I wouldn’t say it’s the easiest of places to find, but the Museum of London Docklands is worth the visit. The staff have done a great job making the museum interesting and accessible to all ages, including that all-important under 5 set.
When coming by underground be sure to exit Canary Wharf station from the west exit. We didn’t and probably added at least 5 minutes to our walk. If you are taking the DLR the Canary Wharf station is much closer.
The museum has a variety of activities aimed at little kids. They provide explorer bags for 2-5 year olds (they were out the day we went), “pigeon” sheets, and the very cool mudlarks.
The pigeon sheets were a big hit with MiniMalik and Beans. They were laminated sheets of paper with a pigeon on one side and six pictures on the other. The pictures were of six items to be found throughout the exhibit. We only found four on our trip and Beans has made me promise that we’ll return so that we can find the other two. We’ve found similar sheets at other museums and I think they are a really fantastic way to get pre-readers involved and interacting with the exhibit. At the Museum of London Docklands Beans and MiniMalik were looking at all the displays and engaging with them, a lot more than they would have without these sheets.
When you go, make sure to book a spot for the mudlarks. The Mudlarks is an interactive room and soft play. Sessions are 45 minutes long and free. There’s information about the different imports, ropes to pull, water to play in, and blocks and cranes to play with.
We packed a lunch, but there was no obviously marked picnic area within the museum. We did find some tables and chairs outside the front though. Eventually MrsMalik noticed that there is a picnic area in the basement, but it was also labelled as weekend use only, so be aware of that. There was a lovely cafe with a good selection of kid food on the main floor and a nice looking restaurant attached to the museum as well.
All in all an enjoyable way to spend a rainy day. There are lots of interesting sounding events coming up throughout the summer including a 1940’s playground, a pirate peg how-to and Reclaim the Streets (a weekend long art project to decorate the quayside). I hope to return for one or all these events.
Sense of adventure
A bit of money for a lovely cup of tea.