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At Bristol: A Place to Explore Science
Member Name: fredderfy
Date: 25/04/11, updated on 25/04/11 (14 review reads)
Advantages: Really good talk in the observatory, good value for money
Disadvantages: Aimed at children really
I've been to @Bristol twice in the last two years. The first time I went was the most memorable, probably because it was new and exciting. The last time I went (a couple of months ago), I was slightly disappointed because half of the exhibit was closed as they were putting in a new one. Although this meant we paid a reduced rate to go in, which along with my student discount was okay.
The nearest car park is about a 5 minute walk away, which is a pay car park. I don't think the price was too unreasonable, considering it's in a city centre. If I'm honest I can't remember how much we paid. The car park itself was a little dingy and a bit scarey to walk through, but there are always other options of getting the bus down or the train, or even cycling if you don't live too far away. There are bus stops nearby, although the train station is probably a good 20 - 30 minute walk away.
The first time I'd gone, the observatory was closed, so when we went this time I was quite excited. On entrance to at Bristol they asked us if we'd like to book a place, so we did. The observatory, from the outside of the building, is a sphere dome which has mirrors covering it, which looks pretty cool and is fun to mess around under. On entering the observatory from the inside is pretty cool. You go in, and take your seats and then the show starts. It's basically a talk from one of the members of the at Bristol team, talking you through the names of the stars, how they work, how they are created and how they disappear. It's pretty interesting, and it's a talk directed towards children, but as a teenager I found this also quite informative.
The rest of At Bristol is pretty standard. It's basically a place to explore science and has things such as water mills which you turn yourself, along with kites which you can pull up on a type of machine which then takes it higher and then once it hits the top of the building it floats down with its little parachute. There is also a hot air balloon which you can try to acheive the right temperature to make it float. Parts of it are fun, with some being better than others, although I think children would find it quite exciting. They have a space dedicated to Wallace and Gromit where you can draw and animate the characters, and they also have the street wher Wallace and Gromit live which is hooked up to buttons and gives you a audio run through of things.
The best bit for me was the first time I went there, there was this womb which you could go in, and it talked you through the 9 months of pregancy and then eventually 'you' were born. The base of the womb moved aswell so it felt kind of real (even though it obviously wasn't).
The second floor was my favourite. There are cool things like making bubbles, making music, a room which is all lop sided, a machine which takes a photo of your shadow and stays there. I think it's good for children but not particularly anything special for adults. My boyfriend didn't particularly enjoy it, even though he's a bit of a geek.
Overall, it's quite good value for money, but definitely go when the exhibits are open in full or you find yourself going round there really quickly.
Summary: Good value for money and a good day out for children
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