Go Try It: Watch a movie, check out the Discovery Center

Beth Henderson and her gradnsons, Alex Alford (left) and Kaleb Cook fly some paper airplanes as part of the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center's Take Flight exhibit before taking in the sci-fi movie last week. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Beth Henderson and her gradnsons, Alex Alford (left) and Kaleb Cook fly some paper airplanes as part of the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center's Take Flight exhibit before taking in the sci-fi movie last week. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff

If you haven’t noticed, we’re kind of big fans of the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center.

We’ve been there many times before for new exhibits, summer camps and, of course, to try cool stuff.

But one thing we’ve never done is gone there at night. Typically, the Discovery Center is a during-the-day kind of place geared toward families, but on the first Friday of each month, they open the doors during the evening for this thing called Super Stellar Friday.

From October through June, there’s all kinds of great teen programs, the planetarium show, Tonight’s Sky – where you can see what’s going on in the sky above that very night – and the chance to check out the latest and greatest exhibits.

But during the summer months, when the kids are out of school, the Discovery Center changes things up a bit on the first Friday of the month and shows a sci-fi flick, chosen by members of the staff.

They aren’t new releases by any means, but it is a completely different experience watching one on the planetarium screen.

So last week, we stayed at the office a little late and made our way over for a showing of Pacific Rim.

The movies begin at 7 p.m., with the doors opening at 6:30.

We had never seen it before, and it was pretty cool to watch it on the large curved screen – a much different experience than in the theaters.

Trust us, if either of the next two movies is on your list to see or you already have and want to see again, it’s worth the trip.

While the main attraction of the evening is the movie, you can also wander around the Discovery Center and check out the exhibits before and after the showing – about a half hour on either end of the night – including the latest, Take Flight.

If the skies are clear, the N.H. Astronomical Society will set up shop outside the Discovery Center for any and all to check out what’s happening in the sky.

Unfortunately, because it was an on-and-off rainy, cloudy day, members of the society were not there last week, but hopefully that will be different when you decide to go.

On Aug. 4, Galaxy Quest will be shown, followed by 2001: A Space Odyssey on Sept. 1.

Cost for the Super Stellar Friday Sci-fi Series is $10 for adults, $9 for students and seniors, $7 for children and free for members.

And if you can’t make it on a Friday night, the Discovery Center is open 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week through Labor Day.

For more, visit starhop.com.

Author: Tim Goodwin

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