Mum, how do you make a rainbow? Why don’t fish drown? Can elephants jump? What do clouds taste like? Gah! Why do kids ask so many questions? With the onslaught of clever TV shows and proliferation of after-school science workshops, even younger kids are developing a passion for all things scientific.
The following attractions and events will help inspire your budding young Newtons – and perhaps help answer some of those trickier questions they insist on posing…
London's Science Museum is one of the capital’s very best family days out – and a mainly free one to boot, save special exhibitions, activities and IMAX screenings. Especially for little ones is The Garden, a hands-on (and rather soggy) area for under-5s. Best of all are the museum’s famous sleepovers, with workshops, science shows and an IMAX film all before bed, and the new Wonderlab interactive gallery; both need to be pre-booked and paid for well in advance, though.
The hip seaside resort’s annual Science Festival offers up an array of live events, workshops and family fun days over three weeks each February or March.
The Magna Science Centre, the UK’s first science adventure centre, is a huge fun-filled land of learning based around four ‘gadget-filled pavilions’ with elemental themes: earth, air, wind and fire. And when all that fun education gets too much, the huge water park in the grounds will cool kids down.
A sort of Disneyland for young scientists, Eureka! The National Children’s Museum is a super-hands-on museum aimed at under-11s that not only encourages kids to touch the exhibits but motivates them to explore their environment through sound, space, body and the senses.
Like a smaller and more approachable version of London’s Science Museum, Newcastle’s Science Centre within its Centre for Life science village has lots of wonderful themed interactive displays, plus a motion ride, a planetarium, daily science shows and an under-7s hands-on play area. The city also hosts an annual Science Festival each March.
If you want to know why trumping cows are bad for the environment, or why cabbage juice is used in science experiments, check out the numerous live events at the annual Science Festival held Edinburgh each April, which includes science-based street theatre, hands-on chemistry labs and live experiments.
Check out more hand-picked recommendations for family days out in the UK.