When you’re so busy during the week, the weekend comes round (before we know it!) and you haven’t made any plans. A surefire way to get out and find something stimulating and interesting is to check out one of London’s marvellous museums. Here’s a list of My Baba’s favourite museums for a fantastic family day out.
One of the world’s oldest and busiest museums, the British Museum is famed for its ancient treasures and cultural rarities. It is home to hundreds of antique specimens discovered throughout the world by British explorers. Every weekend the museums host free family workshops, so both kids and adults can be involved in interactive learning and discovery.
WHEN: Daily, 10am-5.30pm
WHERE: Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, WC1B 3DG
The UK’s national library is also a hub of precious artefacts. Find literary treasures such as the Magna Carta, Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebook, Shakespeare’s First Folio, amongst many other precious books and pamphlets. The library offers discovery days and activity trails for families to learn about the library together.
WHEN: Daily from 9.30am
WHERE: 96 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, NW1 2DB
This museum is steeped in 200 years of British history. It reveals the history of London as a port for migration, trade and commerce. The London Docklands offers free family activities most weekends. Be sure to check out the family-orientated gallery Mudlarks and the reconstruction of the nineteenth century ‘Sailor Town’.
WHEN: Daily, 10am-6pm
WHERE: W India Dock Rd, Canary Wharf, E14 4AL
Forget conventional museums for a moment and climb aboard one of the world’s most famous ships. British nineteenth-century clipper ship Cutty Sark is now an award-winning Greenwich attraction. Allow the little ones to take to the helm and climb into the crew’s bunk beds as they explore the ship. They’ll be a chance to follow the family trail and borrow a backpack filled with imaginative toys and stories.
WHEN: 9am – 5pm daily
WHERE: King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9HT
Showcasing exciting displays of transport throughout history, this is our favourite museum for those after a seriously interactive experience. The museum takes a tour around the world to teach you about both public and personal forms of transportation. It also shows the journey that the London Underground has taken to become the complex network it is today. Be sure to head to the family play zone where the kids will be challenged to repair a mini tube train and explore the lost property office!
WHEN: Daily from 11am (times may vary)
WHERE: Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB
Enter the world of London under the rule of the Romans and the Saxons. See how the city transformed through the medieval period and unlock the secrets of the tumultuous years of unrest the city experienced through civil wars, the Black Plague and The Great Fire of London. Check out the Museum of London website to find out about the family events that the museum often hold. Your little ones will have the chance to handle historical objects and ask archaeologists all of their burning questions.
Beasts of London sees London’s history narrated by the animals who once lived there. From lions and elephants to pigeons and rats, learn about the part these animals once played in the city.
WHEN: Daily, 10am – 6pm
WHERE: 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN
The Geffrye Museum is currently closed.
This Hoxton museum explores how the home has changed throughout history. Find out how different centuries varied in behaviour, taste, and style. Walk from room to room experiencing different periods from the 1600s to modern-day. The museum also has a learning zone for children and families. Holiday activities include free art, design, craft, and baking workshops.
WHEN: Daily, 10am – 5pm (except Mondays)
WHERE: 136 Kingsland Road, E2 8EA
Home to millions of artefacts and exhibitions, this institution is one of London’s most iconic museums. The Hintze Hall now is home to an incredible 25.2 metre-long blue whale skeleton. Get hands-on with interactive family activities, follow the free dinosaur trail, and gaze up at Luke Jerram’s spectacular moon artwork that hangs in the museum. This is a place you’ll keep returning to, picking up new and interesting facts time and time again.
WHEN: Daily, 10am – 5.50pm
WHERE: Cromwell Rd, Kensington, SW7 5BD
Part of the V&A, the Museum of Childhood exhibits a huge range of childhood objects from the 1600s to the present day. You’ll learn about toys, dolls, games, childcare and clothing: how all of these things have changed so much over the centuries. Be sure to pick up one of the family backpacks to make your visit extra special. Each backpack contains maps, storybooks, toys and activity suggestions.
WHEN: 10am – 5.45pm daily
WHERE: Cambridge Heath Rd, E2 9PA
The most popular and most visited in Europe, the Science Museum is not one to be missed. Check out world-famous objects such as Apollo 10 and Stephenson’s rocket, amongst the other incredible 15,000 objects. The little ones will love the Bubble Show, while those ages 4+ should definitely experience the Typhoon jet simulator. For families with children over 5 years, we recommend the Live Science drop-in workshops, where the whole family will be able to take part in live science experiments.
WHEN: Daily, 10am – 6pm
WHERE: Exhibition Rd, Kensington, SW7 2DD
For our full guide to London, click here.