Description and review of the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity (MOSAC), Sacramento’s newest museum.
The SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity (MOSAC) has been on my list of places to visit since it opened in November, 2021. I finally had a chance to check it out when a friend and I visited MOSAC on a recent weekday. Purchasing timed entry tickets in advance is highly recommended.
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A Bit of History
Built in 1912, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Power Station B had served its purpose as an auxiliary steam power station until it was decommissioned in 1954. The power station site, between Interstate 5 and the Sacramento River, changed hands several times. The beautiful Classical Revival/Beaux Arts style building slowly deteriorated as it sat empty for decades.
The construction of MOSAC provided the perfect opportunity to adaptively reuse the historic building which is listed on the:
- National Register of Historic Places
- California Register of Historic Places
- Sacramento Register of Historic and Cultural Resources
The rehabilitated old building and the new construction have been beautifully joined. The end result is a modern, attractive and functional space to house Sacramento’s newest museum.
The city manages the MOSAC parking lot. Make a note of your license plate if you don’t know it, as you will need to enter it when you pay for parking ($6). The parking kiosk is near the museum entrance. It was a weekday so neither my friend nor I had a problem finding a parking spot. There is no need to place the paid receipt on the car dash.
There is also nearby street parking available if the lot is full. See the MOSAC website for details.
We had made our timed reservation in advance of our visit. As we had arrived a bit early, we decided to peruse the gift shop which is on the left when you enter. Wow! It has lot of cute and fascinating items – and I was glad not to have a child in tow.
Multiverse Theater Reservation
After checking in we also immediately reserved a time for the planetarium show as there is limited seating. To the right of the check-in counter there is a schedule of shows and their times. Scan the CR code, and then choose the time and the number of attendees in your group. You are asked to arrive to check in for the show ten minutes in advance.
MOSAC can best be described as kid-centric and hands-on. The exhibits cover a variety of topics:
- Health Headlines & Innovations
- Nature Detectives
- Powering Change
- Building Sacramento
- Design Challenge Zone
- Destination Space
- Water Challenge
- Design Lab
- Multiverse Theater
As we made our way from exhibit to exhibit, we took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the interactive nature of some of the exhibits and to watch children interact and engage. Definitely a fun (and educational) venue for children of all ages.
I especially enjoyed the Nature Detectives, Destination Space, Water Challenge and the Multiverse Theater.
If I had young children (or grandchildren) I would plan to spend a good part of a day at MOSAC, with a bite to eat at some point at the on-premises Curiosity Café.
When it was time to check in for the Multiverse Theater show, we made our way upstairs.
Similar to the planetarium at Sacramento State, the MOSAC planetarium is state-of-the-art. We showed our reservation and joined the line that was forming. Note: There is a one show per visit limit.
We did not have long to wait before we were seated and the show (the universe/planets/space) began. The staff person narrating the show was both entertaining and knowledgeable. It was a show that all ages can enjoy.
See related blog post: Sacramento State Planetarium
To Sum Up
After seeing everything there was to see, it was time to head home. Bottom line – I am really impressed with MOSAC. Definitely a must see for parents and grandparents and their children or grandchildren.
Additionally, I am glad that Sacramento parents today have a museum of this quality to help inspire – and perhaps influence – their children’s choice of future career.
Comments on MOSAC?
What was your experience at MOSAC? What would you add?
SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity (MOSAC) Snapshot:
- 400 Jibboom Street
- (916) 674-5000
- Days/Hours: Open 7 days/week (except major holidays); Check hours of operation.
- In-House Café
- Parking lot (City of Sacramento $6/day)
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