“Eureka” she said, as the pulley-controlled statue of Archimedes hit the water for the third time.
“When does he go again?” She said.
“In thirty minutes time” I said.
I’m not sure what it says about Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax that a child was more interested in a working model of Archimedes’ screw, or a statue of him plunging in to a bath – not when there are so many other things to do.
One of the key problems we found is that the museum is positioned to provide something for everyone; of all ages. There are spaces for under fives and harder tasks/interactive spaces for bigger children. This meant that in a lot of cases, something that looked interesting – through colour, touch or sound – was often slightly too high for a child of just under four. Buttons were stiff, tubes were rigid and things you had to pull – had to be pulled with the help of a stronger Dad.
Lauren loved running around under spotlights or on the spot to simulate a polar bear walking – but she really wanted to stamp ink, pull leavers or bang drums – which were too stiff or just out of comfortable reach.
She didn’t want to go in to the areas designated for children her own age; which says more about Lauren, than it does about what the museum offers. Though she did sit down and enjoy a story whilst Harry fed. The storyteller was excellent at helping children to understand the moral of the tale. She was also sat in front of Archimedes; our main focus of interest that day.
It was cold when we went so we didn’t venture outside. We did go to the café. If we go back on a warmer day we will take a packed lunch with us. The food wasn’t great – the coffee even less so. But is it really about the food? Sure a lot of people will eat there – but no one ever really goes for a dried out club sandwich.
We have an annual pass now. The new gallery hadn’t opened when we went (scheduled to open this weekend), so with that to see as well as the superhero weekend in September – it gives us the perfect opportunity to go back.
It is definitely somewhere I would recommend you go. At £30 for two adults and a child over three (Harry went free) it might be somewhere you feel you have to go a number of times a year to get full value from the pass – but with a new attraction and lots of events this year, there’s plenty for all ages to do. It’s just a shame that, for a number of things, Lauren wasn’t quite tall enough or strong enough to actively engage with everything there. Which means it can only really get better as she grows – right?
She made us wait for one last ancient dunking – and then we went home.