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  • Writer's pictureexploringem

Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

A friend told me about this place a few months ago and on Sunday I took my 8 year old son for his birthday. We both loved it and he said it was even better than he thought it would be!

The museum is very welcoming and the staff very friendly. We visited on a weekend day in the summer holidays and it didn't feel too busy at all. In fact it had a very calm feel to it and didn't really have to wait to use the interactive elements. I was a very manageable size too, you can make your way around and revisit things, I often feel overwhelmed in bigger museums trying to cover everything, so I really liked that this wasn't like that.

The upper floor is based around Sound, Vision and Vibration, with a focus on the environment too. It is extremely interactive and for the first 20mins my son rushed around pushing every button he could, when the excitement wore off we revisited each place and had a more detailed look. He really enjoyed tuning Europes largest acoustic guitar! Some highlights, climbing through an ear, printing out his name in sign language, the pulley system of weights, building a bridge! And this was just up stairs!

Downstairs is the Explore space section and we absolutely loved this! He got to pretend he (we) were wearing a space suit, see how gravity works, explore the solar system using a huge globe, control a robotic car... so much more!

There are also outside areas, with lovely views despite the rain on our visit. Usually there would be storytime in the tent amounst other things. We didn't explore too much outside as it was really pouring. On the way out I noticed a walk you could do too. On the first floor by the cafe there was a bio:space, find worms, see how they are growing plants etc.

Included in you ticket is a Live science demo, unfortunately, due to other arrangements we had to miss out on this which was a shame as it sounds amazing, lots of experiment's and such. Additionally in the centre of the exhibition are regular live science shows, my son was peering over at one while we waited for our lunch to arrive.

We paid an extra £4 per show to see the planetarium. The first was a live show with a member of staff taking you on a tour of the universe. Really informative and engaging.

The second one we booked was a film in the planetarium called 'We are Stars' this was great and kept my sons attention well. To give you an idea of booking things, we arrived at 11am, booked Live planetarium at 11:45, Film Planetarium at 1:30, giving us time for lunch and then we had booked for the Live Science show at 3:30. I was happy with the timings. A great service here is they provide ear defenders for children who may find it too loud.

There is a cafe on the first floor, offering fairly basic hot food, sandwiches and childrens lunch boxes. There is also a little shack downstairs for hot drinks and ice creams.

A nice touch is each person gets a £1.35 voucher to give you money off the cafe. Picnics are also allowed with plenty of places to eat them.

Located on the outskirts of Winchester it is easy to get to and park. The car park is £3, booked when you book your ticket or on the day. The tickets cost £13.75 adult or child if booked more than 7 days in advance or £15 if booked less than that. Under 3's free.

I would wholeheartedly recomened Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium.

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