Museo Elder: please do touch!
Gran Canaria’s capital is a great family holiday destination. Wherever you go in Las Palmas, you’re sure to find plenty of culture, history and life at every turn. This is a city that was forever changed by Christopher Columbus in the Age of Discovery.
Beyond its fabulous beaches, Las Palmas also guards a wealth of cultural heritage in its museums which showcase the diversity of the city’s past and present, whether ancient or contemporary art, the birthplaces of illustrious writers, or science and technology. When it comes to the latter, the Museo Elder is the place to be. Its visitors are actively encouraged to experiment, touch and get involved with the exhibits, giving them a practical experience of physics, maths and biology in action. The museum is a great place for a fun family day out.
Museo Elder, where science and technology reign supreme
The museum is conveniently located in the well-known Plaza de Santa Catalina, very close to Playa de las Canteras, making it perfectly feasible to enjoy the museum and the beach in the same day.
The Museo Elder gets its name from its port location – it was inaugurated in 1999, housed inside a building formerly owned by the British shipping company Elder Dempster Lines Ltd. Constructed in the late 19th century, the building fell into disuse before it was decided to give it a new cultural life.
One advantage was the space: the building has a whopping 6,800 square metres, some 4,600 of which is suitable as exhibition space. The four floors of the premises now have different exhibition halls, though all focus on communicating science.
The museum’s motto is please do touch! Interaction is what this place is all about. Everything in this space has been designed to be touched. After all, it’s the best way to really experience a museum. Kids will love the selection of games and experiments which give them a fun introduction to science.
Read on for our guide on what to do in the Museo Elder.
Exhibition halls for kids and adults
The four floors of the museum focus on different themes including technology, astronomy and medicine. The sheer size of the place has led to some impressive exhibits, and young and old alike will be fascinated.
- Ground floor. This part of the museum is called Tecnos, which gives you some idea of what you’ll find. You’ll learn about energy, industry and new technologies, and you can find out what the inside of a real fighter plane is like thanks to the F5 Northroop donated by the Spanish Air Force. Get inside the cockpit and imagine you’re the pilot! For the brave among you, take a ride on the articulated robotic arm called the Robocoaster. Know what a green screen is? You can use this cinematic technique to design your own film set. Want to see a real marine diesel engine up close? In the Museo Elder, you can.
- First floor. The space is divided into two rooms. In Xploratorium, you’ll explore the world of physics and maths. In Gaia, you’ll learn about different branches of biology, including the various types of cetaceans that live in the waters around the Canary Islands. This floor also has the Paco Sánchez Planetarium where you can sit back and enjoy the show as you discover the secrets of the stars and the planets. The science workshop organises educational activities for all ages and tailored to the time of year.
- Second floor. This floor is home to the museum’s temporary exhibitions and the content varies considerably. Through interactive models, you’ll learn about some of the most famous contributions made by the prestigious Canarian engineer Agustín de Betancourt, whose work led to the invention of the radio and the telegraph.
- Third floor. A virtual mural takes you on a historical tour of the most illustrious scientists over the centuries, and make sure to kick back for a 3D cinema experience of the most impressive natural wonders in our world!
The museum also has a library, children’s play area and cafe.
The Museo Elder is a great way to unravel the mysteries of science as a family. Learning can be fun, especially when it’s forbidden not to touch the exhibits! Kids and big kids alike will have a great time in this museum in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.