Royal Observatory and Planetarium Greenwich

We have been learning about space in our homeschool so we decided to take a trip to the Greenwich Royal Observatory and Planetarium. We were gifted tickets to see a show in the planetarium but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

What you need to know

The Royal Observatory and Planetarium are in Greenwich, London and are located in the grounds of Greenwich park. The park is beautiful and would be great for picnics in the warmer weather. 

There is pay and display parking in the park but this is limited to a maximum four hour stay. At the National Maritime museum there is another pay and display car park which can be used when visiting the Royal Observatory and is £15 for the day. There is some roadside parking if you visit on a Sunday and do not mind a little walk. We managed to get free parking just outside the park entrance as my husband can not stand paying for parking when we go anywhere! 

The Astronomy centre

The astronomy centre is fantastic for children as it takes a hands on approach with lots of chances for the kids to get involved while learning all about our solar system. 

The astronomy centre is free to enter with a donation box for you to donate should you wish. 

Planetarium 

The planetarium has several shows each day and you can choose which one you see when you book your tickets. If you are planning on visiting the planetarium then I would advise booking beforehand to avoid any disappointment. 

We chose to see ‘meet the neighbours‘ which was a trip through the solar system visiting two planets in more detail. 

There is even a a show especially for the under 7’s which I think is fantastic. It is called Teds space adventure, although there were younger children at the show which we saw and they still enjoyed it. 

Darren and Faith laying back in the chairs at the planetarium
Laying back in the tilted chairs at the show.

We were not really sure what to expect as we had never been to anything like this before but I must say, it was amazing. When you are laying back and looking at the stars it is so beautiful and there were times that it would feel as if you were actually moving although you were not at all. 

It was so interesting and the lady who was talking us through was really good at explaining things in an easy to understand way. You could tell how passionate she was about her work which was lovely to see. I was having such a great time, I didn’t want it to end. 

It lasted for approximately 30 minutes and tickets cost £9 for an adult and £4.50 for a child

Other things to see and do

  • Stand on the Prime Meridian line and learn about the story behind GMT – Tickets required.
  • Explore the National Maritime Museum – Free entrance. 
  • Visit Cutty Sark, a historic sailing ship – Tickets required.
  • Take in some art at Queen’s House art gallery – Free entrance.

Final thoughts

Faith who is nearly 12 was not keen on going here. However she actually enjoyed the day and loved the planetarium show. On the way home we had great discussion about the universe and planets and space travel. We all learned so much and when a relative recently asked Faith what her favourite home school activity had been over the last year she answered our day at the planetarium! 

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