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“Disappointed”

Hands On! Discovery Center
Ranked #15 of 23 things to do in Johnson City
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: This brand new all-ages science center offers fun interactive exhibits that include immersive augmented reality experiences, a bi-polar musical Tesla coil, giant building blocks, a maker space, an art studio and much more! Guests are invited engineer a rocket, build a wind-powered car, create an artistic masterpiece, and discover something new. Visit an active fossil dig site dating back 5 million years and enjoy exhibits and programs featuring the plant and animal fossils that have been unearthed at the site, including a 16-ton mastodon! Additional exhibits will open later this year, including a three-story climber opening Labor Day 2018!
Reviewed October 6, 2018 via mobile

I grew up with amazing memories of Hands On Museum and thankfully my children got to experience it as well before it closed. My mom and I, along with my 6 and 2 year old were excited to check out the new “Hands On Discovery Center” today. Unfortunately, we were less than enthused and quiet frankly, we left disappointed. There’s no more grocery store, bank, airplane, slide, bubbles...it’s all gone. Everything is crammed into one room and it’s just not that fun. They do have a jungle gym when you first walk in but it’s not much. Definitely not fun for toddlers anymore. :(

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank kcduncan2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hands On D, Manager at Hands On! Discovery Center, responded to this reviewResponded October 9, 2018

We are very sorry that you did not completely enjoy your visit to our new facility. It is true that many of the old nostalgic exhibits did not make the move, but after 30+ years they were in need of an upgrade and many were built into the old building and were "unmoveable." Unfortunately, it sounds like you missed some of our new exhibits. We actually have two buildings that are full of exhibits located in multiple rooms. Our exhibits were carefully selected because they are designed to be suitable for all ages however, we recognize that our younger, toddler-aged visitors may need help from older children or adults to fully enjoy them all which is why we have several areas designated just for this age group and why children age 3 and younger are admitted for free.

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4 - 8 of 12 reviews

Reviewed October 2, 2018

Small but impactful museum for kids. Neat new location. Easy to navigate with small children. Beautiful setting !

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank A6535BPkarent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hands On D, Manager at Hands On! Discovery Center, responded to this reviewResponded October 3, 2018

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review! We are glad to hear you enjoyed your experience!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 19, 2018

My grandkids enjoyed the hands on activities, but we did miss some of the exhibits and experiences that were in the old hands on museum. I did see that there are new things coming that looked exciting, so will go back then.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank kathy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 6, 2018

have not been to new location, but at old location we had fun every time we went. not a fussy place so the kids really feel like they can touch and experience everything around them. the entry price is a little high - especially if you are taking several children, but compared to other places not bad.

Date of experience: May 2018
Thank I5387QOnancya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed August 4, 2018

I have mixed opinions on the Discovery Center. We were annual passholders at the previous location and carried it over to the new Center. Some of the new exhibits are amazing like the sand table and the light board (both which are my little guy's favorite). They were going over some fossils and my two oldest came over. The staff member totally ignored my kids and continued speaking with just the people who had arrived first. He didn't even try to show them the fossils. Very disappointed. Loved the addition to the exhibits for my older boys, but my younger son was very bored. We arrived four hours before closing and anything that involved making something was already all used up. The coloring section didn't even have crayons. Staff either needs to be nearby to maintain it (none in the second building at all in the entire time we were in that section) or get rid of all of them and put in something for the little guys to do. Bigger kids were bullying toddlers in the blue blocks section so there was nothing for my little guy to do since the parents of the bullying kids weren't helpful and no staff was available. I'm hoping this was growing pains, but if things don't improve, we will not be renewing. :(

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank Tracy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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