Even though I have lived in Birmingham my entire life, and only ten minutes or so from the city centre, I’ve never been to the Thinktank Science Museum at Millenium Point. When we had the chance to take the boys in half term to be part of a study, we were really looking forward to it!
We made the fatal mistake of visiting on the wettest, most miserable day of the week when it seemed like every other family in Birmingham had the same idea. This was what our main issue was – it was just too busy to enjoy it!
Once we got through the huge queue to get in, we were overwhelmed with all the bright interactive displays, with buttons to press, knobs to turn and levers to pull. There were plenty of shows and activities listed on the leaflet, but it was so busy we didn’t even attempt to go to them. They sounded absolutely brilliant though.
We had a look around the section that was all about our body and how it worked. I think had we been able to explore it properly and talk about it, Harrison would have loved that area because he loves asking us about our bodies and what they do.
We had a look at the dinosaur and animal displays, which the boys loved. A dinosaur fossil was displayed in a glass case beneath your feet. Alex was a little freaked out by walking across it!
The one area I thought was brilliant (but again couldn’t fully enjoy because it was so busy) was the Kids City – a little role play town with zebra crossings, traffic lights, a health centre, a doctors buy diflucan and dentist, garage, postbox and phone box. It would have been great fun for a family to all play together, and the role play opportunities were immense, even down to dressing up costumes.
There was also a huge water table for the children to explore, with boats and jets. They managed a quick play!
We then headed to the ground floor, which thankfully was a little quieter. It was where all the old machines were – some of them were HUGE! Harrison and Alex, being typical little boys who love machines thought they were fantastic!
We went to grab a coffee in the cafe, which was a little expensive, but it is to be expected in an attraction such as this. It was set out like a cafeteria with long tables and benches, and was absolutely rammed – not a free seat anywhere. Benjamin had woken up for a feed so we had to go out to the main concourse of Millenium Point to find a seat to feed him.
By the time we got back in it was even busier. and was becoming very difficult to push the pushchair around. I was also terrified of losing Harrison and Alex in the crowds, so we headed outside towards the Science Garden. Because it was raining, it was almost completely empty – but we weren’t scared of a bit of rain!
The boys (including Graham!) had much more fun outside because they could have a go on everything. They particularly enjoyed building a bridge, discovering that square wheels work and producing energy on the ‘hamster wheel’.
We were all having lots of fun, until Harrison, being the clumsy oaf he is, managed to step off the stepping stones straight into the water. We decided to cut our losses and head home at this point!
I think the Thinktank would be a fantastic day out if it wasn’t so busy – maybe on a nice day when everyone else heads to outdoor attractions, or during term time. There is so much to see, do and explore for people of all ages. It was such a shame that it was just so busy when we went.
Find out more about ticket prices and events at the Thinktank, visit their website http://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/thinktank.
*We were able to visit the Thinktank free of charge as part of a study. All thoughts and opinions are our own.