An exciting hands-on gallery inviting early investigation of science and technology. Recommended for Nursery, Reception and Year 1 (ages 3-6).
Inquisitive children can explore the main areas—construction, water, light and sound. While playing, they can find out about floating and sinking, shadows and reflections, and much more. At the same time, they’ll develop the skills of observing, predicting, testing, and drawing conclusions.
Groups visiting the gallery are welcomed by our friendly Explainers, who inspire children to question and engage with the exhibits.
Visiting on weekdays in term time
Groups need to pre-book a timeslot to ensure admission on weekdays during term time. Sessions last 40 minutes and capacity is limited so larger groups may need to divide into smaller subgroups booked into different timeslots. The gallery is shared with other visitors and your booking does not give you exclusive use of the space.
Visiting at the weekend and in the holidays
There is no pre-booking for groups to visit The Garden at the weekend or in the holidays. If the museum is busy, you may need to queue to enter the gallery.
Exhibits in The Garden are divided into four zones and include:
- Welcome Zone—we welcome your group and give a short briefing about using the gallery. There's also a puppet theatre and foam alphabet for children to use.
- Water Zone—watch the water rush down from a huge bucket into a series of pools, explore ripples, bubbles, scooping and pouring, try different ways of moving water, and investigate floating and sinking.
- Building Zone—transport building blocks and build on a big scale while investigate materials and forces, Experiment with balancing things and move materials using wheelbarrows and a snake chute.
- Eyes and Ears Zone—an introduction to reflections, shadows and colour along with making sounds in different ways, predicting rhythms and exploring how sounds can travel.