Today my boys and I went to the Winchester Science Centre for the first time. We were invited there as their special guests to see what was there and to share our day with you all. We also got to see their Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience including a planetarium show, elf invention studio and toy making workshop alongside meeting Father Christmas.
We arrived bright and early at 10am, the car park was pretty quiet which is always a good sign as it meant that there were no big queues to get in, unlike if you went to the London Science Museum where you can be waiting to get in for ages. As soon as we got in the boys started playing with the hands on science experiments. There were hundreds of them all over the place and the boys went from one to the next on their big adventure. They loved it. Whilst many of the experiments were probably over their heads in terms of the science (after all they are only 2 and nearly 4) they were happy enjoying the experience and working things out and how they worked. Learning through play.
Here are a few photo’s from our day:
The Santa & Elves Experience
We were very fortunate to get the opportunity to get tickets that included the Santa and Elves Experience. The session started with plenty of geeky science mixed with some great Elf jokes. I don’t want to give away all the elves secrets but this was excellent and worked well for all ages. Even the toddlers and littlest ones. There was nothing too loud or scary. Children are curious and keen to get involved. They won’t have seen things like this in the classroom so expect some fun and enjoy the show!
Once we left the invention studio we headed to the toy making workshop where the boys met Santa. If you are wondering if he was a good Santa yes he was. Funny, good with children and good at getting the elves to do what they should be doing.
The presents, we appeared to have the £10 entry option for both boys so the present bags were a little underwhelming. But you get what you pay for I suspect. So if you go for that option for your 3 year old be prepared for a little disappointment. You’re 2 year old will be happy no matter what. At least that was our experience. By three they want something to open so go with the more expensive £24.50 option. I didn’t hear any complaints but it would be easy to say you’ll go with the cheaper option.
The Reindeer Roundup in Space was next on our agenda for the day and it didn’t disappoint. The last time I set foot in a planetarium was as a child myself and I don’t know why it has taken me this long to do it again. I have to say I absolutely loved it! The boys weren’t too sure about the chairs being laid back a bit and there were a few moments where my older one was wanting to leave but the elf helped with the interactive nature of the experience and he soon settled down and we stayed right to the end. I have to say I really like the planetarium, the lighting is beautiful and it’s a great experience, probably something you might say you won’t bother with for the extra money if you were just visiting separately to the Santa Experience, well I would recommend you don’t skip it and have it as the highlight of your visit.
Value for money… In comparison to other local Santa experiences like Marwell Zoo, Alton Santa Train and such like this is good value for money and a proper experience. You get to have a day of entertainment rather than a few hours. It’s educational and not just fun. The whole venue is child friendly and accessible even with pushchairs, and even on a busy day like today it wasn’t so busy that you couldn’t get to the hands on experiments.
Would I go back? Yes definitely. Would I do their Santa Experience again? Absolutely!
I would like to see the science centre grow and more people know what is there. This is a hidden gem in the Hampshire countryside. It gives the big London Science Museum a good run for it’s money without you having to go miles away to get to it.
I was fascinated to see they do children’s parties. That’s definitely on my list of party venues for the boys in years to come. I can’t wait to go back!
Reminder: You can still get tickets for this year’s 2018 Christmas experience and based on how good it was last year it’s one not to be missed. Pop over to the science centre website to find out more.