Some not interested, saying the science centre is for kids

Adults can now spark their imaginations once a month without any kids around.

The new Telus Spark Science Centre may be a great place for kids, but they aren’t the only ones who could experience everything the centre has to offer — Telus has introduced an adults-only night that tries to target an older audience.

Stacey Floris, manager of programs at Telus Spark, says in an email that “adults have always had a curiosity to explore the science centre, however there is usually a hesitation to fully engage when children are present.”

The adults-only nights will start Dec. 8 and run on the second Thursday of every month.

All of the regular exhibits for the month are offered on the adults-only nights, even the Creative Kids Museum, which is a place for hands-on interactive activities.

Each month the theme of the event will change. The first adults-only night’s theme will be centered on the five galleries, which are the separate exhibits within Telus Spark. The galleries consist of exhibits such as “Being Human,” “Earth and Sky,” “Energy and Innovation,” “Open Studio,” and the Creative Kids Museum. There is also one other gallery that changes based on the traveling exhibit featured at the time.

The adults-only nights are a great way to get away from the kids but could pose problems being on a weekday. Photo: Shannon GalleySome potential themes for future adults-only nights are science and nature, astronomy, and human sexuality. Floris says they also intend to have guest speakers and artists from the community, but will look for feedback from the attendees of the first adults-only night to see what people may be interested in.

“Rarely do adults get a chance to be in the science centre without a younger audience present,” Floris says. She adds that the adults-only night is aimed at adults who want to have an evening out, singles going with a group of friends or for parents to have a date night. “This is a chance for all adults to be comfortable with their peers,” she says.

The adults-only night activities run from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is licensed, so there will be a bar and food available and music will also be a component. Floris says they are targeting anyone aged 18 and up, who wants to experience Telus Spark.

Jordan Ianuzzi, 20, says he may attend an adults-only night but is concerned about the age group that may attend.

“If you have primarily 50-plus age adults or seniors attracted, the younger crowd might not be interested. On the other side though, if you have a bunch of drunk 18-year-olds it could deter the older crowd,” says Ianuzzi, a third-year zoology student at the University of Calgary.

He says he wants to check out the new centre, especially if there was a travelling exhibition that he was interested in, and the adults-only night might provide even more of an incentive for him to go.

Thursday nights make it hard for parents to attend

However, Cheryl Mucz, a mother of three young daughters, says that Telus Spark’s adults-only nights would not be something that she and her husband would attend, unless there was a special exhibit in town that was more geared towards adults and wouldn’t be appropriate for their children.

“We go to the science centre for the kids and experience it with them,” Mucz says. “If there was a local expert or artist and there was a focus on a topic we might consider going, but it would have to be something that you wouldn’t normally see at the science centre.”

She would be interested in a family night or a program where parents could drop their kids off at the centre to be fully supervised and parents could go on a date night elsewhere.

The fact that the adults-only night is on a Thursday would make it more difficult for Mucz and her husband to attend because it’s hard to find babysitters or time during the week, she says.

sgalley@cjournal.ca