Brilliant Light - February 2017

Spark their imagination at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium this February Half Term with an enlightening extravaganza all about the brilliant science of light.  

The Science Centre is open 10am - 5pm every day from Friday 10 - Monday 27 February, with free extra activities for visitors.  

Book online in advance to save 10% off general entry, plus a further 10% when buying three or more general entry tickets. Buy an annual pass online now to enjoy a year's worth of free entry to the hands-on exhibition and a whole host of extra special benefits and discounts.

This year there are two weeks of Half Term activities as the holiday dates are different in our neighbouring counties. This means that the Science Centre is expected to be less busy than usual during this popular holiday period, making it the perfect time to visit.

FREE parking during February Half Term

Due to limited parking on-site, Winchester Science Centre will be running a Park & Ride service during February Half Term. The service will be running from its new location at the Matterley Basin from Sat 11 Feb - Sun 26 Feb inclusive.

For customers visiting on Fri 10 Feb and Mon 27 Feb, parking will be available at the Science Centre only.

The Park & Ride car park is situated on the beautiful Matterley Estate, just 2.5 miles (about 4 minute bus ride) from the Centre. Please note, the Science Centre will no longer be running a Park & Ride service from St Catherine’s. 

The Matterley Basin car park will open at 9.30am, with the first bus leaving for the Centre at 9.45am. The service will continue to run all day at 20 minute intervals. The last bus back to the Matterley Basin will leave the Centre at 5pm and the car park will close at 5.30pm. Staff will be on hand at the car park during opening hours to assist visitors.

The Science Centre's on-site car park will be open as usual and will be free of charge. The on-site car park can hold around 140 cars so will operate on a first come first served basis. We kindly request that customers who are able to use the FREE Park & Ride service to do so, in order allow those unable to use the bus to park on-site. 

Please note: It will not be possible for Science Centre visitors to park at the Holiday Inn next door so please consider your method of parking before setting out for your day.

How to find the Matterley Basin Park & Ride: 

Coming from the M3 (North, South, West): 
Exit the M3 at junction 10, then follow the BROWN tourist information signs for Winchester Science Centre (A31). At the Alresford Road roundabout, take the 4th exit (A31, Petersfield Road) and follow the YELLOW Winchester Science Centre Park & Ride signs on to the A272. Stay on the A272 for 1.5 miles, the car park will be on your left.

Coming from A3 (South-East/Scenic route): 
Take the A272 exit towards A32/Alton/Winchester. At the roundabout take the 4th exit onto A272. Stay on A272 for 14 miles, the car park will be on your right.


(Click to view Park & Ride map)


Brilliant Light 

This February Half Term, Winchester Science Centre will be amazing its visitors with the incredible science of Light! An exciting live family show (free with general entry) will wow audience members with lasers, mind-blowing experiments with ultraviolet light and plenty of audience interaction. The Science Centre will also have roving trained science communicators with interactive science busking stands covering the science of glow in the dark to how we can get information from any light source. If this wasn’t enough, the brand new Invention Studio will be open every day of the holidays for you to get to grips with a host of exciting challenges.

Brilliant Light: Family show (Free with general entry, suitable for all ages but targeted at 5 – 12 year olds)

Join the Centre’s incredible Science Communicators in an exciting journey through the science of light, expect to be wowed by lasers, intrigued by uncovering new unseen worlds and get involved with lots of audience interaction.

All shows are first come first served, downstairs in the Space Marquee; show times are: 11.00am, 12.00pm, 1.00pm and 2.00pm. Approximate running time is 30 minutes. A queuing system will operate, please arrive at least 10 minutes before the show to avoid disappointment. Doors to the marquee will open 5 minutes before the show begins.  

Science Busking with the Illuminators:

Throughout February Half Term science communicators will be roving across the Centres exhibition floor with amazing, interactive displays about different concepts of light, explore the secret world of fluorescence, the incredible rainbow colours of spectroscopy and ways of making things invisible in front of your eyes! Busking activities are staffing dependant and will be roving the floor between 10:30 and 16:30 every day.

The University of Southampton:

Staff and students from the University of Southampton will be present throughout the Half Term talking about current cutting-edge research and how it will affect your life. University of Southampton staff/students will be present on certain days throughout the Half Term showcasing a range of content

Invention Studio:

Our brand new zone dedicated to your ingenuity will be open every day of the holiday for you to explore and solve several exciting challenges related to programming, aerodynamics, engineering and electronics – work with our Master Inventors to construct truly amazing creations and innovative solutions to a host of challenges. Check out the #InventionStudio on Twitter if you want to know more.


Planetarium Shows

A special, extended programme of planetarium shows will be available including live, presenter-led shows and 360o fulldome films every day.

The Planet Show and Simply Stars are live shows presented by specialist planetarium presenters, other shows are pre-recorded fulldome films. 

For a listing in order of showtime, see the What's On guide.

The Planet Show: live, presenter-led show (£3.80*, minimum age 4 years)

The Planet Show  is a tour of the planets. Look up at the night sky before taking off on an unforgettable journey through a 3D virtual scale model of the solar system, to orbit our neighbouring worlds and discover their secrets. A fantastic way to get to grips with the incredible distances involved when spacecraft make these journeys on our behalf.

Running at 11.30am & 2.50pm, this show lasts 30 minutes. Please arrive 10 minutes before show start time to choose your seat. No late entry.

* Ticket price per seat when adding a live show to a Hands-on Exhibition visit. For the show alone, tickets are £7.50.

Simply Stars: live, presenter-led show (£3.80*, minimum age 4 years)

Simply Stars is traditional style planetarium show with tricks and tips for how to find constellations and interesting objects in this season's night sky. By the end of this show you should have the confidence to go out starspotting yourself and see more than just dots in the sky!

Running at 1.10pm, show lasts 30 minutes. Please arrive 10 minutes before show start time to choose your seat. No late entry. 

* Ticket price per seat when adding a live show to a Hands-on Exhibition visit. For the show alone, tickets are £7.50.

 Fulldome films: (£2.80*)

Secret of the Cardboard Rocket (10.40am & 2pm)

Polaris (12.20pm & 3.40pm)

Black Holes (4.30pm).

The first two films run as Chatterbox Shows, meaning it is not necessary to listen quietly throughout - perfect for younger children or those with special needs.

* Ticket price per seat when adding a fulldome film to a Hands-on Exhibition visit. For the show alone, tickets are £5.

The Hub

The Hub, the Science Centre's new café is open for refuelling this February. It would be great to see visitors leaving packed lunches at home and making the most of our new and improved café.

The Hub will serve up a variety of hot and cold food options, including sandwiches, paninis, cakes and snacks. Thirsty visitors can be refreshed with a variety of hot and cold drinks, or can treat themselves to the new thick milkshake offering available in up to eight delicious flavours. Supporting local businesses, The Hub sources a number of items from local suppliers.


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