We are anticipating a busy February half-term, with lots of families visiting to see the Dino Jaws exhibition and to take part in Poo Week activities, so we’ve put together some useful info for anyone planning a visit.
While we do everything we can to keep things moving, please be prepared to queue for certain activities and on arrival.
Before you arrive. You can book tickets online, or buy them on the door. Buying tickets online will ensure you get entry to the Science Centre, even on busy days!
The lift from the ground floor to the Young Explorers’ Zone is currently out of order, but alternative access is possible via a ramp. Sorry for any inconvenience caused – we’re working to fix it as soon as possible. Please ask a member of staff if you need assistance.
The ice rink is here until Sunday 18 February 2018 – so it’s your last chance to get your skates on and take to the ice! Buy your tickets at reception on the day of your visit – combo tickets are available if you’d like to skate and visit the Science Centre. See our ice skating blog post for all you need to know about Life’s outdoor ice rink.
Science Centre opening times
- Monday – Friday 9.00am – 6.00pm (recommended last entry 4.00pm)
- Saturday 10.00am – 6.00pm (recommended last entry 4.00pm)
- Sunday 11.00am – 6.00pm (recommended last entry 4.00pm)
To beat the crowds, arrive early or stay late. Our busiest times are from 11.00am – 2.30pm. You will need at least 3 hours to see everything, and many visitors choose to stay for the whole day. If you arrive just before we open you won’t have to wait long to get in. The first Science Theatre, planetarium and 4D Motion Ride shows will be at around 10.30am – 11.00am each day.
Getting here. Car parking is available in Times Square Car Park, just a short walk from the Science Centre. Parking rates are available on our website. Accessible bays are available. The car park has over 350 spaces, but it can fill up on particularly busy days so we recommend you arrive early or use alternative transport.
Inside the Science Centre. When you buy your Science Centre tickets you’ll be given a programme of the day’s activities, with a map on the back and a separate sheet with the day’s show times on it. Plan which shows you want to see and work out where they are in advance so you don’t miss out. Staff are on hand to help if you have any questions.
Our current exhibition, Dino Jaws, from the Natural History Museum, features life-size animatronic dinosaur heads including the terrifying T. rex! You can explore the sometimes gruesome, always fascinating subject of dinosaurs and their food.
There may be queues for the 4D Motion Ride*, planetarium, Science Theatre and Experiment Zone. Aim to visit these areas earlier or later in the day to avoid the busiest times. We kindly ask that you visit the planetarium, Science Theatre and Motion Ride* only once at busy times so that other visitors can enjoy the experience too. We also have drop-in Making Space activities throughout the week.
Experiment Zone has slightly shorter opening hours than the Science Centre – please check your daily programme for details. Last entry is 30 minutes before closing time each day. You may have to queue to enter Experiment Zone and to participate in experiments during busy times. Our friendly staff are on hand to help and will show you where the lab coats are. The Experiment Zone is for ages 7+, we restrict access to under 7s for safety reasons. Under 14s MUST be supervised by an adult.
Hungry? We have two cafés on-site: Times Square Café and Life Café. There’s also an indoor picnic area where you can eat food that you bring from home. Our cafés and packed lunch area get busy at peak times, so consider having an early or late lunch to avoid the rush, or feel free to leave the Science Centre for lunch and return later in the day – just show your Life hand stamp at the turnstiles to get back in.
Too much baggage? You can hire a locker to store coats and small bags. Pay £5 at reception to use a locker and you’ll get £4 back when you return the key. Buggies and prams can be brought into the Science Centre but there might be limited space on busy days. We don’t have space to park buggies, so please keep them with you throughout your visit.
Fancy coming back again soon? You can upgrade your day ticket to an Annual Pass on the day of your visit and we’ll deduct the cost of admission from the price of the Pass (like-for-like only, terms and conditions apply). Annual Pass membership gives you unlimited Science Centre visits for a whole year, so it’s a great option if you would like to see new planetarium, Science Theatre and 4D Motion Ride* shows when they’re out, as well as new and current exhibitions. You’ll be able to come back and see your favourite Dino Jaws creature again and again, or visit the Robots exhibition when it opens in May 2018.
*For safety reasons, you must be at least 1.2 metres in height to use the 4D Motion Ride.