Swiss Science Center Technorama (ZH)
We have visited a lot of museums over the last few years but Technorama is definitely one of the best we have encountered.
Situated in Winterthur with ample parking and accessible by public transport, the museum exceeded our wildest expectations.
We arrived on Saturday just before lunch and decided to eat something in the self service restaurant before getting stuck into the museum. There’s a reasonable choice of dishes available so we all picked something we liked and found a spot to sit and eat while the children speculated about what they might see.
The museum is huge and while we were getting the tickets, the children were already dashing around to see what lay ahead. We began on the ground floor which houses exhibits dedicated to mechanics, currents and magnets and the incredible lightning demonstration (this was mesmerising and I could have stood there staring for hours).
The incredible thing about this museum is that you can touch everything! There are more than 500 experiment stations with instructions in German, English, French and Italian so you can try each activity for yourself and we soon split up to each follow our whims. It’s a great way to get the children (and adults) to assess and try to work out the consequences of an action. We were impressed that Alba seemed to get the hang of most of the experiments really quickly.
The first floor is dedicated to water, nature & chaos (my favourite part), mathematics and mindscapes. This was brilliant and we found the experiments about the weather especially fascinating. We were slightly worried about Elio who is easily over-stimulated by lots of people/lots of noise but actually he was perfectly happy. The museums lighting is quite low so he wasn’t bothered by that and we found a few experiments which involved vibrations and helped him put his hands on them which he enjoyed. Jude and Alba went nuts on this floor and were literally running from one thing to another with great excitement. The water experiments are very interesting and enjoyable to discover for the whole family.
We headed on through to the mindscape part which was really fun. The children liked the « wonky house » and we all tested our vestibule by walking through the tunnel with rotating walls.
The experiments on the top floor explore wood, light and sight. This was a great chance to show Jude the basics of refraction and he enjoyed manipulating various objects to change the trajectory of a beam of light. There are lots of wooden experiments in a large hands-on exhibit with levers to pull and pulley to operate.
On each floor, as well as the exhibits, there are labs and workshops exploring themes of chemistry, physics and biology for groups and school classes, adventure rooms inviting you to solve scientific puzzles in order to exit within 60 minutes and lots of demonstrations (some of these activities require additional tickets).
On level -1 you can discover a large collection of model trains so we finished our visit with a tour of that. Alba love all the little model people.
We could not leave this place without trying the experiment with Alba's hair in the air! The staff were really kind and reopened it just for us as they had closed the area a few minutes before we arrived.
You could easily spend an entire day in this wonderful place and you would still come away feeling like you hadn’t seen everything. Jude came out asking for a microscope and some crystals for his birthday and the visit reconfirmed his love of science, building and puzzle solving.
Thank you so much Technorama for having us. It’s such a joy to be able to share this place with our followers.
Since the museum is a couple of hours away from our house, we decided to stay overnight at the Park Hotel which is conveniently located in the centre of town and only about ten minutes drive away from the museum. We had two interconnecting rooms with enough space for us all and the decor was comfortable and clean. We liked the free mini bar of soft drinks which is a good idea for families.
Since it was a sunny evening we decided to go for a walk to explore the town and were delighted to discover the market, cafes and restaurants and music which filled the streets. We chose a terrace and sat down for a drink to discuss our favourite parts of the museum (it proved impossible to choose) before heading back to the hotel for dinner in their Bloom restaurant. The staff at the restaurant were wonderful, very helpful, kind and accommodating. The children were each given a book of puzzles to keep them busy between mouthfuls and we had a really lovely evening.
To our astonishment, Elio slept like a log and we were up early the next morning and ready for breakfast.
Our original plan was to visit the animal park on Sunday morning but Jude had developed an awful cough over the weekend and had a high temperature so we decided to get him home. He has been tested negative to Covid since then.
If you are in the area you could combine a visit to the museum with a trip to the Rheinfall in Schaffhausen which is about 30 minutes from the centre of Winterthur. There is also an urban golf course around the town and we saw signs for a Fox Trail too which is an activity we really enjoy when visiting a new town.
+41 (0)52 244 08 44
Adults : 32 CHF
Children 6–15 years : 20 CHF
Children 0–5 years : Free
The Technorama is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
Free parking can be found right at the main entrance. There are more free parking spaces along the railway line and in front of the storage buildings (200m).
The entire exhibition is wheelchair accessible, including the labs and restaurant. Toilets are specifically indicated.
Strollers can be taken into the exhibition. The entire exhibition and the restaurant are pushchair-friendly. Changing tables can be found by the toilets next to the cloakroom.
Public workshops are open daily from 1 to 1:45 pm. Tickets can only be obtained at the Information Desk for CHF 6.– per person.
If you would like to you attend a workshop with a group or school class, you may book it online.