National Maritime Museum – 18/05/13

DSC02510It was International Museum Day yesterday. Did you remember? We did, cause we celebrate a lot of these kind of days. Over lunch we made the unlikely decision to go to Greenwich, so I could revisit the National Maritime Museum with some toddler-ish children, as opposed to a 7 month old baby. That visit itself was inspired by a book we found at Nathan’s parents about a small stuffed penguin that went to the Antarctic and now resides in the National Maritime Museum. I think he was called Ponko. Anyway, long story short – he doesn’t live there anymore. But lucky we had neither remembered about the penguin nor hyped it up to Roo until we were there.

By which time there was plenty of other stuff to look at. Nathan liked a big, interactive globe and I liked the neon-blue lettering on the wall (above) but it was the main hall that was most impressive. It’s huge and airy, not dissimilar to the Great Court at the British Museum and has a wall of figureheads, as well as a gilded barge and the entire frontage of a ship. Eva seemed to like the figurehead that had a cheeky bit of boob showing – I think it reminded her it was lunchtime. At the far side of the hall, we found a little play area, with a boat you could climb into and a seaside hut to play in, as well as dressing up clothes.

Then we went to find the Children’s Gallery, which was also fun and interactive. There was (naturally) a few tussles over who got to operate the swinging-crane thing and whether or not you could climb into the cargo boat (you can’t), but once Reuben got his go, he had fun picking the bits of cargo up with a hook and dropping them into the boat. There’s also a play galley, more dressing up and this:

DSC02552And then onto my favourite thing – a giant interactive map, with plastic boats you could sit on and push around. They were a bit heavy for smaller kids to operate, but Eva enjoyed just climbing on hers, while Reuben got Nathan to push him around. And later on, a troupe of sea scouts helped to push him too. Before pushing him off. But Roo and Eva both had a good twenty minutes or so running around the map, scooting on the boats, jumping from landmass to landmass, and running ships aground in Africa. It was a lot of fun.

DSC02572But sugar crash was approaching, so it was time to go to the cafe for cake and juice. The cafe had this sign at the door:

DSC02597which is disappointing for a cafe. But luckily the sign was wrong and there was plenty of food and drink inside. Cake, juice, coffee and popcorn to be exact. As we were finishing up, Nathan gor a call from our friend Kay saying they were locked out of their flat and needed the spare keys that were in my handbag. Probably a good time to head home. We were getting the boat back, so had a glimpse of the Cutty Sark, with a burst of sunshine

before getting back to the greyer skies of Central London. And rescuing our friends.

DSC02609VERDICT: A great museum, with all the accessibility you’d expect of something so shiny-looking. And loads of interactive things.

More details here (official site)


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