Tag Archives: MOSI

What’s On: Christmas at Museum of Science and Industry

In the run up to Christmas our whole family is rushed off their feet with preparations, parties and visiting Father Christmas. Once the last of the leftovers have been eaten, we all want to go on long walks and do nice things in the fallow period in between Christmas and New Year, and before the boy goes back to school in January. At this time of year we like to visit the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and see what’s on that’s both fun and educational. 

Families visiting the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester will be tripping the light fantastic this Christmas holiday with a special programme of fun, free events.

Events at the Museum of Science and Industry take place every day from 22 December to 8 January. The Museum is closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, but it’s a great place to spend a family day out over the festive period. There are some special events and demonstrations available over the Christmas break, so there’s no better time to visit.

What's On: Christmas at Museum of Science and Industry

Children making and playing with shadow puppets at the Light Fantastic exhibition

Manchester Mills 22 December 2016 – 8 January 2017

Go back in time to the working mills of 150 years ago.  Experience the deafening sounds of the mill machines. Find out what life was like for thousands of mill workers and discover how the industry changed the world.

Engine Demonstration  22 December 2016 – 8 January 2017

Behold the power of our engines! Find out how our machines powered a city and discover their role in the Industrial Revolution.

Light 22 December 2016 – 8 January 2017

Visit the museum and explore the power of light and how it can create illusions to trick our eyes and minds. Discover how magicians use light to create illusions, build your own kaleidoscope at a fabulous interactive family workshop, try your hand at making your own 3D glasses and play in a shadow theatre.

Experiment! Open daily

In the Experiment! area you can play with 25 hands-on exhibits and see science in action. Lift a MINI and find out how the power of gears can you super strength. Be mesmerised by bubbles passing through giant columns of coloured liquids to demonstrate viscosity, see how many of the city’s homes can be lit by using household waste as power, and measure your reactions against the speed of light.

There’s always so much to see at do at the Museum of Science and Industry. It’s an excellent place to visit over the Christmas break.

For more information about what’s on at the Museum of Science and Industry on their website.

What’s On: Manchester Science Festival 2016

With the summer holidays now a dim and distant memory, the programme of events for the Manchester Science Festival 2016 has just been revealed. For ten days in October and throughout the October Half Term they have a jam-packed programme filled with fun and (mostly) free, hands-on family activities for all ages!

Produced by the Museum of Science and Industry and supported by Siemens and the University of Salford, the Manchester Science Festival 2016 runs from Thursday 20 October to Sunday 30 October.

Manchester Science Festival 2016

There are a whole host of events for all the family. Family highlights at the Museum of Science and Industry include: the Virtual Reality Playground for gaming fans and tech loving tots and teens featuring the very latest in VR devices, offering a unique and hands on insight into what the future holds; the Manchester Megapixel which offers visitors the chance to see themselves as pixels and to take part in a giant megapixel installation to be revealed in full on the Festival’s closing day; and Robot Orchestra Live where Manchester’s exclusive robot orchestra – formed entirely from recycled instruments, electronics and junk – perform alongside human musicians at the museum for the first time. This unique musical experience will be conducted by Graphene, a life-sized robot built by Manchester Science Festival 2016 Sponsors Siemens.

Across town, family highlights include the annual Science Jam at the media city campus at the University of Salford. Pop in over the Festival’s opening weekend for a chance to experience life among living machines and venture into a “forest of curiosity” where writers, poets and actors team up with scientists, naturalists, geographers and environmentalists to embark on an interactive journey of discovery.

Harry Potter Fans are in for a rare treat with The Philospher’s Scone. Enjoy an afternoon tea with a difference at Harvey Nichols Manchester. Enjoy miniature cakes and pastries inspired by the world of Hogwart’s most famous student as author and journalist Roger Highfield explains how magic really works. There will also be a screening of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. Fancy Dress is a must!

Manchester Science Festival 2016

Little explorers and crafty kids can partake in Artist Sundays and Big Draw at the Whitworth to create take home colourful art works inspired by the gallery’s collection; uncover the mysteries of space in the Big Science Telescope Show at Jodrell Bank; go Hunting for Infections at Quarry Bank Mill; Play with oversized orgami, twisted vines and massive paper sculptures at Nightshade at the Gallery Oldham; join in Messy Science at the University of Bolton and in the Science Spectacular at Manchester Museum; have a go at 3D modelling at Z-Arts or silver ring soldering at Manchester Craft and Design Centre – a mere handful of the many drop in and largely free activities taking place throughout the Festival.

Manchester Science Festival 2016

Manchester Science Festival 2016 marks the end of the city’s year-long role as European City of Science, and runs throughout half-term from Monday 20 October – Sunday 30 October.

For more information and full event listings for the Manchester Science Festival 2016 visit their website.

Five things to do in Manchester in May Half Term

It only seems like five minutes since the kids when back to school after Easter and the May half term is just around the corner. It’s often hard to think of things to do to entertain the troops. Playdates and trips to the park always feature heavily, but it’s good to have a few bigger things in the diary too.

I’ve picked a few things to do in (and around) Manchester with the kids this May half term. We’ll definitely be popping along to some of these.

The Lost Carnival

If you’ve ever been to the Just So Festival, A Day at the Lake or event The Lost Carnival last year, you know that Wild Rumpus know how to put on an event. Last year we went to The Lost Carnival which was in Bury, this year you can experience an evening of wonder in Crewe, and trust me, it is an experience to remember for all the best reasons.

This year features a “Battle of the Carnivals” between the rival carnivals, The Ingenues and the Birds. Together they will meet for a thrilling evening of spellbinding theatre and enthralling installations, circus, music, visual trickery and sideshows galore. Last year was so good it gave me goosebumps and this year looks set to be even bigger and better!

The Lost Carnival will take place on May 28/29/30 (4-9.30pm) at Queen’s Park, Crewe, Cheshire CW2 7SE. Early Bird tickets cost £10 per ticket. Under 3s go free. Carnival goers should dress for the weather, and wear sturdy shoes.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre & SEA LIFE Manchester

Over the May half term, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre and SEA LIFE Manchester at the Trafford Centre will have lots to entertain families come rain or shine. better still, guests only have to buy one ticket and will have the freedom to explore two brilliant attractions!

In the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre visit the brand new play area, City Builder. Visitors can create their own buildings and structures in the City Builder zone. The only limit is your imagination!

For movie enthusiasts, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre has another new 4D movie starring the LEGO Nexo Knights. Experience this fantastic new 4D film with all the elements – wind, water and smoke – bringing the battle to life all around the cinema.

May Half Term

Down at SEA LIFE Manchester, families can dive deep to the fascinating world of new exhibition, Octopus Hideout and spot the star of the show, the Giant Pacific Octopus called Hank and his Cephalopod friends. A visit to SEA LIFE is always a fascinating, fun and educational day out.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit the LEGOLAND website and the SEA LIFE website

Roald Dahl’s Tremendous Adventures at Tatton Park

From Easter until the end of 2016, Tatton Park is is bringing Roald Dahl’s imagination to life, with a host of children’s trails and events for all the family. Join Danny the Champion of the World in the gardens, Fantastic Mr Fox at the farm and Matilda in the mansion and you’ve got to be careful of The Enormous Crocodile out in the parkland!

We’ve already visited and explored the farm at Tatton Park where we found Fantastic Mr Fox, and we’ll be visiting again over half term to explore some of the other fabulous Roald Dahl goings on. You can read the full preview of the Roald Dahl adventures at Tatton Park here.

May half term

For more information visit tattonpark.org.uk/RoaldDahl.

GeronimO Festival at Tatton Park

The Geronimo Festival is on at Tatton Park (May 29th and 30th) and will feature CBeebies star live shows, a full circus, 3 theatre companies, amazing bands, a full county fair arena including jousting, sheep shearing, motorcycle displays, funfair rides, tortoise encounters, spy school den building and 100 other amazing activities.

This year CBeebies megastar Justin Fletcher will be there, as well as Mr Bloom, presenters Andy Day and Alex Winters and Cook and Line from Swashbuckle. As well as Les Enfants Terrible who present their Imaginary Menagerie. We’ve seen this show before and it is fantastic, so we won’t be missing that particular festival highlight! You can read my preview here.

For more information or to buy tickets visit www.geronimofest.com.

What else?

Manchester is a lively, vibrant city full of museums, art galleries, things to see, do and explore. Just a short drive out fo the city you have a wealth of unspoilt countryside and fresh air to fill your lungs with.  

If the weather is decent then you could visit and explore outdoors at Dunham Massey, Lyme Park, Delemere Forest or Quarry Bank Mill. There’s Manchester Museum to explore; the Museum of Science and Industry, The Police Museum, Manchester Airport Viewing Park, Stockport Hat Museum, the air-raid shelters; as well as Wythenshawe Community Farm and the utterly fantastic Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire.

There’s lots to do this May half term, do you have any interesting ideas for things to do during May half term?

My #BlogOnMSI 2016 Ice Breaker

It really doesn’t seem a year since the last Blog On at MSI (or #BlogOnMSI if you’re keen on hashtags) in Manchester. But I’m really looking forward to it, it’s a long day and I go home and sleep for a week afterwards, but where else do you get to catch up with all of your mates, learn a bit about blogging and take home so many goodie bags you need a wheely case to get home?

I’m helping Laura out in my own tiny way at #BlogOnMSI, I’ll be manning (personing, womaning?) the sign in desk. Do bear with me if I don’t recognise you straight away, I have short term memory problems due to my medication. Sorry, where am I again? Who are you? What am I doing here?

here are my #BlogOnMSI ice breaker answers….

Share a recent picture of you (if you are an anonymous blog, a drawing is fine)

#BlogOnMSI
If you had to describe yourself in three words…….

A bit snuffly. 

I’ve got a cold 🙁

How long have you been blogging and what made you start?

Since June 2013. I was recovering from a couple of spinal surgeries and was bedridden, bored stiff and lonely. Blogging gave me something to do and someone to speak to.

What was your favourite TV program as a child?

Blackadder. I was a precocious child and started watching it when I was 8.

Something interesting you might not know about me is . . .

I am a judge at the International Cheese Awards (the largest dairy event in the UK).

What is the weirdest food you have ever eaten?

Dried beetles. It was a bush tucker trial thing. They’re a bit scratchy when you swallow them.

What was your biggest fashion faux pas?

Every. Single. Day. 

I don’t really do fashion, I do comfort, so every day is probably a faux pas day!

What are you pet peeves?

Auto DMs. People who faff and dawdle. People who repeat themselves. Auto DMs.

Who would be your 3 perfect dinner party guests (dead or alive) and why?

Keith Floyd – He’d cook and he’d be an amazing host.

Hugh Jackman – because Hugh Jackman.

My Grandad. I never met him, would be nice to have a meal with him and get to know him a bit.

If they made a movie of your life, what would it be about and which actor would play the part of you?

Wow. Literally no one would pay to see that film. “The blogger in the striped pyjamas” starring Kathy Burke. 

If you could live in any sitcom, which one would it be?

Early Doors. One of the most underrated sitcoms ever. And it’s in a pub. 

Name a famous person you have met

Jarvis Cocker and all of Radiohead and James.

Which social media platform best describes your personality and why?

Twitter. Short and occasionally witty.

What picture do you have on lock screen on your phone / computer?

#BlogOnMSI

This one, the small boy being totes adorbs last year.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Millions. How many do I wear? About three pairs.

What period of time from the past would you most like to have lived?

I would have like to have lived in no period at all in the past. I would’ve been some kind of servant or manual labourer and that sounds like too much hard work. If you could guarantee I’d go back as some kind of tea drinking lady with a full household of servants, probably the 1930s.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Scandinavia. I’ve been to Sweden and Norway and I’d like to explore a bit more.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Twitter. I spend far too long talking to the little people who live in my phone. But they’re so interesting and kind.

What is your favourite tipple?

I will pretty much drink anything, but I like a nice G&T.

If you had a magic lamp and a Genie, what would be your three wishes

  1. For my son to grow up happy and healthy.
  2. To have a fully operational spine again.
  3. World peace.

So that’s me. Any questions? Go on, don’t be shy.

A Very Mancunian Christmas

It’s widely documented that I hate Christmas shopping, I shun huge shops and enormous shopping centres. I much prefer pottering around small shops and markets and at a push doing an online shop. As a Mancunian and owner of a small, home based business it makes huge sense to me to support my fellow entrepreneur where I can. So here’s my round up of fabulous things to buy for Mancunians this Christmas…

The Manchester Bee Company
The Worker Bee is the symbol of Manchester and its industrial heritage (hive of industry). The Worker Bee symbol is all over the city, from the beautiful mosaic floor of Manchester Town Hall to simple street furniture. The ManBeeCo range includes mugs, cards and prints – all available online. They also pop up at various markets across the city with beautiful crochet and knitted cushions and hats as well as their brilliant bee products. Proper Manc.

Manchester Christmas

MOSI Manchester Collection
The Manchester collection from MOSI is a lovely typographic range of gifts inspired by Manchester’s proud industrial and cultural heritage. Gifts start at £10 for a Mug, £12 for the tea towel collection and £20 each for the adult T-shirt, tote bag and cushion. It’s all pretty gorgeous and would make for a great present proud Mancs like me.

Drop Dead Chocolates
We love these chocolates. There’s something to suit all tastes and budgets. They’re a bit special, not available in the shops and probably the best chocolates I’ve ever had. I love their salted caramel chocolates which are beyond amazing. They’re letter-box friendly so they’re perfect and convenient if you need a speedy delivery.

Duerr’s Manchester Marmalade
Specially made for Mancs (and only available in Greater Manchester) this is a firm set, fine shred, bitter marmalade for proper grown ups. I love it, it was first made in the 1950s and since then they’ve updated and slightly sweetened the recipe, but fear not, if you’re a proper marmalade fan then this is a proper marmalade. It would be great in a little homemade hamper of proper Manc goodies, available in Tesco stores across Greater Manchester.

Manchester Christmas

Harriet & Dee
If like me you’re a Didsbury local, then you’ll love the specially commissioned Didsbury Christmas baubles, only available from Harriet & Dee in Didsbury, South Manchester. These beautiful baubles are just £10 each and you can choose from The Clock Tower, Didsbury Library or The Eagle Gate at Parsonage Gardens. The baubles are a lovely thing for any Didsburyite to hang on their tree.

Red Box Inc
Another Didsbury business who I love, Red Box Inc have a range of products you can personalise with your company or personal message, including coffee & latte mugs, tote shopping bags, mouse mats, coasters, uniforms, t-shirts, work-wear, sports & leisure wear & more. They can personalise mugs and other products with family photos or your children’s drawings from just £8 for a mug. Really friendly and helpful, check them out on Twitter.

So whatever your buy Our Kid for Christmas. Keep it Manc. Sorted.

Shopping: The MOSI Manchester Collection

I describe myself as a “Proud Mancunian”. I love my city, I love its proud heritage, its attitude, its swagger, its love of music and culture, its strong independent streak. I love Manchester, it’s a love affair which will never end. As a proud Mancunian I firmly believe that Manchester is the centre of the universe. Which it is. Obvs.

Tony Wilson once said “This is Manchester. We do things differently here”, MOSI (the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester) have taken this oft repeated quote and turned it into a collection of products you can buy from their shop. It’s an attractive range, heavy on the typography (I love a bit of typography) and boasts pretty much every invention, innovation and culturally significant band/place/happening Manchester has ever seen.

The collection online starts at £10 for a Mug, £12 for the tea towel collection and £20 each for the adult T-shirt, tote bag and cushion. It’s all pretty gorgeous and would make for a great present proud Mancs like me.

MOSI Manchester

If you visit the MOSI shop at the museum you can find lots more goodies from the Manchester Collection. I’ve got a notebook, a pen, a pencil and an “I love Manchester” badge. These would all make for lovely stocking fillers or small gifts, especially for absentee Mancunians.

I’m incredibly fond of the Museum of Science and Industry, for years it has showcased the very best of Mancunian industry and scientific innovations. The museum itself is a great please to visit with children, there’s so much to see and do, it’s easy to spend a day there exploring.

I’m so pleased that they’ve launched their Manchester Collection online and in the museum shop and its great to see Manchester celebrated for all of its achievements. This is Manchester. We do things differently here.

MOSI Manchester

Note: I was sent the MOSI Manchester items pictured for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, Widnes

During half term week it’s hard to find interesting, entertaining things to do for all the family. Something that isn’t all about sitting in front of a screen for hours, perhaps something secretly educational would be good too. The Catalyst Science Discovery Centre in Widnes is both interesting and entertaining as well as being educational. It’s also good value with a family ticket (2 adults, 3 children) costing just £19.95 for the day.

During half term (and all school holidays), the Catalyst Science Discovery Centre have a programme of events designed to attract families. This half term there are two workshops, the first “Energy from Waste” which is a fascinating look at what happens with our waste, for example all Manchester’s waste goes to a processing plant in Runcorn and the fun workshop will look at how waste is turned into energy.

The second workshop is “Ludicrous liquids” and you can discover amazing liquids that act like solids, liquids that change colour on their own, liquids which act like magnets and you can even have a go at creating your own lava lamp.

Catalyst Science Discovery Centre

During school holidays the Catalyst Science Discovery Centre is open 10am-5pm (last entrance 4pm). Car parking is free and you can grab lunch or a snack at the Elements Cafe’. It’s a lovely day out and a great way to introduce children to the exciting world of science and give them the opportunity to explore and discover new things.

If you’d like to visit The Catalyst Science Discovery Centre this half term please do visit their website for more information.

Easter at MOSI

During the long Easter weekend as well as scalping the lawn and repainting the kitchen ceiling, it’s nice to go out and do something a bit different with the family. We’re big supporters of MOSI and got a bit cross when they talked about closing it; now we go as often as we can. The boy loves trains, we love the boy and we all love MOSI.

This Easter they’re putting on a bit of an event as part of their current exhibition, Power: From Muscle to Machine – which runs from April 5-27, which tells the story of power and how it has been created, harnessed and used over time.

From water to steam, gas to diesel and electricity – experience the sights, thundering sounds and gut-busting smells of the Museum’s 19th Century engines and machinery as they burst into life through a series of hands-on demonstrations, workshops, events, games and shows for all the family. If MOSI do anything well it’s hands-on, interactive fun for the kids!

Over the Easter weekend and to compliment their Power Programme, Strong Man John Evans will be at MOSI. John can carry up to 20 stones in weight on his head. We’re invited to come and marvel at his incredible display of strength and the power that predates our steam engines, who would win, man or machine? The man can balance a Mini on his head so I think I know where I’ll be putting my money!

If you fancy a fun and free trip out and you live in Manchester then you can’t go far wrong with MOSI. Find out more about their Power programme, visit their website, and I might see you down there. Just no balancing vehicles on your head.

 

MOSI

 

 

 

Manchester Science Festival at MOSI

Manchester is no stranger to festivals; we have an inherent party streak and a reason to celebrate most things. This week (24th October to 3rd November 2013) is the Manchester Science Festival produced by The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI).

Manchester has a proud scientific history and even today our scientists are making groundbreaking discoveries, there is much to shout about. Being Mum to a curious and industrious nearly 3 year old, we thought we’d take him for his first visit to MOSI.

We arrived and straight away we hit the cafe for refreshment. We all had a drink and some cake. I had an enormous and still warm Eccles cake which is basically my idea of heaven. Hodge had an excellent Danish pastry and Splodge a blueberry muffin.

Suitably refreshed, we toddled over to the Power Hall to have a go at making our own Graphene. We were given a bag of bits and some instructions on how to assemble it. Graphene being the most exciting thing to come out of Manchester since The Stone Roses meant that this workshop was incredibly popular. Our little family enjoyed a bit of scientific team building and made our small sheet of Graphene.

Making our own Graphene.  Toddler Team-Building

Making our own Graphene.
Toddler Team-Building

Throughout the day the individual sheets are connected and added to a huge molecular model of Graphene outside. By lunchtime it was already impressively huge.

While we were in the Power Hall it seemed rude not to take the train mad toddler to look at the train exhibits, then he spotted the working steam train outside, so we had to have a go. For £2 per adult and £1 per child for a 10 minute round trip we thought it was good value. We sat with the guard and he let Splodge wave his flag to signal to the driver. This was quite possibly the highlight of his little life to date.

While we were by the trains we popped into the Station Building and took part in the Rube Goldberg Machine Workshop. This was really simple, accessible for virtually all ages and fun. Because we’d figured it out (because we’re geniuses obviously) Splodge was given a bag of sweets. This was definitely turning into the best day of his life!

P1000196

Impressive sourcing of local foods from the MOSI Restaurant

Bellies rumbling, lunch beckoned. We’d already been to the lovely cafe so we decided to head to the restaurant. I was so impressed. There was a brilliant selection of healthy, local, fresh food. Hodge went for the individual cottage pie with roasted new potatoes and beautiful veg. Splodge had a sausage with potatoes and veg, and I, sniffing the air like the Bisto Kid, smelt pizza and just had to have one. I went for the margarita.

The pizzas are freshly made in front of you and cooked to order in a pizza oven. I’m not usually mad keen on pizza as they can be stodgy and dull, but the base was crispy, the tomato sauce tangy and plentiful and the cheese was tasty and wasn’t greasy, it was pretty much up there for me, and I’m a fussy so and so.

A good lunch for the three of us came to around £20, which we felt was exceptional value given the quality and the quantity on our plates. Hodge said he was impressed there were no chips and that the options were on the healthy side. We’re having a light tea as we had a big dinner. I’d certainly go back again.

After lunch we were beginning to flag, so we explored the “Experimental” area where there are hands-on things for kids to try and make and do. This was brilliant, it wasn’t part of the festival but it would easily keep a nipper entertained for a while. There was a small soft play type area where we went for a little sit down. Splodge charged around building towers out of soft bricks and generally have a great time. He was tiring though so we had to choose one last thing and head off home.

We chose to have a mooch around the Air & Space Hall. Being keen on pretty much all forms of transport he raced around shouting “airplane”, loving every minute and pretty much guaranteeing a return visit fairly sharp-ish.

I was a bit disappointed I didn’t get to see the exhibits I wanted to see. If I’d had my clever head on, I would have broken away from the boys and left them to their trains and gone and enjoyed the Ice Lab exhibition by myself. The exhibition apparently gave a sense of what it’s like to live and work in Antarctica. Fascinating.

There were lots more I wanted to see and do and I’m sorely tempted to go back by myself later in the week and spend a bit more time there. Everything we saw and did was really accessible. All the staff and volunteers were so lovely and helpful, especially towards young Splodge.

As it is Science Festival week the place is teeming with guides, keep an eye out for friendly types in bright green t-shirts. It’s also half-term week in Manchester and there is so much going on at the festival. Something for all interests and ages. Have a look at the festival website and see what’s on.