A flashback to the ’80s: Adventure Science Center hosts newest ‘Way Late Play Date’


Photo by Krystal Loritts / Contributing Writer

Lovers of science and the ‘80s gathered at Nashville’s Adventure Science Center Thursday night for an adult escape filled with educational activities and reminiscing of the yesteryears.

Known for their unique “big kid” events, the Adventure Science Center has been hosting get- togethers like this one for seven years now, and each event introduces a whole new theme. Their “Way Late Play Dates” have become some sort of a novelty for Nashville locals 21 years or older.

As for this particular event, the theme was practically a no-brainer. With an eclipse headed our way, the center chose to focus this event’s theme on nature and go with a “Total Eclipse of the Heart” theme. In doing this, the museum could easily bring awareness and knowledge to eclipses and other aspects of nature, and they could do it in an entertaining way with the ‘80s tie.

“ (The events) are all fundraisers for the center and also they are a great ways to get kids like our age into the center and look around,” said volunteer Molly Hornbuckle.

Activities were not hard to find at this fundraiser; in fact, guests could easily submerge themselves into to-dos.

On the first floor, slime-making with the Tennessee Ghostbusters proved to be the hit activity. Per the Ghostbusters request for donations, 100 percent of all profit made through their slime-making activity went to the Dreams and Wishes foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on granting the wishes of individuals who have relapsed from cancer.

“We usually do that if we get donations: we just find a charity or team up with one for the event and give them (all the profits from the event),” said Ghostbuster Jesse Fields.

The Tennessee Ghostbusters have grown used to helping children and young adults as they travel to various events and hospitals, but they never grow tired of their acts of kindness.

“Oh I love it; it’s a wonderful experience and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said Ghostbuster Cassie Covey. “Just to see that child’s face light up when they see us coming in.”

The fun ventured beyond the first floor, though. On the second floor, guests could enjoy a variety of planned activities, varying between the chance to learn about lava and how it is produced to seeing and actually looking through a sheep’s heart and learning about artificial hearts. With the assistance of two researchers appointed to the second floor, numerous curious questions were answered and much-needed explanations were given regarding both the lava exhibit and the sheep’s heart exhibit.  

“This is crazy,” said Amy Schmidt, an attendee of the event. “(It) makes you (wonder) when they are going to start 3D printing hearts and stuff since they are already trying on other limbs.”

Hypericon, a fictional convention visiting Nashville each June, also hosted a friendly but competitive round of trivia, which covered movies, music and icons of the ‘80s.

Later in the night, a tense costume contest took place with great participation but even greater costumes.

Mayday Brewery of Murfreesboro helped make the night even more enjoyable with their supply of food and locally brewed alcohol.

The night ended with a last call for drinks and, from the smiles and laughter filling the museum, it was evident this event went down as a success for guests, volunteers and suppliers alike.

Previous to this themed event, the Adventure Science Center has hosted themes such as Star Wars vs. Star Trek, Time Travel and Marvel vs. DC. Their next adult play date is sure to be mind-blowing as the theme is none other than Pixar. Scheduled to take place Oct. 5, little information has yet been released about the event, but stay tuned.

For more information on the Adventure Science Center and their “Way Late Play Dates,” click here.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter/Instagram at @Sidelines_Life.

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