V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green (mini review)

What is it?

V&A Museum of Childhood offers drop-in activities, workshops and hands on displays for all ages including storytelling, arts and crafts, tours and treasure hunts. Plus, temporary exhibitions and displays. Head here for all of the events. The Museum is arranged into four main galleries – the Moving Toys Gallery, the Creativity Gallery, the Childhood Galleries and the Front Room Gallery.
It’s open daily 10.00-17.45 (last admission 17.30)

Admission is free

For more information head here
On their website you’ll also find a range of tips to keep your kids entertained during your visit


Getting there

The address is Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA

By Tube
Bethnal Green on the Central Line
To plan your journey via public transport head here


Facilities

Accessibility
The museum is wheelchair accessible meaning you can comfortably push your pram around without the need to clamber up and down flights of stairs with it. There wasn't a buggy park but many parents had left their prams in the entrance of the museum which always seemed to be staffed and constantly watched.

Toilets and baby changing
There are plenty of toilets in the basement of the museum – including baby changing facilities and a disabled toilet.

Eating
There’s and onsite café serving freshly prepared food and drink. It’s open Monday – Sunday, 10.00-17.00.

Everything on their menu is available in half portions – such as pasta salad or cream of tomato soup. And there’s a special kids’ healthy lunchbox which includes a sandwich of your choice, drink, yoghurt and a pack of raisins.

Also available is a range of organic baby food suitable for children under three.


Our verdict

We started at the top floor where the pirate exhibition  is based (until April 22nd) where he tried on a pirates outfit and sailed the seven seas (and by that I meant that he ran around on a huge wooden pirate ship like the kind you find at soft play areas). We then made our way around the various floors and sections and I have to say that this is one of my favourite museums! I did worry that looking into glass cases at toys and not actually being able to play with them would be quite boring for my two year old but he loved it here too because every so often we’d hit interactive activity zones where he could dress up, build Lego/wooden models or do some crafts.
The costumes didn’t have an icky smell or look dirty which was a plus. He also got to dress up as a Victorian and pretended to cook me a lovely worm casserole (he made sure to mention that there were tomatoes thrown in too) and it was so cute seeing him really get into character, even if his meal choice was a tad questionable. There was even a small sensory area with touch pads that allow the kids to change the light colours which he found really exciting.
The collection of toys was really impressive and took me right back. Pointing out the toys I used to own was nostalgic but did make me feel ancient. To be honest it was nice being able to share childhood memories with my son (even though he’d probably forget them within minutes). As tired as my son was he did his best to prolong his time at the museum by insisting that we went back after we got something to eat so I can tell that he really did enjoy his time there. Will we be heading back? Definitely. Unlike many other places we tend to go to this one cater to my interests as well as my sons.

You can find a short video of our visit here 





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