Last Updated on 21 September 2023 by Rich
Due to some unfortunate family circumstances, we had to cancel our family summer holiday this year. To give the kids a chance to get away we ended up going on holiday to Halifax, West Yorkshire. Yes, that’s right, not a statement I thought I’d ever say, especially growing up in the tourist hotspot of the Westcountry. Part of that revolved around visiting Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax following recommendations from colleagues at work.
So welcome to our guide on visiting Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax, where family fun meets education. In this article, we’ll help you plan your trip, optimise your visit, and make the most of your time at this captivating museum. We really hope that this will become your go to guide on whether to visit or not!
- Pros and Cons
- What is Eureka! The National Children’s Museum?
- Getting There: Distance Accessibility and Parking
- Exploring Eureka: Duration of Visit
- September 2023 Update for Eureka!
- Conclusion: Unveiling the Magic of Eureka
Pros and Cons
We’ll cover all of these points in the article, but these are our key takeaways from having visited in August 2023:
😀 Easy to navigate website with good online booking processes
😀 Reasonably priced decent cafe and food – especially given the relatively captive audience
😀 Decent travel time from a lot of the major cities. It’s just over one hour drive from Manchester and has ample parking
😀 Good public transport links located close to Halifax train station
🤔 Quite pricey – £63.80 for the four of us to visit, however you do have a year’s pass entitling you to free visits for 12mths within this price
🤔 Far too busy although granted, we visited on an August Bank Holiday
😕 A number of exhibits were either completely out of order, or glitchy.
😕 On top of the entrance fee you have to pay for parking.
📝 A few years back myself and Noemi had the joy of visiting the Glasgow Science Centre which was a different level. I think we were both expecting something along those lines, whereas the reality was that we felt we were visiting its tired and slightly dated English cousin.
There was only really one major negative. But this related to the fact that a number of exhibits were out of order, with a number of others not working – e.g. the Arboreal Forest. Some of the exhibits also felt a little ‘gimicky’ as well. For instance you could get a full body scan in the Health Centre. Obviously this would not be real x-rays, but it was simply a cartoon graphic, in contrast Glasgow had kit that actually let you see your blood vessels.
However, perhaps I’m reviewing this through the eyes of an adult too much, because most importantly the kids enjoyed themselves tremendously. And that’s what matters most!
What is Eureka! The National Children’s Museum?
Eureka! is a museum dedicated for kids aged 0-11. There are six zones to discover, each filled with hundreds of interactive exhibits designed to inspire enquiring minds to find out about themselves and the world around them. Mila especially enjoyed the ‘health clinic’ section whilst for Sam his favourites were the musical zone as well as the Halifax Bank and Marks and Spencers’ shop.
To their credit, there are a lot of staff supporting specific displays as well as circulating throughout the displays. The staff are called ‘Enablers’
Getting There: Distance Accessibility and Parking
When planning your visit to Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax, one of the first things you might wonder is whether you can visit by public transport or whether you must rely upon having access to a car. The good news is that Eureka is conveniently located for either modes of transport. If coming by train, Eureka is just a few minutes walk from Halifax train station ensuring a hassle-free journey for you and your kids.
If you would rather come by car, again it’s easily accessible and with ample parking. This blog is dedicated to kids days out in Manchester and although not within the city, it is just over an hours drive away so perfect for a day trip out.
We booked in for the first session on the Sunday (10:00) and so had no issues parking. We left around 3pm to explore Halifax and the car park was full, so perhaps it may be more of an issue if you arrive later in the day? Our only gripe was that we had to pay for parking. I appreciate that it’s a public car park and if free would reduce availability for visitors of the attraction.
However, given we’d already spent £63 for entrance, we ended up paying another £6.90 for 12hrs parking. Perhaps this could be offered to customers for free, either getting reimbursed on entrance, or by inserting your booking reference on the dashboard? Especially during the current cost of living pressures for young families.
Car Parking charges:
Up to 4 hours – £3.60
Up to 12 hours – £6.90
Up to 24 hours – £12
Exploring Eureka: Duration of Visit
How long to spend at Eureka Halifax?” This is a common question for families planning their day. To ensure a comprehensive experience, we recommend spending a substantial amount of time at the museum. Plan for at least half a day to explore the various interactive exhibits, engaging activities, and hands-on learning opportunities that Eureka has to offer.
We ended up getting to Eureka at 10:00, breaking for lunch at 12:00, having a further ice cream stop at 14:00 and then leaving Eureka at about 15:00 to explore Halifax. At the end of this, I’m not sure who was more tired – Noemi and myself, or the kids. The positive was that we’d paid for parking until 10pm and the car park remains open until 8pm so you have plenty of time to explore Halifax.
Admission and Pricing: Ticket Information
Let’s talk about budgeting for your Eureka adventure. You might be curious, “How much is Eureka Halifax?” Admission prices are reasonable, considering the wealth of experiences available. Prices typically vary based on age and group rates, so it’s a good idea to check the official website for the latest pricing information. The below is a snapshot of the pricing at the date this article was published.
I would question what a 1-2 year old would gain from Eureka. Although obviously we weren’t visiting with a child that age so don’t have the direct experience. I felt that for Sam (who is four) he was on the edge of it being educational and just an elaborate soft play centre.
Does Eureka Offer Family Tickets?
In short, no they don’t. The above are the prices that you pay, there is no discount for families – be it two adults, two kids; one adult and two kids. So for the four of us we spent £63.80. Perhaps this is reasonable given that they give you an annual pass with free entry for 12 months after your visit, however if you aren’t local / regional then there isn’t much of a benefit.
There is also no cheaper options for grandparents, so if it’s granny and granddad taking the kids out for the day, then expect to pay full whack!
Are There Other Cost Saving Options? Yes, Tesco Club Card!
Although Eureka! Doesn’t given any discounts for family tickets, there is one option to get slight reductions on the entry price, which is thanks to Tesco! Yes, you can get money off by converting Tesco club card points into vouchers to redeem against the cost of entrance.
Although the value is not as good as it used to be when you good up trade your vouchers three times, you can still double the value of your Tesco clubcard vouchers, which still works out at quite a reasonable cost saving!
And What About the Cost of Food?
What I was really impressed with was the cafe. By no means was it a food experience, but the food was decent and surprisingly affordable. If you’ve ever visited other venues such as Chester Zoo, or Monkey World in Dorset you can expect to pay extortionate prices. However, the prices at Eureka were not.
We spent in the region of £35 for the four of us which included two kids meals and two adults meals (I had a chicken gyros – £7.25 and Noemi a Halloumi Chopped Salad at £6.75).
Nearby Attractions: Exploring the Vicinity
Eureka is just the beginning of the fun you can have in Halifax. If you’re wondering, “What is near Eureka Halifax?” you’ll be delighted to know that the museum is surrounded by family-friendly attractions. From parks to other cultural landmarks, there’s something for everyone nearby.
We decided to make a weekend of it in Halifax and ended up staying at the nearby Travelodge – although there are plenty of other options. After visiting Eureka, we explored the Georgian wonder that is Piece Hall, just a few minutes up from Eureka and then spent the day in Hebden Bridge on the Monday. We also went out for the most amazing pub meal in nearby Long Can Hall.
September 2023 Update for Eureka!
Since writing our initial review of Eureka I shared this page with the museum. I’m not suggesting that this article was the cause, however it was announced that week that the museum would be closing from 11 September 2023 and reopening on 22 September 2023 to “repair stuff, pop down new flooring, and train staff so that they’re all ready for the upcoming creepy/festive period”.
I’ll definitely be keen to visit again with the kids – probably in the October half term and see what the centre is like following this refurb and will be updating the page accordingly.
Conclusion: Unveiling the Magic of Eureka
In conclusion, Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax promises a memorable and exhausting day out for you and the kids. We’ve answered your essential questions, ensuring you’re well-prepared for your visit. Remember, planning ahead and optimising your time will help you make the most of this enriching experience. As you explore the interactive exhibits, engage in workshops, and enjoy quality time with your loved ones, you’ll discover the magic of learning through play at Eureka.