Traditional rules go out the window the second visitors enter the Liberty Science Center (LSC) in Jersey City, New Jersey. This 300,000-square-foot interactive museum invites its guests to touch and play with its displays and exhibits in a way that encourages exploration and discovery. The center opened in 1993 as New Jersey’s first major state science museum and is now the largest interactive science center in the Greater New York City and New Jersey area.
Home to the largest and most technologically advanced planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, the Liberty Science Center has become a top destination for families, and many of the center’s first visitors who had originally come as children are now bringing their own children to relive some of their favorite childhood memories. The museum is for all ages, where the young and young at heart can interact and discover alongside one another in a fun and educational environment.
In the center are 12 hands-on exhibition halls, among them the Touch Tunnel and much beloved Hoberman Sphere, a silver, computer-driven engineering artwork designed by Chuck Hoberman; a live-animal collection with more than 110 species; grand aquariums; a 3D theater; a 35-foot-high climbing gym; live simulcast surgeries; a tornado-force wind simulator; and a blacked-out, 80-foot-long crawl-through maze. Many school-aged groups look to the center for its on- and off-site learning programs, but the center is popular with older crowds as well. During film nights and monthly events like LSC After Dark, guests 21 and older can enter the center after hours for a night of drinking, eating, exploring and dancing with a live DJ.
The center regularly hosts birthday parties, school field trips, camp-ins and Scout weekends, but it also offers more than 15 different meeting spaces that can accommodate groups of up to 1,800 guests. The ADA-compliant building’s stunning views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty make it a great space for holding memorable corporate meetings, glamorous cocktail receptions and intimate dinners.
The meeting spaces at the Liberty Science Center are broken up based on floor location. The first floor is home to the PSE&G Court, for up to 700 guests; the Skyscraper! Gallery, for up to 150 guests; and the Center for Learning and Teaching, for up to 250 guests. The second floor holds the Governor’s Hall, for up to 800 guests; the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium and LSC Giant Dome Theatre, for up to 390 guests; the Joseph D. Williams 3D Science Center, for up to 300 guests; the I Explore, for up to 80 guests; Group Dining, for up to 400 guests; the Café Banks, for up to 70 guests; and the Lawn, for up to 1,500 guests. The third floor holds the Board Room, for up to 45 guests; the Breakout Room, for up to 100 guests; and the M. Galleries, a 20,000-square-foot gallery space. The fourth floor tops things off with the Fourth Floor Galleries, for up to 300 guests, and the Observation Tower, for up to 80 guests.