By Christian Kendzierski

Dinosaurs, planets, bugs, blue crabs, science experiments and more! The Maryland Science Center in downtown Baltimore is a great place to spend a snowy cold, extreme-weather kind-of-day. There is so much to see and do there the cold weather will be the last thing on your mind.

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Special exhibits offer a visitor to the Maryland Science Center a wide variety of fun learning experiences for all ages. With more than 12 full-scale exhibits running year-round, there will be no problems finding something interesting for your kids. You can enter the world of a dinosaur hunter and track prints, dig for bones and examine full-sized skeletons, discover the world of the blue crab, monitor earthquakes and figure out how the human body works, from top to bottom. The exhibits will help your family figure out what is energy and its future, explore planets and travel to the moon, and have fun in a kid’s room with construction zones, streetscapes and lots else for younger kids to do.

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Nothing is better than actually witnessing reactions and science happening right before your very eyes. The Maryland Science Center experts mix up all kinds of interesting chemical reactions. They use liquid nitrogen to freeze your most unsuspecting objects, plus use electric orbs that will make any kid’s hair stand at attention. There are optical illusions and much more. Science Encounters will give you an up-close look at real stars with its huge planetary observatory and also how the Earth works with interactive Science on a Sphere where temperatures, weather, volcanoes and solar systems all come together to make a planet work.

Turning day into night, the Maryland Science Center helps you enter a whole new world. The Davis Planetarium experience creates an atmosphere where discovering what is out there in space is amazing. Dark Matters explores what lies between the stars and the moon, the dark space and what we can’t see. The Sky’s Alive helps us all locate and identify all the great constellations that live just above us, everyday. Rocket off to the moon with two of your favorite Sesame Street friends. One World One Sky, Big Bird’s Adventure explores the moon and why it’s so different from the earth.

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A 5-story screen with 38 speaker surroundsound not only shows some of the most amazingly produced nature movies but also features Hollywood’s big hits and innovative 3D films. Watching a film in an Imax Theatre makes one feel like they are in the middle of it all. Whether it’s the ocean, an athlete’s body as they push themselves to the edge, a dinosaur village or a volcano, the Imax Theatre is quite an experience. Make sure you arrive on time, though there really isn’t a bad seat in the house.

The food is another discovery! Beakers Café is a full service food center offering ready-to-make sandwiches, daily specials, pizza and family-friendly meals. The Café shuts down an hour before the exhibits close, so plan accordingly.

The Maryland Science Center also offers kids’ camps, longer-term education experiences, scholarships, group pricing, memberships and a great gift shop!

Christian Kendzierski spends most of his time as a media specialist at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. He also works as a freelance writer and lives in Baltimore. See what’s going in Christian’s world by following him on Twitter @ck1media.