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The 10 Best Hands-on Museums


1. Eureka! Halifax

Adults: £9.95, Children: £9.95, eureka.org.uk

The national children's museum has scores of interactive exhibitions, including the Sound Garden and a plant kids can crawl through.

2. Winston Churchill's Britain at War Experience, London

Adults: £12.95, Children: £5.50, britainatwar.co.uk

Travel back to the Blitz, huddle in a shelter as sirens blare and check out the war-time clothes and food.

3. Big Pit National Coal Museum, south Wales

Free, museumwales.ac.uk

Go down the pit with an ex-miner and discover life at the coalface. Or stay topside and take the multi-media mining history tour.

4. Science Museum, London

Free, sciencemuseum.org.uk

The Atmosphere Gallery lets you relive the Earth's climate history, experiencing the important atmospheric moments – from Ice Age to industrial age – in hands-on detail.

5. Techniquest, Cardiff

Adults: £7, Children: £5, techniquest.org

Launch a rocket, sink an oil rig or lie back and gaze at the stars in the discovery centre planetarium. This Saturday and Sunday entry is free.

6. British Music Experience, London

Adults: £12, Children: £6, britishmusicexperience.com

Here the history of British popular music comes to life, and you can even record yourself singing.

7. National Museum of Flight, East Lothian, Scotland

Adults: £9.50, Children: £4, nms.ac.uk

Find out how planes are built, why they stay in the air, and even try to land one at this interactive museum.

8. W5 Interactive Discovery Centre, Belfast

Adults: £7.70, Children: £5.70, w5online.co.uk

You can build a robot or a bridge, or play a laser harp in five interactive exhibitions at this funky museum.

9. Doctor Who Experience, London

Adults: £18, Children: £14, doctorwhoexperience.com

Go on an adventure in the Tardis or get up close with a Dalek at this temple to the BBC show.

10. Thackray Museum, Leeds

Adults: £7, Children: £5, thackraymuseum.org

The Thackray Museum of surgery is a veritable riot of blood, guts and gore. Children (or adults) can play at setting up a 19th-century operation.