Day Out at the Thinktank Science Museum in Birmingham *

My son and his cousin are huge fans of hands-on tourist attractions, so they couldn’t wait to visit the Thinktank Science Museum in Birmingham. Housed inside the city’s impressive Millennium Point building, the award-winning science museum offers four floors of fascinating hands-on exhibits and historical collections. We picked a weekday early in the summer holiday and, surprisingly, it wasn’t very busy (perhaps not all of the schools had broken up at the time of our visit). Visitors are advised to book for shows and activities on arrival, and because the two boys are keen LEGO builders, we reserved places on a LEGO family education session, which proved to be a big hit. Ably assisted by staff member Natalie, our son Ewan and his cousin Fin quickly got to work building the ‘ultimate machine’. When complete, they went head to head to test the strength of their battery-powered LEGO contraptions.

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We also booked to watch the ‘Journey to Infinity’ show in the Planetarium. And although it only lasted about 10 minutes, we were taken on an awe-inspiring journey to the edge of the universe. For lunch the grown-ups opted for chicken burgers and chips in the cafe, while the boys shared a pizza (with a little bit of help!).

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Another hit with the boys was the science garden, an outdoor discovery park that explores the science behind energy, mechanics and mobility. They especially enjoyed the human pulley and the rockets. But be warned, some of the activities feature water, so your little ones (and you) may not come away perfectly dry.

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Inside on the ground floor the focus is on Birmingham’s industrial heritage. A highlight is the City of Birmingham Locomotive, which visitors can step aboard. On the first floor we delved into the city’s thriving manufacturing industry. The stand-out exhibit here is a magnificent Spitfire (over 60 per cent of these aircraft were built in Birmingham during the Second World War). Moving up to the next level, we jumped forward in time to the present day. The boys explored the kids’ mini city, and we all had a giggle learning about body functions in the ‘things about me’ area.

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Also on the second floor is the museum’s impressive natural history collections, including the Thinktank Ichthyosaur – a giant sea monster from the time of the dinosaurs. The top floor focuses on the future and space. Ewan and Fin had a go at directing Robothespian, a life-sized robot actor. They also loved creating their own alien. By the end of the day we had to drag the boys away, which shows that it’s easy to spend a full day here. Thinktank is the perfect place for curious youngsters to feed their minds – and, as adults, my husband and I were equally enthralled. Museums have certainly come a long way from the stuffy venues of the past.

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Here’s a short video collage of our day at the Science Museum, do watch it to see what we did

 

Where is Thinktank?

Thinktank (Birmingham Science Museum)
Millennium Point
Birmingham
B4 7XG
(For satnav use postcode B4 7AP)
Tel: 0121 348 8000

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When is it open?

  • Open daily (including bank holidays), from 10am to 5pm, with last admission at 4pm
  • The Planetarium will be closed once a month for maintenance, click here for dates

How much is it?

  • Adults (including over-60s) £13.50
  • Concessions (students/benefits, excluding over-60s) £9.75
  • Children (3-15 years) £9.75
  • Children (under 3 years) FREE
  • Family of 3 (max 2 adults) £33
  • Family of 4 (max 2 adults) £41
  • Family of 5 (max 2 adults) £50
  • Planetarium show (not included in Thinktank ticket price) £1.50

Things to note:

  • There is an adult and toddler (3-5 years old) ticket offer for £15, valid from Monday to Friday during Birmingham term time only
  • The Science Garden is free every day from 3pm, with varying closing times in winter due to light levels
  • Visit Thinktank for £3 per person after 3pm on weekdays during term time
  • Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult
  • Children aged 13-15 are not allowed unaccompanied without parental/guardian consent
  • Tickets for the Planetarium shows can be purchased at the ticket desk on arrival
  • There are café facilities, a shop, baby changing room and a picnic area
  • Thinktank is fully accessible for visitors with mobility difficulties and there are central lifts to all floors
  • Guide and Assistance dogs are welcome
  • The multi-storey car park next to Millennium Point offers free parking to blue badge holders

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Upcoming events at Thinktank:

  • LEGO family education sessions are running daily throughout the summer holiday, giving visitors the chance to build and test the ultimate machine. Each session is £2 per person and lasts 45 minutes (Thinktank entry charges also apply)
  • Duplo education sessions, for children aged 2-6 years old, give budding builders the opportunity to create a new Thinktank city. The 30-minute sessions run daily at 11.30am throughout the summer holiday. Entry is £1.50 per child (Thinktank admission charges also apply)

 

Review by: Colette Warbrook

 

You may also want to read this:

Day Out at Reaseheath Family Festival at Reaseheath College, Nantwich

Fun Kids Day out to Knowsley Safari Park, Prescot

Mediaeval Luxury Family Glamping Getaway at Warwick Castle

 

* We were provided with free entry passes to Thinktank in return for a review. All opinions are our own.

 

 

39 Comments

  1. August 3, 2018 / 12:28 am

    Look like the boys were having so much fun with the hands on exhibits!! I can see they were so engrossed! Museum is always great to explore for kids. Glad that you also included the things to note in your final section. Those are certainly great tips.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 3, 2018 / 7:31 am

      Thank you for your lovely comments, yes the boys had a blast, and learnt so much from their experience

  2. August 3, 2018 / 10:38 am

    This looks like a great hands on day out – the price is really reasonable too, so a good idea for the school holidays

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 3, 2018 / 9:01 pm

      Yes we are often thinking of places to head with the kids which is both fun and educational as well

  3. August 3, 2018 / 11:28 am

    I love a good science museum and this one looks like the perfect place to take the family. There isn’t anything quite like a day exploring the fun experiments and technology, I need to plan a road trip with the family.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 3, 2018 / 9:01 pm

      Hope you do Melissa, so much to do there and you are right, you can spend a whole day there

  4. August 3, 2018 / 4:19 pm

    How fun! This is something my whole family would enjoy. So much educational fun and things to explore.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 3, 2018 / 9:00 pm

      Exactly Kelli, both our boys loved it, such a fun day out for them

  5. Tara
    August 3, 2018 / 11:38 pm

    What a perfect place to take the kids, they check everything out by hand and have fun while learning. Also, love your pin it button prompt, I haven’t seen one like that before.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 4, 2018 / 8:21 pm

      Yes we love to pin our images hence the large button x

  6. Helen
    August 4, 2018 / 5:11 am

    I was speaking to my friend about here yesterday and she was also saying what a fun day out it is! All of the things to do for a range of ages is perfect for a family day out 🙂

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 4, 2018 / 8:20 pm

      It certainly is, especially the outdoor play area when the weather is nice

  7. August 4, 2018 / 9:12 am

    This looks like a fantastic science museum, very hands on. I always think they learn so much more this way. So far my favourite has been Tokyo’s Science Museum where we met a lot of robots! 😀

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 4, 2018 / 8:19 pm

      Oh wow, would love to visit the Tokyo Science Museum as well someday

  8. August 4, 2018 / 6:05 pm

    I have to admit I’ve heard of Thinktank but never been, it seems like such an awesome place for kids to get to go and visit in Birmingham!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 4, 2018 / 8:19 pm

      Yes it definitely is Sarah, we loved it anyway x

  9. August 4, 2018 / 6:23 pm

    I used to work there years ago, such a great place for the whole family.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 4, 2018 / 8:19 pm

      What great news Jenny, it must have been great working there

  10. August 4, 2018 / 8:09 pm

    What a great day out this looks, I would love to go there myself x

  11. August 5, 2018 / 2:21 am

    Oh wow this looks like such a fun and educational place! I seriously would have loved going to this place as a kid.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 5, 2018 / 9:49 am

      It never too late Jennifer, great place for adults as well x

  12. August 5, 2018 / 2:45 pm

    I love taking my kids to museums, science ones are my absolute favorite. It looks like you all enjoyed an amazing time there.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 5, 2018 / 3:22 pm

      Yes we did Elle, we all loved it there x

  13. August 5, 2018 / 3:17 pm

    This sounds and looks like a whole host of fun and not just for the kids x

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 5, 2018 / 3:22 pm

      Us adults enjoyed the day out too Rachel and we all learned a thing or two as well

  14. August 5, 2018 / 3:29 pm

    I’ve not been in years! But it’s so much fun isn’t it! looks like a few things have changed so I need to go and check it out again soon 🙂

  15. Bryanna Skye
    August 5, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    thanks for the heads up about the water – extra clothes are a must just in case it sounds! what a fun day out

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 6, 2018 / 12:11 pm

      Yes definitely! Your welcome, we try to help other parents with our review, so they know what to expect

  16. August 5, 2018 / 8:37 pm

    I love science museums and this must definitely go on the to do list if we’re in Birmingham!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 6, 2018 / 12:10 pm

      Yes you should Eva, you can easily spend half a day there with so much to do

  17. August 5, 2018 / 10:26 pm

    I’ve not hard of this place but I’m sure my nephews would love to try it.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 6, 2018 / 12:09 pm

      Yes we are sure he would Simone, its a great place to visit

  18. August 6, 2018 / 8:05 pm

    I love visiting new museums. I’ll definitely check this out if I’m ever in Birmingham – looks like a great day out!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 6, 2018 / 8:38 pm

      Yes it was a fab day out Bec, you must not miss the museum

  19. August 6, 2018 / 9:15 pm

    Ooh we’ve been looking at going here – my son loves Science so I think he’d love it.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 7, 2018 / 9:09 am

      Yes we are sure he would Colette

  20. August 10, 2018 / 12:42 am

    oh wow so much to do , so much to learn what a fun day this must have been

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      August 10, 2018 / 7:11 am

      Yes it was a very educational trip indeed

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