As a huge fan of Victoria and Albert Museum in Kensington, I am almost ashamed to say that I only just today went to their childhood extension in Bethnal Green for the first time.
The Childhood Museum is what it says it is, a museum that showcases objects and artefacts that are childhood related, spanning the 1600s to the present day.
The collection includes toys – including dolls, dolls’ houses, puppets and teddy bears – games, childcare, clothing, furniture and art and photography. In addition, the Museum runs a dynamic programme of temporary exhibitions and displays, a wide variety of activities, events and workshops for adults and families, outreach projects in hospitals and the local community, and an award-winning programme for schools.
Battersea to Bethnal Green, about 45 minutes. Bus to Sloane Square, District Line from Sloane Square to Mile End, Central Line from Mile End to Bethnal Green. Walk less than 5 minutes from Bethnal Green station to Museum of Childhood. The other option was to change from district line to Central line at Monument/Bank but didn’t want to tire LOs out too much with that long walk in between station before we got to the museum.
Travelling more than a couple of stops on the tube with the LO’s can sometimes be quite stressful but luckily, we got there just before they both started to get restless (with the help of a few mini-cheddars and countless counting/i-spy games).
The Museum of Childhood is not a very big museum (compared to V&A) but we stayed for almost 4 hours ! The was plenty to see and play with. On top of that there was story time and drop-in arts and craft sessions that we join in.
At the centre of the museum is an informal cafe, serving sandwiches as well as basic warm food (macaroni cheese, chicken pie and soup was on today’s menu) and a small shop.
Although the LOs probably didn’t learn a whole lot today, they certainly enjoyed their day at the museum. We sure will go back there again sometime soon. I recommend it. Take a virtual tour here.
Ps. There is a little park next to the museum that is quite nice, so if weather allows, you could even have a picnic there.