Family-friendly museums in London

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  • V&A | Royal Academy | Horniman Museum | V&A Museum of Childhood | Imperial War Museum | More family-friendly museums

    Imperial War Museum


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    The welcome It’s a shame you can’t get a pram – or wheelchair for that matter – up the steps to the main entrance. The central atrium is a stunning showcase of military hardware – from a soaring Spitfire to a sinister Polaris missile. Instead of that as our first glimpse, we had to trek to the side of the building and wait for a ponderously slow lift.
    The experience At a time when military exploits couldn’t be less fashionable, the Imperial War Museum has an important role to play. Asking a child to engage with the concept of a moral war might be too ambitious, but they can certainly begin to understand the effects a large-scale conflict has on civilian life. Some sections, including the Holocaust exhibit, are marked unsuitable for under-16s.

    The restaurant Kids’ boxes are £4.25 for five items, though it would have been nice to see some healthier snacks. Salads cost from £5.50. High chairs and jugs of tap water are provided.
    The loos Spacious and clean, with baby changing in the ladies’ and gents’ on the ground floors.
    The shop Fun, without trivialising the contents of the museum. There are Airfix model kits from £4.99, uniformed teddies from £5.99 and enough camouflage to start your own militia. Retro soft drinks (sarsaparilla, dandelion and burdock; £1.99) should appeal to all ages.
    Family-friendly verdict Timely and relevant, this is a valuable day out for grandparents, parents and children. The exhibits are well thought out – and we’re pleased to report that the lifts are being replaced.
    Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Rd, SE1 6HZ (7416 5000/www.iwm.org.uk). 10am-6pm daily. Free entry, but charges vary for temporary exhibitions.

    V&A | Royal Academy | Horniman Museum | V&A Museum of Childhood | Imperial War Museum | More family-friendly museums

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Kids’ boxes are £4.25 for five items, though it would have been nice to see some healthier snacks. Salads cost from £5.50. High chairs and jugs of tap water are provided. Spacious and clean, with baby changing in the ladies’ and gents’ on the ground floors. Fun, without trivialising the contents of the museum. There are Airfix model kits from £4.99, uniformed teddies from £5.99 and enough camouflage to start your own militia. Retro soft drinks (sarsaparilla, dandelion and burdock; £1.99) should appeal to all ages. Timely and relevant, this is a valuable day out for grandparents, parents and children. The exhibits are well thought out – and we’re pleased to report that the lifts are being replaced.V&A | Royal Academy | Horniman Museum | V&A Museum of Childhood | Imperial War Museum | More family-friendly museums

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