Mindbender is Great Family Fun!

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Picking up the Mindbender Clue Card

smv logoHave you heard about the Mindbender exhibit at the Science Museum of Virginia?

This is an event not to be missed!  Family members of almost any age can compete, compare and most importantly, work together to solve all kinds of puzzles, brainteasers and interactive challenges.  The goal:  Membership in the Mindbender Society – which is not as easy as it sounds!

I had the opportunity to observe and work many of these puzzles with kids ages 6 to 12 last Sunday.  And boy, were we lucky that the Science Museum was relatively empty that day because our healthy competition and teamwork might have disrupted the rest of the patrons- but what fun we had!  Our group was lost in the exhibit for about three hours, determined to solve the specific puzzles that reveal hidden clues that allow access into the elite status of Mindbender Society member.

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Working Puzzles

The clues are organized in different rooms within the exhibit and a clue card is what is needed to track answers and passwords uncovered.  Some of the  best critical thinking puzzles we came across included manipulatives where you must remove a certain number of pieces to create something new, or arrange puzzle pieces to fit within an outline, or arrange several rows of numbers to add up to a specific number.  These were a huge hit in our group and there were several options with varied difficulty of many of these.  BUT, only certain ones are marked and designed to reveal clues for the Mindbender Society, and for some of those, we had to work together.

Along the way, we could not help but become intrigued with some of the larger, physically interactive game-like puzzles.  Our favorites:

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Spelling Fever

  • Spelling Fever – Imagine hopping on letter squares to type the answers to clues
  • Flying Machine – A four sided pulley system designed to move a hot air balloon around a large game board with targets
  • Feeding Frenzy – A conveyor belt with tray puzzles that need to be filled before the buzzer goes off.

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    Flying Machine

  • Amazing Maze- Imagine a movable table-top pinball machine with targets and only teamwork will help you get the ball where it needs to go.

Mindbender at the Science Museum of Virginia is designed for great family fun!   And worth the price of admission!  While there – take in a movie (yes, they have popcorn), see the rats play basketball, or visit the ever popular Boost! exhibit.

Additional Details:

Science Museum of Virginia, 2500 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220 Phone:(804) 864-1400

Parking:  Easy and free in the lot adjacent to the museum

Hours:  Tuesday – Saturday, 9:30am – 5pm and Sunday, 11:30am – 5pm

Admission:  Click here for the options

This exhibit would be enjoyed most by kids 7 and up.  Strong reading skills or a parent partner are a must.

Mindbender is running through Jan 4, 2015