I’ll be honest, I had not been to the National emergency services museum before despite living 10 minutes away. I didn’t know if it was worth the money…
But… I went recently and all my expectations were blown out of the water! It is such a fantastic museum. I ended up upgrading my entry to an annual pass on the day as I knew I would be back.
Edit: I have since been back to the museum a few times and we still love it just as much as we did. Just to let you know, the annual passes have been scrapped and to replace this, visitors who gift aid their admission get free returns for 12 months. They have also added some are vehicles to the outside yard and a few exhibitions have changed slightly, but nothing major from what is shown in this video and photo. I did discover, on a most recent visit, the cafe which is lovely. It has a tv on with kids film showing, box of emergency vehicle toys and colouring/books.
About the museum
The museum is in West Bar, 5 minutes from Sheffield city centre. Standard entry for adult is £8, annual tickets are £24 for a year. See full prices here. The museum is a fully self funded.
The staff are so lovely and welcoming. There is a cafe, gift shop and toilets.
The building is not pram friendly; there’s no lift to the upstairs floors, but there are places to park and leave a pram downstairs.
There is an outside yard with vehicles and the museum is an old fire station, so can get chilly. We dressed in coats and were fine.
Hands on exhibits
The museum is split onto 3 floors, downstairs has Victorian police cells and murder exhibitions (very interesting), forensics and police.
The outside yard has ambulance, emergency services cars and vans to see and touch. Further out towards the back yard there are real fire engines and vintage trucks. So impressive!
There is SO much to do for all ages. Everything is fascinating and there is information supplied to learn from, for children and adults. There’s equipment around available to touch, rummage around in and play with.
There was so much to see that whilst Eric was wondering around and playing, I was looking at exhibits and learning about history. Somehow they’ve got it just right; children are entertained and so are adults.
There’s buttons to press, dress up in almost every room, machines, role play, dummies, brief cases with equipment in… the list goes on!
Downstairs the first floor had an intentional services room, Eric loved the cabinates full of red trucks. It was really interesting to see uniforms from around the world. The historic service room next door to this was full of old machinery and educational displays from old times.
It was really fun to see all of the vehicles and be able to go on them. All vehicles which are ride-able are labelled with a raccoon sticker. Almost everything can be touched, even if it can’t be ridden.
I would enjoy it without a child and I can see Eric enjoying this museum for many years to come. I visited with my mum and she said it was great! I’m really happy I got an annual pass. Perfect for rainy days!
The museum also has a free app, they do educational tours and ghost tours. Check their website.
Edit October 2017: We have since been back and Eric is now 2 year sold, and still LOVES the museum. his favourite part is being able to touch and ride on some of the vehicles!