So I had wanted to go to the Natural History Museum. Next door is the Science Museum, both seem to have kid friendly displays, and there is also an ice skate rink out front at the moment. Sounds awesome, right? Right! That’s what we thought. Until we looked at how to get there, and the journey was going to take 1.02 hours in peak traffic. Yikes! Ok, time to rethink plans for our day.
After some searching online and umming and aaahing we decided on the London Museum of Transport.
Arriving we looked around unsure where to go and followed another group up a ramp, and jumped in the lift. Pretty ordinary looking lift but BOOM, this lift has been rigged with sound effects and OH MY GOODNESS where the lift shows what level we are going to it is showing that we are going back in time!!! All the way back to 1820. Ok, ok, I think this is all part of the museum but AWESOME, the mood has been set, this is not going to be some ho hum boring museum, this is going to be FUN.
The lift doors open. Did I mention that Austin is obsessed with cars and pretty much anything with wheels? Um, yep. This small guy just died and went to heavennnnnnn.
The first level was all old horse drawn carriages, and wow I was blown away by how HUGE they were. Austin loved looking at these but more so the small intricate models of them. Moving through to the next level there was a full train carriage placed on display from the 1800’s and then… we couldn’t wait any longer because Austin had spotted the next level down…. The mother load of train carriages and displays!
So we descend the stairs to this magical land of trains, and carts and carriages, and pass a mezzanine and continue descending…and before we have a chance to blink an eye at this wonderful display of history and how our ancestors travelled…. Austin, lets call him eagle eye Austin, has spotted the kids area, that’s right I said the KIDS AREAAAAAAAAA. And the piece da resistance of the kids area is the model train set. Now let me just clarify, yes this train set is great, even awesome but really it is just a large train set, you know like twice the size of a train set you might have at home. Directly next to this is a full scale play area, with life size buses and cars to play in, interactive toys, things to climb, things to look at, things to touch and pull and….. you get the idea.
Austin will not move from this train set. We point to the kids area. We try to get him to look at the fuuuuun. To be fair, to him this is the most ultimate train set in the whole entire world. I get it , I get it. I don’t want to spoil his fun. I just want him to realise there is soooo much more to see. It’s cool. We’re cool. Lets just chill here for a while. So we do. And for a bit longer. And different kids come and go. There are small scuffles over who is touching what train, who has something to push, where someone’s carriage went. There are mums with lunches and families tag teaming toilet trips. There are little boys picking their noses. And girls sitting grumpily. And still we stay.
There is literally about 25 full size trains, carts, buggies, buses and all sorts of modes of transport to explore on this level. But he will not budge. Hey, at least he is having fun, right?
We try a diversion tactic, lets just pick him up and run to the next exhibit and he’ll love it so much he’ll completely forget. We go covert styles, picking him up unawares and literally making a dash for it. He is kicking, he is screaming. He is so unimpressed with the full size train carriage in the next exhibit. He is trying to find his way back to the model train set.
We could go back again, but then we would have to do the break away another time and unlike before he is now getting tired, and overwhelmed and over stimulated. He is deteriorating. There has been waaaay too much fun and excitement in a short amount of time.
We are glad our tickets are for a full year (that's right, ticket prices are actually for year round entry). There will be plenty to see next time we come back. You know, like, the whole main level. We make a dash for the exit, it’s touch and go. There is a god damn shop on the way out. (Mind you full of fabulous toys, and amazing homewares – homewares, I know, who would’ve thunk it). We buy a James train and I tell pat to go, go, go. The woman behind the counter looks like this is all too familiar.
And we are out. Wow. Extreme highs, extreme lows. You know, normal life with a child. As much as things got a little out of hand at the end this was an awesome museum to visit. And really a lot of the drama was due to tiredness, so all we need to do is head back in the morning next time and you know, I’m sure it will go perfectly. Will let y’all know!