Plan Your Visit
Planning your next trip to Pacific Science Center? Here are recommendations to maximize your experience and answers to frequently asked questions.
If you’re visiting for…
Just One Hour – There are plenty of things to discover. We suggest you see an IMAX film or visit our Tropical Butterfly House.
Two to Three Hours – Explore our Tropical Butterfly House and tide pool exhibit or explore our outdoor exhibits. After that, see one of our amazing Live Science Demonstrations, Live Planetarium Shows or an exciting IMAX film.
Four or More Hours – That should give you enough time to see most of what we have to offer depending on the Science Demonstration and IMAX schedules for the day and how long you like to spend at each exhibit. If you want to make sure you see everything we suggest you plan to make a whole day of your visit, enjoy some lunch in our café, and Discover Pacific Science Center.
If you’re visiting as a…
A Family – Plan on a full day visit to include a planetarium show, a live science stage show, or a Science On a Sphere demonstration, along with your time exploring our exhibits. Something’s always happening in our Tinker Tank and our Naked Mole Rats are always fascinating. Our IMAX® documentaries are a great experience for families of all ages. During the summer months, make sure to spend time outdoors at Water Works and have a picnic lunch under the arches. Our Curiosity Days are perfect for children of all ages. These events are opportunities to explore a new scientific topic or theme every other month through hands-on activities, demonstrations and conversations with organizations and researchers. Our exhibits are tailored to engage a variety of ages.
A Teen – You’ll love the variety of music that we have inside the Laser Dome. See brilliant laser imagery performed to today’s top artists or experience a live show performed by an up and coming artist at Live in the Laser Dome. Interested in local research? Join us for a Science in the City lecture to hear from experts in the community. Or enjoy our exhibits on a Saturday where we have local scientists and researchers on the floor with hands-on activities.
As an Adult – Stop by The Studio or The Portal to Current Research. Both of these exhibit spaces rotate content every six months and feature local research on topics ranging from neuroscience to astrobiology to the science of play to surgery. Plan to visit later in the afternoon to stay for one of our Science in the City lectures. Stop by our Science on a Sphere in Building Two to explore weather data, tectonic plates, or other see other worlds.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Where can I park at the Science Center?
Pacific Science Center operates the Claypool Parking Garage on the corner of Second Avenue and Denny Way, adjacent to our campus. There are other parking lots nearby. Learn More
Where Can I Enter?
There are two entrances to Pacific Science Center. Our Denny Way entrance (open daytime hours only) and our Main Entrance (open for both daytime and evening access), located near the Space Needle on the Seattle Center side of the Science Center. We recommend guests needing an accessible entrance during evening hours call Guest Services at (206) 852-7421 for access to our South Entrance from the garage. Please note there is also a drop-off location along 2nd Ave, between Pacific Science Center and the Children’s Theater.
What times are your exhibits open?
During the summer months our exhibits are open daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The rest of the year our hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon-Fri, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat-Sun-Holidays. We are closed Christmas Day and our exhibits are closed Thanksgiving Day, though our theaters may be open.
Is the Planetarium included in my visit?
No. Tickets to all Planetarium shows are free for everyone, but a ticket is still required.
If you have additional questions, please call Reception at (206) 443-2001 or Guest Services at (206) 443-2844.
Pacific Science Center Guest Guidelines
- Pacific Science Center is a weapons-free property.
- Pacific Science Center is a tobacco-free property, including all outdoor spaces.
- While pets are not permitted inside Pacific Science Center, service animals are welcome.
- All youth under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. All ages 18 and under may require accompaniment by an adult as dictated by group policy.
- No helium balloons are allowed inside Pacific Science Center. If you have any with you, we will gladly keep them in our Guest Services office until you depart.
- We invite you to take photos (for personal use only) in our outdoor spaces and many indoor spaces such as the Butterfly House, however the use of any camera device is prohibited in our IMAX® Theaters, Laser Dome & Planetarium. Cell phones should also not be used in these spaces.
- Occasionally, due to proprietary and/or curatorial reasons, photography is not allowed inside certain travelling exhibits – when this is the case, notice is posted prior to entry and on our website.
- For the safety and enjoyment of our IMAX® Theater and Laser Dome guests, no late seating is allowed. Please allow yourself ample time to park and enter.
- Most of our exhibits are interactive – please enjoy hands-on learning and handle with care so they may be enjoyed by all guests for years to come.
- For your safety, and that of our other guests, no running indoors or outdoors. All guests are also required to wear shoes.
- Use care near the edge of the ponds. They are an integral, iconic part of Pacific Science Center but we do not want your visit ruined by a fall in the water.
- Please refrain from eating inside exhibit spaces. There is a brown bag area and benches around our courtyard we invite you to utilize. Food is available for purchase in our café and theater concession areas. School groups may also eat in our Discovery Labs at designated times.
- We request you do not feed any animals. Human food is not healthy for and can endanger the ducks, birds and other animals that frequent Pacific Science Center’s grounds.
- Guests may exit and re-enter Pacific Science Center during their visit. Simply show your ticket or hand-stamp to a cashier for re-entry.
Thank you for following these guidelines and visiting Pacific Science Center. We appreciate your support. Please call (206) 443-2001 with any questions.