Calgarians were eager to get their first glimpse of the new Science Centre on the weekend but many were taken by surprise when they saw the price of admission.

TELUS Spark The New Science Centre opened in Calgary on the weekend with over 100 new exhibits and spaces.

Science buffs and regular citizens took in the grand opening of the new $160 million facility on Saturday.

For some it was the first visit of many, but for others it was a onetime deal because they say the entrance fees are too high to make it a regular attraction for them.

Daily admission rates are almost $20 dollars for adults and over $15 dollars for youth which can lead to a pricey outing for a family of four or more.

TELUS Spark officials say those fees are a result of months of work.

They say that staff researched what other Calgary attractions charge for admission and believe that the entry fees to the Science Centre are right in line.

"Right now we're looking at a building and comparing it to an old pricing structure for a structure that was built and designed in 1967 for a much smaller Calgary. What we've created here is a resource that fits who we are today as a city," said Megan Douglas from TELUS Spark.

CTV News did a price comparison of yearly memberships at the new Science Centre and other local attractions:

Calgary Science Centre membership, per year

  • For a family of 4: $204 (green) - $320 (gold)
  • For a family of 6: $288 (green) - $460 (gold)

Family Pass at Other Science Centres in Canada: ( up to 2 adults, 4 kids )

  • Edmonton: $134.95
  • Vancouver: $140
  • Saskatchewan: $74.50
  • Ontario (Toronto): $120 (or $215/2 years) at basic level. $230 (or $415/2 years) for the "gold level", which includes free IMAX movies.

Other Calgary Area Attractions Family Memberships: (up to 2 adults, 4 kids)

  • Glenbow Museum: $90 (or $160/2 years)
  • Heritage Park: $120 (or $159 with rides)
  • Calaway Park: $31.95+GST per person
  • Calgary Zoo: various prices and levels available. But a family of 4 can secure free parking at $174/year, and a family of 6 $218.
  • Royal Tyrrell Paleontology Museum: $60 (or $110/2 years)
  • Fort Calgary: $45
  • Military Museums: $30 

The new centre took over a decade to plan, design and construct and replaces the old science centre, which was built in 1967.

For more information visit the TELUS Spark website.