Over Memorial Day weekend I finally convinced my boyfriend to go to the new Phillip and Patricia Frost Science Museum located at 1101 Biscayne Boulevard, in Downtown Miami, FL. I was so pumped because I have vivid and fond memories of the old science museum in Miami that was off South Miami Avenue. I remember one of my favorite exhibits even as an adult was the hurricane simulator, as well as the musical light shows put on at the planetarium. I figured with the Frosts pitching in to build a state-of-the-art science museum at Museum Park right along side the Perez Art Museum Miami it had to be good, right?
Well, despite going way over budget and requiring an additional $49 million to the $165 million the county had already provided in bond proceeds (and being at least 8 months late) the museum leaves much to be desired. Maybe $305 million (the total cost of the museum) doesn’t go as far as it used to? Maybe Miami-Dade just doesn’t know how to spend money as evidence by some of its prior investments? *cough* Marlins Park *cough*
Most of my problem was that the museum seemed unfinished and very thin on attractions. Two floors devoted to an exhibit about sight sponsored by Bascom Palmer but everything looked like trinkets I could make in a garage.
The aviary was dazzling but we have lots of places in South Florida where we can see beautiful birds (might I recommend Flamingo Gardens in Davie).
The aquarium was an incredible engineering feat but you couldn’t see that many fish from the first-floor viewing deck.
My boyfriend and I really enjoyed the exhibit on flight and hope that in the future the museum adds more exhibitions of this type. Ones that tell stories of innovation, engineering, evolution, and mankind’s progress through time.
To be fair it’s possible that all the money went to building the planetarium which from the outside looks like the Death Star. We, unfortunately, couldn’t check it out because all the tickets were gone by the time we arrived. Speaking of tickets, it will cost you $28 to get into the museum if you’re an adult. If you happen to be a resident of Miami-Dade County you get a 15% discount and your ticket will run you $23.80. You can check out all the ticket prices here. I plan to go back and check out the planetarium soon, the new museum will be doing the musical light shows on the first Friday night of every month.
Bottom line, the museum isn’t finished yet. There was still tons of construction happening throughout the building. The food court hasn’t opened yet and it feels like there’s still space to put in more stuff. I suggest you wait at least another month or two before you go. Hopefully, by then the staff will be more helpful and they’ll have all the kinks worked out. At this point, I’m just hoping this doesn’t become another money pit for the county. Maybe we should all make donations?