We were so fortunate that our recent February half term took place a week after seemingly most of the country’s. This meant that our trip to the Science Museum was not the crushing melee I had feared it might be; I don’t deal well with crowds. I was also concerned that the children would not actually be able to get stuck in with the myriad hands-on experiments if Wonderlab were full to bursting. Thankfully, my fears remained unrealised; we didn’t even have to queue to enter the building!
We began our science adventure with a scoot round the Robots exhibit. Open until 3rd September 2017, Robots is an interesting collection depicting the rise of the machine and its increasingly human traits. From the website:
“From the dawn of mechanised human forms to cutting-edge technology fresh from the lab, Robots reveals the astonishing 500-year quest to make machines human.
Focusing on why they exist rather than on how they work, our blockbuster exhibition explores the ways robots mirror humanity and the insights they offer into our ambitions, desires and position in a rapidly changing world.”
Whilst undeniably fascinating, Robots is distinctly lacking in interactivity, which made it a fairly dull experience for the children. They were briefly enchanted by some of the more human-like machines, stopping to watch them in action. However, once they realised that their repertoire was limited, the children’s excitement proved short-lived.
For us older visitors, the appeal was greater, though it still would have been nice to have a chance to interact with the exhibits. Tickets to Robots are available from the website at £15 for adults and £13 for concessions. Each booking is assigned to an entry time so you can guarantee that it won’t be too busy.
Following Robots, we headed up to the wondrous Wonderlab. Tickets for this are available on the website with prices starting at £6 for a child, while a family of four can return as many times as they like within 12 months for just £39, which I think is great value, especially if you live within easy reach of London.
There is just so much to do in the Wonderlab gallery, all of it interactive and informative. From the basics of colour mixing through the physical thrill of friction slides to the more advanced science of electronics, there is something for all ages and abilities.
The children had a brilliant time and we all enjoyed the demonstration where an Explainer showed us how to blow things up – great stuff.
I’ll be honest – it was my first visit to the Science Museum and my expectations were pretty high; while Robots didn’t quite meet them, Wonderlab totally blew them out of the water. I would love to return to see what else the museum has to offer.
We received tickets for Robots and Wonderlab free of charge; all views are our own.