Nostalgic to relive your year 6 Questacon excursion but don’t want to have to share with kids?
The STEM institution’s adults-only SciNight is back for the first time since 2019, giving us all a chance to relive the excitement while finally being tall (and hopefully brave) enough to conquer the ‘Free Fall’.
Questacon senior manager Angie Good said staff had been working hard to bring back the crowd favourite ever since COVID-19 restrictions had begun to ease in the Capital.
She attributed its popularity to giving grown-ups a chance to experience Questacon solely for themselves.
“I think a lot of adults are actually intimidated a bit by kids, or they use kids as a bit of an excuse to come to Questacon, but this is their time to come and be the big kid in the centre,” Angie said.
“Of course something the kids don’t have access to is a bar, so that’s something that’s a little bit different to our normal offering.”
All the galleries and activities will be open, along with shows, food and drink offerings all centred around the theme ‘nostalgia’.
There will be a blue light disco under the giant moon installation complete with glow sticks, UV face paint and glitter tattoos from Gecko Gang, STEM trivia with drag ‘scientist’ Toni Koala, box fort and giant Jenga competitions, and Mario Kart, just to name a few of the things you can do on the night.
Professor Fizzbin is coming out of retirement for an “explosive old-timey show” for one night only, plus you can refresh with reimagined old-school cocktail favourites such as ‘Red Frog Mojitos’ and ‘Fairy Bread Martinis’.
You’ll be able to grab a grazing box featuring all the old lunchtime classics, including a devon, cheese and tomato sauce sandwich, with pizza pockets, mac and cheese croquettes, Chiko rolls and Warheads on offer.
If that’s not enough, Wandering Wood Fired Pizza and Cannoli Brothers will also be there.
Angie said the nostalgia theme was something she hoped everyone would adopt with gusto.
“Nostalgia means different things to different people, depending on your demographic, but I think what a lot of people relate to is coming to Questacon, often in their childhood,” she said.
“It’s bringing back those memories, it was such a fun place to come to when you were a kid on your Canberra excursion, so it’s trying to relive those moments.
“We are all on board with people dressing up, if people want to come in their school T-shirts, then embrace it I say.”
For Angie, she loved seeing adults unlocking the child within.
“They don’t have to compete with the kids, they don’t have to pretend they’re waiting patiently for their child to have a turn, they can just get in there themselves,” she said.
“The vibe that we get, the centre lights up, it’s the same vibe we get when big groups of schoolkids come through, is that energised, loud, excited feeling.
“The big kid comes out in them – they’re just a lot taller.”
Overall she hoped the night would remind people that STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) could be fun and exciting.
“It’s something that kids relax around and really embrace – the experimental side and inventing and trying things, not worried about failure – where I think adults often hold back,” Angie said.
“So I think it would be great to have everyone come and try for themselves, have a play, and don’t worry if it fails.”
If you can’t make it on the night, Questacon is exploring how to expand what’s on offer for different age groups and demographics so that everyone can see themselves in STEM.
“There are lots of things on the horizon,” Angie said.
Questacon’s SciNight is on Friday 25 November. The Glow Bar, Atomic Cafe and food trucks open from 5 pm before the doors open at 6 pm until 9 pm. Tickets are $23 for concession, $30 for adults and free for members, but booking is essential.