National Maritime Museum

Perhaps not the most obvious choice for Valentine’s Day, but I had a great time with my two favourite boys. Here’s my attempt at a three-picture story, as suggested in this week’s WordPress photo challenge:

Those photos are just a glimpse of what you can get up to at the Maritime Museum, without paying for any of the special galleries or exhibitions. There’s a giant map which you can walk (or crawl) on and they provide some large model ships (and a submarine) for kids to push around as they explore. In the Children’s Gallery you can practise  Morse code with flashes or clicks, fire a cannon – the cannon is real but the firing is virtual – or take control of the cargo loading. Just outside there’s a phone to communicate with the captain from the engine room (or vice-versa) and a ship simulator where you can attempt to navigate into port. (In term-time these parts of the museum are sometimes closed for pre-booked school visits, so check availability if they’re the main attraction.) The are also a lot of non-interactive exhibits, which  the Jam quite liked but are more suitable for older children and adults.

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Getting there – If you’re visiting on a weekday, there is a car park almost immediately across the road from the museum on the corner of Park Row. Another option would be to park at the Blackheath end of Greenwich Park and take a stroll down the hill through the park. Both car parks get very busy at the weekend but Greenwich is easily accessible by train or DLR and the stations are within 10 minutes walk of the museum.

Other facilities – The museum has good access for a pushchair and there are various buggy parks dotted around neat the interactive exhibits. The toilets have baby-changing facilities and there is a large cafe and a coffee bar onsite as well as the very nice Brasserie (which also has a children’s menu).

(For more of our adventures, click on ‘The London List’ at the top of the page.)

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