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“Excellent value trip out”
Review of Catalyst

Ranked #3 of 19 things to do in Widnes
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Catalayst makes Science exciting and accessible to people of all ages and abilities, explore the award winning galleries, visit the stunning interactive theatre, experience fun activities in the lab or travel 30m above the river Mersey in the external glass lift to the glass walled observatory gallery!Visit the gift shop and Elements cafe, the perfect place to enjoy a tasty snack whilst admiring the riverside views Free car parking!
Reviewed 2 March 2014

I had never heard of this museum until it came as a Groupon offer, but I am glad I am now aware of it.

The hands on exhibition room was great for my seven year old daughter and there was a really good small play area for younger ones. Unlike many more well known museums everything was in working order and clean. Also it was not overcrowded so you could take your time and enjoy them.

The top floor observatory had some great full scale experiments, like building a bridge and map jigsaws. There is also a puzzle room with some really good puzzles for older children.

We took a workshop making a key ring, which was better then the usual craft as you made the entire object.

It is worth noting there is a lunch room, or you can have food at what seemed a reasonably priced café.

The fact that it is under £5 for person makes this a real value attraction

3  Thank gull44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"top floor"
in 26 reviews
"glass lift"
in 15 reviews
"puzzle room"
in 13 reviews
"interactive exhibits"
in 10 reviews
"light show"
in 7 reviews
"play area"
in 17 reviews
"few hours"
in 12 reviews
"hard hat"
in 4 reviews
"viewing platform"
in 4 reviews
"surrounding area"
in 6 reviews
"half term"
in 9 reviews
"spike island"
in 14 reviews
"great science"
in 3 reviews
"industrial heritage"
in 3 reviews
"year old daughter"
in 9 reviews
"all ages"
in 12 reviews
"great value for money"
in 5 reviews

139 - 143 of 208 reviews

Reviewed 23 February 2014

I have been meaning to visit Catalyst for a while as I work nearby and like to support local businesses.

I had read the reviews so had an open mind about going and reckoned my 9 year old and I would stay about 2 hours. We ended up staying for 5 hours. The location is very good as there are two children's play areas, one outside Catalyst and one on the park near Spike Island. If we had more time we would have had a walk around near the estuary.

In Catalyst, there was plenty of interactive activities and only one or two were not working. The Universe workshop was very good and the presenter was very knowledgeable. He was also very positive on how significant the UK's role is in building satellites and mentioned some of the new work being done at Daresbury Labs - just up the road. This was good for young people and parents to know.

It has a great view from the top which I enjoyed as it was a lovely clear day. The puzzle room kept us occupied for quite some time. I particularly enjoyed the history floor and learned alot about the history of the site and the other chemical plants; my daughter found this the least interesting but there were a few things to distract her.

We spent the most amount of time - probably 1.5 hours in total in Scientrific on the ground floor - just mooching about - we went back later when it was quieter.

We stayed for lunch - the variety of food was OK - jacket spuds, toasties, soup and a reasonable choice of kids meals. The cafe was well lit with good views over the estuary - it was clean and tidy although there were some 'out of date' leaflets on the windowsills which need sorting. The loos were also clean and in good condition.

I think is it both unfair and unrealistic to compare Catalyst to MOSI or other city based museums. The latter have far more resources i.e. floor space, staff, receive more (passing) visitors and as a result are able to offer so much more. MOSI is able to bring in considerable income from its restaurants, giftshop and from specialist exhibitions held there.

I think for the price, Catalyst is good value if you have kids who like to mooch about and have an interest in science or are doing projects on local history.

PS My only disappointment was there was no demonstration or exhibit to show what a catalyst actually is and how it speeds up reactions - or maybe I missed it.

2  Thank Cheshirecat100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2014

I had never heard of thsi place until it appeared on Groupon. My partner has two lads 9 & 10 and I thought it would be ideal for them. We opted for the plastic fantastic workshop. I must say, the place itself is very good and educational, very hands on. Even though the boys tended to miss half of the displays in their. Workshop was brilliant, I was even taught a thing or two. To top the day off, we went to the 4th floor audotorium and the view was great. Great value for money, would recommend to anyone. Also on site cafe which was kept very busy.

Thank patty d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2013

A surprising good experience. a museum based on Industry! has good educational facilities and conference rooms as well as a good coffee shop! a must is the glass room right at the top of the building, excellent views.....plus there is a glass elevator on the OUTSIDE of the building....not for the faint hearted! xx very friendly staff, worth the trip xx take a stroll around the adjacent Spike Island, see if you can see the unusual breeds of cattle grazing nearby.....xx

2  Thank Beverley T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 October 2013

Not a lot to keep you in there not many staff to ask questions the view from the top is very good tou can see a lot of widnes and the river Mersey

Thank Allan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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