Eureka! is the national children’s museum. It is located next to Halifax train station in West Yorkshire.
My kids love Eureka! I have been taking them since they were small and it is a much loved day out.
I sometimes wonder why they like it so much, but there are plenty of opportunities for fun and role-play, as well as a bit of learning along the way (without them noticing).
The museum states that it is designed for ages 0-11. I think that it is most suited to the younger end, particularly pre-school, but I went on a school trip last year with a bunch of 7 year olds and they all had a great time.
As we’re local, we can gofor a couple of hours on a wet miserable day, but there is plenty to fill a whole day out. Here are some of the sections that I can recall.
There is an M&S shop area where kids can do a food shop with their own little trolley and use the till to tot up the bill. There is a car area with car wash, fuel stations, mechanic tools. There is a post office where kids can sort through parcels. There is a bank with an ATM, stamps for loans and a vault for valuables. There is a kitchen area with lots of food items, ovens and microwaves that ping when the food is ready. There is a large body section including a dentist chair, details about taste and smell, body heat map, scanning of pregnant lady, details of developing babies, measurement area including height, stretch, jump length etc.
There is a craft room for under 5’s including coloured paper, crayons, glue sticks, boxes with ‘bits and bobs’ and dressing up clothes. There is a dessert area for under 5s including a pulley system with balls that travel. There is a water area including details about plumbing and an area for playing with boats.
There are lots of opportunities to dress up and get into character. At certain times, such as holidays, there are specific sessions such as story telling, science or singing sessions. These are usually worth attending and get the kids involved.
There is a cafe at Eureka! which can get quite busy. The food is quite good. Main meals are reasonably priced. There are also plenty of spaces for bringing your own food. There is a train carriage, where you can eat a picnic. Simple, but my kids think this is great.
Entry fees are as follows (as of April 2019): Under ones are free, 1-2 years £5.25 and £12.95 for 3+. If you complete online forms you can visit as many times as you want in the next twelve months. Parking is £3 for 4 hours and £6 for 12 hours.
When to go to Eureka!
It can get busy during holidays, especially when the weather is miserable. However during term time, there are school trips each day so you can find yourself surrounded by a class of school kids while you are looking at something. The school kids normally disappear about 1:30 so the place does normally quieten down once they go.
It is best to check the website before going as opening hours vary throughout the year. It is usually closed on a Monday during term time, but it is open 7 days a week during the holidays.
Take a look at the Eureka! website to find out more.