Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) – Review for families

Get your kids excited by the world of science and industry at the famous Manchester MOSI

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What is it?

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It’s a museum dedicated to the history of science, technology and other industries, with a particular focus on Manchester’s contribution to these fields. Find it on Liverpool Road, Castlefield, just minute from Manchester’s city centre. It’s easily accessible by car and public transport.

Best for:

There’s something for children of all ages.

Cost

Free entry, but they do ask for a £3 donation.

What’s on offer

Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry has a lot to offer families – not least it’s wide variety of displays.

Daily exhibits include the Experiment Gallery, Engine demos and Manchester Mills, as well as limited exhibitions covering everything from space, time and the Large Hadron Collider exhibit, all the way to exhibits about world cultures and sport.

Some of the best displays and exhibits include the demonstration of Baby – the world’s first stored-program computer, which was first switched on at Manchester University in 1948. It’s just a replica, but it’s pretty cool and the experienced volunteers running it know so much about it, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. There’s also Experitots, a monthly Friday morning session that features a creative activity session and storytelling for young children. There’s a new theme each month.

Activities with an extra cost include weekend steam train rides and a flight simulator. 

MOSI has a café, canteen and gift shop. It also has a pop-up play space in the gallery which is open daily.

MOSI has a pay and display car park nearby (separately owned), there are lockers on the basement of the Great Western Hall but they require a refundable £1. There are toilets and baby-changing facilities. The 5 building site is 98% pushchair friendly and has lift access to all floors.

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Highlights

There’s an interactive show for kids called Engineer Eric’s Difficult Day, which is funny for all ages. They’ll also love the talks about steam locomotives. In fact, all of the talks and demos are really engaging for children. They’ll also love the interactivity of the museum, as everything is quite hands on.

The staff members at MOSI are friendly and great with children. Parents seem to like that their kids are entertained whilst being educated, that there is a storytelling session for little ones and that the exhibits are interesting enough for adults, too.

What to watch out for

  • The parking isn’t great, but public transport links are excellent. Check the website for full details to see what works best for you.
  • If you want to meet Baby the Computer, please ring ahead on the morning of your planned visit to ensure the demo will still be running.
  • Riders of the flight simulator must be 110cm or 44in tall.
  • The Collider exhibit has an extra charge.
  • Some of the exhibits look ‘a bit worse for wear’ according to a few TripAdvisor reviews, but that’s to be expected after a school holiday rush!
  • It is very busy during school holidays.
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MFM tips:

  • Don’t forget your £1 coins for the lockers!
  • You’ll spend anywhere from 2 – 5 hours here, so keep some time free or arrive early. Arriving early will ease the parking problem, too.
  • Bring a packed lunch for the ultimate budget day out in the North West.

What the owners say

“The Museum of Science and Industry includes permanent galleries spread across five historic buildings and collections ranging from early textile machinery to modern X-ray equipment.

MOSI’s mission – To explore where science met industry and the modern world began, and to understand the impact that Manchester science, technology and innovation continues to have on all our lives.”

Visit the official MOSI website

More family days out in Manchester…

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Manchester Museum
Heaton Park
Imperial War Museum North
Breakout Manchester
Abbotsfield Park Miniature Railway
Chester Zoo
Salford Museum & Art Gallery
Manchester United Stadium Tour

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