4D Movies at the Museum of Science: A Candid Mom's Review

Museum of Science, Boston 4D movies for kids, Dora & Diego, Happy Feet reviews

The Museum of Science recently sent me tickets to check out the 4D movies it is currently showing: Dora & Diego and Happy Feet. My three year old doesn't nap anymore, but every afternoon we have "rest time," when I'll put on a short movie to let her body rest. I was excited to switch it up and go experience something a little different for an afternoon. But let me tell you, it was the opposite of "rest time"! 4D movies feature multi-sensory effects to provide a thrilling immersion into short films. Sure, I knew this going in, but I thought, "What could be so thrilling about a cartoon penguin and a pre-schooler?"

When we got to the movie, we waited in a pre-show area where a short preview played on a television. It was really cool and got us even more excited. As we walked in, we were each handed 3D glasses (a toddler delight) and got to pick anywhere we wanted to sit in a small theater. There was trivia playing up on the screen while we waited for the movie to start, and we had a fun time trying to answer the questions. 

Dora & Diego's Adventure was about their journey across the Arctic to retrieve the robot butterfly Swiper had created and let loose. Right off the bat, Boots was peeling a banana and the smell of it wafted through the room. It was one of the coolest things I've ever experienced at a movie! My daughter got nervous when we "flew" in the airplane and removed her own glasses. You can still still the movie without the glasses; it's just a little blurry and a lot less engaging (which was what she needed at that point).  When a little water squirted in our faces she was not a happy camper. I think if I had known, I would have prepped her for it, and she would have been fine. I would have told her to expect the following: loud sounds, smells, movement from the chair, and a little water to the face. It was a true "trip" and a ton of fun; I just wouldn't recommend it if your child scares easily.  

Holy Happy Feet. My daughter chose to sit on my lap for this one, and I'm so glad she did. When the penguins come out, slimy rubber flaps accost your lower legs. I could not stop screaming (and laughing!) but I know she wouldn't have liked it (and narrowly missed it by sitting on my lap).  Spoiler alert: There is a shark attack during this movie, and it is INTENSE. I ended up covering her eyes for most of this show. If your little one can handle it, this movie provides a great opportunity to bring up the issue of global warming and being kind to Mother Earth. I think we are very lucky to have a museum in Boston that can bring in such interesting exhibits. This one is certainly not to be missed; I just can't recommend it for toddlers.  Take your older kids instead, or take your husband and make it a date! 


The movies are each about 15 minutes long.  Tickets are sold separately via the box office, located in the front of the Museum of Science, or online.  The theater is located in the Blue Wing on Level 2 of the museum.  Purchase tickets in advance here. Prices are $6 for adults/$5 for kids (Non-Members) and $4 for adults/$3 for kids (Members Only.)