What?: Bab Dad foams at the mouth over science and is determined that our daughter is going to be the next Marie Curie. On the contrary, I find that even the word ‘science’ makes me want to take a very long nap, but since Bab is in prolonged teething hell and currently about as much company as a small, angry, grapefruit, I was willing to step out of my comfort zone on the off chance that one of us might have something approaching fun. And we did.
The Science Museum is vast – too vast to do in a day, so we had to pick our battles. Bab adored The Garden, which wasn’t actually a garden but rather a large, interactive kids’ gallery filled with things for her to touch and lick. She was so thrilled by the water-play feature she managed to completely soak her outfit, which I couldn’t change because I’m crap and don’t carry spares. She also drank about a pint of chlorine but I just let it happen because I haven’t seen her that happy in weeks.
The rest of the museum offers acre upon acre of crawl/toddle space for tinies and enough lights, sounds and hanging stuff to keep kids with even the shortest of attention spans entertained. Bab got overwhelmed and broke after a while, then she just sort of installed herself on my leg like a tiny, tired koala.
Where?: Museumsville, South Kensington. The easiest way to navigate is to get the tube to South Ken (Piccadilly, District & Circle) then walk right to the end of the museums subway. Be warned though, there are steps.
Facilities: Loads of lifts; four family-friendly cafes, a diner complete with kids’ menu and a milkshake/ice cream bar; buggy parking in the cloakroom; baby changing on all but one floor; nice, calm family room in the basement where you can all sit and cry when everything gets a bit much.
Best Bits: We both thoroughly enjoyed The Garden, even if the sign on the door said it was for ages 3-6. The Shake Bar looked sexy.
Worst Bits: School trippers have become the bane of our lives since we started on our Bablands adventure, and the Science Museum is inevitably prime school-trip territory. At one point Bab got trampled by an army of six-year-olds with tiny wheelbarrows who all wanted to pat her head like she was a good dog.
Cost: Well they say it’s free and then they put up giant suggested donation £5 banners and make you queue up to have an awkward exchange with a super-chatty museum minion, during which you will merrily hand over a £10 note for fear of looking like a tight bastard. I draw the line at effing Gift Aid though.
Would We Come Back?: Yes but remind me to bring a change of Bab clothes next time. And possibly some galoshes.
Bab plays in The Garden at the Science Museum