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Imiloa Astronomy Center, Hilo

4.1
#1 of 7 in Childrens Museums in Hawaii
Observatory Science Museum
Imiloa Astronomy Center is located in Hilo. Put Imiloa Astronomy Center into our Hilo trip generator to see other points of interest to visit during your vacation in Hilo.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
261 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Visited with husband and 9-year-old son. Caught the Cyber CANOE exhibit, where Emily enthusiastically taught us a bit about astronomy and showed off the cool capabilities of the Cyber CANOE program, w...  more »
  • Much better that than tour on the Mauna Kea (which is a tourist trap) this museum is very interesting and interactive. Only one issue : it's too small we wish to have more.  more »
  • I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of how the universe and solar system formed and how they know what they know. I enjoyed the planetarium even though there was a power outage in the middle (they...  more »
Google
  • Hawaiian planetarium with a sense of place. Very strong also in the cultural context. Very nicely done and definitely worth visiting.
  • We were running out of things to do on the Big Island towards the end of our trip and decided to stop by here. It's air conditioned and my 10 year old is big into science stuff. While it is not nearly as big and extensive as the Science Museum of Minnesota, you can tell that the staff really cares about the museum and keeps it up nicely. There is a large room of interactive exhibits for kids that covers both space exploration and Hawaiian culture. We spent about an hour looking at exhibits (I think you would hard-pressed to spend much longer than that). Then we went to a show in the 360o theater. Again this was not nearly as impressive as the Omnitheater but it was cute. The space show we watched was pretty silly; even my 10 year old thought it was dumb. After that they did a 15 minute planetarium show about the Hawaiian night sky and that was pretty cool. Being from the Midwest the night sky is quite a bit different in Hawaii and that was fun to learn about. I would recommend as a great indoor stop (for super hot or rainy days) for those with kids in the 7 year old to teen age range.
  • Very disappointed. Turns out this is not actually an astronomy museum, but another Hawaiian cultural museum dedicated to letting us know what amazing astronomers Hawaiians were in the past. Their centerpiece exhibit is a replica voyaging canoe. All written material in the exhibits is in Hawaiian first, then English even though less than 1% of the people who will ever come here actually read Hawaiian. After all this cultural obeisance, what does it earn? The scuttling of the Thirty Meter Telescope (which was to be one of the greatest new telescopes in the world) by volcano worshipers. Save your $17.50 (absurd!) and boycott this diversion. It has nothing to do with the incredible science going on atop Mauna Kea.
  • Great spot for the kids to get hands on learning. The planetarium show was very informative as well and the questions and answers about the evening sky was a great finish to the show.
  • Well Mr. Plundr, funny how you seem to have plenty of time to lambast negativity, when just a small amount of research ahead of time would have easily shown you that all the things you complain about in your comment are addressed in most books and online as being how the museum does things. Funny how you have the time to be angry and give one star, when all you had to do is 10 minutes of research. This museum is wonderful and in no way misrepresents itself. So I'm suggesting you give the one star rating to your attitude and anger problems and inability to read. Do more reading and research ahead of time and then you may save more money to do the things you feel are really worth while to satisfy your entertainment needs. Aloha!

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Where to stay in Hilo

A convenient starting point for any exploration of the eastern portion of the Island of Hawaii, Hilo features many air-conditioned hostels, ideally priced for backpackers and other travelers not intending to spend a great deal of time indoors. For additional amenities and more privacy, book a room at a private bed and breakfast or small hotel near the town's best beaches. To stay closer to the hub of tourist action, consider a mid-range inn located in one of the old buildings in Hilo's historic downtown area.
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