The Museum of London is a place that we had kept delaying and shrugging off visiting for quite some time. After finally visiting, I wish we had gone sooner. The Museum of London is the best place in the city to trace history from prehistoric times, through the Roman Empire, Saxons, Vikings, Tutors, and right up to modern day.
The special exhibit currently running is called Fire, Fire and aims to provide the story and the impact of the Great Fire of 1666. Our kids were engaged and entertained throughout. Our little imps were enthralled by trying to reconstruct the city following the fire. There were several other hands on exhibits as well that also allowed the kids to learn through play and the entire exhibit was well thought out, not only for the kids, but for the adults as well.
The permanent galleries provide a glimpse of London’s past stretching back well over two thousand years. After having just visited Rome last year, we found the Roman era exhibits interesting as we could see visual similarities and better imagine the sheer magnitude and scope of the Roman Empire. My personal favourites were the mock up Victorian era street scenes and shops. In the same museum you will also find relics of the swinging sixties and Beatlemania; even our eight year old was confused by how someone could walk in platform boots. The museum is truly eclectic and throughout there are videos, interactive displays, and compelling exhibits that entertain visitors of all ages.
For the Little Imps
The Museum of London was a great place to visit with kids. On the day we visited, they were provided with lessons about Roman mosaics and then were able to create their own example. Our kids are not crafters generally but they did enjoy glueing colourful pieces to paper outlines. There were also treasure hunt style challenges based in different eras in the museum for kids to complete. Our eight year old was very dedicated to them and completed two entirely and parts of others. One true highlight for me was the abundance of bathrooms in excellent locations. Anyone travelling with kids knows how important this is and the toilet situation was well conceived and convenient.
We recommend travelling on the Tube while you are visiting London. The closest station is Barbican and is conveniently located on the Metropolitan, Circle, and Hammersmith and City lines. The permanent galleries were free, but we paid for the Fire, Fire exhibit and it was well worth it. Fire, Fire is closing in April 2017, but if you visit when a new exhibit is showing, you shouldn’t hesitate to pay the fee as it is more than worth the cost just to see the whole museum and spend the day at the museum.
As a Canadian, whose country is turning 150 this year, a place with thousands of years of history is sometimes difficult to comprehend, though admittedly I should know more about Canadian history before the arrival of Europeans. If London is your only stop in Europe, the Museum of London will give you and your family a glimpse of European history over the past two thousand years and well worth a visit with your family.
Happy and safe family travels.