I love family days out, especially ones with an educational theme. I have written about many places in the past, and also asked for suggestions for others.
Now, with the Easter Holidays less than a month away (I know, so soon!) I’ve got a couple more suggestions for you.
We recently went to Winchester where we visited two completely different places. Let me tell you about them.
Our first port of call was the Intech Science Centre and planetarium. I have to say that, as it was half-term, and raining too, the place was completely packed. But despite this, we all enjoyed ourselves. And that’s impressive.
In fact, the whole place is impressive, and packed full of over 100 hands-on science experiments. Each tells you what you’re supposed to do, and explains the science behind it. True, your child may not be that keen on learning all the explanations, but they’re sure to learn something, which can’t hurt. And we parents can brush up on our knowledge too.
I was especially taken by the broad range of experiments in all types of scientific areas, from electronic circuits and the human body, to thermo imaging and a paper plane competition. There are also regular talks and events, including space lectures for adults.
But the best thing of all was our visit to the planetarium I (this one has the largest capacity in the UK). My children had never been to one of these before and couldn’t believe the effect. We watched a film about space and it was terrific (even though I had to shut my eyes at one point as everything was spinning a little too much!). You can see a picture from the planetarium above.
After our hands-on science fix, I felt we needed something completely different. Winchester Cathedral fitted the bill perfectly.
It is really a stunning place, one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, utterly beautiful and with a great stillness about it. it also has a great (horrible histories-esque) family trail to try out, as well as Jane Austen’s grave (and a small exhibit about the author herself). I loved it.
Winchester itself is gorgeous – and I would thoroughly recommend it for a day out. We also saw the Great Hall, with King Arthur’s Round Table on it, and thoroughly enjoyed the Westgate Museum, a fortified medieval gateway. This was a debtors’ prison for 150 years, and contains walls covered in prisoners’ graffiti (so much more appealing when it is hundreds of years old). The displays included armour (which visitors were welcome to try on), an array of historic coins (including a nicely put together exhibit of some from all the different Tudor and Stuart reigns) and another kids’ trail which was enthusiastically received by our two. Great stuff.
This article first appeared on my School Gate blog.
Labels: family outing in Winchester, Intech science centre, King Arthur, Winchester Cathedral