In case you haven’t heard my whooping from miles away, it’s September. Nearly the end of the summer holidays. Much as I love my kids, conjuring up 7 weeks of childcare is about as easy as it sounds….so I’m quite glad they’re back to school next week. But before they do, a last hurrah. Two last hurrahs in fact, using the divide and conquer method of child wrangling that saw Nathan taking Roo to see a Spiderman movie, and me and Eva heading to South Ken with Bunny and her long-suffering maternal parent.
Eva had first floated this idea last week, when we were going to an entirely different museum. She expressed it in a vigorous and whingy manner so we weren’t keen to actually take her there ever. But then it became a convenient carrot to use during back-to-school shoe shopping and sure enough, by midday today she was there, marvelling at the projection of the Earth that sits in the Exploring Space gallery. Or rather, it was an artist’s impression of “what an Earth-like planet would look like”. Earth, apparently. Still, she and Bunny sat and watched the planet for about ten minutes as it changed from Mercury to the Sun to a moon of Jupiter. I’m not sure they took all the information in, but they thought it was pretty.
Next stop was the ever-popular Pattern Pod, where they drew on the kaleidoscopes and danced in the video room. Eva also enjoyed putting on the duck feet and baby booties to walk and crawl over the footprint trails.
We’d brunched before leaving home, but the Bunnies hadn’t so we went to the cafe in the basement for a sandwich for Bunny and whatever I could convince Eva to eat that resembled food. There was some unpleasant moments, as there often are when you hear “Eva” and “food” in the same sentence…so let’s skim right over that and onto the Bubble Show, which has now moved to a much bigger space under the Wellcome Wing. There’s a long runway marked out, so that more kids can sit close to the bubbles and it works well. Eva and Bunny didn’t get chosen to take part in the show, but surprisingly they seemed to cope with the trauma of it.
Better than BunnyMummy and I coped when I’d queued up at the Shake Bar for ten minutes, only to find out they had no coffee. OH THE HUMANITY. The coffee machine was broken and we’d have to cope with Wonderlab without a caffeine boost. Eva and Bunny managed to entertain themselves while I was in the queue though, with this mirror and the “choir of Evas” contained within it:
They were more Evas to be found in the Illusion Box inside Wonderlab. Three of them in here:
And countless Evas in this one:
You can imagine how all of this pleased the narcissistic girl.
Last time we went to the Science Museum, I’d baulked at paying for both kids and both of us for Wonderlab so had sent Eva down to The Garden with Nathan and I just took Roo in. So all of this was new to Eva. She liked the giant rotating Earth, and the paper aeroplane machine and the tree with the magnets on it, and all the other bits that Roo liked. She even enjoyed the giant slides, although I found them a bit scary when I was helping her into the mat and tipping her over the edge:
What she didn’t like was the “Bang, Flash, Wallop” show – we lasted a few minutes before I gave in to her pathetic scared noises and took her back in. So, we played with these two Black Holes for ages instead:
It was definitely coffee time after this, and we found the nicest little coffee shop on the second floor. They didn’t have huge amounts of cake, but they had nice tiled booths and – unusually for a Kensington museum – a view to the outside world.
We were eating our brownies and slightly crumbly muffins when Eva said the strangest thing. She was looking down at the street and said she could see “two people who don’t have heads but have umbrellas”. It didn’t make any sense to me or BunnyMummy so eventually we stood up and took a look. Yes, the girl was telling the truth. Human statues hanging out on Exhibition Road who, as described, had umbrellas but no heads:
Talking of which, we met another street entertainer a few minutes later who did have a head and let both girls try it on:
You’ll have gathered by now that we’d left the museum. It was 5 PM, so we’d spent a full five hours in there and we wanted to flit by the Butterfly tent at the Natural History Museum before we went home. BunnyMummy had member passes, otherwise it would have been another £22 for a family ticket which might have been wasted seeing as it took us 5 minutes to walk through it. It was interesting though – lots of butterflies, some of them huge and one of them who was friendly enough to land on Eva:
Don’t worry though – we checked ourselves both in the mirror before leaving the Butterfly House and we didn’t let any escape. Unlike that time in Clissold Park a few years back. I guess we would have spent a bit longer in there if we’d paid for it or if it wasn’t already so late but it did seem like it’d be pricey for what it was.
We had one last stop to make before we hopped on the tube and that was the wonderfully-named Jeff de Bruges, where BunnyMummy bought us all little chocolates in the shape of ice cream cones. We needed the sugar for the long train ride home, where Bunny took control of an iPhone and took a series of pictures we won’t be sharing here but do look out for a future Turner Prize-winning exhibition called “Knees of the Piccadilly Line”. A fitting souvenir of our end of holidays hurrah.
More information here (official website)