Disclaimer: We were gifted entry to the London Transport Museum in exchange for a review. All views are my own.
Last week we were invited along to the London Transport Museum for the first of their new ‘Missions in the Museum’. Each month you can embark on an expedition around the whole of the museum to learn about a specific topic. February was all about signs and symbols and although the event has now finished for this month, they do have ‘The Stamper Trail’ activity which can be done at anytime.
The museum is spread out on 3 floors. You come in on the ground floor, but we found it easier to start from the top and work our way down (stamp 2 & 3 are located on the top floor). We took the lift up and as we looked up to see which floor it was going up to, we realised that it was instead counting back from the year ‘2020’ to the year ‘1800’. Once we exited the lift, we soon discovered we had indeed gone back in time.
All three of the kids were completely fascinated, and found it hard to believe that horse and carriage and even being physically lifted in a box, were actual ways of how people used to travel.
We headed down to the next level where we were greeted by a ticket man. The kids received a tube ticket from the past, which was part of the Museum Mission list. Anyone who knows Mila knows she loves tickets, she didn’t let go of hers pretty much all day.
I think one of the best things about the London Transport Museum is being able to actually go on each of the modes of transport that are displayed. For Harvey and Lola definitely, they were really intrigued about how different the trains and buses used to look not just on the outside but the interior too.
I wasn’t sure how involved Harvey was going to get in the missions but he loved it. He even got dressed up in the vintage attire for a pose in front of the Steam Engine. As we went further along the kids even got to sit in a carriage on the train. Lola said that it reminded her of Harry Potter.
Another thing I really loved about the London Transport Museum was the Family Play Zones. There were two of these, one located on Level 1 and the other on Level 0 (ground floor). These play zones are for children aged 7 and under, and of course are transport themed.
The Family Play Zones are interactive and Mila really enjoyed fixing and driving the pretend tube as well as working in the Lost Property Office.
After a fair bit of time letting Mila play we headed into hidden London, an abandoned tube station. We learnt all about the hidden secrets that lurk underneath the busy London streets and how certain tube stations were used as shelters in the war.
The next London transport to discover was the tube. Harvey was in his element as there was a virtual experience to drive the tube although he couldn’t quite get the hang of pulling in at the station. It was definitely harder than it looked.
We even got to personalise our own roundel as part of the museum mission too. Harvey now wants one for at home!
There were so many fascinating facts about the underground and every time we thought we had finished and were ready to go down to the ground floor, we’d find another part of the museum hidden away.
Onto the ground floor which was home to the history of buses. Ever since Harvey could talk he has been obsessed with buses, and even though he is coming up to his teens, I know for a fact that this was his favourite part of the whole museum.
Again, there was sooo much to discover, including a number of buses that the kids could explore. They even had the chance of getting in the driver seat of a modern day bus.
As mentioned previously, the ground floor is also home to a second Family Play Zone. Conveniently for me, placed next to an ice cream cafe. They also serve sandwiches and hot drinks too and you can sit and have a snack whilst watching your little ones play. As well as this, the museum also has a canteen which opened last year and fits in perfectly with the London Transport theme. It even includes items that have been retired from some of London’s real stations.
We had such a good day and it got a huge thumbs up from all three kids. I couldn’t believe how big it was either! I really didn’t know what to expect or how long it would take us to get round, but we were in there for a good 3 hours but could have easily stayed for longer. The interactive activities around the museum were fab and the kids loved finding all the stamps to collect. The museum caters for all ages which is just what is needed for our family when the age gap between them is so big. The play zones were great as mini breaks throughout the visit for Mila too.
The London Transport Museum is really easy to get to on the tube as it is located in Covent Garden. I really do highly recommend visiting, I can’t believe that I’ve not been before to be honest as I’ve done a lot of museums with Harvey and Lola especially in London.
They have loads of different events going on throughout the year, make sure you check out their Easter Holiday event too. Find out more on their website. We plan on going back later in the year for another half term event for sure.