Posted in Picks of the week

Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life – Tate Modern

In the last few weeks, Instagram seems to have been flooded with pictures of the Olafur Eliasson exhibition. That and pictures of that spotty Zara dress.  Having already been a marketing victim and bought the dress (!), it was time for a trip to the Tate Modern.

So last weekend I managed to drag my husband, the baby and my brother along too. It didn’t disappoint.  Nor did the Tate Modern itself which proved to be so baby friendly that I think I might be able to persuade my husband to go back again #winwin.

You can buy tickets when you get there but given it’s popularity, top tip #1 buy them in advance and pick a time slot that suits you and baby.  We went post morning nap and before lunch when he’s usually at his most amenable 😂. Top tip #2: go to the right part of the Tate Modern- the Blatnavik Building.   We went to Level 2 of the Boiler House, only to realise we had ventured to the wrong part of the building. By the time we finally got there, there was no queue and we went straight in. I always get a little anxious going in to an exhibition as you never know how the tiny dictator is going to behave but I immediately felt relaxed as there were lots of families with babies.  The exhibition itself was in a large space and so it’s easy to navigate with a buggy.

It was a brilliant, immersive exhibition not just for adults but for children and babies too. It was like a baby sensory class on steroids.  From moss walls, a fog room, a spiral view tunnel, rain, thunder…the exhibition invites you to experience nature and the powerful forces that govern it.  The intention is not for you to just be a spectator but for you to consider your place in the planet too, and indeed the negative role mankind are having on nature. The only part of the exhibition we avoided was the fog room, mainly because we didn’t want the babby to feel at all claustrophobic. The staff member at the entrance to this part of the exhibition was very helpful and showed us how we could navigate round it.  We did go through individually and saw lots of children happily going through it; we just didn’t want to risk it. The rest of the exhibition the baby was honestly enthralled, at one point continuously craning his neck back to look at the mirror on the ceiling.  He also loved the room of colourful shadows and was crawling along the floor whilst other children were dancing around taking in their reflections.  Top tip #3: in case of any meltdowns or any older children getting bored and wanting something more hands on, there is a brilliant interactive table at the end of the exhibit with 3D structures to play with.

We followed the exhibition with a trip to Gail’s Bakery which is located just behind the Tate Modern.  With highchairs, baby changing facilities, helpful staff and a good selection of food that can be adapted for weaning it was a big hit. All in all a brilliant family day out.

Have you been yet?  How did you find it?  Share your stories below!

Cost ⭐⭐

Expensive, unless you invest in an Art Pass – £18 per adult but £9 with an Art Pass. Children under X go free.

Accessibility ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Easy to navigate the museum with pram or sling, there’s a lift that takes you up to the exhibition floor.

Facilities ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Baby changing facilities are available and there is a cloakroom with buggy parking should you need it.

Feeding friendly ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Don’t expect comfy seats but there are places to sit and feed as you go around and the cafe has highchairs (although we popped to Gail’s Bakery which was brilliant).

General vibes ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Such a sensory treat for all the family, we had the best morning and we will be back for sure. Very family friendly and no air of art snobbiness about it. A huge thumbs up from us!

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