I have been super giddy and excited for half term this year because it meant I could plan loads of fun family Halloween activity to do 🙂
I was even more excited when I realised that Eureka | The National Childrens Museum were putting on a hubble, bubble, toil and trouble event on over the half term 25th Oct – 2nd Nov 2014.
It was prefect for keeping my little ones busy and in the mood for Halloween fun.
The museum is in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Which for us is a bus ride away, as we live on boarder of Leeds and Bradford.
We set off for the bus shortly after lunch and arrived in Halifax by 1pm. Which meant we would have loads of time in museum because they have changed to opening hours from 10am – 4pm until 10am – 6pm.
Because we had decided to go on a Sunday it was only open until 5pm, plenty of time to explore.
We have been to Eureka before but we hadn’t been in over 2 years. So it was nice to see what aspects had changed and what things had stayed the same.
On walking up to the museum there is a large marque with tables and chairs in side for people wanting to have a picnic outside, plus picnic table further ahead. There is a music garden in which the kids can explore and learn about all the different sounds created by unexpected things, plus a large sand pit. That even on a chilly autumn day beckoned the children to play, dig and have fun.
It was great watching my kids faces light up with delight. Specially E because this is the first time she has been since she was a baby.
So for her this was all new and she was finally able to explore better then she had when she was younger.
As you walk through the door of the museum there is a queuing system leading to the ticket desk.
The prices are really reasonable at £11.95 for adults and children over 3, £4.95 for children aged 1-2 years old and under 1’s are free.
When you pay these prices though you go in to the museum and there is a desk that you take your receipt and they will give you a 1 year free entry Annual pass at no extra charge.
Also if your a MaxCard holder like me, you and your family get in for free once you show your card.
They gave everyone a dinosaur stamp on their hands (incase you leave and then want to regain entry) and then we went in to explore.
When we got inside we were directed to a notice bored that told you all the different little events they had going on and the times that day.
One of the staff very cleverly advised me to take a picture on my phone so I always had the info with. (as by that point my kids were all running off wanting to explore)
They loved town square that has everything in it built to kids size. T particularly enjoyed it in the bank playing on the cash machine making fake money with stamps on paper to spend in the supermarket. (if only it was that easy to make real money).
The kids loved it there was a Bank, M&S supermarket, Garage, Post office and even a house with kitchen, bathroom and bedroom for them to explore, and everything had been designed for there height and fun.
As you walked round though there where signs explaining how things worked and the science behind solar energy and a toilet flushing etc
The hard part was trying to get them to stay still long enough to read the facts.
There were also sections about the different types of environment, the animals that live there and where stuff like bread, milk, apples and eggs come from.
The whole museum is interactive and there are games to play, sensations to experience and igloos to build 🙂
On the second floor is more stuff about the different environments and animals that inhabit them. There is also a few sections for under 5’s only so they can have fun while the older kids explore.
We wanted to let E and baby have a play in the desert discovery but it’s was completely packed full of parents and children all wanting to play in such a small space that it became very difficult to move around with 2 little ones. So we moved on but not until we watch some spooky dancing in the town sq at 2pm.
It was a right laugh watching the kids learn the time warp and monster mash.
We enjoyed the little show and then went to my personal favourite section of the whole museum All About Me section. I love this area because it teaches the kids about their bodies and how everyone is different because some are tall, can reach far, jump high or look different. They even had a passport in which they filled in as they walk around testing how far they could step or how tall they were. Unfortunately all the pencils that were at the side of the exhibits were broken, so we couldn’t write down the results.
I loved explaining to my kids how everything in the body’s worked and them being able to see how a baby grows inside it mummy’s belly or how your bones, ears, eyes, nose and taste buds work.
It was great fun and I loved all the new equipment had been updated since the last time we had been.
After a very enjoyable learning experience we made a quick pit stop for bathroom breaks. The toilets were clean and very noticeable. They even had a room for nursing mothers if they choose to use it.
We then made our way back downstairs and went into the enchanted forest. So the kids could dress up, meet some witches, ghost and ghouls plus colour in a mask or listen to the Halloween story.
The staff were dressed up and looked great. They were all so helpful getting the boys into the ghost busters outfits. The ghost even joined in running around the room while T and P tried to capture him.
E didn’t dress up because the witches costume she wanted to wear had been taken by another little girl first, but she was happy to play with a witches broom an watch the boys have fun.
It very much got me into the Halloween spirit and started off our Halloween half term right
I would defiantly recommend Eureka to all my friends and anyone planning a visit.
The staff are great, really helpful, kind and polite.
The price is reasonable (specially with the year long annual pass)
Events, exhibits and activities are great fun, that really draw kids in.
Is very pram/wheel chair friendly with great amenities.
Unfortunately it gets really busy and some areas get crowded quickly and easily.
The pencils at the exhibits were broken and hadn’t been replace or spare. Meaning we couldn’t take part in that bit of recording fun.
And E was upset at first about the costume until she found the broom.
All in all though the day was great fun and the kids were tired when we got home. (as were we!)
I was not paid for this review these are my honest opinion of the place and it’s features.