It’s a pleasing thing to witness future nostalgia being created. Parents of a certain age from across the North of England will have warm memories of family outings and school trips during their own youth to the original Eureka children’s museum in Halifax. The recent opening of a Merseyside outpost, Eureka Science + Discovery, offers the opportunity for that generation to watch the next develop their own fond attachments to this wholesome playground of learning.
Located next to the Mersey Ferries’ Seacombe ferry terminal and offering glorious views of the Liverpool waterfront in addition to three themed exhibits – Bodies, Homes and Nature – this Eureka is aimed at a slightly older age bracket of 7-14. It also differs from the Halifax mothership in its strong focus on local stories in bringing stories of medical innovation, exercise science, and sustainable fashion to life, with testimony from Alder Hey patients, Liverpool sixth formers, and academics from the region’s universities scattered liberally around the displays.
Otherwise, it largely sticks with Eureka’s much-loved formula: lots of buttons to press, flaps to lift, strange smells to sniff, and games to play in the course of unearthing how the intestines absorb food, a fish swims, or tea bags pollute the sea. Highlights include a timed challenge testing your reactions against those of a cat and the chance to role-play a wind turbine engineer, while a 30-foot ‘climbing tree’ allows for a spell of straightforward running around.
It was striking that a lot of the activities involved touch screens or electronics of one sort or another. Given the excited pounding these things inevitably take, one hopes that everything is still in working order come the second launch phase in January. This will see the opening of a café and under-sevens zone called the Burrow, and the expansion of Eureka Science + Discovery into a full-scale day out.
It isn’t a cheap excursion – tickets for adults or children of three upwards cost £15.95 (one and two-year-olds are £6.95, while babies are free), but you do get an annual pass for that price – or day tickets with no annual pass can be obtained using Tesco points. There’s pay and display parking (£3 for three hours) on top of that for those that drive here, so make sure you go with enough time, energy and curiosity to make it worth the outlay – and note that the museum is only open Friday-Sunday at present.
For anyone who lives close enough for repeat visits, however, Eureka Science + Discovery is liable to become a firm fixture on the weekend itinerary as well as in the memory banks of visiting children. A pleasing notion indeed.
Main image courtesy of Eureka
For more information about Eureka, click here.