If you could use only three letters to describe the Birmingham Science Museum, known as Thinktank, it would have to be “wow.”
The museum, located in England’s second largest city, has four floors of exhibits and galleries that will have you saying “wow!” every step of the way. This family-friendly museum, which will appeal to kids from 8 to 80, has more than 200 hands-on exhibits, all designed to be both educational and fun at the same time.
Take, for example, the Thinktank Planetarium, the United Kingdom’s first digital planetarium. Surround yourself with stars as you take a journey through the solar system and beyond in the ImmersiveTheatre. The innovative technology allows visitors to travel through a human body or shrink themselves to the size of an atom. The theatre offers more than 35 programs on a rotating schedule. Learn all about the moon, travel with a star as it looks for planets of its own or take a roller coaster ride on Triton, one of Neptune’s moons.
Some of the programs are geared for younger children, but adults will find them fascinating, too.
But Thinktank is more than just an amazing planetarium. Visit the Futures Gallery to learn how the blending of science, medicine and technology impacts our lives today. Learn space travel and why astronauts must wear space suits. Or create a space alien, steer a Mars Rover, and see video cameras so tiny they fit inside a pill to take pictures as they pass through the body.
In the Past Gallery, visitors can see old vehicles, including buses, cars and motorbikes. See the Spitfire, the famous World War II fighter plane that was made in Birmingham. It’s been voted one of the top exhibits of museums around the United Kingdom.
In other galleries, visitors learn how machines make things, and can even try their hand at operating one. Kids City is especially for children under seven, and allows them to put on costumes and pretend they’re an ambulance driver, a mailman, an auto mechanic or a cook.
The Birmingham Science Museum is closed for a few days around Christmas, but is otherwise open daily. It’s located on Curzon Street at Millennium Point, there are plenty of fine hotels in Birmingham to choose from should you decide to visit.