This week Abi finally got to have a day where she had Mummy and daddy, wait for it… ALL TO HERSELF!! No baby sister squealing for attention, no bottle breaks, no need to wait around while we unloaded all baby necessities, just Abi, mummy and daddy. The original trio.
Izzi was at Nursery on Thursday and we mmmm’d and arrrrr’d about what to do with our rare day of just 1 child to depend on us. If you know Abi then you’ll know there are only a few things that are a winner in her books- Pokémon, bath bombs and science experiments. Now, she plays and watches Pokémon daily so that was a no, and a day mooching around Lush was never going to be a yes from Chris so we decided to go with science (which Chris is just as obsessed with) and we booked our tickets to Winchester science Centre.
I’ll really stress here that if you ever plan on going during a school holiday then definitely book your tickets in advance. It books up so fast and is so incredibly popular that it’s definitely worth popping online and guaranteeing yourself tickets (and a little online booking discount!). Doing this also ensures that if you want to you can pre-book your tickets (at a small extra cost, roughly £3 per person) for any of the planetarium shows which are incredible!
So, we got up Thursday morning, dropped Izzi to nursery and headed up Winchester. I’m a massive “I’d rather be 1 hour early than 1 minuet late” kind of the person, so it’s no surprise that we arrived at precisely 9am… The centre opens at 10am and we had booked tickets for the 10:40 showing of Polaris in the planetarium so in my defence I was worried about missing that (roll your eyes here and all that!) Because the centre gets so busy there’s a static car park just down the road that has a sort of park and ride system with buses every 30 minutes to and from the centre it’s self. The car parking at the centre is very limited but we were lucky and managed to park in the main car park, meaning we weren’t late for our show (see, you’re better to be super early… saves any potential parking panic!) and also didn’t have to worry about buses etc.
Now to the fun part, What’s inside the centre?
The science centre is made up of 2 levels and is also the home of the Uk’s largest capacity planetarium so as you can imagine it holds a lot of amazing fun activities!
There are over 100 different stations with different hands on activities for you to try, and all are suitable for children. I’ll be honest when we walked in I did think to myself ‘well, this will take 2 hours’ and in my head I started to plan what else we could do with our day once we did all the stations. I was wrong. We went in at 9.45 and left at 3pm.
Every station is incredible and Abi definitely did them to death. Now, I’m not a science buff but I’m fairly certain that every element of science can be tried and tested in some way at the centre. From the science of magnets to sport science and the human body there is everything.
Downstairs they had an amazing invention station where you could make your own bubble catcher and rocket. Of course our rocket didn’t do to well but hey, I guess that’s the reason we aren’t in the construction business!
Abi couldn’t quite contain herself throughout the day and I guess you could say she felt quite overwhelmed sometimes but one station that she couldn’t get enough of was (very surprisingly) the running station… I know, Abi running, who would have thought it eh?
She loved competing with the other children and also herself, trying to beat her previous times!
As well as all the amazing activities that are available for everyone, Children and adults alike, they also have the planetarium. It’s the largest capacity planetarium in the UK and they show some amazing educational films throughout each day. They have some showings that are called ‘chatterbox’ viewings which means that they are perfect for children as its ok for them to be noisy throughout the show. There are several to choose from for children; We are aliens, Simply stars, The planet show, Polaris and Back to the moon. We went for Polaris a show about a polar bear and a penguin on a scientific mission to research the seasons. Abi was captivated, although I’m not sure if it was the film or the sheer enormity of a full dome screen that was so big you actually felt like you were in the film! For the small £3 charge to see a planetarium show it’s definitely worth it.
They also show movies every week ranging from kids films to action films which I can only imagine how amazing that would be.
All together the day cost us £40 which in the grand scheme of days out during the half term is cheap as chips.
I honestly can’t recommend the Winchester science centre enough, it’s a fantastic day out full of excitement and fun for all the family. Abi also walked away with a new-found knowledge for all things science. And for a child who doesn’t retain any information EVER, that’s amazing.
We are already planning our next trip back during the Easter holidays!