May 30, 2018
The Hiša Eksperimentov (House of Experiments) annual science festival, or Znanstival (Scienstival), is back again this long weekend, livening up the city streets with experiments, wonder and fun, all orchestrated by the wonderful Miha Kos and his team, supplemented by guests from other science centres around the world, with spiritual guidance provided from Tač, the house dog (learn more here).
While you can enjoy the experiments all-year round at the House itself, the festival will take to the streets and squares of Ljubljana from Friday to Sunday, June 1–3, and offer an excellent excuse, if one were needed, to head downtown, get an ice cream, and enjoy the sights and sounds, which will appeal to audiences of all ages, with plenty of hands-on exhibits and activities.
Various science adventures will be taking place, with the focus on Prešeren. That square is also the site of the annual “science spectacle”, taking place Saturday and Sunday, between 11:00 and 16:00. At the time of writing the exact spectacle remains a closely guarded secret, but rest assured that it will be spectacular, with previous years seeing people cycling over the river and egg astronauts attempting to land safely after being dropped from the top of a fire truck ladder.
A “garden of experiments” will also be found on Stritarjeva ulica, which is the street that leads from Three Bridges to the Town Hall. Beyond this there’ll something called Drzni experiments, which will provide hands-on experiences for all those who want to play around with science, follow their curiosity, and find new questions to explore.
The House of Experiments itself, on the colourful and delicious Trubarjeva cesta, will be open all weekend for experiments and science shows, although note that entry only happens every 90 minutes, and that only 60 guests are allowed in at a time, so maybe check the schedule first and get some falafel and a drink if you need to wait. In the evening the same venue will be offering lectures on issues related to popular science.
If you’re walking from Prešeren to the House then consider going by the river, along Petkoškovo nabrežje (embankment) – the one with all the cafés – as between 10:00 and 19:00 there’ll be a collection of optical illusions to enjoy. Finally, if you can’t make it to the festival then don’t despair. The House of Experiments is open every weekend throughout the year between 10:00 and 19:00, and Wednesdays from 16:00 to 20:00, while Town Hall will have related exhibition until June 7th.
An interview with Miha Kos, in Slovene with English subtitles, for added educational potential