As with all vacations ours was finally coming to an end. We had checked out from our hotel, earlier in the morning and grabbed breakfast at a nearby Diner we had been visiting every day and really enjoyed their menu variety. The long drive home was something we weren’t quite ready to start yet, so I had one last place on our schedule to check out before hitting the road. This was actually right near the zoo we had visited the day before, and was the COX Science Center and Aquarium.
Once inside we purchased our admission tickets at the main desk. The aquarium was off to the left side, and the science museum towards the right side. But before we got anywhere I came across the first pressed penny machine directly behind the ticket desk.
These style machines are not very common at least along my travels, but I have seen a few from time to time. Funny enough most of them have been at smaller aquariums as well. There is only one design available at this machine, and it does cost $1. There is no digital payment accepted, just a somewhat flat one dollar US bill is needed. The machine also supplies the penny to be pressed which can be hit or miss. Thankfully I lucked out and received a nice shiny penny, it wasn’t copper but I was still happy with what I received.
We headed into the aquarium side first and enjoyed the exhibits they had here. There were quite a few modernly sized tanks with plenty of sea creatures inside. My only complaint was that this area was really dark, I’m sure that’s for the animals health and safety, but made it a bit difficult to take pictures.
As I mentioned this place wasn’t very big, and we made our way through the different areas more quickly than I anticipated, and before we knew it we were over in the Science Center section. We weren’t speeding through, but the interactive exhibits we participated with didn’t take much time to complete.
My daughter found a vibrating table that was to simulate an earthquake and she needed to try and design a building that would withstand the shaking. While she worked on that I used the next pressed penny machine nearby. There was also just one design available at this machine. Unfortunately when I tried to use it nothing happened. It wouldn’t accept my money, and I tried a few different bills just in case that was the issue. I even tried unplugging it, and plugging it back in to have it restart but nothing seemed to work. Before we left I asked at the gift shop and from admission desk if they had any extra copies of that penny design but they did not. When we eventually got back home I sent them a letter with some coins asking if someone could help press the design and sure enough they got me the one I needed.
We were almost finished with the science center and found ourselves checking out a large room exploring the wonders of the human brain. My kids thought some of the models were a bit graphic, but they enjoyed the experiment were we got to drop different weights onto a head with and without a helmet to see the results. It’s always interesting to see what they are drawn to.
The last section we visited was all about space and they had some great photos and computer simulations from NASA. It ran through the different space programs from Apollo to the Space Shuttle and ended with Space-X. Before leaving I found the third and last penny machine. Something that for some reason I didn’t notice with the other designs, but they suffer from this as well, is that it still had the old name of the center on it, South Florida Science Center. I’m not sure exactly when the name was changed however I’m sure it’s been long enough that these designs should probably be updated by now.
It was sad to leave because we knew that meant it was time to head back home. We had a great time, and it’s always just enjoyable to be together with family away from home and in a different environment doing some touristy things. On the plus side this means I can start planning our next trip and what new elongated coins we can find along the way. Keep on Pressing!
2 thoughts on “COX Science Center and Aquarium | West Palm Beach Vacation Day 4”
Just a heads up rainforest cafe at animal kingdom has collectible coins. I have not checked the one in Disney springs to see if they have different designs there. Also Universal released their Mardi Gras ones.
Thank you for the note. I have seen the medallions at the Animal Kingdom Rainforest but last I checked the Disney Springs location doesn’t have one just a quarter and two penny press machines. Thank you for the note on the new Mardi Gras coins I’m headed over there today to check out the tribute store and will be sure to get a set!