This past half term I took a trip with the boys to Eureka, the national children's museum in Halifax.
Having been there before I knew it was a safe bet but last time we went our youngest was only tiny so this time it was a completely different experience.
It was space week at the museum and the most impressive thing for me was how enthusiastic and knowledgeable the staff were. Lets be honest, you often expect (and find) that the staff in some of these places are a bit uninterested but this was not the case at all.
We arrived at around 11am, left at around 4pm and still did not get round all of the wonderful exhibits. I see this as a good thing, as once you have paid to get in you all get a free annual pass so we are already thinking about returning.
On the ground floor of the museum we explored all things spacey, including dressing up as astronauts and going on a mission to mars. We also spent a lot of time in the play bank and supermarket and house. For our youngest this was like a dream come true. The boy loves to play with his kitchen and shop and thought the scan your own goods in the fake M & S were particularly exciting. You can write out your own money slips and send them in a tube from the supermarket to the bank, which lets be honest, sod the kids, I wanted to play with. There is also a pretend garage on the ground floor, complete with petrol station and car wash which was very popular.
Talking of popular, I have to say it was extremely busy which we expected it being half term. We were told that February half term is the museums busiest time because of the dodgy weather. Despite this however, we didn't have to queue because we had booked our tickets on line and once we got used to the noise levels inside, the size of the place meant the boys did not have to wait to play with anything.
Upstairs there is the 'All about me' section which included (as above) a giant nose to explore. Seriously, what more could a boy ask for? This was the section that I think we would start in next time because we had to rush it and there was just so much to look and do...for children and adults alike!
There are plenty of indoor and outdoor picnic areas (including on an old train carriage) and my experience of the cafe from our first visit prompted me to take our own food. There was nothing particularly wrong with the cafe it was just very busy and rather expensive.
There are play areas outside to the side of the museum and to the front and next time we visit it will hopefully be a bit warmer so we can make the most of those.
All in all, definitely worth a visit. I would say it is ideal for children aged between three and ten. For the three of us it cost around £35 which for a full day and given you get an annual pass also I thought was very reasonable.