Today on the blog I have the pleasure of welcoming Emma Leigh-Hull, a travel and food blogger from Cardiff. In this post Emma is sharing with us a local’s knowledge and guides us through what to see, do and eat during a weekend in Cardiff. Over to Emma. Continue reading “A Weekend in Cardiff; From a Local to a Tourist”
At the beginning of July I took BattleKid into Cardiff and we met a friend and her little boy and we took to the two boys to the Techniquest Toddler Day. Once a month, during term-time, pre-school children have the run of the exhibits with activities on a special theme. Activities include:
- Colouring and
- Making something to take home.
The day myself and S took our toddler boys to the Techniquest Toddler Day, the theme was Under the Sea. We arrived after 11am as S had a hospital appointment and when we arrived Techniquest was heaving with toddlers, prams and stressed-looking parents. We paid our entrance fee, parked our buggies in the designated area and put the boys Toddlepak reins on so we could keep them under some control. And in we went to explore.
I’d only been to Techniquest once before, 2 years ago, when BattleKid’s cousin was visiting from Ireland and didn’t get to see much of it with a 6 month old. This time I got to see more of it.
We started at an exhibit that released bubbles into a vessel of water and both BattleKid and L were fascinated. So much so they could have stayed there just watching bubbles, and of course pressing buttons. We had to drag them away and onto something else. We moved onto a turntable in which children could release a circular shape onto the turntable and watching it go around before it came off again. Well, S and I could have walked away and the boys wouldn’t have noticed! This exhibit was very popular and each child, including ours was vying for those circles to release back onto the turntable!
We moved passed the ant farm, which BattleKid wasn’t really interested in, onto a dark room, where my attention was caught. We started at the lightening tube and had fun putting our hands on the glass and watching the electricity move with our hands. There was an exhibit with what looked like dry ice but I didn’t get a chance to see what it was all about as BattleKid found something more interesting for himself and L to play at.
We wandered around, stopping at another bubble machine for a few minutes before moving into the water-based room. BattleKid and I touched the spinning wet wheel, before he played in the water river, splashing a few other attendees by mistake throwing things into the water. Oops, sorry. BattleKid then had fun at the water waste pipes, spraying water into certain parts and watching it come out somewhere else.
After the water area we moved upstairs where a ball vortex caught the boys attention and they spent ages there, finding the balls and putting them back into the vortex. We had a go at making music with tubes, but BattleKid just wanted to bash everything but the tubes with the paddles! What is that they say about not working with children?
Next on the agenda was a wind-type machine called Blown Up into which you could place pieces of material and watch it go up and out the top of a tube. BattleKid and L had a ball with this exhibit. Another thing we had to drag them away from!
We moved back downstairs, passing by another wind machine which suspends a ball in air and it blew the head off BattleKid and L. It was really funny. Before we packed up our belongings to go, BattleKid and I had to stop by the dragon, his current obsession and took a few selfies with it.
We thoroughly enjoyed our few hours at the Toddler Day in Techniquest, despite how busy it was and I think we may try to go to another Techniquest Toddler Day in the future. The boys had an absolute ball and there was lots to see and do. We didn’t do any colouring or drawing, so maybe we can try do that next time.
The Techniquest Toddler Day is a great idea for introducing younger children to technology and science from a young age. It costs just £5.50 per adult with under 4’s going free. Techniquest is buggy friendly and had baby-changing facilities. There are a limited number of lockers if you don’t want to carry a bag or anything around with you and there is a coffee shop if you fancy a sit down but be advised there are no bottle or food warming facilities at Techniquest.
There is just one thing I would advise if you are planning on attending a Techniquest Toddler Day – arrive early. As mentioned we arrived after 11am and the multi-story carpark opposite Techniquest was completely full. I got lucky at the car park beside St. David’s Hotel and so did my friend but parking was at a premium at that time of the day. And if you do park at the hotel carpark ensure it is within a correct bay. When we returning to our cars after lunch there were ticket inspectors checking tickets and all those not in a proper bay were ticketed. Also, ensure you have change for the ticket machine as it doesn’t take cards. I had to give one man my last change from my purse because he had none himself. Good dead for the day.
Techniquest is a great day out and not too expensive in my opinion. One TripAdvisor says:
“Great day out for my two children at the toddler day… good value and great atmosphere all round.”
and I would agree.
There are four more Techniquest Toddler Days coming this year:
- When I grow up: September 16th.
- Around the World: October 7th.
- Get Spooky: November 4th.
- Winter Wonderland: December 2nd.
I can highly recommend the Techniquest Toddler Day if you want somewhere different to take your toddler and there are, of course, lots of nice restaurants in Cardiff Bay for lunch afterwards.
Thanks for reading,
*We were not asked to write this review.
Last Saturday BattleKid and I were invited down to Cardiff Museum to the official opening of the new exhibition Wriggle! the Wonderful world of worms. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was apprehensive whether the Wriggle Exhibition would be above BattleKid’s age range.
We arrived at 9am and when the doors opened for the invitees, we made our way in and I found a place to stow BattleKid’s buggy and stashed his change bag in the lockers (they cost £1) before we had some of the breakfast refreshments that had been laid on. Once BattleKid had finished his snack, we took a look around the displays that were on the ground floor foyer for the event.
There was everything from microscopes to fossils and even stands explaining the importance of worms in food production. We had a look around and BattleKid honed in on the microscopes, fascinated with them, although I’m not 100% sure he actually saw anything under them. I explained to him that mama uses them in work, which he thought meant one of them was mine to take away. Eh no.
He kept going back to them time and time again to look through the eyepiece. You never know, we could have another scientist in the making! There was also a fossil-making stand where children could press fossil specimens into clay to take home with them which I thought was a great idea.
After about 20 minutes we were all called to the bottom of the stairs for the opening talk from Dr Andrew Mackie. All the children were invited to the top and I tagged along to get a front row seat, keeping BattleKid company. Dr Mackie thanked all the efforts from the scientists and teams who put together the exhibition as well as the local Primary School who helped put together some of the ideas in the exhibition. He then invited Dr Rhys Jones, an evolutionary scientist and BBC presenter, to the front to officially open the exhibition.
Rhys was a great speaker, funny and very passionate, and was extremely engaging with the children, particularly one little boy sat beside us. And although the exhibition wasn’t open to the public until after 10am when the museum opened, he managed to sneak us in for a preview, on the proviso we didn’t tell anyone!
Supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery and Western Power Distribution, Wriggle is an innovative exhibition which is both family friendly and interactive. And although he can’t read yet, the displays were enough to capture BattleKid’s attention. Wriggle delves into the world of worms in a number of ways including:
- Awesome Worms – showing us weird and wonderful worms including the bone-eating snot flowers worm. Yuck! There were lots of different specimens to view, with descriptions alongside their display jars.
- Worm or Not a Worm – an interactive wall which acts as a game to help see if we can tell a worm from another creature. Believe me, even I couldn’t tell with most of them!
- Worms’R’Us – explaining the worm research going on behind the scenes. I was delighted to see some of the tools used and recognised them from my day job too! I felt right at home.
- From Fossils to Fantasy – looking at worms in popular culture such as books and films.
- Size Really Matters – exploring worms of various sizes from tiny worms no bigger than a fingernail, to a 30m long bootlace worm. They have a rope you can follow to the display that is as long as one of these and you can’t imagine a worm that long until you see this rope!
- The Wriggloo – almost like a den, it gives you the opportunity to see the world from a worms perspective and the animals they live alongside, and often need to dodge. You can wriggle your way inside and believe me, BattleKid did just that. He loved this part of the exhibition, spending what felt like ages going in and out of the wriggle holes which were too small for mama which meant I spent my time running around trying to keep up with him. He was also quite taken by the animals in the display holes and the badger inside the Wriggloo. The Wriggloo also houses a real-live wormery.
There is so much to see and do in the Wriggle Exhibition and although I thought it would be outside BattleKid’s age range as I’ve said, far from it as he was fascinated by the worms and animals. He spent ages looking at the display panels in the floor and their contents as well as inside the Wriggloo.
There is quite a lot to see at the Wriggle Exhibition and unfortunately, as I didn’t have BattleDad with me, I didn’t get to spend time reading all the displays. However, that just means I’ll have to return!
The Wriggle Exhibition is suitable for all ages, even two year olds, and is both educational and fun. There is plenty of time to visit the exhibition as it runs until 30th September 2017 and the museum will be running supporting events throughout this summer, details of which can be found on the Cardiff Museum website.
Although worms are not my thing, I thoroughly enjoyed what I got to see of the Wriggle Exhibition and have no doubt I’ll return, either with BattleDad in tow or on my own. i would like to spend some time reading and exploring those displays I didn’t get a chance to see, due to running around the Wriggloo after BattleKid. Thanks to Cardiff Museum for inviting us to the official opening of the Wriggle Exhibition.
So if you are looking for both a fun and educational thing to do with your children, especially this summer, why not visit Wriggle! the Wonderful world of worms at Cardiff Museum. You might be squeamish like me but I bet you enjoy it and your kids will love it!
Cardiff Museum details:
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 5pm.
Closed Mondays except most bank holidays.
Free entry, although there are donation points in the foyer.
Visitor parking is located behind the museum and costs £6.50, exit token available in Museum shop.