Enlightening facilities abound in area

There are several facilities in and around Tallahassee that allow their visitors to pass the time and enrich their minds. These destinations often offer discounted student rates or free entry at certain times.

The Challenger Learning Center houses the planetarium and the IMAX theater. According to the center’s website, the planetarium is 50 feet in diameter and offers traditional shows about space.

The IMAX theater boasts a five-story screen that is designed to fill the viewer’s peripheral vision.

The IMAX typically shows documentaries specifically designed and filmed for its large screen, and sometimes certain movies, according to Planetarium Manager Aaron Green.

Currently the theater is offering the film “Batman Begins” and on September 30 they will be showing Willy Wonka, according to their website.

Green said that the planetarium “probably the most powerful sound system of all the Digistar theaters.”

There are only 15 Digistar planetariums in the nation and 35 in the world said Green.

The center is on the corner of Duval Street and College Avenue in the Kleman Plaza, two blocks west of Monroe Street.

Admission to the IMAX theater is $6.50 with a student ID and $7 for adults. Admission to the planetarium is $4.50 for students with ID and $5 for adults.

For show times visit them on the web at www.challengertlh.com or call 850-645-7796.

The Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science is another way to stimulate your mind.

According to its website, the museum is currently featuring exhibits on energy production, the science of ancient Egypt, treasures from Tutankhamen’s tomb, and a 23-volume encyclopedia on Egypt authored by French scholars and scientists in the early 19th century.

Keith Lowenthal, of visitor services, said that the second floor houses the museum’s permanent displays.

“We have an ecolab with all sorts of critters and fish tanks. We also have lots of hands-on mind games and puzzles as well as physics and engineering displays,” Lowenthal said.

The museum is located at 350 S. Duval St., just south of the Challenger Learning Center.

Students with ID are admitted for $3.50 and for regular adults it is $6.

The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Tallahassee also has a facility for those interested in art.

The LeMoyne Art Foundation is located at 125 North Gadsden St., west of Monroe Street.

The foundation features local, regional and national artists. Exhibits range from watercolors to photography to sculptures according to its website.

The foundation has gallery tours, lectures by artists and art educators and special events. Behind the center is its sculpture garden.

“It’s about half an acre. We have 12 pieces of sculpture and each one has a little bit of history,” Executive Director Marybeth Foss said.

Foss also noted that one of the sculptures was dedicated to former FAMU professor Irene Edmonds.

The museum offers a new exhibit every month and the admission price is waived during exhibit openings said Foss.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The admission price is a $1 donation and on Sundays admission is free.

Outdoor recreation facilities are also available to students.

The Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park is approximately 15 miles south of Tallahassee.

Visitors can swim in cool water, which remains a constant 70 degrees year round, according to its website.

The website also said that the park offers two guided boat tours. There is a glass-bottom boat tour that allows visitors to see the one of the world’s largest and deepest freshwater springs.

There is also a wildlife boat tour that allows visitors to see alligators, deer, birds and other native animals.

A lodge is available where guest can stay for $85 – $105 per night.

Visit the park’s website at www.floridastateparks.org/wakullasprings/default.cfm for more information.

Contact Mackenzie Turberville at famuanopinions@hotmail.com.