Back in March, we visited Eureka! in Halifax, West Yorkshire. I grew up in West Yorkshire and my family still live there so we often revisit places I remember from my childhood. I think we only visited Eureka once and I was probably at the upper end of the suitable age range. Nether the less, I’ve wanted to take F for some time as it made a lasting impression on me.
I’m so glad we took F. She loves it here. We’ve been back again already and I’m hoping we’ll fit in another visit before the school holidays. That’s the beauty of Eureka, you pay once and can return as much as you like in the next 12 months.
If you’ve not heard of Eureka, it’s a children’s museum with lots of interactive exhibitions. There is a range of areas with lots for children to enjoy in each area.
F’s favourite area is the pretend play area. There is a bank with a working cash machine (not real cash), post office, supermarket, road works, car garage and a house with all the rooms you’d expect (F’s favourite areas are the kitchen and the bathroom with water play area).
Our second favourite area is the how my body works area. This is a bright and modern area which looks like it is the most recently renovated section. F loves the dentist and baby clinic areas. The baby clinic has scales and dolls to weigh. There is also a pregnant dummy with pretend ultrasound machine (complete with heart beat sounds). There are lots of x-ray images and light boxes and lots of different interactive areas to learn about how our bodies work. For example, there is one where you pedal and when you look in the window next to you a skeleton is pedalling.
There is a small creative room on the top floor where children can draw, do crafts or explore the light table. There is also a baby corner with mirrors, lots of black and white and treasure baskets. There was a member of staff in on the day we visited who interacted with the kids and really encouraged them to be creative.
On one of our visits, we caught an interactive room on the broom storytelling session. Some of the children participated and got to use the various props. There was also a short potion mixing at the end. Well worth catching if there is something similar on when you visit (it was announced over the speaker system).
There is so much to learn, on each visit we only scratch the surface. From learning about how the body works, recycling, growing crops, energy and daily life. F loves the nature of the exhibitions and certainly doesn’t realise how much she is learning. She’s at the perfect age for enjoying the role play areas particularly. E was able to enjoy some areas too and I can imagine already that at 12 months now she would get even more out of our next trip.
There is a great outdoor area too, complete with large sandpit that I can’t wait to explore this summer. A cartridge from a train is also in the grounds which you can explore and even picnic in.
Our top tips
- There are communal lockers in the reception area for coats etc.
- Picnics are welcomed. There are both indoor and outdoor seating areas as well as the train mentioned above. There is also a cafe on site.
- As you might expect it is popular with school trips but there are signs up saying which areas they are using for lunch and at what time. Despite there being a few school trips in on the days we have visited, we have not found it to be too busy.
- I have heard it is very busy in school holidays so I would arrive early. Again I’ve not been in the school holidays yet but I know people who have and they say the sessions they put on are fantastic and very much child-led.
- Car parking is available and is pay and display.
- We usually go by train and the station is right next door. Very convenient and F loves it.