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Profile of the New Detroit Science Center

Hands-On Exhibits and IMAX Dome Theater


Updated July 07, 2008

The New Detroit Science Center brings science and wonder to kids and adults alike. Its ever-expanding exhibits and live demonstrations make science fun.

Claims to Fame:

  • The Center is still around, which is no mean feat considering that COSI in Toledo closed at the end of 2007 and the Center itself fell on hard times not that long ago. In fact, the Detroit Science Center is thriving and expanding.
  • Lots of hands-on exhibits and demonstrations make the Center very family friendly, even for toddlers and elementary-school-aged children.
  • The most recent traveling exhibit is Shipwreck! Pirates & Treasure.


The science center was established in 1970 but didn’t have its own building until 1978. The building consisted of a drum that enclosed the top of the IMAX Dome Theater and a stainless-steel box suspended above it that was filled with the museum’s exhibit space. While the building was like an exhibit in and of itself, the limited space available for exhibits and demonstrations lost it visitors to nearby COSI and the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. After a period of financial struggle, the Center was reborn when a newly renovated and expanded New Detroit Science Center was unveiled on the site in 2001. The new design mimicked a Detroit Industrial building and doubled the space.


The Center is home to the Chrysler IMAX Dome, a digital-dome planetarium, a special theater for electricity demonstrations and Kids Town. That’s not all; the Detroit Science Center just keeps rolling out new exhibits, traveling exhibits and theaters for demonstrations, all of which are designed to turn on kids and adults alike to science. In addition to the three theaters/labs already available for live demonstrations, the Center will roll out the Toyota Engineering Theater in December of 2008. An 80,000 square-foot addition, including a new lobby, cafe and charter school, broke ground this year and will open in 2009.


The museum is located on John R. at the Warren Avenue intersection. It is near the DIA and Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.


  • The Center’s parking lot closed on April 1st when construction began on the Center's 80,000 square-foot addition. Public lots are nearby.
  • The IMAX Dome is an attraction unavailable elsewhere in Michigan and is a unique experience.
  • If you are a former COSI member, take note that the Detroit Science Center honors the membership
  • A café is available at the Center

General Information:

Visitors can either purchase a museum membership or pay a daily general admission price of $10.95 per child and/or $11.95 an adult. Alternatively, you can buy a traveling-exhibit ticket that includes admission to the traveling exhibit, as well as general admission, for $13.95 a child and $15.95 an adult.

The IMAX Dome has a separate admission price of $11.95 a child and $12.95 an adult.


Detroit Science Center

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