A family day out with the Museum of London Docklands

IMG_5589Well hey there everyone, so it kind of made sense that my first blog post EVER, eeek, would be about museums because well, you know, that’s my thang and all!!!  I just had to tell you about the wonderful event Museum of London very kindly laid out for us bloggers/instagrammers on Saturday.  We had an early start which kind of scared me a little bit what with getting everything prepared for my 2 year old, Ivy and 10 month old, Tom but we just couldn’t be late because we were going on a boat.  My husband and I love a boat and we knew the kids would too.  We arrived to get on the Thames Clipper at Westminster Pier, one of my favourite places in the world, I worked at the Churchill War Rooms for just under 10 years, got engaged there and of course BIG bloomin BEN!!!  Couldn’t wait to show Ivy these landmarks on the way and the sun was shining for us.  Perfect weather for a little trip on the Thames.  We met up with my Insta pal Donna @thecuriousmummy and her lush family  and it was because of her we managed to bag ourselves front row seats so it felt like the kiddiwinks were at the helm, parenting win right there.  It also meant we got a fabulous view of all the London treasures along the way.  The Shard, London Bridge, Tower of London, Walkie Talkie, St Pauls, and my old buddy HMS B (I worked at the Imperial War Museum so was fortunate to have a few meetings there back in the day).  The boat trip went down a storm, the kids were happy, we were happy and it was a marvellous way to arrive at our next destination, the Museum of London Docklands.

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IMG_7131.JPGThis incredible 3D artwork is currently just outside the museum promoting the FREE family friendly Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail exhibition in its final weeks.  If you haven’t been you must go, it’s fun for all the family and is full of fascinating facts.  The exhibition is all about the archaeological objects that were discovered during the Crossrail project, Londons newest railway.  Around 500 objects are on display and tell the story of 8,000 years of human history.  The exhibition unveils some incredible stories in different areas in London such as prehistoric flints which tell us that there were Londoners living on the Thames 9,000 years ago, a Roman bronze medallion that dates to AD245 found at the excavation at Liverpool Street and, get this, human remains including a skeleton of a Londoner who died from the plague.  How amazing is that!  One of the facts I particularly enjoyed telling Ivy was that all the machines that bored the train tunnels were given women’s names.  Relaying these facts is made a lot easier due to the child friendly displays which include buttons and flaps, a wooden Brio train set, a magnifying glass and the chance to don a high vis jacket and hard hat.  Jackie Keily, the curator, who used to be an archaeologist was on hand to explain to us how keen they were for families to engage more with archaeology and the amazing stories of past Londoners it reveals.  The results of this are clear as I watch Ivy in her high vis looking through the magnifying glass, perhaps an archaeologist in our midst.  Personally it has made me look at archaeology in a whole different light and it is a subject I shall definitely cover more of when Ivy gets a little older.  The exhibition ends on 3rd September so get yourselves down there before it closes, you will not be disappointed!

MOL3.JPGBy this time the kiddies were hungry and I was hangry so it was time for our lunch courtesy of Rum & Sugar the Museum’s restaurant, which by the way is a lot different from your average Museum restaurant.  More like the kind of place I used to hang out in on Friday nights when I had money and no kids.  Uber trendy bar/restaurant space which you can actually reside in until 11pm on a Saturday.  Tempted but with two kids in tow thought better of it and mocktails and a hearty lunch were on the menu!  It was DElish, I strongly recommend the jerk fries and slaw.  Less likely to get eaten by the 2 year old!  Also worth noting there is plenty of options for the little ones too.

MOL2The last part of our day was the Time Tunnellers show.  Basically a chance for the kids to become actual archaeologists.  The staff member running it was so enthusiastic you couldn’t help but join in on the fun.  We had to pull off rows of sheets where we discovered bones, plates and shoes from eras gone by.  I thought this was so well executed and a superb way to educate kids on London’s hidden past.  This is running Wednesday-Saturdays throughout August so a great activity for the little ones to get involved in during the Summer Holidays.

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I think Ivy summed up the day for me when she said ‘I don’t want to go home Mummy’.  My daughter always wants to go home so thank you very much Museum of London for a wonderful family day out that we will treasure and talk about for years to come!

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