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Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review

*This is a collaborative post

I have a confession - until last weekend, we had not visited the Discovery Museum! Yikes! The museum always receives good write ups and reviews and my children have visited a few times with grandparents/school and I'm not sure why we haven't made the trip ourselves.

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review


This changed last weekend when we were invited along to one of their Play + Invent events that are brand new for 2017. After spending a fun-filled morning at nearby Life Science Centre, we didn't have too much time to explore the Discovery Museum in full before the event started. We were extremely impressed with what we did see though and already have a date in our diary to fully explore the museum. 

We had pre-booked our tickets online and there was a special check in desk set up for us to receive a hand stamp that would allow us entry into the Great Hall. What a beautiful room this is. 

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | The Great Hall

All of the Play + Invent events have a different theme but are all based around inventing, designing and creating. We visited 'Robot Lab' which was delivered by local favourites CHALK.

Tickets to this event were only £5 per child and £1 per adult so didn't break the bank. As we stepped into the Great Hall, it certainly felt like a premium event. I loved the thoughtful touches such as coat rails on arrival, a bar set up in the corner, lots of chairs and cushions for babies to play with, robot-themed music and lots of attention to detail in the room decor - it really set the scene for the afternoon.

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | Robot Decor

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | Robot Model

The main aim of Robot Lab was to create our own robot. Rather than creating 3 separate bots, we decided to work together to create 'Rickel-bot'. We had a fantastic time working together and it really was a team effort. The event was busy but there were ample materials and equipment for us to use - more than enough to go around which often isn't the case at events like this.

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | Model making

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | Model making

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | Craft materials

With the help of sticky tape, lots of PVA glue, cardboard boxes, tubes, plastic lids, wool, a glue gun and more, 'Rickel-bot' started to take shape.........

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | Our robot model

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | Robot model making

I think he's adorable! With the main part of our robot almost complete, we decided to split into two teams. Harry was keen to head to the circuit building zone (ideal for older children) and headed there with his dad to create our robot his very own lights and I headed to the Robot bubble disco in the corner and the hexbug area with Jack and Heidi who I have to say, loved the freedom of being allowed to scribble on the floor!

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | Hex bug drawing

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | Sunglasses drawing


Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | hex bug floor drawing

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | floor drawing

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | hex bug pens

Steve and Harry really enjoyed creating a circuit board together - it was fairly challenging and took them two attempts and a little help from the staff but they got there in the end.

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | circuit building

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | our circuit

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | finished robot model

Building robots is thirsty work! I headed to the bar (5 drinks for £6.60 so not too expensive) and we chilled out in the seating area watching Robots on the overhead screen and discussing our plans for Rickel-bot. Jack and Heidi were happy playing with a robot maze in the corner (although I did have to separate them a few times for not taking turns and fighting).

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review | robot maze

We could have made our own Robot Viser next but Jack was starting to get restless as we'd been out of the house for the full day and he's the sort of child who needs lots of down time. If I had just been with Heidi and Harry we would have made the viser but as Jack was starting to act up, we decided to skip this and head home. We had been at the event for almost 2 hours and although we didn't try all of the activities, we had still had a fantastic time and thought the event offered extremely good value for money.

Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review

My three children are aged between 6-10 and all have different likes and dislikes. What I loved about Play + Invent was that they all thoroughly enjoyed themselves. There were different age-appropriate activities and enough to entertain us all. Steve and I had fun too (in fact a lot of the parents we spotted were creating some superb robots with their kids - some had serious skills!). The event was well organised with enough resources and friendly, helpful staff. I honestly cannot think of a single negative from the day.


Future Play + Invent Events at Discovery Museum, Newcastle 


Sunday 12th February | The Big Brick Build


This event is just £3 per child and £1 per adult. It is your chance to let your imagination run wild and recreate Newcastle in Lego with a twist - maybe Grey's Monument will grow arms or the Baltic will be on wheels? Each family will be allocated a plot to work together and recreate part of our city. Book tickets here. 


Saturday 18th February | Unusual Outfitters


This event is suitable for children aged 7-11 years and their family. Tickets are £5 per child and £1 per adult. Bring along an item of clothing and enhance it using the materials required. Using electronics, soldering irons and sewing machines, no previous experience is required and the team will help you learn new skills and customise your clothing. Book tickets here.


Saturday 11th March | Codebreaking


This event is suitable for children aged 7-11 years and their family. Tickets are £5 per child and include one free adult. Using simple, vintage computer hardware, you will learn how to crack the codes of WW II. Book tickets here.


Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th March | Gigantic Cardboard Inventing


This event is £3 per child and £1 per accompanying adult and is your chance to create a giant model using cardboard boxes and recycled junk. All materials are provided. Book tickets here. 


Tiny Sparks - a FREE fortnightly event for children aged 2-4 years


Tickets to this event must be pre-booked and children must be accompanied by an adult. The event is FREE and the chance for little ones to find out about great scientists through song, play and craft. Book tickets here.

I could not recommend Play + Invent enough and certainly suggest you check an event out for yourself. Let me know which event takes your fancy.

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Discovery Museum Newcastle | Play + Invent Events | A Review

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2 comments

  1. OMG I want to build a robot! This looks like so much fun! We loved the Discovery Museum when we visited, especially the North East history part x

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  2. What a great series of events! We love Chalk and the Discovery so we'll definitely be heading down. I think Arlo would love the build one. Good job with Rickel-bot, he/she looked great!

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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