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“Strictly for for the Under 10's”

Lifetime Lab at Old Cork Waterworks
Ranked #49 of 151 things to do in Cork
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: It is curious to reflect that Cork, a merchant city surrounded by water, might once have thirsted for fresh water to drink. And that the solution came from a “little republic”, to be found just a short walk from the city centre. For this is a lesser told story of Ireland's Ancient East, a behind-the-scenes secret:yet an essential ingredient to the prosperity of Cork City’s rapidly growing population in Victorian times. Arriving at the Old Cork Waterworks on the banks of the River Lee, you find handsome red sandstone and limestone buildings and a towering chimney: monuments to that same Victorian civic pride that left architectural legacies across Cork City. Inside, exploring interactive exhibits and touring the Steam Centre, Boiler and Engine Rooms where giant restored machinery gleams, you discover three centuries of industrial heritage: in particular, the Victorian steam-powered scheme masterminded by architect/engineer Sir John Benson, much needed to update the city’s antiquated water supply. And so the story keeps flowing, as does the Old Cork Waterworks with exhibits looking to the future in a city built on water in more ways than one.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Strictly for for the Under 10's”
Reviewed February 11, 2013

It's not often I consider a museum to be poor verging on terrible but Lifetime Lab - you've won the award for taking a good idea and doing a whole lot of nothing with it. You're situated in a wonderful piece of Victoriana but could have done so much with the site.

The Lab's marketing indicates a family friendly venue, but it's strictly for the under 10's who can see beyond the crumbling exhibits, Stalinist staff and the lack of substance and content. But it's a tribulation for adults and most teenagers. Plenty to push, pull and shake which keeps most pre-teens occupied but so many of these exhibits are just not operating.... and that's after being coerced into watching a mediocre AV presentation on the Lab. Have to agree with other contributors when they commented on staff attitudes - they're right. The employees I encountered were bordering on being rude and unpleasant and it seemed we were interlopers rather than paying visitors.

The playground is a useful diversion but the overall visit was sufficiently disapointing that I had to ask for a refund, which was grudgingly given.

So Lifetime Lab, 9/10 for your building and location, 0/10 for your marketing and some of your public facing employees. Time to spend a few quid on the exhibits and maybe introduce more items. Strictly for the under 10's or primary school tours as today's generation will see through the shoddy exhibits and demand more.

Visited August 2012
6 Thank Ruairi L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Limerick, Ireland
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2012

Expected alot more interaction and input by staff. They sat behind the counter while we went around ourselves. We thought there would be some experiments or displays by the staff but all we did was push some buttons and levers. Kids got more enjoyment from the playground outside. Pity really because the building is beautiful.

Visited July 2012
2 Thank elmacmac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cork, Ireland
Level 6 Contributor
235 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 215 helpful votes
“Hugely impressed”
Reviewed October 29, 2012

This is one of the true gems of Cork. Though aimed at schoolgoers, the displays are good enough to be of interest to all ages. Step outside the building for a sweeping view of the River Lee, and the 18th century Cork City Water Works. Parking available.

Visited October 2012
2 Thank corkdave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
“worth a visit”
Reviewed September 14, 2012

very child friendly, eco mindfulness, clever and the outdoor area is great for picnics there are often special family events there including puppet theatres and such.

Visited May 2012
Thank Marie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterford, Ireland
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Interesting stuff, well presented”
Reviewed August 29, 2012

I visited this with my sons who are 6 and 8. The 8 year old really enjoyed it and could recall a lot of what he'd seen. There was a lot of information I needed to read out to my younger son, so he lost interest a bit.

The playground was very good.

It was easy to find and good to have free parking.

It's very good value for a couple of hours entertainment.

Visited August 2012
Thank LJ C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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