The museum’s main entrance is located on Kellogg Boulevard and may be reached from the street or from the museum’s parking ramp. The entrance has no exterior or interior steps. This entrance leads into our Lobby.
If you are approaching from the street, there is a pull-in and drop-off area directly in front of the museum. There is a wide walkway in front of the entrance doors, which face the street straight on. It is approximately 100 feet south from Kellogg Boulevard to the entry doors.
If you will be parking on site, there are elevators to take you up to the Lobby. Turn right when you exit the elevator. The doors to the Lobby will be on your left in about 20 feet.
(Quick note: the Science Museum is built into a bluff on the bank of the Mississippi River. From an orientation perspective, this means the main entrance and Lobby are near the top of the museum on level 5 and the exhibits spaces are built at and below the Lobby on levels 3, 4 and 5, along the side of the bluff.)
The Lobby is on the fifth floor of the museum. It is somewhat rectangular, with the entry doors being on a short side. The Explore Store bumps in on the left side of the rectangle. The Box Office wraps around the outside of the Explore Store.
Standing with the Lobby entrance doors at your back, and scanning from left to right, the Lobby contains:
At about 10 o’clock, there is a ball launcher interactive (where visitors can launch balls into the air with an air cannon).
There is a corridor that leads to lockers for rent, water fountains, and bathrooms. The bathrooms are at the end of the corridor on the right. To the right of the entrance is an ATM. To the left of the entrance to this corridor is a small enclosed space with two vending machines.
At about 11 o’clock, and approximately 40 feet away from the museum entrance, is the Explore Store, our museum store. The Explore Store opens 30 minutes after the museum opens, and is then open as long as the museum is open. If you walk all the way through the Explore Store, you will emerge to the far end of the Lobby near the Musical Stairs.
Our Box Office wraps around the outside of the Explore Store. Here you can buy tickets to our main galleries, Omnitheater shows, any special exhibits, and become a member. The queue for the Box Office begins directly across from the doors. When you find the large three-sided woodedged billboard, the Will Call line is to its left and the regular queue is to its right. Queue lines are delineated with tension barriers.
If you walk through the Explore Store or around the Box Office, you’ll be at the left corner of the Lobby farthest from the museum entrance. You may hear visitors on our Musical Stairs, which go from the Lobby to the 6th floor and play notes when you tread on them.
If the Box Office or Musical Stairs are on your left, the Riverway elevators will be along the brick wall to your right. They are useful to reach Elements Café or the Omnitheater’s accessible entrance, both of which are on the 6th floor. The Riverway elevators do not connect to the exhibit galleries.
To the right of the Riverway elevators are several pools of light. Walking through these pools of light trigger sounds.
In between the Riverway Stairs and the Riverway Elevators are some exhibits that explore how humans have been changing the planet and how we will adapt and thrive with our existing resources.
At about twelve o’clock and approximately 150 feet away from the museum entrance are the doors to our exhibit galleries. These doors open automatically as you approach them. Museum staff is stationed at these doors to check for visitor wristbands.
To the direct right of the gallery entrance is the main entrance for the Omnitheater. Tickets are taken here at this entrance, and then you proceed ahead through the Omnitheater’s lobby to doors that lead to the bottom of the Omnitheater’s raked seating. Audio Description or DVS Theatrical® is available for most Omnitheater films. When the show is over, you will exit up and out onto the 6th floor.
Along the right wall of the Lobby at about one o’clock, before you get to the exhibit gallery entrance, is the Java Lab. This café/coffee shop serves food and beverages. There is seating to the right of the Java Lab in café tables and chairs.
Not far from the entrance to the museum, at about two o’clock, is a Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur skeleton. Behind the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton along the wall is an exhibit where you can use a lever to open and close the jaws of another Tyrannosaurus rex skull. A touchable Tyrannosaurus rex tooth is attached to this exhibit.
And at 4 o’clock (to your right and behind you as you stand inside the front doors) is the National Park Service’s Mississippi River Visitor Center. 120
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