Eureka! National Children’s Museum, Halifax

THERE’S one big difference between traditional museums and Eureka the Children’s museum. Here, they are encouraged to touch and play with everything!

From astronauts, doctors and bankers to chefs, car mechanics and postmen – Eureka! is a magical land where children can become whatever they like – for a day at least.

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Aimed at kids aged up to 11 years old, it’s a place they are inspired to learn all about themselves and the world around them by playing, imagining, experimenting and, above all, having fun.

One minute my son, Oliver, was playing postman, complete with the Royal Mail uniform, parcels and letters, and the next he had his hard hat on and was working in a Transco gas pit.

It is 100 per cent hands-on, so, as you can imagine, you can literally let them go wild and be whoever they want to be.

I think it best described as a large and varied hands-on activity centre, which provides something for children of all ages to get involved with.

Without a doubt, it was the Halifax bank that was the most popular place for my children and niece and nephew the last time we visited.

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After changing into the bankers uniform, my eight-year-old nephew, Lewis, got himself sat in the bankers chair and was enjoying paying out money to other children. It was lovely to see him playing, but clearly learning and building his confidence with others he didn’t know.

It’s also the one place you can let the kids loose on a “real” cash point as it doesn’t matter which numbers are pressed – money is dispensed.

The garage was also a great hit. “Let’s get to work” my son shouted as we got nearer.

They pulled on their overalls and changed tyres, sat in cars and put petrol in – what’s not to like?

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My two-year-old daughter loved the Marks & Spencer shop, where she could take a little trolley around and choose the products she wanted before going to the tills to “pay”. She was scanning, pressing the till buttons and choosing food. It was brilliant.

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The first time we went she was only ten-months-old, but she had a brilliant time cruising around feeling and touching different displays, using her senses to explore her natural curiosity.

Throughout the staff were excellent. Each one we saw was energetic, fun, friendly and helpful.

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The show which was on during school hols

Upstairs, the highlight is the All About Me gallery, which is designed to get you thinking about how your bodies work and how to look after them.

TIP: Visit on a sunny day because that’s when it’s quietest!

There is also a health centre setting, where children can play doctors and learn about everything from scanning pregnant women to what makes us sneeze.

Despite going on several days out already this year, I can say the Eureka! is easily the best family day out we’ve had in a long time.

We visited on a sunny afternoon, so it was fairly quiet as a lot of people save the indoor attraction for rainy days. It was great though as it meant we could eat our picnic outside, enjoy the huge sandpit, donkey rides (£2 a go), and there was also a pop-up farm in the grounds.

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INFO: There’s indoor and outdoor picnic tables if you want to avoid the food queues in the café and take a pack-up. There’s even a train carriage outside you can sit in to have lunch.

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The train carriage is a great place to eat your picnic!

INFO: The admission price includes an annual pass, which enables you to visit as many times as you like for the next 12 months.

Any profits from the entrance fees, gift shop, café, nursery and corporate activities go towards staffing and general upkeep of the museum.

INFO: Take plenty of change for the car parking because it’s £6 per day.

During the school holidays there’s a full programme of events. We went to shows, talks and even visited a pop-up mini-beast room where we held a tarantula!

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Still can’t believe I got that close to that!

One thing I don’t understand is the fact it has bad reviews on Trip Advisor. There seems to be quite a few, but don’t let these put you off, how anyone can’t enjoy it is beyond me.

  • Reviewed August 2015

 

NEED TO KNOW….

LOCATION: Discovery Road, Halifax, HX1 2NE

OPEN: Usually closed on Mondays, but open on a Monday in school holidays. Open 10am until 4pm and 5pm on weekends and school holls.

PRICES: Children aged aged 1-2 years: £5.25. Anyone aged 3 and over: £12.95. Children under 11 months old enter free.

CALL: 01422 330069

VISIT: www.eureka.org.uk

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