Weekend adventure #10: Imperial War Museum, London 

Being an avid museum goer, I was always conscious that I had never been to the Imperial War Musuem, London! So we headed there a few weeks ago to check out the new galleries and redevelopment of the Museum. 

The new central atrium has planes and vehicles suspended and jutting out of the architecture – reminiscent of the Science Museum – which makes for an impressive entrance into the museum, although a bit tricky will all the stairs, as you find yourself looking up and not where you are going! 

The main collection is centered around a series of balcony sections over several floors, all with a view into the main atrium. 

As our little man is still quite small we didn’t have to deal with any difficult questions (yet) around the function of the objects in the collection as he was happy enough to identify the different types of transport and have a bit of a run around. He was very taken by the various planes and is a bit of a plane spotter when we are out and about!

It’s not the most family friendly museum we’ve been to (but then again the subject matter isn’t exactly balloons and bunnies) and there wasn’t much in the way of interactives for children so we spent quite a bit of time making sure we didn’t leave any jammy fingerprints on the collection! ­čś│

We did really like the ‘A Family In Wartime’ gallery, which had room mock-ups and some nice interactives including radios that you could turn on and off and (I’m guessing quite expensive!) touch screens to explore the different rooms in a house. This gallery also had an air raid shelter that you could go into and had a good sense of atmosphere so we spent quite a bit of time in there.

The Secret War gallery was also an great winding gallery space with lots of interesting objects on display. It would have been nice to explore this gallery more fully but by this point the little man clearly thought this gallery was a race course for himself and daddy so we had a job keeping up! (We also realised once we reached the end that somehow we had managed to do the whole thing backwards… which might not have helped!!)

We will certainly be back. I think for the time being with the little man the age he is, it will be a case of having a few of the galleries we really like and then expanding once he is ready to move beyond the plain spotting!

A Family in Wartime, IW London gallery 

Secret War, IWM London gallery 

Monday outing #4: dragon hunting in Greenwich 

We used to pop to Greenwich quite a bit but we hadn’t made it recently so while the weather is still good we jumped on the bus (thankfully there was space for the buggy!) and headed down to the river. Just like our local park, it turns out that Greenwich flora is equally stuffed full of dinosaurs and dragons. With the current love of Noddy and the Dazzle Dragon we headed off in search of dragons.

Once we had explored a good chunk of the trees and had a few goes on the swings and slides (the playground in Greenwich Park is massive and well with a visit!) we headed into the National Maritime Museum… …which, as luck would have it, had several dragons for us to spot and we ventured into the Ahoy gallery for the first time too. There is plenty of space to run around in the museum, which is really family friendly with lots going on in the holidays too! 

National Maritime Museum (RMG) 

Weekend adventure #5: British Museum

This weekend we headed across the river to the British Museum.

I’d taken the little man to one of their under 5’s little feet sessions about a year ago but we hadn’t ever taken him for a good old fashioned wander! 

Given that it was a weekend it wasn’t too rediculously busy but we were glad for the monkey reins backpack as the LM does love to run! ­čÖé

 We just did a few of the galleries and quite quickly embarked on a ‘roar’ hunt. Lots of great roars (and some meows and neighs too) helped us navigate the galleries! 

It’s a funny experience letting the LM dictate how we moved around the gallery. There is no point trying to tell him where to go and conform to the ‘usual’ path – exploring via a toddler is random and much more fun. Going round and round the same bit and then charging off in another direction, usually against the flow of traffic!

 There are quite a few things not to be touched at touching height which is a bit tricky but we didn’t do too badly! 

It’s a great place to take the little one as there is so much to see and so much space to run around. You do have to have sharp eyes (or reigns!) to stop them disappearing into the crowds though and practice the don’t touch a bit but there are soo many things we don’t see day to day that we had lots of oohs and ahhs as we wandered around.  The museum cafe in the great hall was a bit busy so we decided to head out and get some food instead and joined in the protest that was heading through the west end. Never too young to participate!