Science at Life Review : What to expect from a visit in 2022

This is an advert based on a visit in April 2022. Any shares/edits beyond this date have not been asked or paid for. Please check the Science at Life website for the most up-to-date information before visiting.

I paid Science at Life a visit with Jack (11), my brother Mark and nephew Evan (6) in the Easter holidays.

Life is a place I have visited many, many times before, especially when all three of my children were aged under 10 and I have many happy memories of visiting Dinosaurs, Doctor Who and Gaming exhibitions, Animals Inside Out, Brick Dinos and more over they years. 

We did visit briefly during the pandemic when they had a limited section open to the public but it had been a good few years since our last proper full visit.

There are often posts in our Facebook group asking about what to expect here or if it's worth it. After visiting today, I can definitely say it is worth a visit. Hopefully this post will give you a little bit of an idea of what to expect from your visit. 

Science at Life Review : What to expect from a visit in 2022 

5 Reasons to Visit Science at Life 

  1. A full day of indoor fun included in one ticket price with no hidden charges 
  2. Live science shows and a planetarium 
  3. Pushchair and wheelchair friendly
  4. Very easy to reach by public transport 
  5. Lots to do for all ages (including adults) with all equipment in good working order

I can hand on heart say that this recent trip to Life was the best I've ever experienced. We spent 4 hours at the centre but could have easily spent longer there. 

All four of us enjoyed it and I would recommend to everyone from toddlers right up to grandparents (quite a few grandparents were there with their grandchildren on the day of our visit and really seemed to enjoy getting stuck in). 

Every single area was spotlessly clean and in good working order and although it was fairly busy (hello school holidays) there was plenty of space and there were barely any queues for anything. You can expect helpful staff on hand to assist and there was loads to do for all ages. 

There is a really good mix of activities for older children, little ones and areas for all ages to enjoy together. 

There were teens there who seemed to be having fun and although they didn't join us on this occasion, I think Dee (12) and Harry (15) would still enjoy it here. Visiting as an adult, I also had fun getting involved with the experiments and activities. 

Life Science Centre is conveniently located very close to Newcastle Central Station so very easy to get to by train, metro or bus. We travelled by train on this occasion (locals - the Cramlington to Newcastle route so convenient). Life is a two minute walk from the station, simply leave the station, turn left and walk along the path. You won't miss it. 

If you'd prefer to bring the car, Times Square or Grainger Town are most convenient. You can add parking onto your ticket booking too. 

Booking in advance online is recommended, you will save at least 5% if you do this too. Top tip - sign up to the Life Science Centre newsletter and you may receive a bonus discount. 

There are lots of different pricing options, too many to go into here and it depends on your age, if you're a UK tax payer and would like to add gift aid etc...... as a rough guide, we paid just over £30 for our family of four, booked in advance online. Under 4s and carers go free. Children aged 12 and under need to be accompanied by an adult. 

You can check up-to-date prices and book online here.

Annual membership is also available.

I will say that although Life is one of the more expensive attractions in Newcastle, everything (minus lunch/snacks) is included. You don't need to pay extra for any activity and all craft materials are provided.

My go-to comparison when it comes to value for money is the cinema. I have just booked four tickets to the cinema which cost us £28, just a few £ less than our trip to Life. 

When I think of it this way, I feel like Life offered really good value for money, especially as we were there for 4 hours and there was such a diverse range of activities included. Obviously there are educational benefits too. 

On arrival, we were greeted by friendly staff. You are no longer handed lots of bits of paper with maps/show timings etc..... which I actually prefer. Less things to stuff in my bag! Instead you are invited to take a snap of the map and show time boards near the entrance. 

You are free to explore the whole centre at your own pace, can pop back to areas more than once and you can leave and return on the same day too (just keep hold of your ticket/receipt). 

There are no hidden costs - even the planetarium is included. 

Experiment, LEGO & Creativity Zone 

The first are we explored was the Experiment and Curiosity zone. Lots of little areas you can try yourself including building magnetic pulley and gear systems, experimenting with moving wheels and even dressing up and taking photos with a prop box. 

There was a team member on hand at a desk supervising one on one experiments with eggs for families to get involved with too. I expect this kind of activity will change with the seasons. 

You can view some fantasitc LEGO creations and the main experiment zone/science labs (for over 7s only) is a nice area for older children to get hands on and try a real experiment themselves. The experiments in this area were Easter themed on the day of our visit and again, I expect they will change with the seasons. 


You won't miss Gaia. A seven metre reconstruction of planet earth will greet you on arrival. Perfect for photo ops. 

Brain Zone 

We loved the Brain Zone! We actually visited three times across the day. Practical information about how the brain works is set alongside hands on experiments you can try and see the results for yourself. These little games and challenges are fab for all ages and really make you think. 

They are great for competitive families too and you can challenge your kids to see if they have better memories than their parents or if they have better social awareness etc..... 

There are also several optical illusions to try with explanations on how they work including perfectly clean drinking water which shoots out of a toilet. All of our group refused to drink this despite the logical side of our brain telling us it was perfecly fine. Would you do this? 

This trap door was a hit, push the button and the floor with disapper. You might find shark infested waters or a never-ending tunnel beneath your feet. How would you react? Evan was braver than us. 

The brain games all have different levels too and you pick your age before you start so they won't be too difficult or too easy. 

The challenge below was a particular challenge we enjoyed and was based around how looking at someone in the eyes can speed up or slow down our reaction times as we answer questions.

These set of challenges/games really are fab fun for the whole family.We really enjoyed this section and the kids appreciated that us grown ups were getting involved too rather than standing at the sidelines.

Making Studios 

The Making Studios are in a seperate, staffed area on the ground floor. There may be a short wait for a table but when we visited, there were a couple free with no wait. Just wait at the entrance to this section and a staff member will greet you and show your group to their own table. 

This is a brilliant area for families / groups looking for a bit of space or a quieter activity to enjoy together. 

One table is allocated per group and it comes with a little task and all the materials you need. I imagine activities change regularly but on our visit, we were challenged to make our own Easter nests. It was nice to work together with the kids on this and a chance for some quieter time.

There is also an air table in this area and you can create your own objects to fly. This was again, fun for us all and we had fun resurrecting our paper aeroplane making skills. There are highchairs in this section if you're visiting with a younger one and staff on hand to help if you get stuck. 

Space Zone 

Wow the space zone is just incredible and a must-visit area for any budding astronauts. There are a few different sub-sections to this zone. 

First up, is a chance to walk through the International Space Station. This is an excellent reconstruction filled with easy to digest information, props, sound and videos. 

You will walk past the Space Station toilet and learn how it works, look up and discover how astronauts sleep in space, see the plants that grow on the space station and look out of the window and take in the view. It's excellent and brilliant for all ages. 

You can also experience what it's like sitting in a real space control centre and take part in real missions, including launching a rocket. Honestly it feels so realistic and we genuienly felt like space scientists at one point. It's such an immersive experience. 

You can look through telepscopes, touch a real piece of the actual moon, see the moon up close, learn about the robots exploring Mars and discover more about some of the careers you can follow which are linked to space.

I really felt as if this area could set off a spark in lots of little minds and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the children who visit this exhibition go on to work in the field. 

You can drop by 'The Sphere' which is a digital globe sharing a family show about climate change. This show runs on a loop so just drop in at any point throughout the day. There is seating and it's an ideal place to chill for a few minutes. 

There are a few other little areas to pop into here. My family wouldn't join in but I tried my hand at being a weather girl. You stand in a little booth, follow the autocue and try and use your hands to point to the correct places on the map. All of this is broadcast on a screen outside of the booth for your family to watch. Lets just say, I won't be giving up my day job any time soon. 

Live Science Shows 

The Science Theatre is running one show at the moment. 'Animal Earth' is recommended for ages 5+ and is repeated at several times across the day. All are welcome so don't worry if you have younger children in your group. 

Along with the Planetarium, you don't need an additional ticket and just need to turn up 5 minutes or so before the show starts to take your seat. 

This 20 minute live science show shares eight different animals and some of their fantastic adaptations. Some of these adaptations are demonstrated with on stage experiments and a couple of volunteer children from the audience. 

The show was interesting for all ages, fun and engaging. I now have a soft spot for the Mantis Shrimp, an animal I'd never heard of before but will know not to get too close if I ever encounter one now. 

There is a bit of audience participation and the group gets to cheer for their favourite animal at the end. Live animals are not used in this show - soft toy representations only. 


Find the Planetarium in the Space Zone. Ah it is so comfortable. The seats are leather recliners with comfy padding and armrests. There are two shows to choose from and they both play at various times during the day (see boards outside for show timings). You can watch Little Bear for under 7s or Ice Worlds for over 7s. 

We watched Ice Worlds and it was super interesting. We learned all about the role ice plays in our own planet, other planets, moons and the atmosphere. The latest research was shared and we were talked through the important role ice plays when it comes to understanding our planet. 

It was one of those shows where I left feeling so much more informed. Definitely one to catch with older children and teens. 

Evan is 6 so just under the target audience for Ice Worlds but he seemed to enjoy it still. Some of it may have gone over his head but the moving images and sound is a really immersive experience. You can't help but get lost in it. 

Pop-Up Areas 

Life really makes the most of their space and you will often stumble upon little pop up areas hidden in corners as you walk around. These areas feature little challenges / bigger builds to try and there is seating for parents too. 

We tried this large scale marble run style challenge using half pipes, crates and balls to design our own challenge. It took a few attempts and tweaks to get it right but we perservered and were chuffed when the ball challenged the whole route. Go us! 

Hello World 

Located on the upper level, this area is a nice and peaceful spot to enjoy some creativity or one on one time with your children. You can see Gaia from an astronaut's perspective and pop over to an easel to draw what you can see. 

There is also reading corner here, packed with books, cushions and little spots to snuggle up with a story. 

Or how about taking a seat at one of the tables and add some colour to one of the giant nature maps? 

Play Zone 

The popular under 7s play zone upstairs has been somewhere I have visited with my kids for years. Its a nice space with plenty of seating for adults and a range of varied and inspiring activities for children to enjoy in different sections. 

Little ones can cook up a storm in the play kitchen and shop for ingredients in the mini shop. Evan had lots of fun preparing lunch for us all. 

There are lights, rainbow games, soft play area, toys and more. It's a nice area to end your day with and the kind of place the kids won't want to leave. 

Food & Drink Options + Facilities 

There are two cafes at Life. A Starbucks near the entrance which serves sandwiches, hot drinks etc..... and then a main cafe inside. 

We dined at the main cafe and were lucky that we just beat the rush (we got there for around 12noon). There are a few hot meal options priced at £5 (pizza, chips and beans for example), a selection of sandwiches and salads, hot and cold drinks, fruit and lots of cakes to choose from. 

Our lunch for four including drinks and three cakes was £25 which I thought was decent enough. The food we all had was hot and tasty and the coffee was decent (apologies for our distinctly beige food choices - I promise healthier options are also available). 

The dining area is clean and well maintained. You can help yourselves to cutlery, sauces and there are areas for sorting recycling when you are finished. 

There is also a free indoor packed lunch area for guest to bring their own packed lunches. What a brilliant facility! It's on the lower ground level. Just ask a member of staff if you need help locating it. 

The facilities at Life are excellent and include several baby changing areas throughout the centre, baby food warming facilities, free WiFi, customer locker and crate hire, several toilets throughout including a changing places toilet, wheelchair hire, ear defender hire, sensory bag hire and more. 


As somebody who regularly tries to locate accessibility information on attraction websites, I can say that Life's website is one of the better ones I've looked at. There is lots of information on there including information for wheelchair users/those with limited mobility, deaf and hard of hearing visitors, blind and partially sighted visitors and visitors with autism. 

Life aims to be accessible for all and is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs throughout. You can read more about access at Life here. 

Just to point out too that I did feel like Life were following best practice when it comes to Covid in these current times too. All staff were wearing face coverings, everywhere was super clean and there is a cap on visitor numbers. 

Science at Life | FAQs 

What age would you recommend Life for? 

I would personally say that Science at Life is best for families visiting with children aged 3-13. It would still be fine to visit with younger/older children in tow, but I think that age range would get the most out of the experience. 

How long should we spend there? 

We spent 4 hours there. If you haven't visited for a while and would like to try most/all of the areas, I would recommend setting aside around 4 hours for your visit. 

Do I need to pre-book? 

Pre-booking is recommended and you will save money if you do this. There are some slots reserved for walk ins but these cannot be guaranteed. 

Can I take a pushchair? 

Yes, Life is fully pushchair accessible. 

Can I bring a packed lunch? 

Yes, there is a dedicated packed lunch area and you can hire a locker if needed. 

How busy was it? 

When we first walked in at 11am, it felt busy. However once we were inside, it didn't feel overly crowded at all. There are so many 'zoned' areas and every little group seems to keep to their own activity. We often had huge areas to ourselves. 

There wasn't any queuing for anything and both the science show and the planetarium still had seats available on both of the shows we watched. Lunch did feel fairly busy but again, there were plenty of tables available and we were served quickly. 

It did get significantly quieter later in the day and if you'd like to visit at a quieter time, I'd recommend visiting after 2pm (Life is open until 5pm at the moment). This would mean you don't need to stop for lunch so should be able to see most of the centre in this time frame. 

Are discounted tickets available? 

Book tickets online to receive a discount and don't forget to sign up to the Life newsletter for an additional 10% discount (a sign up form at the bottom of their home page here). 

Is Life dog-friendly? 

Assistance dogs only. 

Where should I park? 

Times Square Car Park - NE1 4AD (see here for info). Science at Life is within a 3 minute walk of Newcastle Central Station with bus, Metro and train links. 

I'm really pleased I had the opportunity to visit and share what you can expect from a visit. As I said in my intro, I feel like Science at Life is at it's best at the moment and 2022 is a brilliant time to visit. 


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