Eye Spy, a New Illusions Exhibit at Science City

The Eye Spy exhibit at Science City in Kansas City, Missouri
Photo courtesy of Science City

Tucked in the corner of Science City is a burst of color—that’s Eye Spy, a new exhibit just a few days old.

You might remember that corner being different. You’re right—for 25 years, it was the Mister E Hotel. Like Eye Spy, that exhibit was dedicated to illusions, but where Mister E preferred a darker aesthetic, Eye Spy looks to saturate kids’ senses with color and patterns.

The colorful entrance to Eye Spy at Science City in Kansas City, Missouri
Photo courtesy of Science City

Take the main entrance and they’ll see several octagonal infinity mirrors, each neon-lined a different color. A double-layered spinning color wheel stands near the back, the colored sections waiting to be mixed. Hook a right and they’ll see a laser prism table where they can play with the properties of light. There’s a mirror maze, a gigantic kaleidoscope, and a Travelvator, which uses video to whoosh them out of Science City and above the train tracks to gaze out over the city.

There are five themed rooms—one dedicated to color, another to nature, then art, technology, and perspective—but with the twists and turns, they feel woven like a ball of yarn. The especially curious kid might spend 20 minutes or more here, which is a long time with all the options of Science City.

The multi-patterned interior of Eye Spy at Science City in Kansas City, Missouri
Photo courtesy of Science City

Grown-ups might be familiar with some of the illusions, but they’ll surely find some delight. The colors are wild, and some illusions never get old. In fact, the most impressive illusion in the exhibit is a redesigned wonder Mister E left in the move: the tilt room.

You walk into a room with a few odd angles—nothing disorienting yet, just odd. You lay on a platform, put your head on a painted-on pillow, and tilt your eyes back to the wall behind you. Wait a bit, then look back down and the room has completely tilted. Gravity still pulls your head back to the bed—that’s still down, after all—but there’s a new floor under your feet, and the people next to the bed are standing on the wall. It is worth it for any age.

Eye Spy is a delightful new addition to an awesome space. Admission to Science City is $16.50, but until August 2, you can get in for $5 between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

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