Discovery Museum – Review for families

Visit a museum where science and technology meets the history of Tyneside

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What is it?

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It’s an interactive science museum with lashings of local history thrown into the mix. It’s part of the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums group, along with the Hancock Museum. The SatNav postcode is NE1 4JA.

Best for:

All children under 12, including babies!

OK for:

12+

Cost

Free entry!

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What’s on offer

When you walk into the Discovery Museum, you’ll quickly be impressed with the first exhibit proudly sitting in the entrance, Turbinia, which was the first ship ever to be powered by a steam turbine.  The ship’s history comes to life thanks to informative story display. The rest of the museum is jam-packed with interactive displays; including a wall you can stand against which will then take a picture of your shadow!

Other special mentions include the FX Simulator on the ground floor of the Discovery Museum, which offers a choice of eight 3-minute rides if you think you and your family can handle it! There are dress-up opportunities around some of the more stationary, less-interactive exhibits. For the rest, you’ll find plenty of buttons to push, screens to swipe and places to explore.

Events for little ones include seasonal themed fun, story time sessions, behind the scenes tours of the museum, pre-match family fun days (involving lots of Newcastle United and football themed activities) and special sensory activity days for children who are deaf. They also hold history talks and open days which mum and dad will enjoy.

The Discovery Museum has a café and a gift shop. There’s also the Play Tyne soft play area for under 7’s. There are plenty of seats around for tired mums or little ones who are unsteady on their feet and need a break from walking.

There is a pay & display car park outside of the museum. Facilities include level access, several lifts, accessible toilets and baby-changing facilities over three floors, in all of the accessible toilets and the ground floor and second floor male/female toilets. The accessible toilet on the second floor has a day bed and shower.

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Highlights

It’s an ideal rainy day attraction as all of the magic is indoors. It’s also ideal for families on a budget or who are just looking to occupy a couple hours. Families on TripAdvisor have noted that the museum is a lot of fun, but it’s also really educational, which is a hard combination to come by. There are very few ‘poor’ ‘average’ or ‘terrible’ for Discovery Museum on TripAdvisor.

It’s ideal for children who have no interest in science but like to learn all the way up to GCSE students and science buffs. For big kids, little kids and kids at heart – the shadow wall is always a winner.

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What to watch out for

  • The pay & display car park outside the museum often gets quite busy. The museum recommends using public transport or parking in the nearby car park on Waterloo Street.
  • The FX simulator and Play Tyne charge a small extra fee.
  • It gets rather busy during holidays and peak periods so if you’re able to, visit during term time when it will be much quieter!
  • Reviews for the museum range from ‘lifeless’ to ‘quirky’ and ‘fantastic’, so you may just have to go for yourself and see what it’s all about.

MFM tips:

  • Want to keep costs to a minimum? Take a packed lunch!
  • To complete your day, catch the bus from the city centre and go for a stroll down to discover everything there is to see and do down at the Ouseburn Valley
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What the owners say

“Discover all about life in Newcastle and Tyneside, from the area’s renowned maritime history and world-changing science and technology right through to fashion through the eras and military history. The museum is bursting with interactive displays, which makes it the perfect place to learn and have fun.

Our displays are regularly updated and complemented by an array of free, fun learning activities.”

Visit the official Discovery Museum website

Visit more North East England…

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Whitley Bay
Ouseburn Valley
Life Science Centre
Segedunum
Tanfield Railway
Whitehouse Farm
Beamish Museum
Pets Corner

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