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“Educational, fun family trip” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Catalyst

Ranked #2 of 18 things to do in Widnes
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!
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Educational, fun family trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2014

As a family of 4 we tipped up at the weekend. Really reasonable admission price. A couple of weeks before we went to Techniquest in Wrexham. Catalyst out trumps by a mile! We spent 3.5 hours there and had to drag the kids out. There is loads to see and do, the area is clean, staff are friendly and we all got something out of it. There is a lovely little play area outside too which the kids loved. The only downside was the cafe. Adults get a complimentary tea/coffee with admission which is a nice touch but lunch was really poor. Tasteless and cheap looking ingredients. If you are going around lunchtime stick with the sandwich option or take your own as there is some seating outstide. We will definitely head back to Catalyst. The kids were also booked into a class to actually do some science. They made plastic keyrings which they loved. I say the kids, parents got to do it too!

Visited March 2014
2 Thank Akers33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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185 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Excellent value trip out”
5 of 5 bubbles 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

Visited February 2014
3 Thank gull44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warrington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Good value - unrealistic to compare to MOSI”
5 of 5 bubbles 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.

Visited February 2014
2 Thank Cheshirecat100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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.

Visited February 2014
Thank patty d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Widnes, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A real insight into Industry, love the experiments room!”
4 of 5 bubbles 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

Visited September 2013
2 Thank Beverley T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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