‚Äú Millennium Point is Birmingham¬ís flagship Millennium project, built to celebrate and encourage science, technology and education in Birmingham and the wider region. ‚Äě
Funded in the main by lottery money, Millennium point is a vast structure housing many things. It is located in Curzon Street 10 minutes walk from Birmingham's Bullring Shopping centre and is futuristic looking (think 'Bladerunner' type place). The locale basically incorporates two attractions, first is 'Thinktank' which has taken over from the old Birmingham science museum. It is an educational 'hands on' science museum and has things like learning about medical techniques and how the body works to how appliances work such as microwaves, satellites, cars etc, there are also exhibits about Birmingham and its history along with real steam engines and a real size spitfire hanging from the ceiling.
My favourite exhibits were the medical operation zone and the recycling centre, in the medical operation you play the part of the surgeon replacing the hip joint of the patient with a large screen in front of you and actors playing the parts of others surgeons and nurses. You have a type of wii remote device and a voice guides you through what you have to do in the operation. The recycling information interested me because it had the actual processes that our rubbish goes through in the display, and plaques explaining each stage. Virtually everything has a little explanation plaque, detailing background and function.
The other major attraction in the building is an imax cinema screen, it has a 50 ft by 70 ft screen and most of its films are in 3 dimensions, you are given special 3 dimensional glasses upon entering (much better than the little blue and red things given out with newspapers and cereal packets in the 80s), these glasses are quite weighty and do produce a great effect of things coming 'out' of the screen, most of the films last about 45 minutes.
Features are usually 'Space quest' or 'Under the Ocean' they basically explore the environments and have an educational bent. Although recently went to see batman the dark night there (which was showing in 2d) its unusual to have a major film filmed in IMAX format though.
Plenty of places to eat are to be found in the building with cafe's, fast food and souvenirs shops never far away.
Lastly the building does house some rooms for matthew boulton college and these can be seen in the corridor. The prices are OK and its well worth a visit if you haven't been there before and live in the Birmingham area.
¬£8.25 ¬£9.25 ¬£16.25
Child: 3-15 yrs
¬£6.25 ¬£7.25 ¬£12.25
¬£6.25 ¬£7.25 ¬£12.25
Family of 4 (max 2 adults, 2 children)
¬£26.00 ¬£28.00 ¬£49.00
Opening hours are 10am-5pm with last admission at 4pm
Family of 4 (max 2 adults, 2 children)
For more information tel : 0121 202 2222
I would recommend a trip here for the educational content. It can get crowded at school holiday times though.
Living only twenty minutes from Birmingham all of my life I couldn't really find an excuse to not visit Millennium Point or the Think Tank as its sometimes known, so a couple of years ago we actually went.
So what is Millennium Point? Well it's a centre in the middle of Birmingham which is dedicated to science and education. The building is absolutely massive and can take hours just to walk around and have a look at all the things that are going on. It is situated as I've said pretty much in the centre of Birmingham; it's hard to miss really. You can get there by a number of ways. Walking from the city centre is probably easiest as it's only ten minutes away from the Bullring and is well sign posted. Bus route 55 from the city centre will also get you there. By car you will have to get off the M6 at junction 6 and follow signs to Ring Road and then take first exit off Dartmouth Circus Roundabout and then follow directions.
So what can you actually see and do at Millennium Point. The Think Tank is the main area of interest as it hosts a big science museum where you can view many things such as automobiles, trains, historic artefacts and the technology of science. This is probably my favourite part of the place as you could find so much information about science and medicine. There is even a big TV screen where you can watch a hip replacement surgery and how everything works. The planetarium is also a good place to visit as they usually have some sort of event going on there. But it is always interesting to learn about space and the planets.
There is also Birmingham's only IMAX cinema which boasts a 385 seat arena where you can watch 3D films in style. If your thinking this place is only for adults then you are wrong. One floor is completely dedicated to children and trying to help them understand science a little better. In fact that is where we spent most of our time as it's an extremely fun place!
The Hub is just the Atrium where visitors can wonder at the building. It is very futuristic looking inside and very large. It's a pretty cool place just to wonder around for a bit as it's always very clean and doesn't get packed. There are different cafes and restaurants but they are a bit expensive. There are also lots of exhibitions that happen at Millennium Point such as sea monsters in 3D and space exhibitions.
To just walk around the atrium part of Millennium Point is actually free and open to all but to get into the Think Tank which is the main attraction you have to pay admission fees. The prices are as follows:
You can buy family tickets which admit 2 adults and 2 children for ¬£25.
To park in the car park you also have to pay fees which can go up to ¬£4.50 if you stay longer than a few hours.
Overall I liked Millennium Point and thought it was quite a good day out. It's brilliant for adults as well as children as you are having fun but also learning at the same time. The science parts are excellent as they deal with everything to how the body works to how modern medicines were created. A great day out for the family however it can get a little costly with parking and food while you are there.
Overall though I recommend it completely if you're ever in Birmingham. For the few hours that it takes for you to walk around and experience the place fully it is well worth the money.
Address: Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham, B4 7XG
Telephone number: +44  121 202 2200