Discover is a magical world where children up to the age of 11 can embark on an indoor story trail, aided and abetted by fantastic characters whose role is to help kids invent their own stories. Dressing-up outfits, finger puppets, drawing materials and the Story Garden outdoor play area – with slides, greenery, monsters and funny mirrors – help fuel young imaginations. Discover holds events, based on published stories and often with a twist of drama, arts and crafts, dance or music. There's also a café, and shop that sells cool picture books and pocket-money toys.
|Venue name:||Discover Children's Story Centre||Contact:|
383-387 Stratford High St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sun 10am-5pm|
|Price:||£6.50; £5.50 concessions and Newham residents; £22 family; under 2s free|
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Average User Rating
3.9 / 5
- 5 star:7
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:1
The most amazing place to take children to in east London. Never get bored of it and their exhibitions are just fantastic.
Brilliant place for kids. Lets them run around play and use their imaginations in a really special way
It's unfortunate that some of these reviewers have had a bad experience - I have been to Discover several times and it's fantastic to have somewhere like this to go with your kids, especially if you live east. It's a break from the usual soft play and the activites on offer stimulate all of their senses. When you arrive, book in for both the exhibition (currently Michael Rosen's 'Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake & Bad Things' - the exhibitions are brilliant) and also a story session, to make the most of what's there. On top of that there is the indoor 'Story Trail' play area and the outdoor 'Story Garden' which both offer plenty to do (including arts and crafts indoors). As soon as my little one was crawling confidently he started to respond well to everything at discover. The Story Trail room is not huge but I like the fact that little ones can have lots of freedom in there - they can't go far enough for you to lose them. There is also a little cafe and gift shop, and if you are goign to see a new exhibition, listen to a story session and enjoy the indoor and outdoor areas then the £5 charge is worth it.
I think this is a great place for kids to go. I agree with some of the previous comments and also feel like this play centre is more for children up to 5. We don't live locally but near enough to get the bus or tube here and found it to be a lovely place to go every now and then for something different. My 2yo son gets bored of soft play easily but he loved it in here and loved it even more in the outdoor garden. We could've been there for over 2hrs easily.
I also really like the exhibitions they put on. We went to the Oliver Jeffers and it was great. My son loved it and I really enjoyed the staff setting the scene with a lovely story. £5 can be much if you're on a really tight budget but my local soft play charges £2-5.50 depending on where I go so I am not too fussed about the price. Plus, the money goes back into keeping the place funded which is excellent. There should be more places like Discover available. I've not given it 5 stars because I wish they had more variety of food to buy at the little cafe.
I have enjoyed taking my young kids here over the years. I would say that this is a place for imagination. If your Kids have over active imaginations and can play all day making up stories and playing with Puppets then this place will fulfill their expectations. If you are looking for an interactive Science Museum or all the fun of Legoland then its probably not what you are looking for. Yes there is a cost but this supports the upkeep of the facility at a time when museums such as this are either non exisitent or underfunded. I am not local but can get the Jubilee line directly there and only wish that this kind of museum were available in other parts of the country.
I would suggest that this is best for up to 5 year olds unless there is a special exhibition but go with intention of helping your kids make stories, dressing up in silly clothes and generally mucking in. You can't go to Discover to let your kids run wild whilst you sit in Starbucks - Parents beware!!
Given the huge amounts of free things to do in London, at £5 per ticket this represents very poor value for money and an expensive family day out for what it is. You quickly run out of things to do - an hour and a half is probably the maximum amount of time you would last in this small space. I was also disappointed that my daughter was not allowed to visit the spy exhibition because she is under 7 - this takes up half of the space and yet we were still charged the full price entry ticket. There is also inconsistency here too, since younger siblings were allowed in. Very badly thought out and not enough for the kids to 'discover.'
DON'T GO IN HALF TERM! I have visited Discover before and i've enjoy it, however half term is a different story - it's crowded and very badly organised. The staff behind the front desk are lovely and welcoming, but there is a buzz of panic in the air from the other non-uniformed members of staff- barking at both visitors and other staff members. The building itself seems badly designed as there is no natural queue and it's very cold waiting in line. When we visited with my two children aged 4 and 7 this half term holiday. I was unimpressed that the area I last went to has changed to +6 and there where no tickets available anyway (they'd sold out all day by 1pm!). we were offered an alternative of an audio spy tour, though the lovely girl behind the counter tried her best to engage my 4 year old she didn't want to wear a pair of adult sized headphones with a creepy voice whispering in her ears (i didn't blame her!). So yes it's a fun place to go on the odd weekend or during school time if you are local, but they don't have the resources or management staff to cope with more numbers during holidays.
I think the bad reviews are nonsense. I probably wouldn't travel hours to get there but as a local facility it is marvellous. If you plan to go for most of the day you can do the outdoor playground, the indoor area, and book in journey to space and a staff story whilst there. Take a picnic but there is a nice coffee area to buy extras. My 4 and 1 year old and their friends love it. There should be more places like it.
an amazing place for kids love it love it love it...I have over 30 years experience of working with kids and rate this place very highly...wish there were more places like it instead of the soft play places..will be there this week again.
Overpriced family ticket of £14.50 due to lack of facilities for my kids aged 4 and 7. Web says suitable for age up to 11 - more like 5 max. Grubby all round. Staff pleasant but slow on the uptake, eg, had to ask for the mirrors to be cleaned so kids could draw on them and for pencils to be sharpened - things you would expect as standard. Also had to complain twice in 1 hr of disgusting state of the toilets. Disappointing. Would not recommend.
This is a wonderful place to take your child, with an expansive indoor and outdoor section for kids of all ages to play and explore. The staff were generally very nice and helpful HOWEVER we happened to visit on a day when they were running a story festival. The festival comprised storytelling sessions geared towards various age groups throughout the day. We were told that because the festival was running, we would have to pay £7 each rather than the £4.50 that they normally charge. We were fine with this until we found out that the sessions that suited our one-year-old were fully booked until a few hours later in the day. Obviously coming all that way to visit, we could not wait around ages with a one-year-old. We were annoyed at the system that required that you pay extra even if you could not realistically benefit from it. The manager heard us out but seemed to imply it was our fault for not referring to the website before we set out. I had referred to the website a few weeks ago, checking the entry fee and did not see any mention of a different price on the price page of the site. I do not know of any other attraction or museum in London that charges more on a given day. Instead they operate a system, whereby you pay extra to attend. This seems a much fairer system, particularly as the manager told us we could have pre-booked (if we had known!) and given our experience I'm not sure we'll go back. While £4.50 a person is a perfectly reasonable price, £7 certainly is not! Sadly, despite it being a lovely time for us as a family, I don't think we'll be back as it has left a bit of a bad impression on us overall.