Sundays are family day. They are the one day a week that myself, my husband and Mini R get to spend together as a family of three, due to work schedules. So when this day comes around, we like to do something that we can all enjoy and involves quality time together.
This week my husband suggested Eureka! The National Children’s Museum. We’d had a conversation a while back about it and my husband had never been. I was shocked. I thought everyone, who lived near enough, had been as a child and felt my husband had missed out somewhat. Luckily, the trip that was supposed to be for Mini R, was a trip for my other half who became a big kid for the day! 🙂
My memories of Eureka as a child had mainly involved the robot that spoke to you, the M & S Supermarket and the bank where you could make your own money. I was pleased to see that they were still there along with lots of new things that hadn’t either been introduced or I just didn’t remember them. The idea behind the whole museum is that children learn through play and it has a lovely relaxed, fun atmosphere where everything is interactive and child friendly.
The robot, Zoom, lives within the All About Me section which has recently been renovated. My memories of Zoom were that he was made up of a colander, metal rubbish bin and a few other pieces of scrap metal but the new and improved Zoom is all fancy, modern and very friendly. Welcoming you warmly to the All About Me section, Zoom encourages the children to take a passport and fill it out as they make their way around. They can find out their arm span, height, how far they can step and other interesting facts about themselves. Despite Mini R only being 16.5 months, we were able to do most of these things with him even though he didn’t really have a clue what he was doing it for! He loved the projection on the floor of a pond with fish swimming around and kept trying to ‘catch’ the fish – cute!
Another of Mini R’s favourite areas was the Living and Working Together which includes the supermarket and bank that I fondly remembered as well as the mechanics areas with a big truck to sit in and little cars that they can wash, put petrol in and change a tire on. L was fascinated by the fountain in the Town Square and kept wanting to go back to it to look at it more and watch the bowls fill up and tip out. He had lots of fun putting his hands in holes and feeling the different fake foods as well as lifting up any flaps he found, even if he couldn’t read what was underneath!
Eureka! aims to be suitable for 0-11 year olds and honestly, I was surprise how much if it our son accessed in his own little way. There was a few areas specifically designed for under 5’s including the Sound Garden and Desert Discovery – both which L really enjoyed – but he enjoyed the areas for older children too!
Top left: Feeling the vibrations of music. Top Right: Putting the shapes in the correct holes. Bottom left: “Silly face” in the Sound Garden. Bottom right: Desert Discovery with Daddy.
We spent about four hours there in total, including having some lunch in the cafe (lovely food but very busy at 12. We were lucky we got in just before the rush!). I think we could spend longer there the older Mini R gets and luckily, they are now offering an Annual Pass for free, so we can return as many times as we like in the next year and we definitely will be returning. We can’t wait to explore the outside areas in the summer that it was a little too wet and windy for on our visit.