When it comes to Christmas, if you have young kids, then the inevitable conversation of Santa will come up. While we usually book a visit to see Santa visit at a grotto this year, we decided to combine one of our favourite London museums with a festive day out.
We are frequent visitors of The London Transport Museum (read more about it here) in Covent Garden – the heart of the capital’s West End. What’s not to love? For young children, in particular, there is plenty to discover and with so many different collections and a vast array of vehicles from buses to underground trains, plus a large play area combining activities with interactive learning, there is much fun to be had.
CHRISTMAS AT THE LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM
During the festive period, The London Transport Museum goes all out to add an extra touch of Christmas magic. Instead of having a Santa’s Grotto, the big man himself is available to everyone as he walks around the museum chatting to children and giving them a special badge. Meanwhile, an enchanted forest full of twinkly lights and scatter cushions is a comfortable space for storytelling and sing songs, as well as Santa’s special Christmas cabin – which is open for festive-themed activities. If that doesn’t stir the Yuletide merriment, then perhaps the nostalgic Festive Fun display of brilliant vintage London transport posters will – a great collection celebrating Christmas activities such as ice-skating and shopping.
When Monkey and I were invited to celebrate Christmas at The London Transport Museum we decided to make a day of it. Covent Garden is full of life at any time of the year, but at Christmas, it seems to step up a notch or two and adorned with so many lights, and decorations, it is a great place to just wander and watch. Not only did we laugh at the many street entertainers and living statues but enjoyed walking through the Piazza and browsing the shops. It was extremely busy, so in the end, it was a welcome respite to be able to escape the crowds and enter The London Transport Museum.
We couldn’t walk past the Routemaster bus without Monkey hopping in and pretending to drive it, and the same can be said of the tube train. However, the bright lights of the Enchanted Forest and merry laughter of Santa Claus soon made him stop in his tracks.
Santa was in jovial spirits and even though he had the attention of several young faces, he was excellent at making sure he spoke to each and everyone. So Monkey happily had a chat with him, and then received his free London Transport Museum badge and declared that the badge would now be a beacon so Santa could easily find our house.
While the younger toddlers were enthralled with the storytelling, Monkey was desperate to enter the Christmas Cabin and get going with some bunting making. With different templates to choose from, he opted for the bus and set about designing it with determination. We spent some time there perfecting his decoration and he was as pleased as punch with the end result.
After taking a tour around the London Transport Museum and exploring the different galleries and displays, as well as trying to spot which mannequins were dressed in Christmas gear, Monkey got stuck into playing with some of the trains and tracks, as well as having a quick run about in the family Play Zone area. What was great to see was the understanding of different places we’d been to and how Monkey could relate. For instance, seeing the old trams at the museum, reminded him of our time at Beamish Open Air Museum and riding the trams there.
All the excitement and fun soon had Monkey complaining he was hungry, but by this point, we had really done quite a bit. So we headed up to the London Transport Museum’s Upper Deck Cafe Bar where we both enjoyed a late lunch and chocolate cake – of course!
So all in all a successful outing, Monkey got to chat to Santa, see the Christmas lights, make decorations and drive a bus. Oh, and eat cake. Pretty much a seven-year-old’s dream day out, don’t you think?
Festive Fun Things To Know
• All Aboard for Santa at the London Transport Museum runs until the 6 January 2019
• Festive activities include Meeting Santa and storytime run throughout the day, check the website for timings.
• Admission tickets are from £16 per adult
*Disclaimer: The London Transport Museum invited us to experience their festive activities and provided us with complimentary tickets, lunch and a goodie bag. As always my opinions are my own.