Trains, Science and Family

Trains, Science and Family
Brother and Sister + Sisters
children looking out train window

Watching the world whizz by

On Friday, we finally made it up to London for the day to meet up with wife’s brother and his girlfriend. We took the train (hooray – no driving for me!) and the girls were so excited!  All the way there, they just kept chattering away in complete awe of everything going on around them. When Bunny gets on Twitter, she’s going to be one of these Tweeple with 40,000 tweets in 2 months! I think the excitement was fuelled by this being their first train journey as little people that are friends.  Last time, although they had fun, Bear was still not walking and certainly wasn’t talking so Bunny had no-one to share the experience with.

Once we arrived, we had the next exciting experience of catching a bus.  Bunny commented on a park that we passed as we left Victoria and I explained that there was a much bigger one just around the corner and then pointed out the beginning of Hyde Park to her. I don’t think she really believed me when we got off at Exhibition Road and I explained that it was still the same park (well, Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are pretty much the same really!).

Science museum exhibit

We wandered down to the Science museum and headed inside looking for somewhere to eat our lunch while we waited for uncle L to arrive.  We walked through the space exhibition and Bunny was most interested in seeing the spaceman, even though I tried to explain that there were spaceships too.

We ate our sandwiches and Uncle L arrived, so we had a look around the Modern World exhibition which I’d mistakenly thought was the Secret Life of the Home exhibition I remembered from my childhood.  I was disappointed as I remembered it being better than that!  Unfortunately, there were no maps to be found anywhere in the museum, except next to lifts, but they had no descriptions and only marked permanent exhibits.  As we only had a couple of hours, this made the whole experience rather frustrating as we spent so much time trying to work out where things were by walking up to the lifts to find out.

Children walking on bench

A bench becomes a catwalk for my two!

We wandered back through Space and then caught a lift upstairs to get a drink as the place was so warm we were wilting fast!  After an expensive milkshake and lots of playing on the benches, we headed into Launchpad in the hope we’d find some fun for the girls.

children in launchpad at Science museum

Some fun in the Launchpad gallery, lots of meltdowns too

As expected, it was busy, but we managed to find a few exhibits to test. Bunny wasn’t feeling very patient though and kept having meltdowns every time we had to wait to try something. I was rapidly losing my patience too but we timed it so that she could see the “rocket launch” which I hoped might appease her. Unfortunately, she spotted the pump just as a little boy was assigned the task of operating it and this led to an even bigger tantrum.  I asked if she could press one of the buttons, which she did, but this still wasn’t enough, so we left.

We headed to the Computing gallery as both wife and her brother are total geeks, but even this was disappointing, only showing the history of computing up to the 1970’s.  Bunny didn’t equate the huge, room sized machine with the laptop I blog on, or the tablet she plays on, so was unimpressed.

carrying children on shoulders

Brother and Sister + Sisters

As we left the gallery, I did manage to snap brother and sister carrying sisters on their shoulders which I really love.

Listening Post at Science Museum

Listening Post

As the day was fast running out, we headed to the final gallery to visit the Listening Post installation that displayed real-time internet chat-room text, narrated by a computer to create the sound of the internet. While it was fascinating to watch the display, again, I was a little disappointed, feeling that the We Are Data creation I discovered recently far outweighed this in interest terms.

Child on busy train

Hiding in her corner of the train

All too soon, it was time to head home.  Our train was delayed by 40 minutes (as is the norm on a Friday evening!) so we crushed onto the train and I kept Bear amused in her little corner by feeding her a variety of foods we’d grabbed while we waited.  After about an hour, the train started to empty so we were able to get seats! I was shattered but incredibly, the girls kept going!

Although I was disappointed by the Science Museum, I would go back as I think we will get more from it as the girls grow and develop. The interactive garden was closed when we visited but is meant to be targeted at a much younger age group, so perhaps that would help. And as the museum is free, I can’t really complain, I just found it less entertaining than I’d hoped for a two and four year old. Not that they seemed to care as they ran about, climbed on shoulders, danced and laughed with their uncle and his girlfriend!

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6 comments on “Trains, Science and Family
  1. I love the picture of the girls on the shoulders, and looks great, I think I will leave it a couple more years before I take the boys but I still remember how wonderful I found it as a child

    • I think you’re right to leave it until they’re older. Nothing worse than dragging reluctant, uninterested children around! I would have liked to see the garden space though as it did sound promising!

  2. Wendy Dymond says:

    I was thinking of taking oscar to thr natural history museum but after reading this about the science museum I might leave it for a while I think!

    • I don’t want to put people off, I just think I expected more interactive displays that I could interest the children with. Maybe we’re too used to being entertained and have forgotten how to do it ourselves. And perhaps I need to get my children more used to having to actually read about something and use their imagination rather than expect it to be done for them!

  3. Emily says:

    Although the Science Museum is great, I always find it too busy and chaotic – it’s a little better when big kids at school and Natural History is fantastic! Pleased you had a nice day in London with family regardless xx

    • I think we’ll try the Natural History museum next. Unfortunately, with me working in a school and Bunny now at school herself, we are somewhat tied to school holidays for trips to London. I guess we’ll just have to get used to the crowds!

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