At-Bristol Science Centre is one of the Southwest England’s top visitors attractions and houses the UK’s only 3D Planetarium. It has a diverse collection of interactive exhibits, shows, workshops, talks and regular theme days throughout the year. It’s a place where both adults and children are encouraged to get involved – building, making, creating, experimenting, exploring and discovering. We spent a day exploring At-Bristol and despite a packed day, nobody wanted to leave at closing time.

Product Information

Retailer: At-Bristol +                   

Price: Adult – £13.90, Child (aged 3-15) – £8.95, Under 2s – Free
Extras: Planetarium show – £3.50 per person (highly recommended) – The planetarium can only be accessed from within At-Bristol and entry tickets are required as well as planetarium tickets.

About At-Bristol

At-Bristol is a charity with the vision to ‘make science accessible to all and to encourage a sense of adventure.’ It is governed by our Board of Trustees and supported by an Advisory Council. At-Bristol receives no direct central government funding and rely on ongoing support from visitors, members, board of trustees, grantmakers, corporate partners and volunteers.

Design

At-Bristol is situated in the heart of Bristol with exhibits and interactive spaces spread over two floors. It is a family-friendly, accessible venue and with hands-on exhibits it’s a great place to visit for all ages.

Features

  • Science-centred exhibits
  • Target age: All ages
  • Gender neutral design (segregated toilet facilities)
  • Indoor attraction open year round
  • Accessibility: Accessible venue, guide and assistance dogs allowed.
  • Eating: Dedicated picnic area with water fountain and vending machines as well as on-site Cafè.

Environment & People

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Cost-Effective

At-Bristol admission costs are less than half the price of the average theme park ticket and offers a fantastic all-day experience for the whole family. There is more interactive exhibits than a day visit can accommodate throughout the venue. Additionally, there are also talks scheduled throughout the day aimed at different ages groups as well as the planetarium shows. A highly cost-effective choice for a day out.

Specification

Travel season: Open year round
Location: Anchor road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5DB. Using Sat Nav? Please use Sat Nav postcode BS1 5LL
Secure on-line booking: Yes
Opening: 10 am
Closing: 5 pm (weekdays term-time) otherwise 6 pm.
Public transport access: Excellent
Recommended attractions: M Shed, Arnolfini, SS Great Britain, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Verdict

We spent 7 hours playing with robots and parachutes, milling flour, observing dissection of a horse’s eye, making a VR recording, building a house with huge Lego style bricks, learning about laser printing and animation. We learned about biology, evolution, astronomy, and harnessed the power of water. Downstairs was interesting, but upstairs with the animation and building exhibits, swarm robots, giant bubble blowing, VR technology and Tinker space complete with laser cutter is where our 6-year old wanted to be. Committing to come again and spend the whole day there was the only way to get her to leave at closing time.

It’s a fantastic space that breathes life into science by showing clearly that science underpins all aspects of life and is a journey of discovery filled with many wonderful surprises. We loved the many opportunities to join in. At-Bristol isn’t a place where parents take children to learn, it’s a space where families play together and along the way learn a few new things about how the world, nature, our bodies work and the universe work. Highly recommended.

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This review is based on a full day spent at At-Bristol in October 2016. This article was first published on 8 December 2016.