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This is a fantastic morning/afternoon for kids. It is science presented in a fun and interesting format: from the diagram of the history of life at the entrance, to the staged big screen exhibits which have an interactive drill down format based on interactive TV that all kids immediately take to. The playroom at the end has fun interactive educational games as well as a cosmos exploring system that allows them to send messages to their chosen star.
The main lecture room has an engaging as well as educational game scenario that is on a par with anything Disney could do. It has entertained family members from 7 to 17 and made them go back again for another go. "just like being IN the movies".
Although it is relatively short at about 2 hours for a visit, kids seem to find it a very fun filled educational couple of hours, which makes it reasonable value.
The setting is nice if a little hard to find and cost is reasonable though not cheap. Free parking is by the sea just east of the Observatory. I have also been to a couple of the evening events, from moon and planets observations. The cafe is modern chic and food is good. You don't have to pay entrance fee to use the cafe and walk the grounds, which is good.
The summer space camp will also be a big draw for the kids when they are a little older.
Blackrock Castle Observatory www.bco.ie Beautifully restored castle at the mouth of the inner harbour in Cork City. Fantastic audio visual attraction that is interactive and will even captivate kids as young as four. One of the few City sponsored attractions that is open on Sundays and holidays. Full credit to Cork City Council and CIT. Well worth a visit regardless of the weather.