Eureka! Childrens Museum – A Review

Last week during the holidays, I decided to take the children along to Eureka! in Halifax, Yorkshire. It’s a museum just for kids and even though I’ve been once before with Teen when he was small, I haven’t been for many years. I always mean to go whenever I’m up North because from what I remember, it was a great place, but so far I have never returned.

My three youngest kids are at a perfect age to appreciate it too now. Eureka! The National Childrens Museum is the only fully interactive museum aimed solely for kids aged 0-11. It prides itself on having ‘nothing behind glass cabinets’ and ‘works hard to provide the answers to questions that kids ask’.

With over 400 hands-on exhibits which will inspire and help children understand themselves and the world around them… it certainly sounds like a fun, yet educational day out!

On arrival at Eureka! the children made a beeline for the little, unusual animal area where at various intervals throughout the day, you can hold one of them. Creatures like spiders, snakes, tortoise and others are on offer!

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eureka tarantulaMy daughter held a Tarantula and a Rat!

The museum is split up into various areas to explore. Each one as interesting as the next. Lots of experiments to do within each area which intrigued young inquisitive minds.

What I  liked about it was that children could mooch around at their own pace, jumping from one thing to the next. There are so many things to do that if one station is busy, there’s always another one to try. Children were positively encouraged to touch and play around with everything! What’s not to love about that? Even the adults just HAVE to try everything out, you literally can’t help yourself!

The sound and space area was fascinating.

Can you see sound?

eurekaOr feel sound?

The kids had to push/pull the giant spring to show how a sound wave travels through air. They could also feel the sound by putting their hands on the giant speaker! Because the activities are aimed at children they were easy to carry out and more importantly, lots of FUN!

My daughter loved adding all the overlays to her face on this camera experiment…

An area of Eureka! that I thought was brilliant was the Home and Work section. An interactive house that showed children all the behind the scenes mechanics of how a house works…

A clear bath, shower and toilet showed how they worked!

Flushing was great fun!

The twins enjoyed sorting out these soft cubes to make a bed beneath what looked liked a bed from the story Princess and the Pea!

This model of a house (below) asks children to turn off electricity in the home that will save money and help the environment. There are tiny little light bulbs that shows them which items actually use the power to make them work!

Other rooms such as the kitchen and lounge provided more interactive fun, especially for younger children. There was dressing up, role play and water experiments to try if they wanted!

My twins absolutely loved the Garage! I couldn’t get them out of here. It was a place of work.. a petrol station, car wash, garage and tyre shop. The children could carry out all kinds of tasks.

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Then there was a cut out in the (fake) road to show children what kinds of things happen under our feet. All the pipes that you don’t usually see that carry gas, water and whatever else into our homes.

The details are astounding. Exact replicas of the real thing, installed by the actual people that would work on this type of thing in the real world. What I loved though was the excavation game that children could follow if they wanted to… whereby they had to find artifacts in the walls of this dug out section from different era’s from the past. It was brilliant. At different levels in the earth there were pieces from the Victorian era right back to the Roman times!

Under the ground!

At Eureka!, children can do as little or as much as they like. There are no set tours or certain directions you have to walk round in. You can spend the day wandering wherever you like. It’s actually very relaxed in that way.  I also liked the fact that the information by each of the experiment/activity stations was short and to the point. The letters were large and worded specifically for children to understand easily and quickly. I thought this was very important because kids don’t want to spend their time reading when there’s so much else to do!

Next stop was the Post Office! As you can see there is an M&S next door where you can be a shopkeeper or buy (pretend) food! The Post Office provided lots of fun as the kids sorted parcels into pigeon holes, then into the bays ready for delivering to the various addresses in this section.. e.g the garage, the home, the shop etc… Genius!

We headed to the bank….

My daughter in the vault with all the gold!

Working the CCTV :)

A chair filled with £1 million in five pound notes!

Our favourite section I think was the ‘All About Me’ one. I cannot express how much there is to see and do. I think we were lucky on the day we visited because some schools had gone back after the holidays so it probably wasn’t anywhere near as busy as it could’ve been. This meant my children didn’t have to wait to do anything. The website states that the museum is busiest when the weather is bad and in the mornings. So an afternoon visit when the sun is shining is recommended :) There’s also a large sandpit and sensory garden outside which you can make the most of too when the weather is nice.

There were activities to check how tall you are, how wide is your arm span, how far you can jump among other things. There are special screens where you can see what you’ll look like when you’re old and even how you got your eye colour!

My twins were fascinated by this cabinet filled with models of all our body organs (which incidentally was the only closed glass cabinet in the whole place!) . They’ve never seen anything like this before and enjoyed finding out what everything did.

Teeth!

This (fake) body scanner was brilliant. It x-rayed your body then a photo came up on the screen. My daughter realised it wasn’t real because the person on the x-ray had their arms down, while hers were on her hips! Ha! But my twins really thought it was their body which was very cute!

The thermal image camera provided lots of fun!

Learning all about digestion!

The model above was my kids’ favourite and one they giggled at a lot! There’s a ‘poo’ at the end of the intestines that looks as though it’s just about to go into the toilet.. apparently hilarious! This whole section was amazing though because it taught the kids so much and of course it’s much more fun learning this way than at home with a book. No stone was left un-turned, there were even tables that children could sit at and sort food into different categories, learning as they go about which foods are healthiest.

O finding out which part of the brain does what!

H with a nose. Complete with hair and if you looked up inside it, a bogey! Of course, lots of giggles about this too!

Eureka! is incredibly spacious. Not at all stuffy like many museums.

The Global Garden is a wonderful area that teaches children about the different outside living conditions in the world, as well as closer to home conditions in our own back gardens!

Learning about Global Warming from a Polar Bear with a cute little animated film

So many touchy feely things!

eurakaCan you get water in the Desert?

We visited most parts of the Museum but there was still more to see. There’s a number of areas just for the under 5’s which are closed off. This is a great idea and means that the very young visitors can play without being bulldozed by older kids! It also gives parents a little respite as there’s always somewhere to sit :)

There are plenty of areas to eat if you bring packed lunch. They do get very busy but they have overflow areas too. The cafe has a good menu and was reasonably priced. We ate in here, although it WAS very busy and the queue was long but it did move quickly.

Eureka! is a truly awesome place. It has won numerous awards and I can see why. My children loved it.

We had an amazing time and can’t recommend the place highly enough.

Disclaimer: We were given some complimentary tickets to Eureka! in exchange for an honest review. All words, photo’s and opinions are my own and completely honest.
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Comments

  1. We have a similar museum near us and it is very good.I love the idea of making science fun.

    • Mummy Endeavours says:

      Yes me too. Kids love this sort of place. Mine weren’t sure when I was trying to describe it to them, I think they thought it would be boring but they absolutely loved it and didn’t want to leave!

  2. We’ve been to Eureka a couple of times and my kids love it, I didn’t see the underground area though so will have to find that next time we go! Great review x

  3. Wow. That looks like an amazing place to visit. I’ve seen interactive sections at other museums for children but not an entire place like that. Looks like you all had a fabulous time.

  4. RaisieBay says:

    What a lovely detailed review of the place, I’ve heard about it often and always wondered what it was really like there. There does seem like such a lot to do, definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

  5. Eureka really is a great museum. We are fortunate enough to live within an hour’s drive so both my children have been there – both with us and on school trips!

  6. It looks amazing here, such a shame it is so far away!

  7. My boys LOVED Eureka when they were younger. it truly is an awesome place

  8. Since having a boy, I’ve appreciated the benefits of hands-on exhibits so much more, as he needs to see the inner workings of everything. This place looks right up his street!

  9. Wow what an amazing sounding and looking museum! Definitely on my list now when we’re in the area.

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