The Early Start Discovery Space is the first dedicated children’s museum in the world based on a university campus. It provides interactive experiences, stimulating educational programs and learn-through-play activities for children aged birth to 10 years and their families.
What are your terms and conditions of entry to the Discovery Space?
Before visiting, we ask all visitors to read up on our terms and conditions. In addition to our normal conditions, these have been updated to align with Government directions relating to COVID-19, as well as, the University of Wollongong’s COVID Safe Campus Transition Plan.
What time do you open, and do I have to arrive at a certain time?
Doors to the Discovery Space open at 9am! You are welcome to arrive anytime during our opening times (see here for school term, holiday and weekend opening hours). There is no requirement to arrive at a specific time, but there is a LOT of Experiences to interact with, so make sure to make a plan to get the most our of your visit!
I visited when you were running 'sessions' due to COVID19 capacity limits. Do you still have split session times?
No, we no longer have sessions during our opening hours but are continuing to implement our COVID Safe Plan to keep our community safe. You are free to come anytime during our opening hours and stay as long as you want (that is until we close of course!)
What COVID-19 health and safety measures have you put in place?
The health and safety of members, guests and staff is always our priority. That is why we are continuing to implement our COVID Safe Plan, which includes:
- All staff have completed the COVID-19 Infection and Prevention Control training endorsed by the Australian government
- Daily cleaning regimes
- Ensuring adequate handwashing facilities are available
- Installed additional hand sanitiser dispensers and sanitising wipe stations throughout the Discovery Space
- We require guests to complete a COVID screening when booking
- We highly encourage all guests to wear masks in line with the University of Wollongong’s COVID Safe Transition Plan
- Zero contact check-in. You can pre-booked online and receive a QR code on your phone or print out ready to scan at the entry point
- CASH is not accepted please use EFTPOS only
Do I need to make an online booking?
Online bookings are preferred to confirm your attendance. Walk-ins are accepted (but not guaranteed) and will depend on normal building capacity limits at the time of your visit. We highly encourage you to book online during peak periods, including school holidays, and for special events.
I’m a member, do I still need to make a booking online?
Members are highly encouraged to book using the online checkout and register all guests, including those under 12 months. Anyone listed on your membership is entitled to book for free. This guarantees your entry ticket for the day. On some occasions, we may reach a capacity limit and entry is not guaranteed.
The date I want to visit appears booked out online. Can I join a waiting list?
When using our online bookings system, you may be unable to make a booking. This may be as we are closed on this day – you can check our opening hours here and any specific information about upcoming closures. This may also happen when our online booking system reaches our capacity limits. However, we occasionally have cancellations. Please send an email with your details to [email protected] and we will get back to you if we can fit you in!
I have a made a booking but can no longer make it. What should I do?
We understand that plans change. We do ask that you contact the Discovery Space the day before your visit date so we can release the tickets to other family groups. If you have paid for entry but cannot attend, you can contact us to reschedule or receive a full refund by emailing [email protected] You will then be contacted via phone to process the refund (as we require your credit card details).
For a refund of fees paid, we require that you notify us via phone or email 1 hour prior to your session time. No refunds will be given after this time.
Are all Experiences still open?
Yes, but we have moved Market Place to widen our pathways so you can freely move around our more popular Experiences. We’ve been getting creative in CreARTivity, moving things around to ensure adequate space. Please be patient if a table is not available for you to access with your family group when you first arrive. The Discovery Gardens remain open, including play prompts in the water baths, the slate wall, magnetic wall and our creek is running. The Tummy has also been removed to make way for new, exciting Experiences in the future!
Please use the hand sanitiser provided before and after an Experience.
Are you still running daily, educational programs?
YES! Our daily activities have returned, including Story time, Art Time and Discovery Activities. For more details, head to our daily schedule. Please note that the safety and wellbeing of all our visitors, staff and community is paramount, so we wanted to inform you that at times, our daily activities and workshops may be limited or reduced.
When is the Discovery Space Gift shop open?
The Gift Shop is open:
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 12:30pm
Weekends: 9:00am – 3pm
The gift shop closes 30 minutes before the end of each session weekdays and weekends.
Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting Creative Kids vouchers on products. However, you can still use Creative Kids vouchers on memberships. For any questions regarding the Gift Shop contact [email protected]
Are you taking school bookings?
YES! We are happy to announce that Excursions for Early Childhood, Primary and High Schools are able to be booked for 2023! We also have online virtual excursions for Early Childhood Education and Care settings that can be booked here.
Are you still offering birthday parties with reserved spaces/rooms?
Regretfully, we are no longer offer dedicated birthday party packages.
Is the Ugly Duckling cafe open?
We would not deprive you of coffee! The onsite cafe is open and ready to serve you.
Where is the Discovery Space located?
We are located at the University of Wollongong main campus. Specifically, we are in Building 21, University of Wollongong, Northfields Ave, Wollongong, NSW. View a detailed map of the campus and where we are located here!
Where can I park when I visit?
Our members’ only car park will be open to members only 15-minutes before each session Monday to Friday. Member car parking is limited to one car per membership group (while there is capacity) and only for the duration of your visit to the Discovery Space.
The Carpooling car park is open to all Discovery Space visitors with three or more people. P4 and carpooling are the safest way to the Discovery Space via the pedestrian crossings. Paid parking is also available on the University of Wollongong campus. UOW has recently partnered with CellOPark to offer a digital payment method for casual parking at the Wollongong campus. Ticket machines will continue to remain in use as an alternate payment option. With CellOPark, however, you only pay for what you use.
If you use the ticket machines, you must ensure your ticket is displayed on the dashboard, correct side up. Incorrect placement may incur a fine if Parking Enforcement Officers cannot check the validity. You can download the Cellopark app to your phone before you arrive to save some time, or you can also register online at www.cellopark.com.au or call 1300 CellOPark.
Can I bring food into the Discovery Space?
We say YES to BYO. You are still very welcome to bring your own food to the Discovery Space. Food and drinks must be consumed outside in our Discovery Gardens or in the Circle Garden. Please be mindful of putting recyclables, rubbish and food waste in the correct bins provided.
I have a free or pre-paid pass to the Discovery Space, when can I use it?
Sure can. Please email [email protected] with details of your free pass or voucher. Vouchers or general admission tickets (excluding free passes) can be used towards membership at any time.
I have a question not listed here
We are here to help! If you have any further questions or need assistance, please email us at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and understanding.