After a rainy day idea? The Catalyst Science Discovery Centre and Musem was a little of a mixed bag. It was amazing with its interactive Gallery. However, the rest of the museum was old, a lot of broken buttons and information that wasn’t that child friendly. But, I actually think it’s still worth a visit. The fact that a family of four ticket only costs £27.95 (Jan 2024) and that becomes a years pass is actually a bargain.
There is enough to do in the interactive gallery for about an 1 hour and then they run extra workshops. Sit and have a picnic or lunch in the cafe and a play outside on their play equipment then it becomes a nice half day activity on a rainy day. And the kids are secretly learning too.
This area is the best part of this museum and worth going for just for this. There are plenty of hands-on experiments or things to play with. Creating a stop motion video was a real hit with us. There are some puzzles to work out, building an electric current, a wind machine, time lapse videos of items growing, and some very powerful microscopes to look at bugs and materials.
Up on the top floor is the Observatory Gallery. This has windows all the way round, so it does give some impressive views of the area. This floor is all about the history of the local area and even though it has a couple of simple games like a jigsaw and building a bridge, it could be much improved. The information boards weren’t really designed for children, and some of the buttons didn’t work, so mine did a lap but then asked to go back down.
Birth of an industry exhibition
The last floor was about the chemical industry from ancient times up to the 1940s. It has historical objects, archive films & computer quizzes. However, the computer buttons again didn’t work & the information boards were big blocks of writing. This area could again be much improved for children.
Workshops and Shows at Catalyst Science Discovery Centre
During school holidays and at weekends, there are science workshops and shows which you can book onto. These cost an extra £2 per person. We didn’t do any on out visit, however I know these are nice little activities and are always changing through out the year so on repeat visits you can do different workshops.
Ouside at Catalyst Science Discovery Centre
There is a small playground outside Catalyst. There are a couple of slides and climbing frame for young children. And a wooden playground for older children.
Eating at Catalyst
There is a picnic room inside or picnic tables by the playground outside. The cafe serves hot food, drinks and snacks and at a really resonable price.
I will be back again, especially to do the workshops and explore the outside space when its warmer. Could it improve itself – yes definitely. It is still a good day out for little ones – yes definitely.