The British Science Museum – London

Trips into London for Weasel are far too infrequent. Given the amount of amazing museums and, well, everything, just 35 minutes away  by train, I really should try harder. Having that extra pair of hands of visitors always helps in braving the stairs and escalators of the Underground, and on this occasion, was a good excuse for checking out the British Science Museum. And if your kid is obsessed with lighting as mine was, the cafe alone is worth the entrance fee. Oh wait , no, it’s yet another free museum! Hooray!

There are quite enough big science things to look at here, even to entertain those who are still trying to work out why they’re being stalked by that baby in the mirror. The space section (shiny foil!!!) and airplane section are sure to keep them occupied.

The hands-on area, launchpad, did sadly seemed to aim everything at about an 8 year old. And yes, I am aware it is meant to be. But by lowering the displays and buttons by a foot, all kids could get involved. Weasel enjoyed playing with the big blocks and magnets when helped, I just had an aching back by the end of it from lifting her.

There is a section aimed at 5-8 year olds, Pattern Pod, although half of the exhibits seemed to be turned off, missing or way too high for Weasel to reach. Drums to bang, a shiny room and, best of all, a water run with boats make up the best bits of the section. It just seemed odd that they couldn’t incorporate more toddler-friendly displays even if just for the smaller siblings. The boats could really be enjoyed by toddlers, but you have to lift them a little to be able to reach. Here’s Weasel being lifted up to play the drums….

Practicalities:

Eating – The Deep Blue cafe is so awesome, it’s my outstanding memory, and no doubt Weasel’s from the day. A 3-story wall of purple opaque glass plus long, light-box tables make for some seriously cool atmosphere. Of course the food isn’t as cheap as you might want, but you are paying for table-service and impromptu baby-fashion shows. It won’t be appropriate for all kids, but Weasel, still only crawling, was able to sit and throw poses on the catwalk. She thought it was the most amazing thing ever and that made it worth that extra £10.There is a canteen-style alternative I believe too.

Changing: Fine, good facilities and plenty of them

Pram Access: We occasionally got a little lost looking for lifts, but eventually made it where we wanted to be!

Gift Shop: Seriously great science gifts, book and toys. Yes, it’s expensive, it’s a gift shop. But you got in for free, you might as well buy a book. We got There’s No Place Like Space, a Dr Seuss book. It’s alright, despite a few inaccuracies (corrected easily with a great fat pedantic pen) and a strange section in the middle about memorising the planets using a rhyme about pizza which I’m tempted to accidentally ‘lose’.

Definitely go – there’s not much to lose if it’s free and you’re most likely to have a wicked time!

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