With another rainy weekend forecast I wanted a family day out that would be based indoors. So my husband and I headed to W5 at the Odessey in Belfast with a 6 month old, 3 year old and 10 year old in tow. W5 promises scientific based exhibits that are hands on, fun for all ages and educational. It all sounds great.
Once inside Lewis'(3) face lit up in the under 8 section. He loved the water exhibit, and playing in the car, boat and fort. Even when we visited the Go, See and Do sections there were enough practical elements to keep him entertained, such as flying a plane with a joystick and playing tug of war. Even Aaron was able to have a go with the foam guitars!
There is no doubt the kids loved it, and as an adult I also had fun trying out all the different exhibitions. However I was left feeling a bit like I was in a high tech softplay. I think I expected more information on the exhibits. More of the why! Some exhibits had explanations, but they weren’t detailed and certainly not clear enough to explain to a child why they behaved the way they did. Nor was there much of a staff presence, so it’s not as if some-one was there to explain it. They do have several shows scheduled throughout the day which may have been more informative, however we missed viewing these. It was also disappointing that we couldn’t get some of the exhibitions, such as the hot air ballons, to work.
There is a picnic area so it’s easy to cut costs by bringing your own lunch, though we went to the café for a snack. I felt it was good value for money, especially since we got a voucher for £2.50 by signing up for gift aid.
Overall, I thought it was a great day out, with something for everyone. Plenty to keep the kids entertained, and since you could easily spend several hours there, not too bad on the pricing front either!