For many of us, Angry Birds was the first game we played on an iPhone. It got us hooked. And subsequently, it got our kids hooked on gaming on iPhones and iPads. Toys, movies, and dozens of upgrades later, Angry Birds has become part of the fabric of our lives. That is why I was so excited when I learned that the New York Hall of Science was going to have an Angry Birds exhibit.
I was a little skeptical, but they had me at life-sized slingshots that you could use to destroy structures and knock down pigs. No actual pigs were harmed in this exhibit, they are just large green vinyl pillows. We went early in the afternoon and the exhibit (which is actually open already) was not very full. Which was good.
The highlight of the exhibit is the slingshot area, where you have to build a structure. Place your “pigs” and then fire Angry Bird kickballs at them. You could hear squeals of delight and laughter as kids and grownups alike played. The staff keeps it safe by being very firm with the rules, about when you could fire. Since there were very few people there, we were able to go back on line over and over again. But during busy times, there may be a wait.
But there is more. There are stations where you can play the classic version of the game, it is actually behind a beautiful display of the Angry Birds, with descriptions of the characters. There are stations to draw, to compose music, design scenes on the computer and even make short animations.
The staff that developed the Angry Birds Universe exhibit, are very clever as they snuck in a lot of science in the fun. Don’t tell the kids but they are learning. One of my favorite parts is the interactive pulley display. There are three birds that say they weigh 25kg and you can try to pull them up by a rope. The secret is each of the pulleys that are attached to the birds makes it easier or harder to lift the bird. My son insisted that one of the birds was heavier. Then I explained the pulleys and he saw why one seemed much heavier than the others.
On the weekends this exhibit will be really crowded (especially at first) but take the opportunity to see some of the other great exhibits. My personal favorite is Connected Worlds, which is basically the virtual waterfall room. It is beautiful and relaxing and simply amazing. And you should interact with the staff, they are all very enthusiastic, great with kids and love sharing their love of science.
The exhibit which officially opens July 1st and runs all summer through August 27th is free with admission. The Hall of Science is located at 47-01 111th St, Corona, NY 11368