Out and About

With Michelle Byrne
The relentless rain has certainly made it more challenging for families to find things to do – especially with most of our favourite places to visit and explore being outdoors and currently underwater!

For some time, my daughters have been asking about museums, so it seemed like the perfect time to visit the Discovery Centre in Castle Hill to show them what museums are all about and to give them an insight into the past.

The Discovery Centre is one of our local hidden gems, containing an impressive collection of objects spanning across social history, technology and innovation, transport, art and design, as well as exhibits demonstrating how science operates in both everyday life and exploration.

Maddie and Lexi were wowed by the transport collection, which includes a vintage school bus, Cobb & Co coach, steam ploughing engine, vintage Australian cars, bicycles, a steam locomotive, a caravan, a tram, a yacht, a fire engine and even an array of aircraft!

The social history exhibits also generated much discussion, especially the original televisions! Both my daughters were left flummoxed that TVs were ever that small and strange looking. I certainly felt my age when telling them that in “the old days” remote controls didn’t exist and someone would have to get off the couch and turn the channel by twisting a knob! The old dentist chair and drill along with the replica of a Giganotosaurus skull were also high on the list of our favourite objects.

From old domestic appliances and household items, commercial and scientific machinery and equipment, porcelain and silverware, biological exhibits, architectural models, furniture, musical instruments and the scientific equipment used by the Antarctic expedition; the Discovery Centre has something that will pique the interest from the most discerning history buff to the casual observer.

The Discovery Centre also provides free craft for kids along with other tours, activities and workshops for families to enjoy. In March, there will be a “Discovery Walkthrough” titled “That Sound?”; which showcases the sounds surrounding us and the scientific principles behind them. Other workshops coming up include illustrating, engineering, “dance-makers”, and “Forest Poetry” slam workshops.

There is no cafe onsite, although there is a limit range of snacks and drinks available. Visitors however, are encouraged to bring their own lunch or snacks with the option of sitting on the grass or at the undercover outdoor tables. There is also a rope structure for kids to climb on.

The Discovery Centre is currently undergoing an expansion which will include extra spaces for the storage, care, research and viewing more of the Powerhouse Collection, as well as more space for education and public programs, workshops, tours, talks and events.

We immensely enjoyed our afternoon at the Museum and days later we are still talking about the objects we saw and how science, technology and innovation has changed the world we live in.

The Discovery Centre is open on Saturdays and Sundays 10am to 4pm and if you have a spare couple of hours and looking for something different to do then it’s well worth a visit. Best of all, entry is free!

We can’t wait to visit again soon and are definitely looking forward to when the expansion is complete.

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