It’s been 35 years since the evil Galactic Empire was flattened and to celebrate Intergalactic Star Wars Day, VisitEngland identifies 10 of the top sci-fi experiences across the country.
Star Wars Miniland Experience
This March, Legoland Windsor revealed its brand new Star Wars Miniland Experience, where the Star Wars Universe has been recreated using Lego. Rebel ships, the Forest Moon of Endor and the planet of Tatooine all feature in the exhibit which depicts several famous scenes using 1.5 million Lego bricks. The experience was planned in consultation with Lucasfilm Ltd to ensure complete authenticity. Several planets, including Naboo, the home planet of Queen Amidala, were created by dozens of model designers and builders; the miniland also features authentic Star Wars sounds, actions and lighting effects that bring the Star Wars saga to life.
London Sci-fi Film Festival 2012, 29 April – 7 May 2012
Apollo, Piccadilly Circus
The 11th annual Sci-Fi Film Festival begins with the Sci-fi London Parade from midday at Victoria Embankment Gardens. The festival invites attendees to come as their favourite film, game, TV or literary character. Cosplayers, zombies, stormtroopers, steampunks, daywalkers and superheroes are all welcome to this free event. There are spot prizes for the best dressed and an exclusive after-party in the Blue Room at the BFI. Sci-Fi-London is an independent film festival with a packed programme of events, including film premieres, all-night screenings, parties and pub quizzes.
Star Wars – May the 4th Be With You, 4 – 6 May 2012
FullCircle Gallery, Leeds
To commemorate ‘May the 4th’, FullCircle Gallery Leeds, The Hang Gang and Leeds Alternative Comics, have got together to host the ultimate celebration of Star Wars. FullCircle will be transformed into a gallery, hosting a huge display of vintage Star Wars toys including over 100 carded figures and boxed vehicles. There’ll be live music Star Wars screenings and Star Wars inspired food and drinks available from the ‘Wookie Cookies’ cook book. Fancy dress is not compulsory but is welcomed. The exhibition, will be open 10am – 6pm on both the Saturday and Sunday and there will be screenings of Star Wars again on both days starting at 6pm.
Tickets Sat / Sun are £3 (£2 concessions and children).
Film tickets Sat / Sun an additional £5 (£4 concessions and children).
The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, 12 – 13 May 2012
Peterborough Arena, East of England Showground
The Greatest Show in the Galaxy is a two-day Sci Fi, Cult Film and TV event, where fans can meet the stars. A packed weekend with autograph and photograph opportunities, stage shows, talks and interviews. See the costumes and props from some of the world’s most famous sci-fi shows and films including Star Trek, Star Wars, Predator and more.
Tickets from £12 – £180.
Magna Science Adventure Centre
Magna, the UK’s first science adventure centre, is set in the Templeborough steelworks in Rotherham. Set in this cavernous space are four pavilions where you can explore the elements, earth, air, fire and water. Here you can have fun firing a giant water cannon, launch rockets, board an airship and spin in a gyroscopic chair. You can’t avoid the fun, see lightning bolts, fiery tornadoes, explode rock faces and work real JCBs! The original steelworks truly provides a dramatic backdrop for the ultimate interactive experience.
Centre for Life
The Centre for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne is a science village where scientists, clinicians, educationalists and business people come together to promote advancement of the life sciences. Experience their stunning planetarium – the biggest in the North of England – and join the inspiring Science Explainers doing demonstrations in the Science Theatre. Have the ride of your life on amotion simulator ride and little ones will enjoy exploring their creativity – and having fun – in the Young Explorers’ Zone. The fascinating Human Life exhibition explores where we came from, the amazing world in which we live today and what the future could have in store for us.
Wirral near Liverpool
Spaceport takes visitors on an inspirational journey through space. Become a virtual astronaut in the incredible 360-degree, fully immersive Space Dome show; fly through the galaxy in the Space Explorer craft; admire the Solar System and Milky Way or venture into the Alien Zone. With six different themed galleries brimming with interactive hands-on exhibits and audiovisual displays, this is a family experience with a difference. But be warned: children might not want to come back down to earth!
National Space Centre
The award winning National Space Centre is the UK’s largest attraction dedicated to space. From the minute you catch sight of the Space Centre’s futuristic Rocket Tower; you’ll be treated to hours of breath-taking discovery and interactive fun. Home to the UK’s largest planetarium, The National Space Centre is a hands-on, interactive journey through six stunning galleries. Interactive exhibits, shows and simulators allow children to explore black holes and the universe, and test-drive a martin rover robot. Assess your family’s mental and physical ability to see if they’ve got what it takes to become an astronaut or blast off on a stunning 3D SIM journey to the ice moon Europa.
The hands-on science centre Explore, and its planetarium, offers an amazing world of hands-on discovery – where exploration and education go hand in hand with an unforgettable, fun day out. Take a trip to the stars beneath an immersive domed screen in Explore’s very own planetarium. Sit back and discover coloured stars, giant planets and how to navigate your way through space. Have you ever wondered how stars are made or how to find the constellations in the night sky?
The Science Museum
The Science Museum is world-renowned for its historic collections, awe-inspiring galleries, family activities and exhibitions – and, even better, it’s completely free. See thousands of life-changing scientific inventions from Stephenson’s Rocket to the Apollo 10 command module, and encounter the past, present and future of technology in seven floors of free galleries, including the Museum’s famous hands-on galleries where children have fun investigating science with dedicated Explainers. From firm favourites to world firsts, Launchpad is packed with over 50 interactive exhibits, plus electrifying shows and lively demos, all from the wonderful world of physics.