Eureka is a children’s museum in the centre of Halifax, West Yorkshire, but don’t let the word ‘museum’ put you off. It is about as jam-packed with interactive activities and exciting hands-on exhibitions as it is possible to be!
You can dress up as an M&S shop assistant and stack the shelves, you can explore how noise is made in the Sound and Space gallery, and you can build an igloo in the Global Garden exhibition.
The entire museum is dedicated to children aged 0-11 years and is completely interactive.
But I’m getting ahead of myself!
Let’s start at the top…
What is at Eureka?
There are 6 galleries to explore. My children are 5 and 1, and our favourites are definitely the Town Square and All About Me.
The Town Square is an (almost) life-size replica of a village. I’ve already mentioned the Marks & Spencers, but there is also a bank, a post office, a car wash and petrol station, a 3-storey house, and a mechanic’s yard. You can even don a hard hat and check out some underground road works!
All About Me
The All About Me gallery encourages children to learn about themselves and how to keep their body healthy. There are opportunities to measure their height, arm span and stride (cue highly competitive
children parents!), and record it all in a little booklet.
The section we like best, though, is the huge healthcare role-play area; you can be a GP, a midwife, a receptionist, a dentist, or a patient.
The bit where you can give a pregnant mother her ultrasound has been particularly helpful to our family – we visited when I was pregnant to help our older daughter understand what was going on, and we visited again when one of my kids was having have an ultrasound so that she could see what it might be like. There is also a bone and x-ray section too.
There is also a large outdoor sandpit, a craft area, shows to watch, and specially designated areas for the under-5s.
One of the real plus-points for us, is that you can take your own picnic AND there is an indoor picnic area to eat it in! But if you’re not a tight-fisted Yorkshire lass like myself, there is also a reasonably-priced café.
Aside from this, there are loads of little details that really help the visit to run smoothly:
- Shallow stairs for little legs
- Several indoor buggy parks
- Stamp on your hand (ours was a dinosaur) so you can go in and out as you wish
- Queue length updates on the Facebook page
- The ‘extra pair of hands’ service which allows a family with a disabled child to have someone come round with them for 2 hours to help out
What does it cost?
It costs £5.25 for 1-2 year olds, and £12.95 for anyone over 2.
While it might seem pretty pricey, Eureka’s trump card is its Annual Pass scheme. Once you’ve paid your admission fee, for the next 12 months, you can go again as many times as you like for FREE!
We have it as our rainy-day option because trying to think of cheap things to do when it’s wet outside is a nightmare!
Anything which wasn’t so good?
I wish there were more toilets. When everything else so obviously caters for children, it seems strange that all the toilets are at one end of the building. We’ve had to do the potty-training-mad-dash a couple of times and it’s not nice!
Also, one of my pet peeves is when you’re forced to exit an attraction through their gift shop! Presenting children with a load of shiny new things that they can’t have (tight-fisted Yorkshire lass, etc!) is a sure-fire way to put a dampener on lovely family day. I understand that Eureka is a charity and needs to make money, but I’d rather have a choice about whether to visit the shop or not. I realise, however, that pretty much every kids attraction has the exit through the shop so it’s just one of those things.
Eureka is a great family day out. It has totally nailed the ‘fun yet educational’ brief, and I heartily recommend it!
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Eureka