Frequently asked questions
We The Curious is reopening in November 2020, following temporary closure due to the COVID pandemic.
We’re so excited to be able to welcome you back to We The Curious – after all, our visitors really are the life and soul of our venue, you’re where those magic connections and experiences happen! It’s a slightly different world now to the one that was when we closed our doors in March, so a few things are different, but the We The Curious you know and love remains!
If you have a question and you can't find the information here, please get in touch on 0117 915 1000 (Weekdays 9am-5pm, excluding Bank Holidays), or by emailing email@example.com. For the latest news and visitor updates, please sign up to our newsletter
We’ll be reopening in early November, open Wednesday – Sunday 10am to 5pm – for pre-booked visitors only.
We’ll be running slightly differently than before, as we’ll have 2 sessions – one for the morning (10-1), and one for the afternoon (2-5), both with a limited capacity of for each session. We’ll be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, as these are our quietest days, and it allows us to deep clean the venue.
Our shop and café will both be open between 10am-5pm.
Yes, you do!
This is really important. All visitors, including members, will need to pre-book tickets for the venue and the Planetarium on our website. This way we can make sure that our visitor numbers are kept at a safe level. We won’t be able to add on Planetarium tickets to your booking once you’re here, so make sure that you’ve booked everything before you come.
Yes, even if you’re a Member, we still need you to book in your visit on our website so we know you’re coming.
As we only have a limited number of tickets available each day, please only book if you fully intend to come. No-shows have a direct impact on our finances as a charity.
If you need to change your booking, please let us know in advance by email or phone. For more information about membership, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We're working really hard to get tickets on sale as soon as possible ahead of reopening in November. To do we need to make big changes to both our online and in-venue ticketing experience in light of the change in circumstances.
Please bear with us on this. As soon as we're ready to put tickets on sale we will let you know.
The easiest way to book is online, as it’s quicker for you and more manageable for us too. If you need a hand or something isn’t working, give us a call on 0117 915 1000 (Monday – Friday 10-5) and our Bookings team will be able to help you.
We’re doing our best to respond to calls and emails as quickly as we can, but we have a small team, so we’ll get to your enquiry as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience.
Yes of course. You can redeem this by emailing us email@example.com or calling us on 0117 915 1000 (Monday – Friday 10-5). We’re doing our best to respond to calls and emails as quickly as we can, but we have a small team, so we’ll get to your enquiry as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience.
No, your tickets will be emailed out to you. When you arrive, you’ll scan your phone to allow entry. You can also leave and re-enter using the same scanners if you need to pop out.
If you don’t have a smart phone, bring a print-out or confirmation of your booking, and our Visitor Services team will be able to help you. If you don’t have access to a printer or a smart phone please bring along your booking reference number.
Our immersive Planetarium features 360° digital 3D, 4K Ultra High Definition and incredible 7.1 surround sound - and is the only one of it's kind in the UK!
All our shows are presenter-led and specially created for you by our expert team using the latest technology and scientific discoveries.
Price listed + Standard Admission
3D Planetarium show*
£3.50 per person
2D Planetarium show
£2.50 per person
£2.50 per person
*Please note Active 3D technology is unsuitable for under 6’s due to health restrictions.
These prices are correct as of March 2020 but may be subject to change.
Our team have been working really hard to make sure that you have a COVID-safe experience, whilst still giving you a really great visitor experience, and giving you time together doing what you love. Here’s what you can expect:
- Our venue floor remains free-flow to enable people to interact with the things that spark their curiosity. We ask parents and carers to supervise children in these spaces and wait until exhibits become available. We’ve substantially reduced the capacity to allow for this.
- The vast majority of our exhibits are still available, but some have been temporarily removed.
- Some spaces and activities where there are staff-led activities are available to one family or support bubble at a time, and you’ll see signage at the entrance to these spaces.
- We’ve increased cleaning throughout the venue (including exhibition floor and toilets) and are using a disinfectant “Fogging” system.
- Our foyer will look a bit different, with self-scan tickets points and the main desk and till points moved.
- Our staff will be wearing face masks or visors.
- You’ll see lots of hand sanitiser stations around the venue.
- When it’s time to leave, we ask that everyone exits via the official exit route. We’ve moved the shop around slightly, so that you can visit it if you wish on your way out.
All the main venue floor and Planetarium are open. We have removed a small number of exhibits which include Rope Tangle, Sound Bite and Identify That Smell which means that the vast majority of our exhibits are still available.
Yes. Government guidelines state that face coverings must be worn in our spaces unless you are exempt. Everyone aged over 11 should wear a face covering. You can take your mask off when eating in the café, but must put it back on if you get up from the table.
We welcome everyone and recognise there are circumstances where, for health, age or accessibility reasons, some visitors will not be able to wear face masks or coverings. We ask that fellow visitors are respectful and mindful of individual circumstances.
We’ve significantly reduced the number of people who can visit us on any given day and will be carefully managing the flow of visitors into and around the building.
There will be plenty of room inside the venue to manage social distancing, and we’ve installed various reminder signs too.
Thorough and deep cleans throughout the building have been carried out prior to reopening. On a day-to-day basis we’ll have additional staff keeping the toilets, lunch spaces and communal areas clean, and you’ll see our teams keeping the venue and exhibits clean too.
Yes, we will be. 'Fogging' is a solution sprayed in very fine droplets which will completely and evenly cover chosen treatment areas, laying down a sanitised coating. We will be using this fogging equipment on all fabric seating areas within our venue daily.
Yes. Contact information will be made available to NHS Test and Trace if they require it. This information will be the person who made the booking only (not others in the party). NHS Test and Trace will then decide whether to contact you directly or not.
Our specific QR code will also be displayed on all entrances for visitors to scan using the NHS COVID-19 app
All visitor access areas will be supplied with fresh air from outside the venue via our air handling units, these units have been adjusted to increase circulation throughout the venue.
Yes. We’ll have over 25 hand sanitiser stations positioned at key points throughout the venue, signage will be displayed to make them easily identifiable and we encourage the use of this product before and after our interactive experiences.
We’ll be using alcohol-based sanitiser which is effective against COVID-19 as recommended by the World Health Organisation. Please remember to follow Government guidance on regular hand washing.
Just bring confirmation of your booking, ideally on a smart phone – you can then scan your phone to gain entry.
If you don’t have a smart phone, then do bring a print-out or confirmation of your booking, and our Visitor Services team will be able to help you. If you don’t have access to a printer or smart phone, then please bring along your booking reference number.
You’ll need to make sure that you arrive and leave within your allotted time slot, we can’t let you in to a different time slot unfortunately. Please aim to arrive on time for your slot, rather than early - that way we can avoid any queuing and get you in nice and promptly.
During the week we are welcoming school groups. Schools will access the building via an alternative entrance, and our maximum numbers per day will be calculated including school visits, so we will not go over our maximum capacity and there will be plenty of room for everyone. School groups will have their own dedicated Planetarium shows.
Yes of course! If you need to pop out for any reason during your 3-hour session, all you need to do is follow our exit signage and re-enter via the foyer where you can scan your ticket again.
Due to our new morning and afternoon sessions, late entry tickets will no longer be available.
If you’ve visited us before you’ll know that we can be busy at times. However, our significantly reduced capacity now means it will not be busy at all even on weekends and school holidays.
This means it’s the perfect time to visit as you will probably get a lot more use of different exhibits.
Project What If is our brand new exhibition and opens in November. It will be the first major science centre exhibition in the UK all about the curiosity of a city.
Project What If uses questions asked by real people as a springboard to delve into the real world of science which is creative, collaborative, inspiring and has never been more important.
Over the past three years, we’ve gathered over 10,000 questions from people in every postcode of Bristol - both in our venue and out in the city with our silver Curious Cube.
With the help of some of our community partners, staff and volunteers we whittled the list down to just seven final questions, covering themes such as happiness, the universe, invisibility, illness and time. Each question will be explored through a 'constellation' in the Project What If exhibition space.
With Project What If we're aiming to open up science by putting people at the heart of it. As well as the exhibit constellations, on the exhibition floor you'll find 'Open City Lab', a ground-breaking area where you'll be able to take part in real scientific research as it happens and the ‘John James Theatre of Curiosity’, which will explore visitors’ questions in new and unexpected ways.
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Entry to our new experience Project What If is all included in general admission tickets.
The installation of Project What If means a radical transformation of ground floor and foyer. You'll be able to enjoy loads of exciting new exhibits and installations, but it does mean that many of our old exhibits are changing.
We know that lot of the exhibits on the ground floor were really loved, so our Projects Team have worked hard to try and keep as many as possible.
24 of our much loved exhibits from the ground floor are being re-homed in the rest of the exhibition, 18 are being stored for later use and 14 stripped for spares and recycled.
Only if the children are aged 12 or over. Children aged 11 or under need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian aged 16 or over - you wouldn't want them to have all the fun would you?!
An average visit takes around 3 hours as there’s so much to see and do! If you're catching a Planetarium show as part of your visit, you should allow about 30 minutes for this.
Yes, we’ll be running slightly differently when we reopen, with 2 timed slots. You’ll be able to choose from a morning (10-1) or afternoon (2-5) session, both with a limited capacity. You’ll be able explore the whole venue within this time.
Planetarium tickets can only be purchased in conjunction with venue admission tickets, and must be booked online in advance.
Yes we do! You'll need to book a ticket in advance if you are coming as a Personal Assistant – this can be done online at the same time as booking general admission tickets.
We welcome all guide and assistance dogs, but pets are sadly not allowed in the venue.
Yes, the café will still be open offering a great range of freshly prepared, sustainably-sourced dishes and drinks, and can be accessed with or without a ticket to We The Curious.
You’ll see some changes to the layout to allow for social distancing, and the cleaning regimes have been significantly increased. The café will only be accepting card payment. You’ll be required to wear a face covering until you are seated.
Yes, picnics are welcome. Our picnic area will be open with a limited capacity unless it’s in use by schools. You can also picnic in other areas if you can find a suitable space and are able to socially distance. If the weather is nice, you’re welcome to use our open spaces on Millennium and Anchor Square.
There is a cash point just outside the main entrance to We The Curious – just ask any one of the Visitor Services team for further details and directions. Plus we accept cash payments in Bristol Pounds – the closest access points are just around the corner at the Tourist Information Centre and No. 1 Harbourside.
The toilets will be open, including our Changing Places toilet and All Access toilets. All toilets will be cleaned regularly throughout the day.
Yes, we welcome all major credit and debit cards (apart from American Express and Diners cards) at the admissions desk and in the shop, café and car park. There is no minimum spend anywhere on-site.
Lockers are currently unavailable due to social distancing measures. We are looking at how we can make these available again, but for now please do keep your belongings with you.
We have private spaces which can be made available on request, simply call 01179 15 1000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm excluding Bank Holidays) or ask a member of staff on arrival.
We are breastfeeding-friendly throughout the venue, and a private space can be made available upon request – please just ask any member of staff. There are plenty of highchairs located in both the café and picnic area, and the café also has bottle and food warming facilities. Baby changing facilities are located on both floors of the venue, and there are buggy park areas available also.
Yes the shop will be open! Inspired by our exhibition floor; our shop specialises in pocket-money treasures and quirky curiosities; every purchase helps support our charitable mission and our future.
We’ve moved the shop around slightly so that you don’t have to exit through the shop if you don’t want to. We’ll be encouraging contactless payments but will still accept cash. You can access the shop at any time during your visit. The shop will also remain open in our 1-hour turnaround between morning and afternoon sessions.
We would encourage you to leave buggies at home to help with social distancing, but you can of course park up your buggy in our designated spaces if you need to. Please keep anything valuable with you at all times!
Our city centre locations means there are a whole host of ways for you to visit us!
Bike - Get your heart pumping and get on your bike! There’s a pump available just outside We The Curious and lock ups around the city centre.
Walking - Wander down & explore your local area together.
Bus – We The Curious is just a short walk from many city centre bus stops. Visit firstgroup.com for timetable information or download their app.
Park & Ride – With secure parking from Brislington and Long Ashton, We The Curious is just a short bus ride away if you hop on a Park & Ride bus. Visit travelwest.info/park-ride for more information.
Train – Rediscover the joy of train travel. Visit gwr.com for timetable information.
The ferry – Take to the seas and get on a local ferry - oh arr! Check out Number Seven boats and Bristol Ferry Boats for more information.
By Car – Millennium Square car park is located at the back of Millennium Square and is open 24hrs seven days a week.
Using Sat Nav? Please use the following postcode as your destination BS1 5LL. Find out more about Millennium Square car park
Other city centre car parks close to We The Curious are:
We love it when you take photos of your friends or family in We The Curious. For anything on a larger scale we need to hear about in advance. That’s so that we can inform our staff who can then make our visitors aware that photography is happening and that they have the choice to opt out.
As an educational charity, we do charge for commercial photography in the venue. Photographers are also asked to make sure they have specific model-release forms and permission from anyone they’re photographing, especially for anyone under 16 years old. If you have any questions please send over an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers is of utmost importance to us, and we would like to reassure all of our visitors that security measures are in place for all events and activities here in We The Curious.
The following security procedures are in place:
- We reserve the right to conduct random bag searches.
- Bags any larger than a rucksack will not be permitted in the building, so please do not bring suitcases or other large bags.
- We The Curious has 24-hour security on site, which covers We The Curious, Millennium Square carpark, Millennium Square and Anchor Square.
- There is CCTV on site.
- We have increased security personnel on site for the duration of the summer period, which includes lots of busy outdoor festivals.
- We work closely with Avon & Somerset Police to constantly review developments and procedures.
We don’t offer refunds, but we will try and move your tickets to another day if you absolutely can't make it. By purchasing a ticket you are supporting our charitable projects, as well as the running of our venue. We don’t receive any regular or annual government funding, so we really rely on income from tickets.
We’re doing our best to respond to calls and emails as quickly as we can, but we have a small team and there has been an inevitable impact on our speed of response, so thanks for your for your patience.
At-Bristol Science Centre has changed! After 17 years of “making science accessible to all”, At-Bristol relaunched as We The Curious in Sept 2017, with a new direction and focus to “create a culture of curiosity”.
Want to find out more? Curious about what we’re doing? Here’s some FAQs which might help with any questions that you may have:
In a nutshell:
At-Bristol relaunched in September 2017, with a brand new direction, name, visual identity and mission!
We The Curious is an idea and a place for everyone. Previously known as At-Bristol Science Centre, our venue on Bristol’s harbourside is a bit like an indoor festival, with all sorts of different experiences, where you can interact with exhibits, test stuff out and participate rather than just visit. As an educational charity, we’re all about empowering everyone to ask questions and get creative - with boundaries removed between science, art, people and ideas - a culture of curiosity.
We’re really proud of everything we’ve done as At-Bristol, and this new direction now builds on everything we’ve achieved and done in the last 17 years.
So what changed?
- Our name – We The Curious highlights our intention to create a culture of curiosity, with a collaborative inclusive mission where We is everybody, our city and beyond.
- Our visual identity – we now have a new logo, colour palette, new signage around the venue, and a new photography style.
- Our vision, mission and values all centred around our organising thought to create a culture of curiosity.
- Physically, our foyer, café & shop were revamped and opened out, to create a welcoming public space.
- You’ll see a brand new feature exhibit on the ground floor opening in summer 2020 – just the start of our new story on the exhibition floor.
Why did you change?
At-Bristol’s aim to ‘make science accessible to all’ was no longer unique. The advancing pace of technology has changed access to and understanding of science in a way that means that we need to innovate, progress and move forward with our audiences.
Curiosity is an innate trait everyone is born with, so it’s something everyone can identify, engage and connect with. People can often feel like “science isn’t for me”, and learning from visitor research, people want us to be more challenging for a range of ages.
Science will absolutely still be at the core of what we do, but with our new vision to create a culture of curiosity we are not just aiming for more people to access science but to completely shift how people see it. It is messy, creative, collaborative, living and for everyone – an integral part of culture.
Why did you choose this name? Was it tested?
Yes! The initial audience survey was consulted with staff, volunteers and visitors, as well as 3 online surveys working with our Members and also members of the general public (which ran through Bristol 247). We also conducted some offline surveys with some of our community partners (including Barton Hill settlement), and face-to-face interviews with key stakeholders both in the city and in the science/museum sector.
The name ‘We The Curious’ and a mixture of other potential names, was then tested in a number of locations (including At-Bristol, Park Street and Cabot Circus), and the results came back at 96% positive, with the other 4% either neutral or rating it as bad.
The name itself is just one part of our new vision to create a culture of curiosity; the initial results came back to 'be more challenging', 'take a stance' and 'be for everyone', and our new name is a reflection of our movement to remove boundaries between science, art, people and ideas. In short, it’s all of us – everyone.
Why didn’t you ask us?
We did! We did heaps of research over the past 2 years, including online surveys with members, visitors and non-visitors (run via Bristol 247), staff and volunteer workshops and face-to-face interviews with key partners in the city.
The results came back that people wanted us to be ‘more challenging’, ‘take a stance’ be ‘for everyone’ and ‘change the name’.
Is it still for me? Is it still interactive?
Absolutely – we’re still an educational charity, and we’re still a brilliant venue where you can access all sorts of amazing science experiences and activities. And, we’re still super hands-on and interactive.
We will absolutely still be making science accessible to all in part of what we do, but our new vision will aim to make it even more accessible, by attempting to remove barriers and be more inclusive to wider audiences.
Is it completely different?
Yes and no! You’ll see that the café, foyer, and shop space look different, and it's a more open and welcoming space for all, and you’ll see a brand new feature exhibit as you come to the ground floor. You’ll also see a new logo, uniform and signage around the venue, so, it’ll look and feel a bit different.
But, the rest of the exhibition floor and activities will remain unchanged – for now. Over the next 2 years, the ground floor will be completely transformed, as we reshape it as part of a big funding bid we’ve just secured from the BEIS and Wellcome – we’ll be asking the city of Bristol what they want to see in our venue, so we won’t know exactly what the changes will look until we’ve worked with a range of people to develop new experiences.
Why have you spent loads of money changing your name when you are a charity?
Internally, we’ve been working on this for the past 2 years; there has been a lot of planning, research with visitor (and non-visitor), staff and key partners, development and board input to bring us to where are now. Any concerns raised (have we done enough research, have we spoken to the right people, are we spending too much money) were challenged and resolved during this process. All costs are audited by our board of trustees and the audit committee, so we’ve been sure to make every penny count – it’s a relaunch on a budget!
We recognise that it’s a bold move, but as a charity, we have to move with our audience to remain relevant, and achieve our aims.
I don’t know anything about We The Curious, what is this place?
We The Curious was previously known as At-Bristol Science Centre; an educational charity with an aim to “make science accessible to all”, it opened in 2000, and welcomed over 5 million visitors in the past 17 years. At-Bristol will be relaunching as We The Curious in September 2017, with a new vision that is committed to creating a culture of curiosity.
We The Curious is an idea and a place for everyone. Our venue on Bristol’s harbourside is a bit like an indoor festival, with all sorts of different experiences, where you can interact with exhibits, test stuff out and participate rather than just visit. We’re all about empowering everyone to ask questions and get creative - with boundaries removed between science, art, people and ideas - a culture of curiosity.
How much is going to change on the ground floor? What about the interactive water exhibition/womb/greenhouse/parachutes? My children love that! I don’t want it to go!
The relaunch on 14 September was by no means the finished article for We The Curious – we’ve been awarded some funding from the Inspiring Science fund (funded by BEIS and Wellcome) [JF3] for our Inspiring Science project, so the ground floor will change a lot over the next two years.
Our new project will help us manifest our vision - connecting science and culture, citizens and research in the first major science centre exhibition generated entirely by the curious questions of its city.
This new 1000m2 exhibition experience will replace our current ground floor exhibitions. We will support current visitors and underrepresented local communities to voice their questions, choose those they want to feature in the exhibition and work with us on designing exhibits, drawing on many disciplines to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
Our aim is to create a powerhouse of scientific enquiry, through large scale AV installations, intimate debating spaces, a public lab with live research and interactive experiences.
Will this impact on the Millennium square and Big Screen?
No, Millennium Square and Big Screen Bristol will still continue as part of our spaces – we’ll still be running free film screenings, and using the outdoor spaces for events and activities.
Are you still going to do your Hello community weekends? And school visits?
Yes, we’ll still be running our Community Engagement programme, and we’ll still be welcoming schools visitors exactly as we were when were At-Bristol.
What's happening to the Planetarium?
It’s still there, and it’s still the UK’s first 3D digital Planetarium! We’ll still be creating and running our amazing presenter-led shows for all our audiences, as well as Planetarium Nights shows just for adults.
What's happening to the animation centre?
It’s still be there!