I’m not going pretend this trip to see the David Bowie exhibition at the V&A was exactly aimed for toddler enjoyment, but who can resist taking toddlers into central London to a museum?
The lead up – clearly, Weasel has no clue who David Bowie is, and the Ninja even less so. So this would require some prep work. Out comes the greatest hits at breakfast time to sing along to. This is when I discover that despite thinking I know many lyrics, or at least the gist of his greatest hits, it turns out they contain some lyrics you wouldn’t want your toddler repeating. Oops, who knew?
You have to dress your kids up as little rock stars right?
Will your toddler enjoy it? Yes. With all the music, colours, lights, videos and spandex, your kid will be engulfed by the experience. One knitted leotard in an aerobic pose was her favourite. We didn’t get headphones for the kids, but clearly should have for both as whenever they had ours on they were happy. The best part is probably the courtyard though, which is free along with the rest of the main museum. It looks like the paddling pool is filled in the summer, but I imagine gets packed. Weasel had just as much fun just running around it, and forcing her poor parents to do the same.
There are no photos in the exhibit (and they are really enforcing that with a heavy hand) and bizarrely, no sketching either.
Access: Fine in the exhibit and ramps throughout the V&A (although strangely not from the underground Victorian tunnel entrance, despite there being space for one). We were told to leave our pushchair at the entrance to the exhibit, but we saw one inside, heavily laden with ginormo bags and shopping of an entire family (kid was in a sling).
Baby Changing: In the V&A, there was one that someone sans child decided to ‘occupy’ for 15 minutes (um, thanks, have your shit somewhere else please people!), so I went downstairs in a ladies loo (steps only) to one that the Ninja barely fit on. Even the staff tried to warn me off going to it, but had no choice due to our timed ticket. Later we also used the one in the restaurant which is a proper original giant Victorian ladies’ washroom.
Food: We only had ice cream and coffee from the stall in the courtyard, but damn didn’t it come in a posh cup? The buffet in the restaurant looked like the poshest cafeteria I have ever seen, complete with chandeliers and someone playing the grand piano. Despite that the prices looked decent.
Can you still get tix?: It’s on until the 11th of August and advance tickets have sold out. You can however buy them at the museum on the day, but usually for a couple of hours later. The website says this, and a person in front of us when we picked ours up was able to buy some. They are however a whopping £15.50. At least kids are free, but you still need to get them tix for the numbers.
Weasel’s immediate verdict: “I liked the elephants. I didn’t like the bear.” (we were equally as confused by this)
Weasel’s more considered verdict when we got home: “I liked David Bowls. But he isn’t Harry Potter. He sings with his eyes. Baby sister liked David Bowls too and she danced with her arms and legs. But it wasn’t Harry Potter.” She then ran around nursery the whole next day claiming she met David Bowie on a train in London whilst singing Star Man. The nursery staff actually asked me at pick-up if we had met him, and now they think I’m crazy. Great.