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We love seeing new places. And now E is 3, it’s really easy to get out and about on public transport. Even better, we love it if there is something new to learn along the way. So last Thursday we took a trip to Halifax, West Yorkshire, to visit the Eureka! Children’s Museum.
Eureka! Children’s Museum
E loves trains. (She loves York Railway Museum.) And we are very lucky where we live to have very good train and bus links around West Yorkshire very close to our front door. So we took a train to Halifax.
And the Eureka! Children’s Museum is right next door to the train station! You just walk up the stairs to the station from the platforms. Once you walk out of the station doors the museum is just down some steps to your left. It could not have been easier for us. Anyone with a toddler or young child knows whilst it is good to get them out walking they cannot walk too far. So this was perfect.
As you walk towards the museum, there are picnic tables and a play area that includes a large sandpit. On a lovely day this is a great place to spend an hour or so. We brought a picnic lunch, though there is a cafe inside the museum.
The front of the museum has a glass front so you can see all the exciting exhibits. So we were drawn inside very quickly.
At a cost of £12.95 each (under 1s are free, 1-2 year olds are £5.95) it does seem like an expensive day out. But as part of the admission costs you get free return visits for a whole year. (You need to do this online within 4 weeks of your visit) Now this is great for us, as we are just a short train journey away. But if you are just in the area for a day it may not be as useful.
The Downstairs Galleries
Downstairs in the museum we visited all the galleries, but some of them were a bit too dark and others were a bit too loud for my 3 year old. There were parties of older (9-10 year old) schoolchildren also visiting, so E was a bit wary of being around the crowds. A lot of the exhibits were aimed at older children, such as how a car engine works and how sound travels. However, there was still lots for a 3 year old to do.
There is mini shop where you can take a little trolley, buy foods and scan them at the tills. Also a mini bank, and kitchen play area. But E’s favourite was the garage, where you could fill up the petrol tanks, wash a car, drive and look underneath a car having its MOT.
Again upstairs not everything was suitable for E to understand. We climbed up the stairs in a big house with rooms to explore, and she loved the bathroom section as there was lots of water to play with. There was also a toilet to flush and a shower to press buttons.
But her favourite section upstairs was the About Me gallery. Here you can find out lots about yourself and your body. How tall are you? How far can you step? What will you look like when you are older?
There is a mock up reception area, and a pretend dental chair. There is a giant nose to peer up, and a robot to talk to. But E’s favourite thing was a giant set of teeth. Oh heck – I hope she isn’t planning on being a dentist like her mum!
She was fascinated at the section on pregnancy, where there is pretend ultrasound and a screen showing what an pregnancy ultrasound looks like.
Under 5s Areas
There are 3 areas within the museum that are only for under 5s. There is a creativity space where they can draw, a SoundGarden area downstairs and a Desert Discovery space upstairs. E loved these areas as they were not too busy.
In the Desert Discovery space there is a wheel where you place a ball, and turn a handle to propel the ball up the wheel and across a bridge to a second area where the ball drops back down again. E was fascinated with how she could move the ball around.
In the SoundGarden area there was lots of soft play elements, but E’s favourite part was a touch screen where you could design and paint your own butterfly wings, and then launch it onto a bigger screen on the wall where all the designed butterflies flew around.
There really is so much to see and do. And as you enter staff stamp your hand, so if you do want to go out for a picnic or into nearby Halifax town centre, you can re-enter without any fuss.
The museum is really accessible for wheelchairs with a lift, Changing Places toilet facility and other quiet spaces and ear defenders available on request.
We really enjoyed our visit, and are sure to be visiting again over the next year.
Find Eureka! Children’s Museum at eureka.org.uk and plan your visit today!
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