Everyone knows that the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester is an amazing place to visit with children. The experiments gallery on the first floor of the main building is a very popular place for children of all ages and the air and space gallery and power hall are also popular, but did you realise that there are other fabulous places to visit and things to do throughout the rest of the museum?
Listed below are some of our favourite things to do as a family that you might not even know exist.
Explore the sewers
Underground Manchester sounds like a fairly boring part of the Museum but with the help of the Bog Monster, ten signs full of fun facts, a real victorian sewer and a talking toilet, this is one of the girls favourite parts of the Museum of Science and Industry.
Become a human battery
In the basement of the Electricity gallery, hidden away in the 1830s warehouse, we came across a selection of hands-on experiments that allowed the children to learn about static, dynamos, electro magnets and batteries. The girls had great fun with these experiments and as no one seemed to know they were there we had them to ourselves for ages.
Fill a hot air balloon
Tucked away in the corner near the door to the toilets in the 1830’s warehouse is yet another of the girls favourite things at the Museum of Science and Industry. Rising from the basement to the ceiling at the press of a button this Hot Air Balloon has them intrigued every time.
Pick up rubbish
Recycling may seem like a boring subject but in this area of the Museum of Science and Industry dedicated to learning about recycling there is so much to test out. With information about what can be recycled, how different materials are recycled and also an interactive computer that the kids could have looked at for hours
Stroke Yoda on the head
3D printing is an extremely popular topic at the moment, but not many children actually understand what it means, how it works or even why it is so useful. The 3D: printing the future exhibition not only shows a variety of 3D printed objects that are available for the children to touch but it also explains the many everyday uses that this technology will be used for. Unfortunately, this exhibition will only be at the Museum of Science and Industry until September so make sure you visit before then.
Seeing your own invention hanging on the wall at the Museum is apparently pretty cool and both of my girls thought long and hard about what they would create to make their lives easier. Alison being fairly practical wanted something that could make her dinner immediately so when she was hungry her food would be ready and Elizabeth being lazy wanted something that would get her dressed and ready for school whilst she was still asleep. This wasn’t quite the brief of creating something to save the nation but they would both certainly save time.
As well as creating our own inventions it was great to look at other inventions that children had created. We spent at least half an hour sat at the Inventor’s workshop discussing the inventions and drawing our own.
Become part of the art
Becoming part of the digital sculpture is something that the girls want to do every time we arrive at the museum and they enjoy continuing to see their faces on display throughout the day.
It is really simple to use and by registering your details and answering a few questions the Museum of Science and Industry are able to gather some important information about the demographic of its visitors. We love looking at the sculpture as the faces change and the whole thing is spectacular to behold. You may feel like it is too much effort to do this when you arrive, but the kids will love it.
Ride the rails
Not only is riding the steam train a whole load of fun but it is also educational. Did you know that the steam train is situated on the oldest surviving passenger railway station in the world? The Museum was built on the site and incorporates many of the historic buildings which have been restored including the original Passenger station and viaduct. The Station celebrates its 185th anniversary this September!
Go on an adventure and get wet
The 4D Theatre is something that we always used to forget about, we had seen the posters but never ventured inside. However now we have done it the girls just want to go again and again. The current adventure called The Lost World brings you up close and personal with a variety of dinosaurs and the 4D effects really go well together with the short film. The short film is around 15 minutes long and the shows start every 20mins from 11:00 am – 3.40 pm daily.
Stuff your face
After all that exploring you more than likely want to head off but I would definitely recommend you stop in the Warehouse Cafe for a coffee and homemade cake or if you want something a bit more substantial the Warehouse Canteen has a fabulous array of fresh pizza, salads and other hot foods. The Canteen also has a brilliant kids and they even have a family meal deal where you can get any 2 adult meals and drinks and any 2 kids’ meals and drinks for just £20.
The Museum of Science and Industry has so many amazing exhibits to explore and this post does not even scratch the surface. We have never managed to get all the way around in one day and each and every time we visit we find something new to amaze us. If you have never been I highly recommend it and if you have been before why not check out some of the exhibits I mentioned above or see if you can find your own favourite places to explore.
As well as the ongoing exhibits The Museum of Science and Industry always have a great calendar of events listed in their What’s on Section. This weekend sees the Museum of Science and Industry host The Experimental Weekender. A weekend full of circus shows, creative workshops and fairground attractions introducing visitors to the wonders of Graphene. Not only that but the weekend kicks off with a special Adults Only evening on the Friday night. Tickets are free but they must be pre-booked. We will be visiting on Saturday morning so I look forward to showing you what’s happening on the day via my social media channels.
We are also really looking forward to the PLAY it! Manchester event which allows visitors to get hands on with gaming technology from the past and actually play with the computers and consoles. This fabulous interactive experience takes place at the end of July. Stay tuned as over the next few weeks I will be giving away tickets so you can come along and try out the consoles as a family and baffle the kids with what we thought was high tech and cool back in the day.