Showing posts with label days out. Show all posts
Showing posts with label days out. Show all posts

Friday, 29 October 2021

The MAD museum review

Hey readers,

The other day we went to the MAD museum in Stratford-Upon-Avon for a family day out. I thought I would do a review of what the museum is all about. 

 What is the mad museum?

The Mad museum which stands for mechanical art and design is museum is the only mechanical type museum in the UK. The museum showcases 60 interactive pieces of kinetic art and automatic. It is definitely something a bit unusual and worth checking out as it is interactive and you can see the amazing designs that people have come up with work in real life.

  The main goal of the museum is to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) and they have done this by using the different types of contraptions on display from robotic birds, 3d pictures, and extravagant marble run displays. It is all visual which is great to encourage people to get excited about design and having fun. 

The MAD museum review

In the museum, there are some interactive displays where you can wave your hand to start the display or press the button to get the display to start. 

There is an area where kids can make their own marble wall so lovely to see them work out a formula to get the marbles to roll down smoothly from the top to the bottom. Some of the best learning I think it is from experimenting and giving it a go yourself. 

The MAD museum review

The MAD museum review

There are many displays of pictures of the designs before the actual display was made, so good to see how the minds of the creatures work and the process that they have to go through. 

There are some good optical illusions as well on display to mess up your mind haha!

The MAD museum review

Above is one of the intrinsic displays where you press the button on the side to start it up and you can watch in action the way the ball moves around through the design not reach the bottom. 

The MAD museum review

The MAD museum review

Where is the mad museum?

The MAD Museum is located in Stratford upon Avon and the address for the location is:

4-5 Henley Street,



CV37 6PT. 

Telephone number is - 01789 269356

When does it open?

opening times are:

Monday to Friday - 10:30 - 4:30 pm. 

Weekends and holidays - 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.

You do have to prebook tickets beforehand and you can do this by going on their website here.


What are the prices of the tickets?

The cost of tickets is listed below. 

Adult: £7.80.

Concession: £6.30.

Child (6-15yrs): £5.20.

Child 5yrs & under: Free.

Family (2 Adults & 2 Children): £22.00.

Extra Child with Family: £3.50.

What is the recommended age to go to the MAD museum?

Normally about 3 onwards though nothing stopping you at any age as children under 5 years of age are free anyway.

I would say to go around the museum would be about 45mins to an hour, it is quite small but there are a lot of interactive features that kids can enjoy.

They also have a little museum where it shows small videos on ideas such as a marble run which kids can enjoy. That is free and I like the fact that the videos are not too long so kids won't get bored watching them. 

Other things to do in Stratford. 

As well as the MAD museum there are other things you can do in Stratford. There is the Stratford theatre where you can go for free to check out the displays based on theatre themes. 

The MAD museum review

The MAD museum review

There is a lovely green park where you can walk around and is nice when the sun is out.  

The MAD museum review

Of course, there are many different types of water transport you can go to. We took the manual boat to get across the other side of the river. That was a fun experience for the kids and only cost £1 each so didn't break the bank.

Cheers for reading X 

Sunday, 15 September 2019

All you need to know about a Merlin Pass.

Hey readers,

If you like going to the top attractions in the UK then one way to save money on days out is to purchase a Merlin Pass. 

What is a Merlin Pass? 

A merlin pass is a pass that you pay for to enter 30 top attractions (see further down of all the attractions available on the merlin pass). You can either pay monthly or annual and each type of pass opens up different offers to you such as reduced food, car parking costs. 

How much does it cost?

There are two types of Merlin pass that you can buy - standard annual pass and premium annual pass, each comes with a set of their own perks that you can use during the time at a merlin attraction. 

Standard annual pass. 

Annual prices. 

Individual price (adult or child) - £179.00 or family price per person. 3+ ( max 3 adults. Adults aged 12+).

Renewal price - prices from  £109.00  per person. 

Monthly prices. 

Individual monthly price - £8.99 per person plus joining fee £29.99 per person.

12-month minimal term. Total of 12 months cost £137.87.


Entry into UK attractions.

FREE Royal Mail Delivery (3-5 Working Days) 2

Up to 20% discount on food, beverage, and retail.

Short Breaks offers and discounts with Merlin Holiday Club.

Invites to exclusive Passholder Preview Events.

Discounted entry for family & friends.

Premium annual pass. 

Annual price.

 (adult or child) £229.00 per person. 

Family - 3+ (max 3 adults 12+) £189 per person.

Monthly price.

 £11.99 per person plus £34.99 joining fee per person. 

12-month minimal term, a total of 12 months cost £178.87. 


Entry into UK attractions.

FREE Royal Mail Delivery (3-5 Working Days).

Up to 20% discount on food, beverage and retail.

Short Breaks offers and discounts with Merlin Holiday Club.

Invites to exclusive Passholder Preview Events.

Discounted entry for family & friends.

FREE car parking at our Theme Parks and Warwick Castle.

Visit anytime without restrictions (Subject to T&Cs).

Exclusive Passholder pack.

Priority entry to UK attractions (subject to availability).

Additional bits.

 A complimentary carer pass
 - this is a pass for any carer to help assist with a disabled person. It is not allocated specifically to one person but to the carer at that time of visiting. 

 This pass is free so you don't have to pay any cost towards the ticket. There must be at least one responsible adult in the visiting party (the party means the disabled guest and the guest using the carer Pass) in order for the party to enter an attraction.

To apply for the carer pass you will need to provide proof of disability when getting the pass issued, this can be any of the following documentation:

* Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
* Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
* Blue Badge (photo ID required).
* Signed letter from GP (photo ID required).

Documentation should be dated within the last 24 months, documentation dated later than this maybe rejected.

Type Talk.

When speaking to us via the telephone we accept all TypeTalk calls. All of our agents are fully trained to use this service.

Hearing and Assistance.

Many of our attractions have the hearing assistance service for anyone using a hearing aid.

Ride Acess Pass.

Guests with certain disabilities are able to get a disabled access pass which means they can enter via the ride exit to avoid the queuing.

Buggie hire.

There are a limited amount of buggies to hire at Merlin attractions. You would be wise to come early so you won't be disappointed. The cost of hiring out a pushchair for the day is £10 and a refundable deposit of £10 is required. 

Buggies must be returned, at the very latest, 30 minutes prior to the advertised Park closing time to guarantee that the deposit is returned.

Buggies cannot be taken through any queue lines and therefore must be left outside the entrance of the rides, keeping the entry point clear.
Please note items left in buggies or prams are left at the owner's risk. 

Wheelchair hire.

There are a limited number of wheelchairs and not all Merlin attractions due them such as Madame Tussauds. However, the theme park based ones do. 

The cost to hire out a wheelchair is  A £20 refundable deposit is required and a rental charge of £10 applies to guests who cannot show documentation confirming their eligibility. 

You can hire them at the box office on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Pop badges. 

Pop badges are collectible badges that you can collect at different Merlin attractions and put them on your pass holder lanyard.  

They all have different designs and different ways to get them. I have only got a few but I explain below the ways in which I got them. 

Legoland Windsor - can get a Legoland pop badge when you purchase a kids meal at any restaurant within the resort. 

Thorpe Park - Didn't have any in the shop they claimed so don't know how you get them. 

Alton Towers - didn't bother been told you can get them from a machine in the sea life centre within the resort at a cost of £2. 

We are planning on going back in a few weeks and test out that theory and shall update to let you know. 

After Thorpe park and visit to Legoland, I was so disheartened trying to get pop badges for my two little children bu the time we visited Alton Towers I had completely given up pon the idea of getting them. 

Circus, Blackpool - Main tower reception you can pick a circus pop badge up. 

Blackpool Tower - Tower shop you can pick up a badge with no purchase needed. 

The Blackpool Tower Dungeon - You need to purchase a dungeon guide for £2.60 with a Merlin pass and the assistant will give you a set of for each Merin pass holder.

Blackpool Sea Life centre - one at the rock pool area and completing an activity sheet with children (answers are upside down on the sheet). You can collect the pop badge from the shop at the end. 

Blackpool Madame Tussauds - visit at the nice assistant at the shop and she will give you a few pop badges with your choice of the image such as Groot or Spiderman, etc. 

When to buy a Merlin Pass.

The best time to buy a Merlin Pass is in January as they have a sale on and you grab a fab deal. 

Friends and family ticket.

With being a Merlin pass holder you can save up to 50% with getting day tickets for family and friends. You can even book the tickets online to any of the resort theme parks. 

Each valid Merlin Annual Pass allows for the purchase of up to 5 friends and family tickets. Failure to present a valid Merlin Annual Pass when collecting your friends and family rickets will result in a non-refundable the ticket being charged at full gate price. 

Terms and Conditions. 

* This is collect at the attraction ONLY ticket. 
* Tickets must be booked at least 24 hours in advance. 
* The friends and family ticket is for standard entry only. 
* Tickets are valid for one visit to the specified attraction.
* Prices are subject to availability.
* A valid standard, premium or V.I.P. Merlin pass holder must be present when collecting the tickets. 
* Failure to present a valid Merlin annual pass when collecting your friends/family ticket will result in a non-refundable ticket being charged ar full gate price.


Chessington World of Adventure. 

The London Eye. 

Thorpe Park Resort. 

Alton Towers Resort.

Warwick Castle.

National Sea Life Centre Birmingham. 

Sea Life Brighton. 

Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester.

Legoland Windsor resort.

Blackpool Tower.

Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham.

Madame Tussauds Blackpool.

Madame Tussauds London.

Sea Life Blackpool.

Sea Life Bray.

Sea Life Great Yarmouth.

Sea life Loch Lomond.

Sea Life London.

Sea Life Manchester.

Sea Life Sanctuary Hunstanton.

Sea Life Scarborough.

Shrek's Adventure.

The Blackpool Tower Dungeon.

The Edinburgh Dungeon.

The London Dungeon.

The Warwick Castle Dungeon. 

The York dungeon.

Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park. 

  Attractions in order of location. 

North England. 

Blackpool - Sea Life Centre, The Blackpool Tower Dungeon, Blackpool Tower, Madame Tussauds. 

Manchester - Legoland Discovery Centre.

Scarbrough - Sea Life Centre. 

Weymouth  - Sea Life Adventure Park

York - The York Dungeons. 

East England. 

Great Yarmouth - Sea Life Centre.

Sanitary Hunstanton (Norfolk) - Sea Life Sanctuary.

South-West England. 

Weymouth - Sea Life Adventure Park.

South England. 

Bray - Sea Life Centre.

Brighton - Sea Life Centre.

Cherstsey - Thorpe Park Resort.

London - Chessington World of Adventure, Madame Tussauds, Shrek's Adventure, The London Dungeon, Sea Life Centre, The London Eye. 

Windsor - Legoland Resort.

West Midlands. 

Birmingham - National Sea Life Centre, Legoland Discovery Centre. 

Alton (Staffordshire)  - Alton Towers Resort. 

Warwick - Warwick Castle, The Warwick Castle dungeons. 


Edinburgh  - The Edinburgh Dungeon. 

Loch Lomond - Sea Life Centre.

Is it worth it?

You need to add up the total and then work out how many attractions can you get to which will determine whether it is value for money. 

I live in the midlands so better lengths to travel and more options as a pose to someone who lives in Edinburgh say. 


The other week we went to Blackpool as there is were six merlin attractions in the area so makes a lovely trip away with the family. 

In the Blackpool Tower, there is a circus there which is really good and definitely recommend. 

You do not need to book but it would be advised so you don't miss out. You can pay for tickets on the day however Merlin advise that it can take 60 minutes queuing for the tickets. Alternatively, you can book online and guarantee to have tickets for the day you visit. 

However, it does come with an extra cost on top of the Merlin Pass costing £5 for standard seats or £5.75 for second-row or £7.95 for front row seats. 

Both the £5.75 and £7.95 come with complimentary ice cream or popcorn (the popcorn is really good quality and comes with a sealed back with a weight of 170g ish, which is a lot and definitely not expecting such a huge amount). Along with a soft drink of your choice.

Cheers for reading X