This week Weasel developed a love of pigeons. No, that’s not what we set out to do this week; we set out to have an exciting trip into London’s Covent Garden and London Transport Museum. I really should be used to the fact by now that when you take a toddler to a museum they will inevitably find something random (gift shop, loos, the time in the car, etc.) exciting. And this Wednesday it was rats with wings (or as a tweenie coming out of public loos in CG scrambled it up as ‘you know, like pigeons, but with wings, like they can fly and stuff!’). And now she feels the need to screech at pigeons when she sees them. Oh well, there’s another 2-syllable word to be proud of I guess. Unsurprisingly, Gravel required an urgent bath when we got home to deepest, darkest Surrey.
Stopping by Tesco on the walk from Waterloo, we picked up some bits and bobs for a bring your own picnic to eat inside the museum. Judging by the length of the queue to get in (well, given my friend Kate’s good judgment!), there was no chance of getting near a table inside (later I would see picnics being had in random corners inside), so we had an impromptu outdoor picnic on the curb instead. This sounds more hobo than it really should – I assure you we weren’t alone, as weird as it sounds. It did add the fun complication of not being able to just dust off food that’s fallen. And Weasel got the joy of watching 20 pigeons fight over a cocktail sausage, which she enjoyed once she got over being pissed off that she’d lost her sausage (mostly helped by having 10 more in the pack…). Here are the eggs we sat next to, so you get a pretty photo even if they are totally inconsequential to the story.
The museum itself would have been fab if it weren’t for half-term filling it to the brim with hundreds of 5 year olds, making it difficult for Weasel to climb up on the buses or get into the play areas. Any other time there would have been loads for her to do. She did at least enjoy the Pod as she got to run along the empty bench and bang on the glass. We did have a few moments of peace in the education room with its giant Lego bricks and colouring and art to do, but we got chucked out as the session had apparently ended. Seriously, you can stay open to let a toddler finish colouring; they don’t really get telling them to come back in half an hour when you’ve tidied a little and are starting the next session.
To escape the madness, we ended up at the usual Royal Festival Hall near Waterloo to have a coffee and an Easter cookie (uneaten and a totally untouched babyccino, well, until she decided just as leaving to play babyccino fountain).
The museum itself is £13.95 to get in, free for under 16’s. It sounds a lot, but what you actually get is an annual pass.
Changing: on the ground and 1st floor – ok, but smelly.
Food: We brought our own, but there is a cafe.
Verdict: Having made the school-girl error of going at Half Term, just before a long Easter weekend, we’ll definitely be going back to get more out of the museum. With an annual pass we can just feel like we can stop in for an hour whilst passing instead of having to make it a destination.