Rainy day fun in London: V&A Museum of Childhood
Ever wonder what to do with the kids in London on a rainy day? Especially if you DON'T want to spend megabucks? I always thought there isn't a huge amount of free things to do, but, as ever, I was totally mistaken. One rainy day we found ourselves at the V&A Museum of Childhood and gosh is that a place that is going to my must-visit-again list! And because it was such a cool and FREE place, I wanted to tell you guys all about it too.
To be honest, I heard of this museum ages ago and just sort of discounted it as a big museum of some boring old toys. I mean, I do like museums and old toys are fascinating, but I figured I don't really want to traipse all the way to Bethnal Green to look at toys. And then I had kids.
If you have kids, V&A Museum of Childhood really is a fantastic place to visit. For younger kids, there are huge amounts of play areas to choose from. There are dress-up toys, books, cars, doll houses, rocking horses, Lego, and even a small sand pit to choose from. And a great big robot, and various old-fashioned 3D-pictures and moving pictures would appeal to older ones. There was a small cinema (at the time playing Moomins) and story-telling sessions and arts and crafts too.
As an adult, I did find it fascinating to learn about old toys and see some real antique childhood objects, and I think this would be interesting for older kids as well. My five year old mostly whizzed past all the collections, but some were interesting for her as well - the modern toys more-so, and the cots and prams that looked like they had belonged to princesses in the old days.
I definitely recommend V&A Museum of Childhood for families, especially with young kids. We spent hours there, and could have easily spent longer... It doesn't even need to be a rainy day, actually, any day would be great to visit this museum. So yes, do pay a visit when you can!
Top tips for V&A Museum of Childhood:
- It is free! Yay!
- Check out the daily drop-in activities to plan your visit time
- For kids under 5, you can borrow toys and an activity pack (but remember to bring a form of ID)
- Great for kids aged 3 to 12. Loads and loads of play areas to keep the kids occupied, especially under six or seven years of age. Some of the toy demonstrations and arts and crafts would interest older kids as well.
- Closest tube station is Bethnal Green, on the Central Line.
- There is a cafe with food - or you could take a picnic and eat in the park next to the museum (there are also outdoor area in the museum with tables, and sometimes indoor areas for packed lunches too).
- There is a quiet room - to use for prayers, nursing mothers and SEN needs.
What is your favourite rainy day place to visit in London?