London for babies: The Science Museum

The Science Museum London is one of our favourite museums for babies, toddlers and children in the city:

The Science MuseumThe Science Museum London was one of the most popular suggestions I was given for my London List for Babies (I’m compiling the best things to see and do in London with little children). But, I have to admit that I’ve not set foot in there since a school day trip all the way back in 1996. So I jumped at the chance to see how much it had changed when my friend suggested we meet there with our babies last week.

Our other favourite London museums – The Horniman Museum, the Tate Modern and the Royal Festival Hall – make sure you also read our top ten things for toddlers in London

We were headed for The Garden, the children’s play area in the basement. It is designed for slightly older children – my friend’s nearly two year old loved it, especially the interactive water feature – but the room is full of giant foam bricks and brightly coloured objects and Eliza had a great time roaming around. And as always, she had even greater fun having a good old gnaw on whatever she could get her curious hands on.

Children's play area at The Science MuseumShe also loved the mirrors, as well as checking out the wall displays, which are at perfect standing height for her at the moment.

The rest of the museum looked brilliant for school-age kids, much more so than I remembered. It’s full of big, mysterious things, planes and machinery, dark rooms, light projections, and blippy interactive displays. We were recommended the bubble talk so we’ll definitely be back for that in a few years time.

Eliza fell asleep as soon as we left, and I had that deep-bone exhaustion and concentrated headache you only get from children’s play areas. So I stopped to take a look at the open air ice rink outside the Natural History Museum. There’s something pretty magical about open air ice rinks, isn’t there; the chill in the air, twinkly lights and excited shouts of people skating around? I really love London at Christmas.

Ice rink at the Natural History MuseumSo; do you agree that the Science Museum is the best one for children? If not, what’s your favourite museum? Which Christmassy or generally all-round brilliant things for kids in London do you all love doing? Let me know so I can add it to my list.

The Science Museum is at Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD. Nearest tube is South Kensington, which isn’t great with a pram due to all the steps but people were really helpful. Opening hours are 10.00 to 18.00 every day (last entry 17.15).

More London posts – how London changes when you’re a parent, our favourite London parks and afternoon tea at the Sanderson Hotel

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