The Great North Museum: Hancock (in Newcastle City Centre) was already a fabulous place to take your family for a free day out. With it's exhibitions ranging from Ancient Egypt to Hadrians Wall and The Living Planet to the Roman Empire there has always been lots to stimulate minds young and old. The Mouse House was one of our favourite places to visit before our children started school and features dressing up and interactive fun for the under 5's.
Things have notched up a little now though as the new Spineless exhibition has now opened on the top floor. This exhibition is an immersive family friendly experience featuring the world of invertebrates and is COMPLETELY FREE! The exhibition is the first major natural history exhibition since the museum re-opened in 2009 and is spread across three areas and suitable for all ages. Let me take you on a tour.......
The first area is an introduction to invertebrates and features lots of fascinating specimens to examine and take a closer look at. There are interactive themed puzzled on wall mounted iPads and a fun giant educational magnetic fishing game that our children loved.
Next up is the area where you will get to see real life bugs in their glass houses. There are free live animal talks Monday-Friday at 11:30am, 1pm and 2:30pm where you are able to get up and personal with some of the bugs and insects. No booking is required, simply turn up. I also loved that there was a quiet book corner featuring lots and lots of exciting stories and reference books for all ages that were relevant to the exhibition.
Onto the last part of the exhibition and I think our children's favourite part. There are lovely dressing up outfits that have been especially commissioned for the museum and we had lots of fun flying around the room pretending to be a bee or a butterfly. There is also a quiet baby zone in the corner which is separated from the rest of the room and features age-appropriate toys - a lovely idea meaning this exhibition can be enjoyed by all ages. You will also find giant soft toy insects, a slide and trampoline. The perfect to burn off some energy!
We had a wonderful time exploring the Spineless exhibition and you could now easily spend a half day at the museum exploring all that is on offer.
We made a 90 second video featuring some of our highlights, I'd love to hear what you think:-