- Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium is a renowned interactive discovery space for children and adults in Hampshire.
- This educational science and technology centre features hundreds of hands-on exhibits and is home to the biggest standalone planetarium in the United Kingdom.
- There is a vast range of immersive activities for families to enjoy at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium including the BIO:SPACE experimentation zone, sensory simulation exhibits, explosive live science demos and of course their mesmerising Planetarium shows.
If your kids are budding young scientists, spacemen and star-gazers, then don't miss one of the most exciting STEM institutions in the United Kingdom, the Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium. With hundreds of interactive exhibits, open science experiments and a colossal planetarium on-site, this innovative centre will have the whole family in awe for hours.
As an established educational charity, this leading science and technology hub in Hampshire is dedicated to teaching children about the wonders of science and inspiring them to become the next generation of innovators. The Winchester Science Centre has a significant focus on interactive exhibitions that younger kids will love to make this unique experience for families as informative and fun as possible. At the new Sound, Hearing and Vibration exhibit you can immerse yourself in the science of sound and learn all about the physics and biology behind our hearing process through stimulated noises and vibrations. Kids can climb inside an enormous 10 metre-long guitar and feel the strings being plucked, experience the acoustics of an awesome sonic rocket, tune into a Humpback Whale, learn through play in the echo tubes and discover the inner working of a giant ear. You can also throw yourself into nature in the BIO:SPACE experimentation zone, learning all about biology and ecology in the stunning indoor and outdoor spaces of the centre's adjoining South Downs National Park. Winchester Science Centre also runs regular Science LIVE demos throughout the day on their exhibition floor, where explosive ice and fire experiments come to life on a huge scale. The centre also hosts frequent Live Science Shows that are free for visitors, themed around various STEM projects and full of exhilarating audience participation.
This exciting independent institution is also one of the best sites in the United Kingdom for family space exploration. Their Explorer:Space exhibition takes you on an interactive journey through our mesmerising Solar System with twenty modular displays covering robots, meteorites, coding, the magic of stardust and the revolutionary progress of human space flight. After you've become acquainted with all things out of this world, make sure you catch a show at the acclaimed Winchester Science Centre Planetarium. Inside this giant planet-like dome you can witness a whole range of spectacular space shows on the 360-degree screen from full films, presenter shows and Chatterbox Sessions perfect for kids with sensory sensitivities, all of which are sure to leave the whole family starry-eyed.
Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium is an unmissable day out for science-mad families in the South West and, nestled in the glorious South Downs National Park, offers a wealth of natural experiences to be enjoyed alongside. Grab a free guide from the centre and venture out on some walking trails through the picturesque countryside, where you'll find children's water play, stunning views and the neighbouring Butterfly Conservation Reserve. Elsewhere in Hampshire, you can discover even more hands-on exhibitions at The Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard.
What to know before you
- The Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium is open throughout the school holidays.
- General admission tickets allow access to the live demos and science shows, BIO:SPACE experimentation zone and all interactive exhibits. Planetarium shows need to be booked and paid for separately and are not recommended for children under five years old.
- The rest of the Science Centre is aimed at children aged from 5 to 12, but under-fives are welcome, and there is plenty for older kids to enjoy too.
- We recommend allowing at least half a day for your visit to the Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium, but the wealth of activities on offer could keep you busy all day long!
- For refreshments on-site at the Winchester Science Centre, you can head to the Hub Cafe, which serves a variety of light lunches, hot and cold food and drinks, snacks, cakes and more. You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in their outdoor picnic area, with great views of South Downs National Park, or their indoor picnic area should it be raining.
- Alternatively, you can find plenty of family-friendly eateries on your way into Winchester town centre such as The Chesil Rectory, The Golden Lion, Rick Stein Winchester, Côte Brasserie and The Ivy Brasserie.
- There is also a great Science Shop on-site offering STEM souvenirs, quirky gifts, books, cards and science experiments for you to undertake at home.
- Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium is striving to make their STEM experience as accessible as possible for all visitors. Accessible exhibits are in place with tactile interpretations and hearing loops; there is a Changing Places accessible toilet and a sensory room on-site; and step-free access throughout the centre. There are two wheelchairs available for visitors to borrow as well as sensory backpacks for children and a Quiet Hour for children with sensory sensitivities.
- Carers and personal assistance to visitors with a disability can enter the Science Centre for free.
- Free entry is available for whole foster families.
- There are toilets located throughout the centre.
- Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium is situated in Hampshire just outside of the city of Winchester.
- If you are travelling by car, it is approximately three miles from Winchester City Centre and easily accessible from the M3. Follow the brown tourist signs to the Science Centre.
- There is an on-site car park with accessible parking bays and free motorcycle parking. Cars can park for £2 a day from 8am to 5pm. The Science Centre also runs a Park and Ride service on busy days from St Catherine’s Park & Ride.
- You can take the number 64 bus between Winchester and Alresford, which stops 300 metres away from the Science Centre on Morn Hill.
- Winchester Railway Station is the closest station to the venue, which is 10-minute drive or taxi ride away.
- Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium also welcomes visitors on foot or bicycle; the venue is a 45-minute walk from Winchester City Centre with the option of some pretty scenic walks or a straight but hilly cycle ride through the countryside and Telegraph Way.