Claire from theladybirdsadventures joins us today for our Guest Post #6 in our bucket list day out series. Today she is pitching to me a day out at Eureka! The National children’s museum located in Halifax, West Yorkshire. This is somewhere that I have really wanted to take Jamie to and I hope that we will be able to achieve that someday soon. In the meantime here’s Claire’s review.
Eureka! Why you should visit – The lady birds adventures
Have you been to Eureka! The children’s museum in Halifax, West Yorkshire? If not and you have children under 11, then you really should if you are ever nearby. My 4 years old has loved every visit and I really noticed that my youngest (13 months on our last visit) started to get more out of it now she’s mobile.
There are over 400 interactive exhibits for children to interact with. In addition there is a creative space (art and crafts) and a theatre space. They also put on extra activities. On one of our visits we saw a interactive storytelling session of Room on the Broom (by Eureka! Staff), which was great for preschool age children.
Last time we visited it was the school holidays and we saw a fantastic guest story teller, Gacko. I’ve heard from friends that they put on extra activities in all the school holidays and they are always fantastic. The staff are amazing with kids and they are always on hand in the creative space and we’ve also seen a couple in the town square area pretending to be robbers and police which the kids seemed to love.
The review – by The lady bird adventures
On our last visit we also explored a new temporary exhibit – Spraks gallery. This is a digiplay space on loan from Canada until December. This is a really fun digital art, gaming and technology area.
F’s favourite area is the pretend town square. There is a bank with a working cash machine (not real cash), post office, supermarket, road works, car garage and a house with all the rooms you’d expect (F’s favourite areas are the kitchen and the bathroom with water play area).
Our second favourite area is the how my body works area. This is a bright and modern area which looks like it is the most recently renovated section. F loves the dentist and baby clinic areas. The baby clinic has scales and dolls to weigh. There is also a pregnant dummy with pretend ultrasound machine (complete with heart beat sounds). There are lots of x-ray images and light boxes and lots of different interactive areas to learn about how our bodies work. For example, there is one where you pedal and when you look in the window next to you a skeleton is pedalling.
There is a small creative room on the top floor where children can draw, do crafts or explore the light table. There is also a baby corner with mirrors, lots of black and white and treasure baskets. On the day we visited there was a member of staff who interacted with the kids and really encouraged them to be creative.
There is so much to learn, on each visit we only scratch the surface. From learning about how the body works, recycling, growing crops, energy and daily life. F loves the nature of the exhibitions and certainly doesn’t realise how much she is learning. She’s at the perfect age for enjoying the role play areas particularly. E was able to enjoy some areas too and I can imagine already that at 12 months now she would get even more out of our next trip.
There is a great outdoor area too, complete with large sandpit that I can’t wait to explore this summer. A cartridge from a train is also in the grounds which you can explore and even picnic in.
Top Tips from Claire
- There are communal lockers in the reception area for coats etc.
- Picnics are welcomed. There are both indoor and outdoor seating areas as well as the train mentioned above. There is also a cafe on site.
- As you might expect it is popular with school trips but there are signs up saying which areas they are using for lunch and at what time. Despite there being a few school trips in on the days we have visited, we have not found it to be too busy.
- I have heard it is very busy in school holidays so I would arrive early. We have visited once in the summer holidays and arrived about 1pm and did not find it to be uncomfortably busy.
- Car parking is available and is pay and display.
- We usually go by train and the station is right next door. Very convenient and F loves it.
Thank you to Claire for sharing her review. The tips are especially helpful. I am often put off visiting anywhere in summer that may be really busy. Perhaps it’s better to pick indoor things when the weather is really good outside? Eureka! sounds like an amazing attraction for children to enjoy and learn from.
You can find Claire over at http://theladybirdsadventures.co.uk/