Charlie is now four and at a lovely age where is interested in everything. He soaks up information like a sponge. He amazes me everyday with the facts he can recite. (Harry who is one is happy playing with an empty water bottle to be honest but he obviously enjoys whatever adventure we have in store for him!)
To encourage Charlie’s natural curiosity and interest in learning, we have been wanting to visit At-Bristol Science Centre for a long time. We finally visited At-Bristol a couple of weeks ago and found it to be a fantastic place to visit as a family. The range of interactive exhibitions and live shows are immense. We were there from 12pm – 5.30pm and there were still lots of exhibits and shows we had not seen. Charlie particularly enjoyed –
Talking to the robot! By answering numerous questions Charlie was provided with a unique print out of a recipe for him to try at home!
Grinding flour in the food section. He loved turning the grinder to produce whole grain flour from wheat kernels. He has brought home a little pot of his grinded flour and he has been pestering me ever since our visit to bake some bread with it!
Tongue twisting tastes. A spin the wheel game where he tested out his taste buds.
Body jigsaw. This exhibit became a great talking point about eating healthy and the importance of different body parts.
Pretending to milk a cow. He has been wanting to do this ever since visiting a farm as a toddler!
Duplo building site. This seemed to be a particularly popular section, even for the adults!
Sound vibrations. By biting down on a bar the exhibit demonstrates how we hear music by conducting sound vibrations through our teeth and bones.
Creating an animated short movie in the ‘Animate It’ section. To be honest, Richard and I also thoroughly enjoyed this section of the attraction. It was great fun to use different props and background sets to take frequent photos and then turn into a short movie. Visitors are encouraged to create an animation, save it onto their bar code which is on the wrist band you are given as you enter and then send to watch at home. A fabulous idea. Charlie pestered me the minute we walked in our house to go online and check out his movies :) it is also a clever way for At-Bristol to get visitors more involved by drawing them back to the website whilst at home.
Lastly, but certainly not least as it was the absolute highlight of our day, the Planetarium Show which we paid an extra £2 for but it was oh so worth it! The highly interactive show was fabulous. We sat in the dome looking up into the sky whilst Florence the At-Bristol presenter took us on a tour around the Galaxy. We were asked to help blow away the clouds, wind the clock forward, open the dome using the ships wheel and when we landed on the moon, Mars and Saturn collect imaginary rocks to place in our space explorer imaginary bags! Charlie and his friends were completely mesmerised throughout the 20 minute show and fully participated. Even Harry at the tender age of one enjoyed the show, just occasionally diving in for a cuddle of reassurance when the stars were shooting towards us!
So would I recommend a visit to At-Bristol Science Centre?
Yes, absolutely! It is the most interactive attraction we have visited. Charlie learnt so much and he could not wait to get online and check out his work and photos which he saved to the bar code on his wrist band.
As for Harry, well to be honest he was happiest when walking around with his empty water bottle (!) but he did enjoy making music, dressing up as a bee and ‘collecting pollen’ and the Planetarium Show. (For parents with under five year olds you may be interested in the special ‘Toddler Takeover’ days hosted at At-Bristol which are especially for under fives. In addition, every Monday afternoon in the Bristol term time they also host special Toddler Time sessions with half price entry for parents/carers).
Need to know
Ticket prices – We paid £38 for two adults and a child (children under three go free). This included the extra couple of pounds for the Planetarium Show and also a discount of £1.50 through Voucher Cloud. (Always research for ticket discounts for visitor attractions as there are always offers available). We ticked the gift aid box and were given a voucher for £4 to spend in the cafe in return.
£38 is a little pricey for a half day attraction however, I do feel it was worth it. The attraction does of course offer annual passes and it is definitely worth while if you live nearby as you only need to visit a couple of times to get your monies worth. We could not decide whether to upgrade or not as we already have annual passes for Warwick Castle and Eureka and to be honest we only have a limited number of free weekends in a year. If like us, you cannot decide when you are at the science centre whether to upgrade or not you are given a week to make up your mind (just save your tickets).
Dining options – There is a picnic area available inside the attraction although there is also a lovely coffee shop with indoor and outdoor seating and a small soft play area. Just outside the entrance of the attraction there is a Prezzo and of course lots of other restaurant choices close by with it being located in Bristol harbour.
Parking – We parked at Millenium Square which was expensive at £14 for our 8 1/4 hour visit (apparently there is parking nearby for free on a Sunday). The parking garage was conveniently located under the harbour square so just a couple of minutes walk away from At- Bristol).
The COOL city of Bristol! We left At-Bristol just before it closed after having the downstairs exhibits to ourselves for nearly the last hour and decided to walk up Park Street to Wagamamas (my absolute favourite multi chain restaurant!)
I have to say, I absolutely love Bristol. It is a cool city. As my husband commented as we walked away from the restaurant, just being in the city makes him feel younger. I agree with him, just by being in Bristol I feel like a cool person! I have not been cool for years, at least four years when Charlie came into our lives and I swapped my normal (coolish) attire for clothes covered in baby poop, sick, snot and sweet potato! (It is also difficult to look cool when you are constantly carrying around the contents of your house for child emergencies!) There is something about Bristol – the people (hippies, skate boarders, students), the interesting shops, variety of bars, restaurants, coffee shops. Richard and I both pledged to visit the city more often, so watch this space for other Bristol attraction reviews coming soon!
Have you visited At-Bristol? Did you enjoy your visit? Can you suggest other attractions we would enjoy as a family in Bristol?