This review of the National Space Centre is written by Gill from Oxfordshire
Whether your kids are interested in space or not, the National Space Centre makes a fantastic day out. Our four littles are aged 7, 6, 4 and 3 and they all loved it. The whole place is set up for kids, especially those who like touching and running around. From the moment you walk in, there is so much for them to do. The design is very bright, colourful and at children’s heights so really appealing. As soon as we got in, they scattered eager to get stuck in [it’s also quite contained, so you don’t worry about them running off].
The ground floor is organised into six interactive galleries where kids can find out about the solar system, each planet, what astronauts wear etc. There’s even a space toilet! When they say interactive, they do mean it. There are lots of games which encourage them to touch loads of buttons, from driving a mars rover (robot car) or testing out gravity – and the whole place is so relaxed, you can relax too and soak up all those facts! There’s a mini-tarium which features a little quiz with a little astronaut where the kids have to jump up and press buttons for the right answers, it’s also a nice space to take five and wind down.
I’d recommend seeing the film at the planetarium. The one we saw was about landing on the moon, it was pitched just right and short enough to keep their attention. It also makes for a nice introduction to the galleries in the Rocket Tower which are about the space race.
Tickets were just over £50 for six of us but under 5s are free and if you book online you can upgrade to a free annual pass. Top marks for all the practical stuff – parking is easy and £3 for the day, cash or card. You can bring your own food or eat in, we had our own picnic but the prices looked reasonable with sandwiches, hot dogs etc on offer. Loads of toilets, disabled and baby-changes. There’s an easily-avoidable gift shop with pocket money toys and more expensive gifts. Finally, it’s right next to the Abbey Pumping Station Museum which is free but more importantly has a park and picnic tables, fantastic if you’ve had a bit of drive and the littles need to run it out for a bit!
Little Ankle Biters would like to thank Gill from her fantastic review.
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