Last weekend, the kids and I ventured north to Johnson City. Most people know the town as President Johnson’s home. It’s not a big town by any means, but they do have a new attraction, The Hill Country Science Mill. “The Hill Country Science Mill is housed in a community landmark in the heart of Johnson City, Texas. The feed mill built in 1880 as a steam grist mill and cotton gin featured unique mechanical innovations that were used to process, sort and distribute grain to its rural community. The original steam mill was converted to a flour mill in 1901 and later was converted to electrical power and evolved into a feed mill in the 1930’s. The mill ceased operation in the 1980’s and was converted into a restaurant and entertainment complex, with the site and mill being dormant the last 20 years.”
I love that they redid an existing building and made it their own. It makes it that much neater! First thing when you get there, each kid is given an Avatar Passport. This is used to create your own avatar and at each exhibit, you can scan your passport to learn more and mark the exhibit as a favorite. After you get home, kids can look up their avatar on the website and learn more about the exhibits, play games, and tons more.
We were there on March 14, Pi Day, so there were a few things geared towards that, but mostly it was just science. A lot of the exhibits were too much for the 6 year old, but we all had fun trying everything. This truly was science stuff. I didn’t even understand some of it, meaning we had to read the directions and decipher it all. It wasn’t too busy, so we played with everything, connected DNA chains, build battery powered race cars, and watched a 3D movie. I think everyone’s favorite thing was the outdoor kinetic sculpture. We all had fun watching the balls travel around and figuring out the different ways to maneuver them through the maze.
There is a small cafe onsite, The Ladybird Cafe, but they had good sandwiches and snacks. There was also a toddler play area next to the cafe seating for the little ones. I would say this is one of the best science museums we have been too. My oldest loved it and can’t wait to go back!