EUREKA! THE NATIONAL CHILDREN’S MUSEUM REVIEW
A Family Day Out to Eureka! The National Children’s Museum
We’ve been planning to go to Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, near Halifax, for quite a while now. A couple of weeks ago, my husband’s work colleague took her kids and said it was a lot of fun. We had a Sunday free (quite unusual for me as I am usually working on the blog) so, we decided to book some tickets, pack the car and take a road trip.
It’s actually not too far from us, just over the Pennines about an hour and half away. The drive is always nice once you get past Manchester as the moors are very pretty any time of the year. Eureka is very well signposted, but we used our sat-nav just to be on the safe side.
As we pulled into the car park it started to snow heavily. While my husband paid the parking fee at the pay and display machine, I quickly got the kids ready. We pulled the bags out of the boot and we all walked to the museum entrance. It’s about 150 meters from the car park to the front door along a flat, accessible path.
It was freezing and still snowing when we joined the long queue to get in. After waiting a couple of minutes my husband asked a member of staff if there was a fast track for people who had booked and paid online. There was! He took us to the front of the queue where another staff member scanned our tickets and stamped our hands. It was lovely walking into the warm museum from the freezing cold.
We took our coats off and had a quick look around the ground floor to see what the kids would like to do first. They decided on the Sound Space and Sound Garden. It was filled with interactive exhibits that children can use to make and explore sounds. In other words, plenty of things to bang and clang! The Sound Garden is for under 5’s but both of my kids enjoyed dressing up and listening to sounds of nature. There was a makeshift cloakroom at the back of the Sound Space exhibit that was free to use but wasn’t secure. OK for coats and prams but I wouldn’t leave any bags.
When they had had enough of banging things we headed upstairs to the All About Me section. This part of the museum explores how the human body works. My daughter was utterly fascinated with the model of a pregnant woman. They have a fake ultra sound which you can put on the models tummy and the scan shows on a monitor nearby. They also have a screen which shows how a baby grows in the womb.
My son’s favourite exhibit in this section was of a giant model of human digestion. He loved how the food was processed into poo. Typical boy! We spent about an hour in this section before the kids needed some food. I went downstairs to the cafe while my husband stayed with the kids.
The queue for the cafe was quite long and took about 20 minutes before I was served. I bought some chicken tenders and chips for my kids and cheese and ham toasties for my husband and I. I called my husband to come down and have some food, so he washed their hands (I’m happy to report that the toilets were spotless) and about 5 minutes later they appeared in the cafe. The food was very good quality although a little on the expensive side. There was plenty of choice though. It’s worth noting that next time I will bring a packed lunch as they didn’t seem to mind people bringing their own food and drink.
When everyone had finished, we headed back upstairs to the Spark Gallery. This is the electronics exhibit. They had games, robots to build and remote controlled two-wheeled vehicles to play with. There were quite a few other things in the exhibit but these were my kid’s favourites. It was very hard to pull my son away from the robots. 😁
By the time we had finished in the Spark Gallery my kids were tired and had had enough. There was still plenty to see but it was time to go home. We walked back to the car, again braving the snow, packed up and drove home. The kids were asleep before we left the car park, and so was I not long after that.
If you have young children, Eureka! is definitely worth a visit. It may seem pricey but you can visit as many times as you like throughout the year if you register online. We will definitely be going back as we didn’t see everything the first time. I can imagine it is a great place to visit in the summer as the gardens looked like a lot of fun. It was just too cold to play outside this time.
Value for money: 4/5
Kid friendly: 5/5
Would go again? Yes, definitely.