A trip to Magna Science Adventure Centre

I was so excited about taking the boys to Magna in Rotherham.  The Cyclist and I visited years ago, before children and we were both impressed.  The sheer size of the place is staggering. It celebrates the four elements, air, water, earth and fire, all of which were the base for manufacture of steel and it’s products.
Inside and in the darkness, many of the steelworking machinery has been left in place, it’s quite eerie. Walkways connect the four areas together.  Here are a few photos from Earth. Here you could explode a quarry, push toy diggers through sand and control JCB diggers, sadly the JCB’s were not working though, a few other bits were closed for maintenance too.
Next we visited Fire. Here there is a huge fire tornado, quite mesmerizing and examples of steam engines, i’m not really sure what else was in this bit?
On our way to Air we stood and watched The Big Melt. An electric arc furnace is recreated, with sparks, smoke and very loud sound effects.  It’s impressive but a little scary for our boys. In Air, you could watch a tornado, play the windpipes, shoot air canons thingies, but again quite a few bits didn’t work or had been closed for maintenance.
Finally we visited Water, I think the boys enjoy this the most, as you could splash about and float boats, simulate canal locks and squirt water at targets, would recommend full change of clothes though!
As you can probably tell, I’m really enthusiastic about this place, the building alone is amazing, but you can also probably tell we weren’t very impressed by quite a lot of things being damaged, faulty or closed for maintenance.  I think this is often the problem with hands on interactive attractions. I also got the impression they were more occupied with the Hawkwind gigs that were taking place, their staff must have had a tough day keeping Magna visitors and concert goers in the right place. Luckily we gained entry through Tesco Clubcard vouchers, so it was a free day out and I’m glad it was, because even though we had a nice day out together, I would have happily just gone to a nice woodland played with sticks rather than spend £30. Of course this is just a personal view.
The redeeming feature for us was the huge and I mean HUGE adventure playground outside and how fortunate we were to have such lovely weather.
There were so many different types of playground to explore, The Farmer liked this digger the most. The best part for The Fireman, exploding the quarry in the Earth zone, he likes being destructive.  The best part for The Farmer, the sand digger in the playground, oh and the mini wagon wheel chocolates. Back home The Fireman built a Lego electric arc furnace, so maybe some of the loud scary noises did sink in??