Things to do with kids this half term: Science Museum and IWM


Last Sunday was one of those dreary, grey January days where it didn’t look particularly inviting for our usual Sunday walk but equally, I didn’t want to stay in all day constantly battling the lure of the screens.  We’re lucky enough to be within striking distance of London despite being quite rural, so the boys and I hit the Science Museum.

We booked (free) tickets online to the Top Secret exhibition – think communications intelligence, devices and code-breaking secrets.  It’s on until the end of half term (23 February) and if you’ve got kids who like spying, anything cyber or war related, this is the one for you.  It’s very interactive for the kids (there are numbered clues to find and a great puzzle zone) and really interesting for adults too (did you know that around 400 motorbikes went in and out of Bletchley Park every day?).

The Science Museum is so huge it can be overwhelming, so the boys picked one other exhibition to visit after lunch (there is a cafe in the basement just by the Top Secret exhibition and also an indoor picnic area).  Anything hands on is always a big draw, so we made our way up to the 3rd floor, marvelling at the size of the propellers on the way through the Flight gallery, to the interactive “Engineer Your Future” gallery.  It’s a great insight into the many types of engineering, and whilst the boys tested how far their lunar rovers could travel on the huge screen, I was fascinated and inspired by the human stories shown in the videos and on the boards.

We’ll definitely be back as the Space gallery always appeals and the Tomorrow’s World gallery on AI-driven tech looks right up the our street.

We’ve also recently returned to the Imperial War Museum, a perennial favourite of ours. I would highly recommend the inspiring Extraordinary Heroes exhibition in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery at the top of the museum.   It looks at heroes, both military and civilian and tells stories of their courage and sacrifice.  For the kids, there are stamps to collect in each section which will give you ample time to read up on the amazing humans featured.  I see there is also a special “story seekers” trail in half term too which looks good.

Next on our wish list of museums is The Postal Museum.  Have you visited?  Or do you have any other hidden gems we should know about?


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