Eureka! is the National Children’s Museum, full of interactive exhibits, designed quite simply with the ethos that children should learn through play. I often think that if this museum was in London, the tourists would be queuing for miles to get into it. Luckily for us, it’s just over the Yorkshire border in Halifax.
Laid out over two levels, we always start in the ‘Living & Working Together’ area on the ground floor. There is a garage where you can fill up with petrol and maybe change some car wheels, a Post Office where you can dress up and sort the parcels, a house with a kitchen ready for the little ones to prepare lunch, and a scaled-down M&S perfect for doing the weekly shop, and playing shopkeeper of course. Our eight-year-old boys loved the bank in particular where they were very enthusiastic about sending money up and down suction tubes, getting cash out of the ATM, and solving the combination codes to open up the safety deposit boxes in the vault.
Next we headed upstairs to the brand new ‘All About Me’ gallery. This whole section is really super – spacious and bright. As soon as we went in, our kids ran around trying everything out, disappearing up giant nostrils and climbing into a huge set of gleaming white gnashers. Focusing on the human body, they witnessed the gurgling journey of food from mouth to bottom, saw how taste buds on your tongue work, looked inside a body using a scanning machine, and watched on a computer how a baby grows in the womb, finally feeling a baby’s heartbeat on a mummy dummy! Without doubt though, their highlight was meeting Zoom the Robot who asks you questions and ‘properly’ talks back to you. Absolutely brilliant!
Other galleries to explore include ‘Our Global Garden’, displaying gardens from around the world, ranging from jungle to arctic. The SoundSpace gallery is a futuristic theatre encouraging children to discover the science of sound and music, ours loved the Control Deck. Two areas are specifically designed for the under fives, SoundGarden and Desert Discovery, both full of visuals, textures and padded bits to crawl around in – perfect for a break if the rest of the museum starts to get a bit busy.
The café is good, but inevitably busy at peak times. We’d brought along our own food and grabbed a table in one of the picnic areas ahead of the rush.
There are over 450 brilliantly-maintained exhibits at Eureka! And a trip here is guaranteed to keep my children fully entertained all day.
Term time: Tues-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat & Sun 10am-5pm, Mon Closed. Holidays: Daily 10am-5pm
Adults and children £10.95, 1-2 years £3.75, under 1s free. Pay and display car park.
Your ticket price includes an Annual Pass, so you can come back for free as many times as you’d like within the year.
Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, Discovery Road, Halifax HX1 2NE
Tel: 01422 330069 eureka.org.uk