Wow! Fantastic Family Day Out at Thinktank Science Museum, Birmingham

Birmingham was a city we went to as part of our big city trip back in May. I’d never been before but on my places-to-visit bucket list was Thinktank Museum, an award winning science museum. I’d wanted to go for a long time especially with my love for museums! Whilst the museum is not free, not particularly cheap, it is totally fantastic and I highly recommend it! Read this review to see what we did and if it’s worth a visit to Thinktank Museum in Birmingham with a toddler. Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Where is it?!

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham

Thinktank Museum is within the Millennium Point area of Birmingham, B4 7XG. If you’ve never been to Birmingham before, like us, then that probably won’t mean anything to you! The important information is that we went by train, stayed over but walked from Birmingham city centre where the high street shopping area is and it took around 20 minute walk. There is multi-storey car parking in Millennium Point.

The walk took us past Aston University which had a lovely little green park area with ducks and water features. The nearest train station is Birmingham Moor Street.

I wasn’t expecting the building at all… I mean, museums are usually in old buildings, right?! Thinktank Museum is in a big modern complex (Millennium Point) next to East City Park and Birmingham City University. The area is really bustling and there’s lots going on already. There’s conference rooms, deli, venue space and tons of unit space… it really is a big building with escalators and lifts going here and there. The museum is tucked right at the back and you’d miss it if you were not trying to find it.

Prices & opening times

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Thinktank Museum is open 10pm-5pm 7 days a week including bank holidays. Prices are £13.50 for adult, £9.75 for child 3-15 years and under 3’s free. Adult and toddler tickets during week day are £15 and Thinktank is only £3 if you visit after 3pm. There is a membership programme which for £40 I thought was really great value so worth checking that out if you’re going to do more in Birmingham or planning to visit again.

What’s at Thinktank Museum in Birmingham

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Ok, so… Thinktank museum has EVERYTHING! Thinktank has over 200 hands on exhibits and is really, really good for kids. And adults, too, I would definitely say this is a great museum for a family day out as there’s something for everyone.

Thinktank is an award winning science museum and there’s animals, robots, space, a planetarium, trains, cars, bikes, play area inside, science garden outside and everything in-between. I really love museums, they’re my favourite type of day out so I was totally in my element. I haven’t been to a museum that has so much together in one place.

Outside & Science Garden

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Firstly, outside there is a science garden and this is included in ticket or free after 3pm weekdays. There’s cool water play tables, experiments and 30 hands on exhibits all outside. Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Extremely interesting, a lot of it was too advanced for Eric but it was all fun to play on and me and Ollie enjoyed it ourselves; which is great as it isn’t just for kids. Making our ticket price worth it as well (the museum is fab for adults, too).

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Eric was busy with the water play tables and going from one thing to the next, it was a great little space to try and work things out. We were the only ones in there. The science garden was suitable for all ages from toddler through to teenager and adults beyond; really quite fantastic that an outdoor play area is attractive for such a wide range of ages, really.

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Thinktank Museum in BirminghamThinktank Museum in Birmingham

Just next to the Science Garden is another little experimental/sensory play area, this is part of East City Park so is not part of the museum.

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham
Easy City Park
Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler
East City Park

Floor 2 – On Entrance & what we did first inside the museum

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

As you walk through from the ticket entrance at the museum you’re straight into it with a pretend “street”: pedestrian crossing, lights, diggers and and experiments relating to recycling, modern medicine and packaging. Eric was drawn straight to the opposite side where the animals were; plus there’s a big circle of animals right in the middle of the floor, too! Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Wildlife gallery has foxes, birds and animal history is to the right, with insects, fossils and Wildlife activity packs for 3-8 years old. Wildlife gallery takes you through onwards to the Marine Worlds Gallery. In Marine Worlds Gallery Eric loved all the sealife, animals, Thinktank Ichthyosaur and crocodiles. Thinktank Museum in Birmingham

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Through this area to the back it turns into more medical/science related exhibits with collections in “Investigate the present” featuring “things about me” and  “medicine matters”. Great for learning about the human body… hands on X-ray area, giant tongue with senses, guts, tastebuds and everything in-between! This area reminded me of what you see at Eureka!.

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler
Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Kids’ City

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

The very best part of floor 2 for kids has to be Kids’ City. This imaginative, hands on fun play area is designed specifically for under 7’s and when Eric saw it he was in heaven, lol he ran straight in and we must have been in there for over an hour.

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler
Thinktank Museum in Birmingham
Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Easily all day we could have just been in Kids City, there is so much to play with and it is like a mini city with shops, cafe, street, telephones, doctors surgery, plus books, water play and more. Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

 Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler
Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler
Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Eric loved playing with the large water table, doing simple experiments with the boats and toys supplied on it. He spent lots of time going between shops on the street, using the telephones and these choose to ring another shop on the street – so we could talk to him from cafe and order things from the grocery shop! In each shop were pretend things to play with, like packaged fruit and veg, play kitchens in the cafe and a dentists chair in the health centre. Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

We made it, Discover the past, Move It & Power Up

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

On the bottom level, 1 “We Made It” on the same floor has 20 interactive exhibits which go through why Birmingham is known as the workshop of the world. There was a lot to read and learn… too much when you have a toddler who wants to quickly go from one thing to the other, I wish we had more time to look at everything in more detail, some of it was really fascinating…. like packaging history, iron and steel, gadgets.

We mainly went to this area as there was a little kiosk to get drinks and snacks, eat picnic and use the baby change! Before cracking on with the rest..

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler
Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler
Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Bottom level 0 was my favourite of the entire museum… the gallery highlights are the famous Spitfire and hurricane aircrafts hanging from the ceiling, super impressive. Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

I would visit this gallery first especially if you/your little ones are into automobiles and trains! We saw the lot.. trams, aircraft, bikes, trains and engines. There are also vehicles in the We Made It gallery.

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler
Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

In these galleries the layout was good for little ones as the exhibits were very close together, can feel quite overwhelming with so much to see all around you but very engaging for kids, and they can just wander around past everything… plus the automobiles are not just on the floor but hung from the ceiling and all around the room.

We saw the old City of Birmingham stream locomotive; hugeeee train with a platform walkaway to go and have a look inside, old little bikes and classic cars, Railton Land Speed Record car, plus some robots that were fixing and putting together a car! Oh wow, they were huge and REALLY fast; so clever, Eric was mesmerised by these, stood still just staring for ages.

Find the future and Planetarium

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

If we hadn’t had just been to National Space Centre in Leicester the day before Thinktank then we would have definitely spent more time in this gallery but it was full of what we have just seen. So feeling a bit space-museum-ed out we decided to give all the astronaut exhibits and space-y stuff a miss! I’m sure the planetarium was amazing but, again, we had just been to one the day before at National Space Centre.

Find the future gallery was fantastic, though, just walking through it all you could tell how high quality and informative everything was (just like the rest of the museum) it didn’t disappoint even though we didn’t stay to see it all.

Highlights in the Find the Future gallery were learning about Medicine advancements and the developments… including DNA, diseases… super interesting and very good if you like to ponder! The best part had to be the robots, though!!! RoboThespian talked, turned, communicated and Eric was a bit in shock about that, haha, we used a little computer to key in what we wanted the robot to do or say. RoboThespian is a humanoid robot, one of those super clever ones that scare you a bit with how realistic they are! He was funny, very clever and a highlight… I’ve not seen a humanoid robot before.

All that in a day?

Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler

Yes, we only had a day and honestly, by the end were definitely feeling that museum fatigue! Multiple snack breaks and lunch throughout the day to keep us going definitely helped, and the outdoor area to get some fresh air… plus the option to go between levels. We still not not see absolutely everything and spend equal time in all the gallery, after 4 hours it gets a bit much and you find yourself rushing to finish it all.

Toddlers might struggle seeing it all and I definitely recommend taking a break and maybe having picnic outside, or exploring the Science Garden half way through. You could go for a wander outside around East City Park, too, or there is a nice panini/deli/coffee shop inside Millennium Point just next to the museum. The food was lovely there.

We arrived for opening time and left at the end of the day… a very long day with lots to look at. Eric loved looking at the photos back again and when I show them to him he asks to go back again “tomorrow”! I’m not sure about that, haha, it’s a bit far just for a day trip! But it’s definitely one of the best museums I’ve ever been to and I will go back again.

I would say this museum is suitable FOR ALL AGES! 🙂

If you liked this review, please subscribe to my blog, share it anddd why not read some more posts from our trip before you go?!

http://tripswithatot.com/museum/national-railway-museum-yorkshire-review/
Stanley Park, Madame Tussauds Blackpool Tower Eye Review What’s on this weekend in and around Sheffield for kids August 4/5

 

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge