Adventure Science Center In Nashville: Fun For Kids AND Adults

by Jenn

Art Fun, Fun For Kids, Nashville Fun Stuff

The Adventure Science Center will not only keep you nice and cool in the summer heat but it will teach your kids (and you) about science in fun and interesting ways.

I have taken my kids Taylor (13), Gavin (10), and Garrett (8) to the Adventure Science Center 3 times and we’ve only lived in the Nashville area a little over a year.

We keep going back because it’s FUN (for adults too) and there is always something new to explore.


History Of Nashville’s Adventure Science Center

Here is a little history on the Adventure Science Center:

  • It was established in 1944.
  • It once resided at 2nd Avenue South (downtown Nashville).
  • It has had a few different names but began as The Children’s Museum of Nashville.
  • It opened its doors on October 30, 1945 thanks to the vision of Sgt. John Ripley Forbes.
  • Anthony Sudekum’s family contributed funds used to purchase the first star projector.
  • In 1952 Tennessee’s first planetarium was opened: The Sudekum Planetarium.
  • In 1974 The Children’s Museum moved to its current location.
  • In 2002 the museum became what we know it as today: Adventure Science Center.


Now, a little about the activities and exhibits found inside the Adventure Science Center…


Space Chase

There are many different exhibits but one of our favorites is the Space Chase.

This is a permanent wing of the Adventure Science Center with 15,000 square feet of hands on interactive learning exhibits focused on teaching about the Wonders of our Universe.

Our favorite activity hands down is the Test Bed area. There are many learning areas here, but my kids flock to the Moonwalker and EVA Experiences where you can encounter real astronaut simulation training in 2 different phases:


The EVA (Extravehicular Activities) Experience:

This simulates weightlessness while you attempt to “work” in zero gravity (i.e. scaling that giant wall).

*To participate in EVA you must be between 48” – 78” tall and weigh 75 – 250 lbs.


The Moonwalker Experience:

This simulates the feeling of walking on the moon; jump high and come down with 1/6th of the gravity.

*To participate in the Moonwalker you must be between 45”-78” tall and weight 50-300 lbs.


While in the Space Chase exhibit also be sure to visit the Star Walk, Cosmic Ray’s, Solar Projection Table, Infrared Wall, Space Imaging, and last but not least the Solar System Survey.


Adventure Tower

Our next favorite area is the Adventure Tower.

The tower is 75 feet tall with 7 different levels and an observation deck at the top.

I climbed the Adventure Tower and took some amazing photos of Nashville from the Pinnacle (observation deck).  If I can do it – so can you!

Adventure Tower is full of learning activities set to cover 6 scientific concepts: Earth Science, Creativity & Innovation, Sound & Light, Air & Space, Health and Energy.  You can also hoist a car with your body weight, play a piano or guitar with your feet, use a stationary bike to power an elevator and crawl through a heart (and much more).



Next stop is BodyQuest where you get to experience a “day in the life” of your body.

  • Get an up close look at how your body works inside and out.
  • Learn all about the heart and the brain.
  • Follow the “path of food” — see how the circulatory system and the respiratory system work.
  • Experience what it’s like to be a paramedic, radiologist or surgeon and so much more.


Mission: Possible

One of the newer exhibits is Mission: Possible.

This exhibit features obstacles that physically disabled people face every day and allows you to experience (for a moment) some of those challenges.

My kids really like this exhibit and it opened their eyes and their hearts to what other people may face in their lives.

It’s my favorite exhibit hands down.


The Adventure Science Center has 2 new exhibits that I have not (as of yet) had the privilege of exploring…



BLUE MAX is a flight simulation ride that allows YOU to be the pilot, gunner, or both during a flight training exercise.

This ride is not for the faint of heart (talking to myself here) as it has the capabilities to perform full 360-degree maneuvers!

Then there is the GPS Adventures featuring a life-sized maze. GPS (Global Positioning Systems) Adventures teaches people about the fun of Geocaching – a family friendly treasure hunting game. This exhibit focuses on how GPS technology works and how it is changing the way we live.

Extra charges apply to ride BLUE MAX.


Sudekum Planetarium

sea-monsters-adventure-science-center-nashvilleLast but not least, the Adventure Science Center is home to the Sudekum Planetarium.

The planetarium has many different shows to choose from. Currently it is featuring Sea Monsters a journey back in time beneath the sea to “re-create the perilous underwater realm”. It’s recommended for ages 6 and up.

The planetarium is also showing Skies Over Nashville a live program in which a “planetarium educator” shows how to locate and identify constellations (that can be seen by the naked eye), bright stars, planets and anything else that is visible on the day of the show. (Recommended for ages 4 and up.)

There is also Dawn Of The Space Age which walks you through the space age “from Sputnik to the Space Shuttle and beyond”. (Recommended for ages 4 and up.)

The planetarium offers laser light shows and the website is a great tool for learning more about star charts and space news.

Additional fees are charged for visiting the Sudekum Planetarium.


Location, Fees, And Hours of Operation

The Adventure Science Center is located at 800 Fort Negley Boulevard, Nashville TN 37203. For more information, call (615)-862-5177.

Here’s when the Adventure Science Center is open:

  • Monday: Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM
  • Sunday: 12:30 PM to 5:30 PM
  • Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas Day

Admission to the Adventure Science Center varies, depending on the exact activities you wish to participate in. They do have a membership program.

Right now they are offering a Summer Science Pass which is $20 per person (adults and children alike). These passes give you unlimited general admission through the summer months.

Worth Noting…

The Adventure Science Center has a Skyline Room where you can eat your own bagged lunch. They do have a few vending machines for drinks and light snacks, but other than that there is no food service. You can leave the Adventure Science Center for lunch and come back; you just need to show your same day receipt to re-enter.

I recommend bringing a small cooler with your lunches packed inside and keeping it in the car until you’re ready to eat. Then eat at the picnic tables on the same property (if it’s not too hot) or take your lunch inside and eat at the Skyline Room.

During the summer there are a lot of camps that visit, so if you want to avoid the crowds go after 1 PM.

You might want to steer younger kids (toddlers & pre-K) away from the Adventure Tower — because it’s difficult to supervise them there.

They also have a lot of unique activities throughout the year, including After-Hours Fun (almost overnights and science sleepover programs).

The Adventure Science Center makes learning fun, and any learning done over the summer gets 2 thumbs up from this Nashville mom!


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