Visiting The Imagination Station Science & History Museum Wilson, NC was certainly an experience. We were in the area visiting the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and figured a day trip would be fun. Dorky Adventure Dad looked it up online and there where quite a few mixed reviews. It seemed that many people loved it, but many people hated it as well. There wasn’t a lot of in between. Dorky Adventure Dad was not wanting to go, but I insisted that we have fun everywhere we go. So we went. Read on to get our tips to making sure you have a great time, and find out if it’s Fun Adventure Family Approved.
Tip 1 – Parking
If you’re still planning on visiting the Imagination Station you’re going to need to plan your possible parking locations in advance. Especially if you’re in a big ol Class A RV like we are. They advertise bus parking, but if our highly experienced Dorky Adventure Dad didn’t think their tiny parking lot sandwiched between two buildings was big enough for our RV then it wasn’t. This is a man who drove our RV up the side of a one way dirt road up a mountain in Georgia, for goodness sake!
Tip 2 – This museum is free entrance with your ASTC (association of science and technology centers) membership, which is amazing! If you don’t know about the ASTC and similar partnerships, check out our blog post about it here (Adventures on a budget). At the time we visited we paid full price for entrance, however after exploring the whole building in less than a half an hour, Dorky Adventure Dad asked for a refund and we left to go back to the Wilson County Public Library.
Tip 3 – If you are an animal lover, STAY AWAY! The first section of the The Imagination Station Wilson, NC that we walked through was the reptile area and let me just say it was absolutely heart breaking. I went back through my photos looking for a picture to include with this part of my blog post, but I quickly realized that I didn’t take even one. The enclosures were so tiny that the animals hardly had room to move. The one that stands out the most in my mind was the tortoise. He was so large and his enclosure was so small, he could hardly turn around. Just recalling it makes my stomach ache. It is surprising to me if what they’re doing there is legal.
Tip 4 – Dress for the weather. I’m not sure what the temperature is like in the winter because we went in the summer, but it was uncomfortably warm in the building. I know it’s an old building, so I shouldn’t be surprised, but for some reason I was. I wish I had known to wear shorts. So now you know. Be sure to dress for the weather even though you’ll be indoors. We found it especially warm in the loom room.
Tip 5 – The The Imagination Station Wilson, NC was originally a post office with a federal courthouse. They have some remnants of these bygone federal agencies within the building, but it seems like the court area is reserved for school functions. I don’t believe you can access the court area without a class. The area was closed off when we went. The whole thing was difficult to figure out while wondering around on our own.
Tip 6 – There are some renovated sections, but they don’t appear to be age appropriate to me. This whole building seems marketed to elementary school age children, but the downstairs renovations are for a much more advanced individual, both mentally and physically. The 100,000,000 dollar globe thing they recently invested in was so complex that I saw a couple of adults poking at the buttons, shrugging and walking away. Someone to operate it would be ideal. The exercise equipment (that is actually functional, many keys were missing) was the same kind you’d find in an adult gym. I’m not sure what was trying to be accomplished here. After a few runs down the cheetah racer the kids were pretty much done.
Also there was a dead roach. Blegh.
The Imagination Station Wilson, NC is not Fun Adventure Family approved. In our opinion a trip to the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and the local library is a much more fun and impactful day.