Posted in Picks of the week

Beasts of London – Museum of London

A.A Milne apparently lamented that, “some people talk to animals. Not many people listen though. That’s the problem”.  Well, if he wasn’t very dead, Mr. Milne would have been delighted that someone @museumoflondon has taken his words to heart, creating #beastsoflondon; an immersive experience that gives voice to London’s animal kingdom and so tells the history of the Capital from their unique perspective.

It’s a clever idea, brilliantly executed.  What wasn’t so clever – it turns out – was bringing the wee man, currently going through a mighty fussy phase, to enjoy it too. Yes, the museum had helpfully suggested that this exhibit is best suited to kids aged 7+ but I naively imagined (and for £5 with an #artpass, who could blame me) that he might enjoy it anyway.  A fox voiced by #KateMoss, what’s not to love?!  But, as my dear pal pointed out, while this would have been fantastic for bigger kids (and it really is) it is possibly stimulation overload akin to taking acid for a baby.

The museum itself, is every parents dream, regardless of the age of their kids. Another brutalist maze but brilliantly sign-posted and easily accessible whether bringing pram or sling; with lifts everywhere.  Admittedly the exhibit is aimed at young families but I was nonetheless impressed that the museum had thought through the practicalities of parenthood by providing a pram park just outside the exhibit.

Listening to Brian Blessed bellowing about the origins of the plague got us in the mood for food and with the wee man due a feed we hot-footed it to the nearest cafe – #benugo in the Sackler Hall.  Wide plastic chairs are perfectly comfortable for breastfeeding and the space is well equipped for families.  High chairs are available and the cafe offers a decent supply of sugary cakes for exhausted parents and of course, babyccinos for busy toddlers .  The restaurant upstairs offers free kids meals with every adult order too.

All in all a good afternoon out in an excellent venue.  Yes, I might have judged the exhibit itself wrongly for the age of my wee man but sometimes you need to distract yourself during these fussy phases if only to keep yourself sane.  Next time, we’ll try the more mellow permanent collections though.

Cost ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

£5 for an adult with an Art Pass. Family tickets start at £20.

Accessibility ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Well sign-posted with lifts should you need them.

Facilities ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This place is very family-friendly; good changing facilities, pram-parks, babyccinos (and much-needed cake) and – restaurant where kids eating for free with every adult meal – what more could you want?

Feeding friendly ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A sofa never goes amiss but the chairs I fed on were comfortable and I felt perfectly happy feeding there.

General vibes ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A brilliant venue and an excellent exhibition which my mate and I loved … probably better for older kids though. 

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