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To think museums are shit?

(129 Posts)
lecce Sat 06-Apr-13 20:23:11

Well, not really, but they seem such hard work and not really the best way to see stuff and learn about it.

I'm probably not being coherent as have just got in from an exhausting few days in London with dc (6&3). Before anyone says anything, ds1 has a huge thirst for knowledge and his face lights up at the mention of a trip to a museum, so I'm not saying that it's hell dragging a reluctant child round a museum, as that is just obvious. (I know because we have no choice but to do that to an extent with ds2 and there is no way I would ever make him go to such a place if I didn't have ds1 to consider).

But really, being herded past display after display? There just being so bloody much of it? Every sodding room leading on to yet another and another? The horrible nagging feeling that round the next corner there will be the most amazing thing that will change ds's life and we can't risk missing it? The worry that everyone else's child is getting much more from it than mine because they are just better at it as parents than us? (I know I'm being stupid on that one, but that's just part of the effect these places have on me).


LaurieFairyCake Sat 06-Apr-13 20:24:57

Bloody hell, give yourself a break

You do ONE room properly, then pop for tea and cake.

You're doing it wrong my lovely, it's not a race !

kotinka Sat 06-Apr-13 20:27:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alligatorpie Sat 06-Apr-13 20:27:32

Seriously? YABU

meditrina Sat 06-Apr-13 20:27:50

If you don't like it, don't do it.

Nothing will suit everyone.

Though you have been unlucky if every museum you've been to has been as dull as you've described. It's pretty rare to find ones with no 'hands on' or friendy/useful staff. Perhaps you do need to expand your horizons.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sat 06-Apr-13 20:29:15

Yeah, YABU, you are doing too much. Also there is nothing, no fact, no exhibit, no single display that is likely to change anyone's life, jus enjoy whatever is there and don't worry about what is round the corner.

One of the best things is how you get annual tickets now, so you can popin for an hour without pressure to 'get your money's worth' as you can go back lots of times.

drjohnsonscat Sat 06-Apr-13 20:29:15

oh god, totally with you. Have been to two museums this Easter hols and find the whole thing totally boring. I do what Lauriefairycake suggests and we do one room or one activity then gift shop and cake but even that is pushing it. Even the highly child-friendly, interactive ones like the Science Museum are a huge trial of crowds, manic kids and harrassed parents. My DCs are 6 and 3 and I don't think they learnt a lot at the Science Museum - pressed a lot of buttons and ran around trying new things but nothing actually went in, iyswim!

intheshed Sat 06-Apr-13 20:32:08

I live near London and love taking the kids
round the museums. But I think in the holidays they are Hell On Earth!

The trick is to go at a quiet time if you can, and don't try to cram too much in. Also don't always go for the obvious bits, at the Science museum the bit with the aeroplanes is usually pretty quiet.

I took the kids to the dinosaurs at the natural history museum on a hot day last summer and it was hideous, just so hot and crowded, I said we'd never go again. Went back recently on a weekday (volunteered on a school trip) and it was amazing!

lecce Sat 06-Apr-13 20:32:45

No, you misunderstand. The ones we have been to have been amazingly hands-on with heaps of interactive stuff. We have just been to NHM and Museum of London. Ds1 adored them both. I'm not saying they're dull. I'm saying I can't cope with them. I feel this nagging sense that I'm not doing it right - I'm either not saying enough to help ds enjoy it, or I'm interfering too much. Oh, I don't know - I said I was incoherent smile.

I'm just an anxious person and I suppose they bring out the worst in me.

forevergreek Sat 06-Apr-13 20:32:57

We live them. But I think it depends on how often you go/ how detailled you have to look.

We live v local to the science/ history/ v and a so can just wander down, look at some dinosaurs and wander back if they fancy. They aren't nice places at the weekend though.

lecce Sat 06-Apr-13 20:34:10

Sorry, cross-post - lots of people didn't misunderstand at all!

Shakey1500 Sat 06-Apr-13 20:34:16

Well YABU ultimately but I really understand where you're coming from. We took DS (almost 6) to the science museum. I had a (what I now know to be) an unrealistic image of him being captivated and us spending a good few hours there. It was mayhem. More kids than you could shake a stick at (yes yes I know this is obvious!) that I hadn't envisaged just how many would be pushing and shoving keen as mustard to experiment with all the gizmos. DS could hardly get a look in.

He got frustrated quickly and we lasted just over an hour.

The transport museum was better imo. Don't get me wrong, museums are valuable and perhaps when he's older he might get more out of a visit.

zwischenzug Sat 06-Apr-13 20:34:17

Disliking museums is fine, but to denounce such a fantastic resource for people to learn as 'shit' is wrong.

For example I decided I had no interest in Harry Potter after reading one paragraph, but I think it's fantastic that it got a generation of young minds into reading when they might otherwise have grown up without reading a book.

Scholes34 Sat 06-Apr-13 20:34:34

Since the National museums have been free, it's great to be able to pop in to see selected things. I'll never forget DD's delight when she saw the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum, having just learnt about it in school.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 06-Apr-13 20:34:45

Ex mil dragged ds and I to a coal mining museum for his birthday (we had wanted to go to a small theme park close by). That was three hours of my life I'll never get back. sad

There's a great museum in Nottingham, it's an old court house and prison. It's a little on the macabre side and one of a kind! (Galleries of Justice) grin York museum is good, it has a street built inside and you can go into some of the shops.

bluer Sat 06-Apr-13 20:34:54

I like proper museums but sadly they all arm to be going down the interactive, touch screen, dumbed down versions...they really do make me yawn!

LaurieFairyCake Sat 06-Apr-13 20:35:45

They're 6 and 3 honey. You don't have to worry they won't learn and you really don't need this anxiety.

Hope you're having a nice glass of wine now smile

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 06-Apr-13 20:36:37

Oh dear, museums aren't supposed to stress you out! They're only museums!

It does sound like you really did too much. And got a bit too intense about it.

The best thing about so many museums being free is that you can pop in for a short time, see just a few things properly and then go and eat cake.

I know that's difficult if you don't live near these places, but you've just overdone it I think.

Scholes34 Sat 06-Apr-13 20:36:47

The Castle Museum in York is fab. Used to go there as a child. Took DCs at Christmas and it was still as magical.

nannynick Sat 06-Apr-13 20:37:03

Took 3 children aged 2-8 to a small museum yesterday and they enjoyed it. Found the dead bodies manakins including the one in the grave and learnt that Saxons got buried with rings in pairs sewed into their tunic/coat. That there was a local Friary and that it is now a shopping centre and bus station (where we had arrived by bus). They liked the old toys, the carousel going round, watched most of the local history video, walked round the castle grounds.

Museums I find are a bit hit and miss, some the children like others they do not. Typically it is a short visit, spend too long there and they get bored. Combined with a short walk, a cafe and a bus ride (we tend to go everywhere by car, so a bus is a novelty) and it can often be a nice couple of hour trip.

Sparklingbrook Sat 06-Apr-13 20:37:24

I know exactly what you mean lecce. You feel like you have to stop at every exhibit,read the acres of information about the display, press buttons on the display and learn stuff.

My two like a car/aeroplane museum. Dead cars and dead planes. sad And no touching of the dead planes/cars oh no.

We had a riveting day at a Tank Museum once. Hall after hall of tanks. confused

lecce Sat 06-Apr-13 20:38:51

Yes, I think the key must be to accept that you're not going to see it all in one go. I just get that mounting feeling of anxiety bordering on panic when I see all those other dc having a great time and I must ensure that mine do the same.

I don't really think they're shit - ds1 would disown me if he saw that I had written that. Though I do think some of the interactive stuff is a little gimmicky - I agree with the poster who commented on dc pressing buttons etc but not really learning anything.

SirBoobAlot Sat 06-Apr-13 20:39:59

YABU. We love them.

Though I would avoid the big ones in the school holidays whenever possible.

nannynick Sat 06-Apr-13 20:41:16

I found that if I read the sign but did condensed it a but then the 5 year old was happy to hear about an object. Talking about what something looks like, what they thought it was used for, what they would use if for, were other things that they seemed to like.

Know what you mean though, can be a bit stressful at times. I find it helps to be directed by the children, though at first that may mean madly running around the place until they spy something they want to know about.

TSSDNCOP Sat 06-Apr-13 20:43:54

I'm with you on the NHM.

Everything looks so dusty.

And the Science museum is 4/5ths shit IMO.

But DS loves it like your DS so I slap on my game face and mentally get the dusters out.

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