I will admit, I am not that into science. I appreciate that it is awesome and essential and all that, but my understanding is so basic that I do occasionally get the definitions of ‘science’ and ‘magic’ mixed up. However, the idea of a day trip to the planetarium excited me. Touch some rocks from space, look at pretty pictures, enjoy the existence of NASA, etc.
It is such a shame that it turns out that the Armagh Planetarium is pants. Here are the reasons why, in a handy list form:
- You might die trying to get there. Seriously, the roads in Armagh make little to no sense, and it feels like everyone is just driving forward and hoping nothing bad happens.
- The entire exhibition takes ten minutes. Even if you read all the information. We made it stretch out to twenty minutes – but ten minutes of that was spent in the kids room reading books about space written for toddlers.
Not trying to be overly harsh here, but the displays sort of feel like something a primary school class have done for their end of year project. The building feels a little clinical and school-like, so that doesn’t help at all.
- The majority of the ‘specimens’ are not from space. They are rocks from various places in Northern Ireland, with a little description about how that particular type of rock might be maybe in space somewhere.
- The staff were overly enthusiastic about our arrival – which always makes me uncomfortable, but, in hindsight, it could just be that we were the first visitors they had had in a while. A long while.
- The gift shop was terrible. All they sold were generic NASA posters and pencils. I wasn’t expecting a chunk of the moon or anything, but something fun would’ve be nice.
It was especially heart-breaking, considering I went to the Planetarium for my eleventh birthday and thought it was the best thing ever. Either it got rubbish since then, or I was a dopey kid who likes shiny pictures.
Either way, don’t waste your time, or your money.