In fact, it’s our biggest summer of fun ever, with more retro gaming, more sunshine (even when it’s raining) and a changing programme of hands-on events that ensures there’s plenty of reasons to keep coming back throughout the holidays.
Every day there’s activities for families to discover the fun side of the Sun, with mystery seed planting in Plant Power showing how the sun creates flower power, craft activities to make bracelets that change colour with the magic of UV and storytelling sessions to fill little ones with wonder.
We have even more events happening at weekends. This weekend (10 and 11 August) sees the Strolling Gardeners ask ‘how does your garden grow?’, the bubbleologists exploring the science behind rainbows and LEGO rainbow engineering with Brikz4Kids. Plus our monthly Pi: Platform for Investigation event, powered by Siemens, asks ‘How do you use the sun to tell the time? How can you make rainbows without rain? And what kind of sun can you hold in your hand?’
At the Sun Playground on 17 and 18 August, kids and grownups will be able to make their own magic rainbow diffraction sunglasses, build a virtual reality solar system and get up close with exotic animals who use the Sun in many different ways.
Manchester Astronomical Society will be sharing solar imagery, and crafty kids can use real solar science to make pop-up cards and bookmarks to take home. Plus Mirror Divas Glimmer and Glamour will bring the super shiny stilt walking act, scientists will be trying to make mini suns here on Earth and the inflatable Wonderdome planetarium will take visitors out of this world.
All these activities are inspired by our latest exhibition, The Sun, a joyously fun, visually stunning and utterly fascinating exploration of the awesome power, incredible beauty and dangerous dark side of our nearest star. From ancient Norse myths to upcoming NASA missions, The Sun is full of remarkable stories and unique objects.
Highlights of the exhibition include interactive activities where visitors can ‘try on’ sunglasses from different eras and cultures, an indoor beach complete with dress-up box and beach balls and an immersive solar storm plus a prototype fusion reactor and retro posters illustrating how we became a nation of sun worshippers.
We’ve also got our retro-to-modern gaming extravaganza, Power Up, for the whole summer. The geektastic gaming event is the only place you in Manchester where visitors can play retro consoles alongside the latest VR technology, and is an annual favourite at the Science and Industry Museum. This year the event will last the whole summer with more opportunities to play than ever before, and for the first time it will feature handheld consoles such as the Gameboy and the Atari Lynx.
And of course there’s our daily Science Showdown, plus visitors can see the incredible working machinery of the Textiles Gallery, see Stephenson’s Rocket back in Manchester after 180 years, learn the stories of the first people to travel by train in the 1830 Station and get hands-on with science in our Experiment gallery.
Visit the website to find out more and plan your visit this August.