This article will share our top tips for visiting Eureka, the National Children’s Museum.
Charlie our eldest son, is now four and at a lovely age where he is fascinated in everything, particularly anything to do with the human body and the world. He asks a million questions a day (most of which I cannot answer without either resorting to searching on google or telling him to ask his Daddy!) He also loves role play, using his imagination, exploring and being hands on. We knew therefore that he and our youngest son Harry would love the chance to explore Eureka, the National Children’s Museum, located in Halifax.
We first visited in March with grandparents and then again in July as we had enjoyed our first visit so much. Before I share our top tips I will show you the highlights of our visit –
Role play in the ‘Living and Working Together’ exhibit. Charlie and Harry loved playing shop at M&S; being car mechanics (so much so that Charlie refused to take the overalls off until we left Eureka!) and being bank managers and work men. A real highlight for Charlie was watching how a toliet flushed, (we kid you not, he was fascinated!) in the make believe house.
Scanning mummy’s tummy, checking out the giant mouth and learning how we process food in the ‘All About Me’ exhibit. Charlie was obsessed with the scanning machine, we think this is because he could remember attending Harry’s 20 week scan
Exploring how we hear sound and creating music in the ‘SoundSpace’ section. The exhibit requires children to select noises they like, i.e. a bird chirping and place it on the sound wall. When all sounds have been selected the music they have created will play!
The leaf cradle and designing a butterfly painting on the touch screen computer in the ‘SoundGarden’. The leaf cradle is a small soft play area for babies which is located next to a touch screen computer where older children can ‘paint’ a butterfly and then watch it fly away. This kept Charlie amused for half an hour!
Playing outside with snakes and ladders and in the gigantic sandpit! You can guarantee with Charlie and Harry that if there is sand they will want to play in it (except of course for the sand pit in our back garden which they just ignore…typical!)
Feeling the different textures on the caterpillar. Although Harry was only 10 months during our first visit to Eureka he still throughly enjoyed exploring the different exhibits. He actually stood up on his own for the very first time whilst at Eureka, something clearly caught his eye and made him want to join in the fun!
Our top tips should ensure you also have a fantastic visit to Eureka! –
Book online and receive an annual pass for free! We have to say that Eureka offers the best value for money of any of the attractions we have ever visited. The attraction operates as an educational charity and therefore keeps the price to a minimum. Tickets are only £11.95 for children from the age of 3 through to adults and if you book online you could visit everyday for a year for this one low price!
Consider travelling by train. We feel a train journey with little ones adds to the adventure of a day out. Our boys love choo choo’s! Halifax train station is literally in front of the museum (the photo below was taken as we exited the train station) and so perfect for any little train fans! We travelled by train the first time we visited and by car the second time. The car park offers great value for money at only £3 for 4 hours (you need 3-4 hours to thoroughly explore the attraction).
Visit the exhibits upstairs first. During both of our visits, the ‘Living and Working Together’ exhibits, which are located downstairs, were quite busy and yet we found we had upstairs to ourselves. The exhibit is based around a mini town and is made up of a make believe M&S, car garage, bank, post office, house, etc. If it is busy when you arrive (or if your child takes awhile to accustom to a place before fully immersing themselves) visit upstairs first and leave (in our opinion) the best until last, when other visitors are upstairs!
Take a picnic. There are plenty of picnic benches (and highchairs) outside of Eureka overlooking the children’s play area, some sheltered in marquees, some not. There is also a Northern rail train carriage located at the back of the museum which can be used for guests with picnics plus a picnic area inside the museum. There is of course also a coffee shop and as the museum is in the centre of Halifax you also have the option to have your hand stamped and nip into the town for a spot of lunch! (The possibilities for lunch are endless!)
Do not forget your camera! There are so many adorable photo opportunities to capture your child exploring their natural curiosity.
Have you visited Eureka!, the National Children’s Museum? Can you add any tips? What were your highlights?