We had a busy day in London last Sunday! We went to a blogging event – The Jump In and Play Tatty Puppy launch at Hamleys. Once we’d left Hamleys it was lunchtime, I’d had an idea to visit the Rainforest Cafe, but Daddy P wanted to go on a trip down memory lane and show my son a few things. So we caught the underground train to Covent Garden.
Daddy P comes from a long line of greengrocer’s and florists. His brother, father and many generations before, spent a lot of time at Covent Garden when it was a fruit, veg and flower market. Sadly Daddy P can only vaguely remember it himself as he is quite a bit younger than his brother. But he has grown up with the stories and photographs and wanted to show him where his Gramps (his namesake) had spent so much time.
We settled for lunch in Bella Italia – give him a pizza and he is a very happy boy!
We then decided to visit the London Transport Museum. Somewhere none of us had been before. It’s not cheap – £15.00 per adult, children are free, but we’d heard good reports so thought we’d see for ourselves.
We weren’t disappointed. My son was given a Stamper Trail card – he needed to collect 13 stamps on his card as we wandered around the museum. I love this idea – especially with younger kids as they get so excited at each stamp station. We began our journey, walking past maps of different underground systems around the world – you know me and maps!
We entered the lift, not just any lift though! Oh no, this is a time-travelling lift, instead of counting floors we were counting years, as we went from 2013 back to 1800! My son didn’t quite get this bit, a bit too young, but some other children in the lift thought this was very cool.
We came out into a different time – from 1800 onwards, a time of Sedan chairs, horse-drawn vehicles and steam trains. He was in his element.
All through the museum, we found lots of interactive displays, which he loved. He didn’t understand everything that they were trying to explain, but it got him interacting, playing, having fun. Anything that encourages children to explore and makes them realise that Museums are not ‘boring’ from a young age, is great as far as I’m concerned. I spent a lot of time in museums as a child – I had a thirst to learn, but I don’t think Daddy P went to any – this will not happen to him!
We were all fascinated by the display showing the collapse of the tunnel as the London Underground was built. My son loved going in the old train carriages and asking us for our tickets. We had fun with the interactive screens and watched the miniature train on his journey across the monorail type track above the ground floor exhibits. He loved running from one area to another. Daddy P and I enjoyed reading about the exhibits in more detail and looking at all the old tickets.
While he and Daddy P enjoyed looking around the exhibits on the ground floor, I headed off to an exhibition of posters from the Underground. There were some lovely ones on display.
He loved getting on and off the buses downstairs on the ground floor and going on an imaginary train journey or two. There were lots more interactive displays and even a language barrier didn’t stop him and a little boy from Russia having fun together.
We stopped for a drink and a snack in the cafe, which was clean and bright as were the toilets. We’d had a long day out and decided it was time to go back to the car for our drive home. We’d all enjoyed ourselves, needless to say, my son slept nearly all the way home.