"The whole day was fantastic – never been anywhere better organized."
-St Leonard’s Catholic School, Durham
What does a Science Centre visit typically involve?
A standard Science Centre visit typically includes time in our various permanent and visiting exhibitions; a presenter-led, interactive show in the Science Theatre; a film in the planetarium; and a trip on our 4D Motion Ride (visitors must be at least 1.2 metres in height to use the 4D Motion Ride). There may be times when certain areas of the Centre are unavailable, however this will be discussed before you book.
Are there any catering facilities?
We have two cafes at Life. Times Square Cafe serves hot and cold drinks and snacks, including Starbucks, and the Life Cafe offers a wide range of hot food. Our indoor picnic area is also available for use by education parties and groups for packed lunches. Catering packages are available as part of your visit - call (0191) 243 8223 for details.
Do you impose control on the behaviour of pupils?
Life would appreciate your assistance in ensuring the courteous behaviour of your pupils whilst they are on site. Teachers and accompanying adults remain responsible for the behaviour and discipline of their group at all times and should ensure that all children are adequately supervised. We do not tolerate any antisocial, abusive, destructive or dangerous behaviour and reserve the right to remove individual children or entire groups from the exhibition if we believe their behaviour is unacceptable.
How do we pay for our visit?
An invoice will be sent to your school; full payment is required before your visit takes place.
How long should we allow for a visit?
We develop an individual schedule for each group (available on the day of your visit) to ensure that you're able to see and experience everything. Each workshop lasts at least one hour. If you're doing a workshop and visiting the Science Centre we recommend that you allow at least three to four hours for a visit, although there's plenty to do if you wish to stay longer.
If we are running late, what should we do?
If you are running late please call (0191) 243 8223 and we will do our best to reschedule your programme.
Is the visit suitable for pupils with special needs?
Yes. The education department would be pleased to discuss any special requirements in advance of your visit. Please visit our Accessibility page for more information or call (0191) 243 8223.
Is there a shop?
Yes. We stock a wide range of fun, educational and themed gifts at a variety of prices. We can also provide pre-booked goody bags if required.
We will be arriving by coach/minibus. Where shall we park?
Please drive up to the barrier at the bottom of Central Parkway. The driver should then use the intercom to inform us of your arrival. We have very limited parking facilities and operate a first come first served parking system. You will be told by a member of staff where to drop off the pupils and park if possible. Walk with your group up Central Parkway, turn left at the top of Times Square and walk down to the Science Centre reception where you'll be greeted by a member of staff.
We'll be arriving on foot. Where do we report?
Please report to the main Science Centre reception (at the bottom of Times Square) where you'll be greeted by a member of staff.
Will we be given a schedule for our visit?
We provide groups with schedules detailing times to visit different areas of the Centre, which include time for lunch and time in the gift shop. These allow you to pace your visit, ensures good flow of visitors around the Centre and makes sure that your group has the opportunity to try everything Life has to offer. Your schedule will be provided on arrival.
What time do we have to be there and how long do we get?
This depends on what package you have booked, but times are flexible. We try to arrange timings to suit your requirements. This will be arranged when making a booking over then phone. Most school visits take place between between 10am and 2pm, although you are welcome to stay longer.
What are the minimum and maximum numbers?
The minimum number of pupils per visit is 12, although we are flexible on this depending on your school’s requirements e.g. children with learning difficulties. There is no maximum number, however you may be required to split your groups into smaller groups on the day.
Is there somewhere to store our belongings?
Yes. A secure storage crate will be available for the storage of personal belongings on the day of your visit. This is free of charge.
I’m a home educator- can I book a workshop?
Yes. We offer home educated groups the same discounts as schools groups. The minimum number for any workshop is 12 children. As our workshops are curriculum-linked and age appropriate, we cannot make concessions for differences in age and ability of the children in your party. To discuss your requirements, please contact the bookings team on (0191) 243 8223.