At-Bristol: The day out you won't want to end!
Ever had one of those days out with the kids which you didn’t want to end? The type where you’re the last to leave, the kids are tired but happy and you’re heading to the car with the biggest beam on your face knowing you’ve aced a family day out?
It wasn’t my ﬁrst visit, the kids and I had been there on a school trip pre-toddler days so I knew what to expect. So, packing up the car in the morning we wondered what new delights we’d ﬁnd this time?
Heading into Bristol it’s really well sign posted, it sits on the city centre Millennium Square, a hub of modern architecture, hotels and restaurants. We parked in the car park underneath which brings you right into the middle of the action and a 2-minute walk from entrance to At-Bristol.
Booking in was a breeze. Friendly staff hand you your wrist bands and its straight on in to where the fun really begins!
The best thing about being here is it’s totally hands on and interactive. There’s no worrying about the kids being told off for touching. It’s more of a case of dive on in and see what it does. The older ones ran off to do their own thing, the only rule being to stay on the bottom ﬂoor and not to leave the building.
Letting them have some independence gave them a real buzz and without the adults hovering over them, they worked as a team exploring the activities. It wasn’t total independence though, one of the adults in our group would pop over every so often and join in with the fun. It was still very much a child and parent bonding day with fun at the helm!
We were lucky enough to join in with some organised sessions too. The Missing Ingredient - a hands on session making cupcakes but omitting one ingredient turned out to be a fantastic team effort between us all as we took it in turns to add, mix and microwave the ingredients and learn exactly what each one contributed to creating the perfect cake and what happened if you missed one out.
Meanwhile, the pre-schoolers tried their hands at milking a cow, dancing like a bee and cuddling babies through each stage of pregnancy. I don’t think it was any co incidence that my 2-year-old quite liked standing in the giant womb listening to what it would sound like for a baby about to be born. It wasn’t THAT long ago he was doing the same thing for real!
After a couple of hours, we’d all worked up a real appetite so it was outside to one of the restaurants to fuel up. We’d started our day with coffee from the onsite café so fancied trying somewhere different. (The café is a real ﬁnd though, with quality, healthy food in abundance so there really is no need to leave the building, plus there’s a picnic area for the more organised!)
When we returned, it was straight in the lifts and upstairs to the next round of activities. While the bigger kids experimented with giant bubbles, mini tornadoes and how sound feels, the younger ones settled into the construction zone learning how to build using plastic bricks and mini wheelbarrows while kitted out in high vis vests and hard hats.
The animation zone was a huge hit with all of us trying our hand at stop start animations. Your At-Bristol wristband has a bar code which you use to scan and save various activities which you’ve tried throughout your visit and then watch back at home.
The highlight of the visit was the Spring Stargazing session in the planetarium where you get to experience a true to form night sky and learn all about the star formations. (It also gave the adults a chance of a much-needed sit down!)
So back to my question, have you ever had a day out which you never wanted to end? Well like I said, and now you’ve read all about out visit, the tired faces and happy memories were exactly what made our trip so unbelievable.
I asked the kiddos what they thought of their day and they came up with this…
“I made ﬂour, I liked turning the wheel round, the corn turned to ﬂour. I’m going to make a cake just like the little red hen."
Isabella age 4
“I was star struck by the whole experience, it’s quite hard to decipher the best situation. The animation is a deﬁnite. With a stop-motion animation workshop, it really brings Wallace and Morph and other characters to life.”
William age 10
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