Free day out at Wonderlab – National Media and Science Museum, Bradford

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A few weeks ago I went on a day trip to Bradford to visit the National Science and Media Museum new Wonderlab exhibition. We have been here previously earlier in the year; but this was before the Wonderlab so I was excited to see it! I love science exhibitions, and they’re typically hands on and fun for kids, too, so I was sure Eric would enjoy it.

Please see the last blog post with a video tour of the museum here.

National Science and Media Museum new Wonderlab exhibition
National Science and Media Museum, Bradford

The museum is completely free to visit and this is a big plus in my eyes! You can spend hours in the museum so it makes a really cheap day out and is perfect for when the weather isn’t great.

National Science and Media Museum new Wonderlab exhibition
Huge rotating planet

We went straight to the new Wonderlab exhibition. Wonderlab is a new permanent exhibition and all about experimenting with science it is free to visit but booking is recommended. There is lots of experiments with light, sound and touch. Children can have fun with the weird and wonderful, playing with live experiments and getting lost in the mirror maze.

I was wondering if it would be a little too old for Eric but he had loads of fun! His favourites were the UV room and mirror maze. There are enough experiments to entertain all ages, from toddlers to teens. It is really interesting and hands on, lots of buttons, lights, sounds, etc.

National Science and Media Museum new Wonderlab exhibition
Wonderlab mirror maze

 

National Science and Media Museum new Wonderlab exhibition
UV Room with mirrors

National Science and Media Museum new Wonderlab exhibition
UV and light rooms

National Science and Media Museum new Wonderlab exhibition
Mirror maze

The mirror maze is great fun. There are funny mirrors upstairs in the Magic Factory gallery, too!

National Science and Media Museum new Wonderlab exhibition
Can you feel the beat? experiment


The experiments were fun for adults too, I liked the “feel the beat” experiment and an experiment where you put a vibrating pole with a straw on between your teeth to hear and feel music through. Sounds funny, but it was so interesting!

Top tips before you go:

  • Make the Wonderlab gallery your first point of call when you visit the museum, you can easily spend an hour in there and so it’s good to do it first so you can dedicate all of your time to it without any restraints
  • It can get busy with school kids, but was quiet around early lunch time when we had the gallery mostly to ourselves.
  • The exhibition is free but booking is recommended; you can do this online, or at the desk on arrival.
  • Make the most of your visit and explore the rest of the museum too. Toddlers will love playing with the illusions in the Magic Factory gallery. Make sure to watch our vlog before you go!

The rest of the museum is worth a look around, there is so much to see. We looked at a temporary pinhole photography exhibition which was really interesting, and spent a while in the Kodak gallery. The museum is one of my favourites, especially when it comes down to it being a completely free day out!

Have you been to this museum? What is your favourite free museum local to where you live?

Thank you for reading, and let me know your thoughts if you have been to the Wonderlab!

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