Tag Archives: IMAX

Syracuse – The Welcoming Charm Of an American College Town

By Rohan:

This August, I moved into my dorm at Syracuse University, hoping to study Advertising and Information Studies. Since my first day on campus, I have made it a point to explore all that Syracuse has to offer. While it is far from any major metropolitan city, this small urban area nestled on a hill in beautiful Onondaga County still has plenty to see, eat, and do.

Syracuse is a city in the midst of expansion. Two new hotels, a Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn, just opened in the quaint neighborhood of Armory Square. Stay at one of these properties and you are in the heart of downtown Syracuse. Armory Square is home to the Museum of Science and Technology as well as a myriad of shops and dining options to satisfy any set of taste buds. Grab delicious Italian food at Pastabilities or try New York favorites at the Empire Brewing Company.

If you need to do some shopping, the square has you covered, with quaint boutiques as far as the eye can see. If you miss your larger department stores, or are traveling with the kids, make sure to check out Destiny USA. Destiny is one of the largest malls in America, complete with over ten restaurants, a comedy club, a Dave and Busters, an IMAX theater, go karts, rock climbing, and tons more.

Of course, as a Syracuse University student, I have to recommend taking a stroll around campus at night. Start at the regal Hall of Languages and make your way towards Crouse College, the gorgeous Carnegie Library, and perhaps grab coffee on the quad. Bird Library serves up some of the best coffee on campus at Freedom of Espresso, so make sure to get your caffeine fix while you’re there.

Overall, I could not recommend Syracuse more. It is a beautiful, charming, and energetic city that always offers something new to try. For more about Syracuse, keep checking us out. Make sure to share your Syracuse experience in the comments below.

National Museum Of Natural History, Washington DC – A Perfect Escape

By Lakshmi:

Who? Anyone who is visiting the Washington DC area has a must do on their list – The Smithsonian Museums.  Many a visitor tends to cram all the museums on the Mall in one day.  But, if you have the luxury of time , it is awesome to spend at least half a day or more at each museum.

What? The National Museum of Natural History is located on the Mall in Washington DC.  Like most of the museums on the Mall, this one costs nothing to enter, making it an affordable, fun treat for the whole family.

How? You can take the Metro to the Smithsonian station and walk the path across the Mall to this museum.  Parking is tough, so public transportation is recommended.

Why?  Having spent many years in the DC area, we have lost count of the number of times we have visited the Smithsonian museums.  And now living away from the area, the museums are still a mandate on our yearly sojourns into the city.  This week, we were facing an incredibly cold day and off we walked into the National Museum of Natural History.  From the magnificent African elephant that greets you in the Rotunda, the museum is chock full of treasures and elements that holds attention spans across ages.  The Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall of Mammals features 274 mammals found across continents over 220 million years.  From life size animal likenesses on display to artifacts that you can touch to learn more, the exhibit is simply awesome.  Toddlers are amazed to watch the animals in their story books come to life, young children marvel at the differences and similarities and adults walk away learning yet another unknown fact.  If animals are not your thing, and murder mysteries intrigue you, then you will love the Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th-Century Chesapeake.  Of course, if diamonds are on your mind this holiday season, you cannot miss the Hope diamond on display in the Harry Winston gallery.  No visit for us is complete without catching an IMAX movie and this time we watched the Flying Monsters 3D, an impressive narration by David Attenborough.

I can go on and on about all the reasons we love this museum, including the gift shop and cafe….instead, I will stop here and share some pictures so you will want to visit.  You can also find an exhaustive listing of all the exhibits at their website at http://www.mnh.si.edu/

The impressive elephant in the Rotunda
The impressive elephant in the Rotunda

Why visit the Mammals exhibit?
Why visit the Mammals exhibit?

Our common origins
Our common origins

One of the 270 plus mammals on display
One of the 270 plus mammals on display

Want to join me?
Want to join me?

More life size mammals on display
More life size mammals on display

Bones, skeletons, artifacts and more...
Bones, skeletons, artifacts and more…


Air and Space Museum- My Favorite Childhood Memories

National Air and Space Museum

By Siddhi: 

After years of treading through the earth of our world’s ancient civilizations and culture hunting for significant historical landmarks that always make it onto UNESCO’s list of must-see places, the city that remains the most precious in my heart is our nation’s capital. My strong attachment to Washington DC over all the other places I’ve seen likely stems from the experience of being born and raised during the early years of my life in Chevy Chase, Maryland, a short metro ride away from the heart of the most giving city I’ve had had the privilege of knowing. Growing up, I never tired of my ventures into the Smithsonian complex even though I had already seen the museums a million times before. Every visit rekindled my childhood love for exploration and discovery. And the place that I can singlehandedly attribute for kicking off my still-burning passion for adventuring beyond the realms I know is the National Air and Space Museum.

I’ve always been enthralled by the idea of an infinite universe existing beyond myself. My Star Wars obsession aside, the intrigue of outer space has been a part of my mental language since early elementary years, leading to stories and entire amusement parks in Roller Coaster Tycoon being themed to extraterrestrial life and intergalactic voyages. The Air and Space Museum was an aspiring explorer’s utopia, a literal and metaphorical playground for my dreams that simultaneously provided a solid educational experience. From the first class IMAX shows that blew away the film offerings at any museum I’ve visited to the real space shuttle models that allowed me to be an invincible space explorer, so much of what I saw and did here became indelible marks in the timeline of my youth.

But unlike other places that fade into memory as we grow, the Air and Space Museum never become a fad. When I walked through the doors as an eleventh grader en route to the land of college applications and portfolios that forced me to really grow up from running around below the projected stars in a planetarium, the magic I felt as a child was just as pure. My friends probably thought I was a bit juvenile for standing in the same lines as dozens of kids less than half my age to see the shuttles I could probably draw out of memory and insisting to eat overwhelmingly average museum food just because it was what I did as a kid. But I couldn’t care less. It was like the museum was telling me that I would always have a place for me no matter how old I got. It was a true testament to the spirit of human imagination.

Recently, as I was browsing through my college’s course catalog, I found myself spending insane amounts of time on the astronomy offerings section, just allowing myself to be enraptured by the descriptions of space, time, and the universe. I let my mind drift, and found myself back inside the magical exploration grounds of 600 Independence Avenue.

No other place reflects the beauty of my childhood that well.

To learn more about the National Air and Space Museum and its wonderful attractions, you can visit their site here: