“ Stuart Street, Cardiff CF10 5BW. TeL: 029 20 475 475. Fax: 029 20 482 517. firstname.lastname@example.org „
Techniquest is a hands on science museum located in Cardiff Bay that is a must see for any families living or visiting the city. I've lost count of the number of times I've visited now, but it never loses it's sparkle. I feel very jealous of the people who work there as you can tell by their attitude how much they love the place too.
For those who speak Welsh, every exhibit is in both Welsh and English. There are always plenty of staff walking about who can explain how things work if you're interested, or if you need to know the trick behind some of the science.
The museum is right in the heart of Cardiff Bay on the waterfront itself. It's opposite a pay and display carpark, but there are many buses you can catch from town (or even walk). The Cardiff Bay train station is a 2 min walk away, which leads to Queen St Station back in the city centre.
In terms of nearby facilities, there are plenty of cashpoints, a mini Tescos and Sainsburys and other cafes and restaurants, making it easy to incorporate the museum into a wider day out.
Child (age 4-16): £5.00
Family Group (2 adults and up to 3 children): £23.00
Planetarium Show: £1.30 extra per person
The heart of Techniquest is the hundreds of hands on exhibits that you can play with. There are two storeys full (lift available as well as stairs) - so watch out for children running between each of them! There are a number of zones:
- The dark zone
- The water zone
- The music zone
and a larger general space. Some of my favourite exhibits include the shadow box downstairs on the left, in which you can pose and take photos of your shadow, and dam building area at the back.
Additionally there is the planetarium and science show room, where themed talks and demonstrations are held. These cost extra but it's definitely worth visiting one or the other during your time there as they're very entertaining and interactive. My most recent visit included the planetarium during the Techniquest After Hours (see below) night which was very funny - but if you're not fond of crude language I would avoid! Obviously for the kids version there's no swearing!
Lastly, there is a cafe and a gift shop also available. The cafe serves freshly prepared food which I've heard very good things about. The gift shop is full of typical science based nick nacks that could make good stocking fillers for children.
Techniquest hold a number of events through the year, such as Toddler Days, and these can be checked on the museums website. By far my favourite event is the Techniquest After Hours, held on the last Thursday of every month. The After Hours night is adults only (which means no children running around), with a bar so that you are allowed to walk around with a beer in your hand. There are a number of talks which you can pay extra for (pub quizzes, comedy) and these change every month. In the summer there is a BBQ too. I highly recommend visiting the After Hours night if you can. It used to be free entry but I believe it's recently changed to £3 per person - still totally worth it.
I recommend looking at the website to see if there are any demonstrations or events on the day of your planned visit. There are cloakrooms if you have to bring luggage or coats that you don't want to lug around with you.
Lastly, there are a few twitter accounts associated with Techniquest that are good for keeping up to date
TECHNIQUEST this has to be one of my favourite days out for my son and myself
It was established in 1986 with the mission to engage all ages in science and motivate them to learn more about maths , engineering and technolagy and music in a fun way
TECHNIQUEST is housed in a large buiding on cardiff bay it is easily found by exiting on junction 33 on the m4 then following the brown tourist signs along the A4232 ,or using bus number 6 from cardiff city centre
people visit techniquest from 0-99 as although its main ethos is learning its done by providing a massive varied range of fun interactive activities
such as winding a handle to lanch a hot air balloon ,
watch bubbles race up a tube
Try to manovre a pulley system crane to pick up and reposition cargo,
Turn a train and its carridges in four turns not as easy as it seems
Various music themed tasks such as giant keyboard learn to play the welsh national anthem within an enclosed xylophone as well as loads of other music related fun
there are numerous puzzles water based activites that kids and adults alike also love
They have various shows throughout the day (youll have to phonne to check whats on)
They also have a cafe and really good gift store with many of the items on sale relating to the activites youve been playing oh i mean learning about all day.
As well as plenty of facilities for disabled and people with small children a lift to the upper floor baby changing facilities and disabled toilets
You can visit the main site at cardiff or one of their smaller sites which are at Wrexham and LLanberis.
As well as having regular groups of visiting schoolchilren , they also run an out reach programme to welsh schools which can feature a mobile planetarium using a blow up dome known as star lab which is delivered to the school along with a presenter from techniquest to give up to 30 children at a time a indepth age appropriate lesson on the planets
Teqniquest's address is
You can have a full fun packed day here -
admittance is Adults £6.90
child £4.80 (4-16) under 4 free
disabled people get in at the £4.80 concessionary rate and can have their accompanying carer admitted free this is not advertised but i asked if there were any discounts last time i visited with my disabled son last year and was told this was the case
If you want a fun packed day while learning a little along side your kids head to techniquest you wont be disappionted .
Just be mindfull of visiting on rainy days as they are usually extremley busy then
You can use clubcard deals to save on admittance too
As of 04.04.2009 Opening hours: 9.30 - 4.30 on school days 10 - 5.00 at all other times Admission charges: Adults - £7.00 Children and concessions - £5.00 Family ticket - £23.00 These prices all include a ten per cent voluntary donation (which enables us to claim Gift Aid on the admission fee). Without the donation the prices are £6.30, £4.50, and £20.70 The cost for booked groups - £4.80 Birthday parties - £12 Science and Sandwich - £3.30 Planetarium - £1.30 The cost of membership of Friends of Techniquest - £56