Friday, 24 May 2019

Our Visit to Enginuity - A Review

You may have read our recent blog post regarding a trip to Blists Hill Victorian Town, which is a great place to visit for some family fun. However, located just ten minutes down the road, another of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums, called Enginuity, also provides a great learning experience for families of all ages. Therefore whilst in the area, we travelled the short distance to Coalbrookdale, to see what Enginuity was all about.

This museum is great for some hands-on activities, as well as a great place to get creative and test out your design skills. There are plenty of experiments, puzzles and learning opportunities as you make your way around the attraction, which really makes learning fun and exciting.

On arrival we found there to be a large car park, so we were able to find a spot with ease and then had a short walk over to the entrance. You can see the majority of the displays as you arrive in reception, so my children immediately spotted some activities that they wanted to try.


The first activity Ben wanted to try was all about electrical energy. There were numerous different objects that can be found in most households and you needed to try and power them by spinning the handles fast enough to create energy. Each appliance required a different amount of energy and you could select a number from 1 to 8 to take up the challenge. Items included a radio, blender and even a television. Ben found this really interesting and kept trying to see how long he could keep an item working for.


Another favourite with all my children was the large water dam, which provided plenty of opportunities for water play, as well as a series of challenges. Ben particularly liked the area where you needed to shoot water from the pipe into an adjacent bucket, which would then gradually fill up with enough water to make it tip. The challenges also encouraged my children to work together in different areas, which they all found really enjoyable.


We all loved how interactive the majority of the exhibits were and 'The Boiler' seemed very popular with guests, including my son Riley. He loved putting the fuel ( plastic balls) into the boiler and then turning the wheel to create the energy and make the balls flow.


Riley's favourite activity was to build an arch, where you had to connect foam blocks together to make a freestanding arch. It was a little tricky and it did take three of us to complete this successfully. I will also be honest and say that the arch fell down literally two seconds after this photo was taken! I was quite annoyed with myself though that I hadn't noticed that the number 5 blocks were the wrong way round.


Just behind this arch, was an indoor soft play area for toddlers, which I thought was a great idea as it gave smaller children somewhere safe to play that was nice and quiet and away from the busier activities.

My daughter's favourite challenge was to try and build an earthquake proof tower, where using the materials provided you had to create a building capable of withstanding a simulated earthquake. The boards would remain still whilst you were creating, then once you were confident that your creation was finished, you simply pressed a button and the boards would begin to move from side to side. Despite Emma's best efforts, her building fell quite quickly and she became quite determined to make something that was strong enough.

After we had tried all the exhibits that were downstairs, we made our way up towards the mezzanine floor. As we walked towards the steps, there was a really interesting display of genuine Robot Wars vehicles, along with a video that showed them in action. My children had never heard of the programme before, so they enjoyed watching the display and having a good look around the robots.

On the Mezzanine floor there were more informative exhibits as opposed to hands on activities, so we took some time to read through some of the information that was on display. Riley particularly enjoyed the drawing area where there was a challenge to design a carrot powered rabbit vehicle for a bunny to travel around in. There were some clips on the board so that you could add your creation to the display and Riley loved having a look through everyone elses ideas and designing his own. All the tables were neat and very well laid out, so he enjoyed sitting there for a while so that he could draw and colour in his rabbit-mobile.


One really good aspect of this attraction is that it is very accessible. The majority of activities are all located on the ground floor and there is a large amount of space between each one, making it suitable for prams or wheelchairs. The mezzanine floor is also served by a lift if required.

Overall we really enjoyed our visit to Enginuity and I felt that the exhibits were suitable for the whole family to enjoy and not just the children. This meant that we were able to join in and have fun with our kids and help them solve some of the challenges. It was great to see them reading the information that was provided on the exhibits, which ensured that they were also learning whilst having fun with the experiments.

We visited for two hours, which was just the right amount of time to try out everything without rushing. We also combined our visit with a trip to Blists Hill Victorian Town in the morning, which meant that we had a full day out together as opposed to just a couple of hours and I felt that this worked really well. There was plenty to see and do and any staff that we came across were also really helpful. As well as being a fun place to visit for a couple of hours, I can also imagine that this is a great place to visit with schools or clubs, as it is ideal for an educational trip.

I also believe that Enginuity is currently undergoing a redevelopment of the site and are adding some new exhibits, so we look forward to visiting again in the future and seeing the changes that have taken place.

To find out more about Enginuity or any of the other Ironbridge Gorge Museums, you can visit their website or social media pages on the following channels:

Address - Enginuity, 10 Wellington Road, Coalbrookdale, Telford, TF8 7DX
Website - https://www.ironbridge.org.uk/explore/enginuity/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/theironbridgegorgemuseums
Twitter - @blistshill


*Disclaimer - We were provided with complimentary admission for the purpose of writing an honest review of our visit. Our visit took place at the beginning of May 2019 and as Enginuity is currently undergoing some changes, it does mean that exhibits may vary in the future from those featured in our review.

3 comments:

  1. Looks like such a wonderful place to visit. I am going to have to look into public transport and places to stay so I can take my family here.

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  2. that looks fantastic and they look like they had so much fun

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  3. Oh wow, this looks an amazing place to visit for the children

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