In a nutshell
Built in 1992, Eureka! was the UK’s first kids’s museum and it has held up remarkably effectively. Its raison d’etre is exploring how on a regular basis stuff works by means of interactive displays (indoors and out) exploring physiology, city and home life, area, sound and the digital world. Themed areas embody a excessive road (that includes a submit workplace, financial institution and grocery store), a body-focused gallery, “behind the scenes” in your home (Perspex bogs, and a surprisingly informative part on faucets) and comfortable play and craft areas for the under-5s. Outside there’s a playground, sandpit and a sensory backyard stuffed with wildflowers and intriguing textures. The exhibition Fusion: Adventures in Digital Art encompasses a digital waterfall and human-sized scanner (till November) is a collaboration with the touring Lumen prize for Digital Art.
It’s onerous to select only one … Did you recognize that the keys to the Bank of England vault are over a metre lengthy? Or that it takes round 2 million visits to flowers by honeybees to create a jar of honey? There are lots extra on plaques across the museum.
‘It’s within the sand.’ The museum’s out of doors sandpit
Best factor about it
The consideration to element stands out. A Halifax-branded financial institution within the atrium contains working landlines and paperwork stamps that say YES, whereas the bijou Marks & Spencer grocery store comes with tiny trollies and plastic meals. Creative touches embody hiding Cinderella’s glass slipper and Charlie’s golden ticket within the financial institution vault.
What about lunch?
Eureka’s cafe, overlooking the sensory backyard, serves sizzling meals of the jacket potato (from £2.50) and chips (£1.95) selection. Cold choices embody children’ lunch bins (£Four.40) filled with a ham, jam or cheese roll, do-it-yourself cookie, Pom Bear crisps and a drink. If you’ve introduced your individual lunch, as we did, there’s indoor seating beneath a mechanised mannequin of Archimedes suspended over a shower (maintain a watch out; he will get dunked each 30 minutes). If the climate’s good, a picnic by the sandpit is an possibility or cosy up in a decommissioned practice carriage to the rear of the museum.
An interactive show that’s a part of the Fusion: Adventures in Digital Art exhibition. Photograph: Jonathan Pow
Exit by means of the present store?
You do, and there’s a predictably scientific bent to the products on supply. Top buys embody WOW toys for 1-5s (round £16) or science kits for older ones. Value-for-money choices embody Science4you’s “explosive science” set that includes 23 experiments for £23.50. A Eureka! backpack, bouncy ball, notepad and pen is £Four per bundle.
Value for cash
Tickets permit limitless entry for 12 months, so it truly is. Ages Four-Eight will get essentially the most out of a go to however the Spark gallery is nice for older ones. Entry is free for under-1s, £2.25 for 1-2 years, £12.95 for everybody aged three and over.
During faculty holidays and weekends, the museum is open 10am-5pm. It’s open 10am-4pm Tuesday to Friday throughout time period time and is closed Mondays throughout time period time, in addition to Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Whatever the climate … children strive their hand at forecasting. Photograph: Jonathan Pow
Halifax is round an hour’s drive from Manchester. Car parking is £three for Four hours, and the museum actually backs onto the railway station, so it’s a really brief stroll from the platform.
Bits of Eureka! look dated (the yellowing home equipment within the kitchen, for instance, and bits and items akin to the peak sensors within the physique part, don’t appear to work) however, for essentially the most half, it’s nice enjoyable. My twins (aged Four) liked all the pieces; the permissive encounters with the grownup world within the high-street part had been a spotlight, whereas my son (14) loved remodeling his face right into a digital squid as a part of Genetic Moo’s exhibit within the Spark gallery. Eight out of 10.