. Liberty Science Center also has activities for homeschooled children, a scout program, and camp-ins.

The Liberty Science Center
222 Jersey City Blvd.
Jersey City, NJ 07305

Check out Liberty Science Center’s website, Facebook, and Instagram

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About Author

Melanie Bodner has always had a love for writing, but now she has a new love…being a mom. Before having her kids, Melanie was no stranger to writing or working with children. She wrote for a local newspaper as a reporter and taught English and Dance in a public school. Now Melanie enjoys spending time with her kids, doing yoga, writing and decorating her home. Check out her Instagram @burlapbythebeach.