Two very different styles of practicals have been introduced into a conventional engineering vibrations course. This was a reintroduction of practical work into a class where it had been deleted for resource reasons. The first of the reinstated practicals demonstrated rotating out of balance and with it the use of common instrumentation such as FFT analysers. It was a conventional style of practical. The second demonstrated modal frequencies and mode-shapes for a multiple degree of freedom system using innovative simple experimental equipment that required extensive hands-on activities from the students. In this second practical the students explored the phenomena for themselves. Surveys of students revealed that they saw value in both styles of activity. Further, they would not as a group have preferred more lecture or tutorial time instead, or even private study time. This paper describes the aims of including experiments again in the course, how the experiments were constructed, and how the practical periods were organised. It also explains how the activities were assessed and gives full details of the student reactions.