"I'm surprised to read the positive comments about the Royal Academy in respect of children, especially the Summer Exhibition, as this was not my experience last summer when I went with my two year old daughter.
Firstly, we did receive some looks from the staff at the front desk when it was clear that we needed to go round with the buggy; she is heavy and I was pregnant with twins, so there was no way I was going to hoik her around in my arms. Secondly, we weren't offered an art tray.
Third, I was the only one there with a child ( a weekday but busy nonetheless) and the other visitors were less than welcome to us even though my child was mostly well behaved. Fourthly, many of the artworks themselves are very low down hence inviting sticky fingers to explore. I was forever moving my child out of the way lest she damage something.
Fifthly, there was a copper sculpture as a centrepiece. My child ventured inside ( whose wouldn't) only to find that we had instigated some sort of security panic- several staff ran towards us screaming ' get her out of there'.
Overall, we found the venue snotty, unhelpful, and unwelcoming . My child loves art and goes to the Tate Modern regularly- she loves to exclaim at things and point things out. One exhibit was to her a giraffe'- its a giraff'e, mummy, she screamed excitedly at some modernist painting. This produced some tut tuts from other visitors. My conclusion was that I would probably come back with her next year but would not expect a warm reception. An adult venue it is and I have to say that seems very much to be the expectation of the staff and most of the visiting public."