But their massive rooms can overwhelm.
And our favourite is the much smaller Museum of London.
A magpie like collection of everything London from the stone age to the present day over just two floors near the Barbican (plus a separate collection over at Canary Wharf).
Daughter had begged a return visit, so we zoomed there on bank holiday Monday straight from a party. We got the train to City Thameslink, then scooted up Newgate and St Edwards Streets.
Having been before we decided to do it back to front.
Starting downstairs in the present day and working our way back.
We played with a model tube train.
Inspected a phone box and tried out a 1930s phone.
Saw a tiny gas mask just like the one grandma had in the war.
And talked about sleeping on the tube platforms at night.
Daughter attached herself to a talk by a water pump and found out how stinky London’s water used to be and how sick it made people.
Then picked out her favourite outfits.
Before heading off to Newgate Prison where there were all sorts of interesting doors to open and a communal prison cell to squish into with lots of other people “just like it would have been”.
She spent a long time examining a very fine dolls house and opening more doors in a Hogarth print.
And then watched a short film on the fire of London and smelt different herbs that Londoners hoped might ward off the plague.
Finally, following a quick loo break she admired a Roman sitting room and tried out a bed in a Viking hut. It was quite hard.
And we were quite hungry, so scooted to St Pauls, over the wobbly bridge and had pizza by the river watching the world go by.
A wonderful whistle stop tour of London’s history.
We can’t recommend enough.
Getting There :
The museum is a few minutes walk from Barbican tube station. Or 5 minutes from St Pauls tube and Farringdon and City Thameslink on the Thameslink line.
There’s a cafe in the Museum and a handy Pizza Express around the corner on London Wall.
Do hope your kids enjoy the Museum of London – would love to hear what you all enjoy most.
For more ideas for days out in London with kids do sign up for my newsletter …