Located within the South Downs National Park, Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium is the leading science and discovery centre in the South of England and the perfect place to enjoy a family day out. As an independent educational charity, we are dedicated to sparking curiosity in children and helping families to experience the wonderful world of science and technology.
A brand new immersive zone, opening 20 July 2018, Explorer:Space will take pride of place on the lower exhibition floor. Taking visitors on an epic journey through the Solar System, Explorer:Space will encompass 20 fantastic modular exhibits, covering everything from space discoveries to atmospheric pressure to the first moon landing mission.
Our planetarium, the largest standalone planetarium in the UK, presents an unforgettable and incredible experience. The 360° domed screen completely surrounds the audience, placing everyone right in the action. We offer fulldome screenings of high-quality digital films, covering a wide variety of fascinating topics. There are also live presenter-led shows that explore different aspects of the universe, from the planets to the stars. Look out for the chatterbox shows which offer a more relaxed environment where the audience are welcome to chat or call out during the show.
Two floors of interactive exhibits encourage children and families to explore all things STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). Find out how to bend light, create a tornado and vortex, experiment with electronic music and see a heat sensitive camera in action. At the Colon Café, the whole family can go on a journey of discovery through an enormous colon to learn about good and bad bacteria, and how what you put into your body affects what comes out! And in the Science of Sport Zone, you can test your reaction time, flexibility, and your ability to balance.
A space dedicated to ingenuity led by our Curiosity Team and volunteer STEM Ambassadors (professionals working in STEM industry). A constantly changing programme of activity includes things like coding and engineering challenges, minibeast handling and rocket launching. A place where everyone can explore, create, construct and be challenged. Open to the public at weekends and during school holidays.
Explore the South Downs National Park
The Science Centre is situated in the South Downs National Park and enjoys great views across the rolling countryside. An outdoor area, with trim trail and water play, surrounded by picnic tables provides a great space for children to play. For the more adventurous, we encourage you to explore the neighbouring Butterfly Conservation Reserve, Magdalen Hill Down. A free spotters trail is available from the Science Centre outlining short walks and points of interest. Visiting on a sunny day is a great way to enjoy the best of indoors and out.
Hub Café & Science Shop
Find a choice of hot and cold drinks, lunch menu and snacks, including sandwiches, toasted paninis, jacket potatoes, nachos, cakes, fruit, biscuits and more at the Hub Café. Indoor and outdoor seating is available for those purchasing refreshments. The Science Shop offers a wide variety of unusual and quirky STEM gifts, from pocket-money mementos to quality books and interesting experiments to try at home. Gift cards are also available. By purchasing items from the Hub Café and Science Shop you are directly supporting our charity.
The Centre is fully accessible and includes a wide range of amenities to ensure that as many guests as possible can enjoy its facilities. We are also currently rolling out a £3.4m project to allow us to create a space where inclusivity is embedded in everything that we do. We want to build welcoming spaces for all, with a real commitment to getting it right for people with a disability and their families – so they can engage like never before.