In July 2012, I took the children to visit Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax. We visited earlier in the year for Meg’s birthday but I didn’t get around to blogging about it then.
Aimed at children under 11, it’s a fantastic ‘hands on’ museum where children are encouraged to learn through play. There are six different galleries with various interactive exhibits in each gallery.
Meg absolutely loves it there – there is so much for her to see and do. I did lose her once or twice as she saw something that caught her attention and scampered after it but luckily there isn’t any way of her escaping outside! *naughty mummy*
The best part (or, as you’ll see later the worst part for me) is that once you’ve paid for a ticket it becomes an annual pass and you can use it as many times as you like throughout the year. So, having taken Meg for her birthday, entry was free for the three of us.
Meg dressed as a ladybird smelling a flower in the Sound Garden.
The Sound Garden is one of two areas specifically for under 5’s. They can dress up, play with an interactive board, make music on a giant xylophone and generally just explore in a smaller confined area.
Here I’d like to note a small downside which is that whilst, in fact the Sound Garden is designated for ‘non-mobile’ children, it is actually more suited to mobile pre-schoolers and the Baby Oasis (small padded area for non-mobile children) is a) not large enough to accommodate more than a couple of babies and b) not that entertaining!
The first time we visited Eli was only just crawling and we were caught out putting him in the baby oasis area only for him to have nothing to do. I think a few age appropriate sensory toys would make the area better. But that’s just my opinion!!
Whilst the museum is a good size, it can be very busy, I imagine it would be worse in school holidays! This visit also coincided with two or three school visits and in the Desert Discovery section (again, for under 5’s) I did have to ask six school children to leave as they were very definitely not under 5!!
In Desert Discovery playing with the Day-Night Clock.
In Desert Discovery you can also transport ‘boulders’ (semi-soft balls) on a bucket lift. Or sit in the cave next to a campfire and listen to stories. Or if your little one is feeling brave they can walk through the dark tunnel!
There’s also a Me and My Body section and a SoundSpace but I found the activities in the Me and My Body section are a little bit over Meg’s head and even the interactive games are too advanced for her at the moment. The SoundSpace section was being used by one of the school groups and so we didn’t have the opportunity to play there this time.
But I think Meg’s favourite bit of all is the Living and Working Together gallery. There’s a child sized Marks and Spencer shop, a bank, a garage and a house with several floors (plus much much more, but it would be boring to list it all here!) and she really enjoys the imaginative play.
All important food shopping in M&S
There is an outside area, but with the weather the way it is we preferred to stay inside and stay dry!
There is also a cafe. We didn’t eat there this time as we brought a packed lunch (and stayed out of the torrential rain by eating at the indoor picnic area) but we ate there last time we visited and I found the portion sizes to be good and the price to be fair.
All in all, a brilliant day out for kids and I would definitely recommend it!