Mummy Diaries | A Day Trip to the Science Museum

Boy stood in front of a steam engine at the Science Museum

We last went to the Science Museum when Alfie was very small. I remember it well, as he spent most of the day asleep in the pushchair! It’s always a fantastic day out with so much to do and see – and most of it is free. You can pay for the ticketed events and exhibits, as well as the Wonderlab, which we did this time. There’s something for everyone and some really immersive activities.

We started off on the ground floor at the Energy Hall – where we saw steam engines and turbines, and how steam propelled British industry and technology. It was so interesting and a little further on, there were some exhibits about James Watt. We could have easily spent more time here, but Alfie wanted to whizz through to see the things he found more exciting – transport and space.

The Exploring Space gallery is fascinating – and it depicts the story of space exploration through history. Tim Peake’s spacecraft is there, along with other rockets, satellites and even moon rock. We love the giant planet in the centre of the room, which changes colour as it talks about the different planets in our solar system. The section on astronauts – including food, clothing and life in space was great too... Alfie was particularly amused by the part which talked about how astronauts go to the toilet! He even got to try on an astronaut’s suit, putting his arms into the sleeves, as he pretended to be a space explorer.

Making the Modern World is one of my favourites. It’s a real walk down (and up) memory lane, bringing back so much joy and nostalgia. Whether you’re interested in classic cars or transport from the Golden Age of Travel, old tech – like the first Apple computer, games or toys – or anything in between, there’s so much to see. There’s even a model walkway where you can see loads of iconic objects that have transformed our lives over the last 250 years.

Boy playing in the Who am I exhibition at the Science Museum

We quickly had time to visit the Who Am I interactive exhibition on the first floor. I say quick, Alfie loved all the games, so we literally only did that – despite there being a few other exhibitions on that floor, mainly to do with medical science. We had a bit of time to kill before our flight simulator experience, so it was fine.

Ash had booked tickets for the fly zone, where you can take the controls (not literally) with one of the various flight simulators on offer. We experienced the RAF Typhoon Fighter Jet. There were three rows of seats, and we were in one row, with a mum and her son in front. Once the door was shut, it was quite claustrophobic, warm and stuffy – and the experience lasted about 7 minutes, which was definitely long enough! It was quite a weird feeling as we were fixated on the screen as the pod threw us about, as if we were in flight. It was good to see light and feel air conditioning again once we exited.

Three milkshakes from the Shake Bar at the Science Museum

After that, we went to the Shake Bar, where we got to create our own milkshakes. Ash went for banoffee; I had strawberry & cream with rainbow sprinkles; and Alfie chose chocolate milkshake with Oreo crumb and rainbow sprinkles. Made with ice cream, they were delicious – so indulgent, but it was nice to sit down after all the walking!

We decided to buy tickets for Wonderlab (I think they came to £27 for a family of three) and I wish we had more time to experience it all – you really could spend all day there! There are seven different zones: matter, sound, maths, space, electricity, force and light – with activities, demonstrations, experiments and live shows. Explainers are on-hand to answer any questions or talk about the science in more detail.

Boy having fun in Wonderlab, the Science Museum

Some of our favourites in Wonderlab included:

  • Friction slide: three slides in different materials to show how friction works.
  • Pulley up: see how high or fast you can lift yourself from the floor in the pulley chair.
  • Waterjet challenge: sip or spray? What will you and your opponent pick? Will you get a nice drink or a face full of water?
  • Sound bite: listen to music by using the bones in your skull (by biting on a straw threaded through a metal pole).
  • Double gravity well: watch the orange balls dart around before sloping down to fall in one of the wells.

There were definitely loads more too. One thing I would say was that it was quite busy, and a lot of the children weren’t supervised, so wouldn’t share or take turns. There were a few things we wanted to do but weren’t really up for queuing for 10 minutes (or having an argument with someone).

All in all, it was a really fun day out and one I know we will do again. I’d highly recommend paying to do Wonderlab and spending most of your day there, especially if you have children aged 6+. It’s all so interactive. The Science Museum is one of those places you could never get bored of – there’s always something new to see – but you’d be pressed for time to do it all in one visit. Whether you have children or not… it’s fun for big kids too!

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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