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Top Gun

I feel the need, the need for…science. Join Maverick and the rest of the USS Enterprise and dive into the real science and technology behind Top Gun. Enjoy educational activities, trivia, featured speakers, and food and drink specials. Take the “TOPGUN Challenge” building-wide game and see if your STEM skills are up to the challenge!

We are excited to return to an evening format for First Fridays, beginning in July!

In-person First Fridays are back! The Top Gun event will include educational activities, trivia, featured speakers, and food and drink specials. Try your hand at our building-wide Top Gun Challenge game.


What is First Friday?

Unless otherwise noted by the , all activities are FREE! All items marked with a require tickets. Tickets for free screenings available at any box office starting at 4PM.

Parking: Free after 5:30!

Not to Be Missed!

4:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Campus Wide
TOP GUN Challenge, Building-Wide Game


6:30 PMm, Energy Stage/LL
Special Presentation with Capt. Paul Filardi, retired Naval officer and test pilot


Ongoing Activities, 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

First Floor-1

  • Explore our special exhibit Mummies of the World. Last entry at 7pm.

    • Adults: $19.95
    • Seniors (60+): $16.95
    • Children (5-12): $14.95
    • Members: $12.95
  • Shop from local artists and crafters.


  • Play a round of beach volleyball in the tractor corral.

Lower Level-LL

  • Test your paper airplane making skills with UMSL Technology Learning Center in May Hall

Second Floor-2

  • Stop by the Makerspace and create your own Top Gun stop-motion movie scene!

The Loft-2

  • Visit the Loft for food and drink specials including the “Top Dog,” an all-American hot dog special


  • Test out the Blue Motion Simulators, the I-360 Interactive Flight Simulators, and our Virtual Reality Transporter (cost varies by activity). Last Entry: 7:30 PM
  • Discover more about space exploration with St. Louis Space Frontier, The Moon Society, and other astronomical groups.
  • Learn about pitch, roll, and yaw at the “Mechanics of Flight” station.

Scheduled Activities

4:00 PM, Energy Stage/LL
Physics of Flight

Dive into the science and engineering of aircraft design, and learn about the research and development (R&D) of the F/A-18 aircraft program.


4:30 PM, Planetarium/2
Planetarium Show: Science of the Zodiac

The 12 constellations of the zodiac hold a special place in our popular culture, but what makes these patterns different than any of the others found among the stars?

Explore how to observe these constellations and how they have shaped humanity’s scientific understanding of the sky in Science of the Zodiac!
(45 minutes)


4:30 PM, Energy Stage/LL
FREE- Special Presentation: Engineering the F/A-18 Super Hornet
Riaz Zaidi, University of Missouri-St. Louis


4:45 PM, OMNIMAX/2
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Enter a universe where more than one wears the mask.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. “Spider-Man(TM): Into the Spider-Verse” introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.



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5:30 PM, Energy Stage/LL

6:00 PM, Planetarium/2
Laser Show: The Beatles

Take a trip down memory lane with The Fab Four and enjoy favorites such as Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Yesterday, Here Comes the Sun, and more. Sing-a-long to these classic songs as you are transported back to a lost time and re-experience the evolution of this musical phenomenon.

Approximate Runtime: 45 Minutes

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6:30 PM, Energy Stage/LL
FREE – Special Presentation with Capt. Paul Filardi, retired Naval officer and test pilot.

The electrifying aerial footage in Top Gun inspired a new generation of pilots. Captain Paul Filardi served for 29 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring in July 2020. Throughout his career, he flew the F-14 Tomcat—the fighter jet featured in Top Gun—as a radar intercept officer and the F/A-18 Hornet as a weapons system officer. He completed his career at the Boeing St. Louis factory as commanding officer of the government team. Captain Filardi will share about the exciting life of a Naval Aviation pilot and the influence of Top Gun on the world of aviation.


7:00 PM, OMNIMAX/2 |
Top Gun, 1986


As students at the United States Navy’s elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.



7:30 PM, Planetarium/2
Laser Show: Led Zepplin

Relive the psychedelic and rock hits of Led Zeppelin accompanied with out-of-this-world laser and lighting effects. Featuring their greatest hits like Whole Lotta Love, Immigrant Song, Stairway to Heaven, and more.

Approximate Runtime: 52 Minutes

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7:30 PM, Energy Stage/LL
Paper Airplane Championship Toss

Think your paper airplane has what it takes to be the TOPGUN? Bring the paper airplane you created to our Energy Stage at 7:30pm and take your best shot!


Answers to Your First Friday Questions

How do I get free tickets? (for shows, presentations, activities, etc.)

  • Get your tickets at any box office.
    Science Center Members may use the Member-Only Ticket Line, at the Membership Desk.
    Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each person is allowed up to four tickets for your group. Once you have a ticket, you must be in the theater by show time to claim your seat. If you decide not to use your ticket, please return it to the Membership Desk in the Main Building Lobby. Tickets turned in for sold-out shows will be redistributed at the Membership Desk until 30 minutes prior to show time. After this, visitors without tickets may wait in a standby line outside of the show’s venue. We will let in those standing by to fill all seats not claimed by show time.


What are the costume guidelines?

  • We encourage guests to wear costumes!
    We encourage guests to wear costumes! Weapons as part of costumes are subject to the approval of Saint Louis Science Center Security. No firearms or illegal weapons are allowed and if the weapon has a blade, you must have a covering for it. Masks or full-face helmets must be carried into the building.

Interested in becoming a First Friday vendor?

Apply Now!


Plan to attend these upcoming First Fridays!

Price: First Fridays are free but some activities are ticketed.
Location: Entire Science Center Campus
Parking: Free after 5:30!
Ages: All ages are welcome. First Friday activities such as presentations, pop culture trivia, and the 4:45 PM OMNIMAX film are primarily designed for visitors 16 years and older.

Please note: First Friday events will follow all existing Saint Louis Science Center health and safety guidelines, including capacity guidelines.

Ages: All ages are welcome. First Friday activities such as presentations, pop culture trivia, and demonstrations are primarily designed for visitors 14 years and older.


July 2
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm


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