Which is the best London museum to visit with 6yo?

(48 Posts)
MegBusset Thu 14-Nov-13 21:54:36

I am taking DS1 (6yo) to London in a couple of weekends' time and am looking for something to do on the Saturday afternoon for a couple of hours. We have done the Science Museum before so I was thinking of maybe the British Museum, Nat Hist Museum, Greenwich planetarium or the Horniman Museum (we are getting the train to central London but staying with friends in SE London).

Any recommendations as to which is best? I was leaning towards the planetarium but have never been (haven't visited the others in years). He loves all things sciency and hands-on stuff.

Pancakeflipper Thu 14-Nov-13 21:56:08

Transport museum at Coventry Garden?

Pancakeflipper Thu 14-Nov-13 21:56:44

Not Coventry garden... Good old auto text.

MegBusset Thu 14-Nov-13 21:59:43

That did occur to me but he's not that bothered about trains/cars etc plus I was hoping to avoid really crowded places (which prob rules out the NHM too!)

MegBusset Thu 14-Nov-13 22:00:04

Pmsl at Coventry Garden grin

LoveSewingBee Thu 14-Nov-13 22:01:10

Science museum, it is brilliant and especially the bubble show or whatever it is called (free, ask at desk for the times when they run it or check on their website).

MegBusset Thu 14-Nov-13 22:05:16

Thanks, I do love the Science Museum but I've taken DS1 there before so thought we'd try somewhere new.

Natural gap history museum. They have a dinosaur! I love the prehistoric armadillo too.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 14-Nov-13 22:06:50

I'm going by what I went to around that age and I loved the War Museum with all the phones and stuff that you could listen to stories. I especially remember liking the bit on the Blitz (is that still there?!) would love to visit again as I loved it as a kid.

Mintyy Thu 14-Nov-13 22:11:55

Meg. Please trust me. Take him to HMS Belfast at London Bridge.

mirry2 Thu 14-Nov-13 22:17:11

I second HMS Belfast, but the NHM is also great.

Pleasenomorepeppa Thu 14-Nov-13 22:19:30

The Golden Hinde.
The Imperial War Museum.
The Museum of Childhood.

NearTheWindmill Thu 14-Nov-13 22:21:24

The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. Mine were enthralled. Smaller and more intimate that the NHM and quieter. If it's a nice day you might also think about London Zoo and Regent's Park.

capercaillie Thu 14-Nov-13 22:23:02

Another vote for hms Belfast - my 6 year old asked to go when he saw it, loved it and has asked several times to go back.

Pinkpinot Thu 14-Nov-13 22:24:37

My 6 yr old loved maritime museum and planetarium

Hms Belfast wouldn't do anything for him

Madame Tussaud's?

nicename Thu 14-Nov-13 22:28:00

If you don't want crowds then avoid natural history/science/v+a/british museums. The transport museum isn't usually all that massively busy and DS loves it (and he's not a car/train/bus mad kid). Lots of things to climb on, buttons to press and computers to fiddle with.

nobutreally Thu 14-Nov-13 22:28:46

I love the Horniman. It's not so great on science tbf, but its got afab breadth, and a very hands on feel. But British museum is also fab - but perhaps less immediate to the average 6 yo (is he into mummies?) and if he hasn't done Nat host, you HAVE to do that first ... I think it's the law :-)

MegBusset Thu 14-Nov-13 22:29:40

HMS Belfast never occurred to me, will give it a look (another one I last visited as a child!).

We used to go to the Museum of Childhood a lot when the DC were tiny and we lived in London, it's lovely but not sure it would be his cup of tes now.

professorpoopsnagle Thu 14-Nov-13 22:30:24

The Horniman is well worth a visit especially if you are heading in that area. It's eclectic but worth the time and has a wide variety of interests rather than 1 thing. And a nice cafe.

Another vote for HMS Belfast!

Mintyy Thu 14-Nov-13 22:32:22

Horniman is great (it is my local museum so I've been there probably hundreds of times) but it is a fair old commute from central London. If you are not up in town for long you might want to stick with something central.

MegBusset Thu 14-Nov-13 22:33:17

Cup of tea even.

MegBusset Thu 14-Nov-13 22:36:25

So far I have positive reviews for HMS Belfast, the NHM, the Horniman and the Planetarium.

So that's not really helped me decide at all grin

MegBusset Thu 14-Nov-13 22:37:37

I think I will rule out the Horniman as it's a bit far (my friend lives in Denmark Hill so a bit of a trek away). Perhaps I'll give DS1 the choice of the other three and see what he fancies.

givemeaclue Fri 15-Nov-13 08:22:47

Mot a fan of horniman it is over rated IMO.

British museum have good family trails, the Egyptian one is good.

Tower of London is fab if you don't mind paying.

Imperial war museum I don't think suitable for a 6 year old.

Science Museum is the best place for kids as well as for elder people because there is nothing better place to know about science knowledge with fun or you can also take a visit British museum, National history as well as National Gallery where you will surely enjoy your visit and go back to home with some new memory.
You can fetch more detail about those Museum: www.londonthisweekend.co.uk/4/post/2012/07/national-history-museum.html
www.londonthisweekend.co.uk/4/post/2012/07/national-gallery.html
www.londonthisweekend.co.uk/4/post/2012/07/british-museum.html

halfwayupthehill Thu 21-Nov-13 06:36:04

Horniman is a direct 25 min bus ride from denmark hill on 176!

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Thu 21-Nov-13 06:43:09

Mine both love the Museum of London.

Liketotalk Thu 21-Nov-13 22:48:26

If you go to Greenwich you have the newly opened Cutty sark which is fab, the maritime museum, the observatory and planetarium and if he gets bored of that there's always Greenwich Park :-) Enjoy

hels71 Sat 23-Nov-13 18:35:13

HMS Belfast is definitely worth a visit!! (Wear sensible shoes though!!!)

Liketotalk Sat 23-Nov-13 22:17:17

Greenwich is good as it has the newly revamped Cutty Sark, the Maritime museum, the observatory and planetarium plus there's the beautiful park and great kids playground. There's also a newly opened Jamie's Italian in Greenwich which is great for a quick lunch. You could also do a boat ride up the Thames from Greenwich. Fab place. Enjoy whatever you decide to do :-)

Liketotalk Sat 23-Nov-13 22:30:53

Sorry, forgot I'd already posted a message. You 'be hot it twice now!!!

Liketotalk Sat 23-Nov-13 22:32:34

'You've got it twice' not 'you'd hot it twice'!!!This predictive text is a mare!!!

noramum Tue 26-Nov-13 20:15:19

Museum of London? They normally have activities going on in the holidays.

writingquestion Tue 26-Nov-13 20:17:19

we did natural history and british museum a couple of months ago. DS2 was six and loved loved loved the natural history museum. Rather/very bored by the british museum.

noramum Fri 29-Nov-13 14:48:39

I agree with writingquestion, DD, very into history, didn't like the British Museum. I think the trails and exhibits are more for a bit older children. And some areas like Egypt is so crowded, DD couldn't find or see anything.

We went there for the Pompeji exhibition and that was interesting. We will go again next year when there will be a Viking one. But I think we will give the other galleries a miss.

sailingby Mon 06-Jan-14 20:16:22

Even if you have been to the science museum before, don't discount it... We go about 5 times a year (DS 7, DD 4) and spend hours in The Launchpad (activities for 8-12 year olds but mainly filled with 5 - 8 year olds! then there is the Energy area (more interactive stuff suitable for 6-7 year olds) then the airplane section on the 3rd floor and the pattern pod section on the ground floor which advertises itself as good for 5-7 year olds. And then thee are all the usual spaces, train, car etc things on the ground floor.....I could go on.....never as crowded as NHM (rarely queues).
Have to say that my son wasn't that enthralled with the museum of childhood (possibly because quite a few of the toys were ones we have at home! And we didn't find much interactive stuff to do.
Think there is an army museum near sloane square - which I have heard good reviews about.
Trip to Greenwich on a riverboat (from London bridge for example) is good - then you could do the curry sark or the planetarium.

jessisinthegarden Wed 08-Jan-14 18:21:24

Horniman is amazing, has beautiful grounds too with animal corner and musical instruments, plus fab natural history section with interactive zone (incl visible live bee hive and a live mouse run). Aquarium in basement too for small charge (rest if museum is free). Can't beat it smile

jkklpu Wed 08-Jan-14 18:24:58

Could you go to the Horniman on the Sunday morning? There's a lovely garden and good cafe where you could have lunch. It's close to the station (just walk up the hill)

MrsSteptoe Wed 08-Jan-14 18:32:24

With HMS Belfast or the NatHistM as an option, I'd skip the British Museum if I were you - DS still isn't really inspired by it.
Should you fancy Chelsea, the National Army Museum on Royal Hospital Road is a nice old-fashioned museum that my son used to like (though partly because he just got familiar with it!). It has a website if you want to check it out. I recommend the KidZone (used to be free but now it's £2;50, I think, and you need to book)

ErrolTheDragon Wed 08-Jan-14 18:33:23

I wish I'd taken my DD to the Horniman when she was younger - we went last year, when she was 13 and while we did enjoy it I think she'd have enjoyed it more when she was primary age. Whereas the NHM, science museum and British museum are good for older kids. (DH and I who are both chemists thought the science museum isn't as good as it could be but the NHM is great).

ErrolTheDragon Wed 08-Jan-14 18:34:48

Oh, and DD loved the Belfast when she was 7.

Probably not the best time of year for Kew.

gegs73 Wed 08-Jan-14 18:45:48

Victoria and Albert next to the Science museum is great and nowhere near as crowded as many of the others even on a rainy day. Loads to see and they have children's activities - look on their website.

jessisinthegarden Wed 08-Jan-14 19:12:25

Another vote for Museum of London- they had some good, free activities over Xmas hols. Lovely storytelling too. Easy to reach.

perfectview Wed 08-Jan-14 20:14:36

Think IWM closed at the moment? so I second National Army Museum. Always quiet and small enough not to be exhausting to trek round.

jessisinthegarden Wed 08-Jan-14 21:59:30

Cutty Sark amazing...but bloody expensive.

principalitygirl Fri 10-Jan-14 16:17:42

Museum of London or Docklands Museum - the latter I especially like. Tfl London transport museum in Covent garden is also great, as are natural history museum, imperial war museum at elephant and castle and museum of childhood.
Ooooh, I need to plan a trip to London asap...!

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