Whether your coming from Richmond or Runcorn, Greenwich is a major tourism town that sees thousands of people paving its streets every year. This year has seen a rise in tourism again and with lockdown officially behind us all, the streets of Greenwich are starting to fill up.
I originally published this post in August 2020 but have revised it again to keep it current with this year’s events. Spending a day trip visiting Greenwich during the summer holidays can be easy, cheap and very enjoyable for the whole family. Train companies usually offer GroupSave discounts when travelling during summer holidays if you’re coming from outside of London.
Anyone else missing their weekly trip to the National Maritime Museum? We didn’t visit weekly but I know there are a lot of parents who found the NMM a fantastic place for children especially during the school holidays as well as term time. There were daily activities for all ages and that wonderful Ahoy Gallery for the under 5s.
This summer, post-lockdown, National Maritime museum will be launching two self-led outdoors family trails on Saturday 15 August 2020 which you’ll be able to enjoy for the remainder of August. As their doors are still closed to the public for now (re-opening in Sept!), this is the closest you’ll get to getting involved with NMM, however Cutty Sark and Royal Observatory is now open for visitors, more details on openings here.
It’s my birthday on Saturday so we won’t be taking part on the launch day as we’ve got a birthday party planned for myself and Little Man that afternoon. However, we will be keen to test out the trail next week as part of our weekly outdoor activity.
Outdoor family nature trails (self-led)
The family nature trails were created in collaboration with ‘Cuffs and Collars Co’, a sensory theatre company working with children aged 0-7 years with complex needs. Their work focuses on topics relating to emotional development, mental health and well-being which is something we should take very seriously in children too. The pandemic, the lockdown, the redundancies and job loss have all taken a major toll on us parents but imagine the amount of tension the children must be feeling from us. All that anxiety that manifests in us transfers over to them without us thinking about it.
Before lockdown I was completing my Aromatherapy Associates training on their new range. Forest Therapy was developed to support mental and emotional healing; helping you to reset, recover and rejuvenate. I wasn’t a big fan of it when it first came out but it really helped me to unwind and refocus my energy during lockdown. It was my little bit of the spa world that I could still hold on to at home! 🙂
NMM Nature Trail #1 – Bird Trail
The Hide & Seek Bird Trail is a simple ‘spotters’ trail. Families can use the trail sheet to help them find 8 birds in the grounds which connects to Greenwich Park. At each stop, you will be challenged to complete a small task or two ie. can you soar like a seagull? Can you stand on one leg like a flamingo? Good kids yoga pose moment right there!
NMM Nature Trail #2 – Sailer School
The Sailor School Trail has eight stops and challenges you to try different activities linked to the maritime world and the collection to become a graduate of sailor school. Each stop has a number of different/separate activities, allowing families to choose an activity suited to their child’s ability. Each location within the Sailor School trail has different activity options for more ways of having fun with the trail.
Both trails are suitable for all ages and abilities
The trails have been developed for families with complex needs in mind and allow families to complete them in any order and to drop in and out as they please. They do not have to do everything on the trail. The grounds of the trail have gravelled paths making it suitable for buggies and wheelchairs and there’s level access routes for those who have accessibility needs.
The trail sheets are available for download from the National Maritime website or alternatively, you can pick up a printed trail sheet at the Museum – simply ask one of the NMM staff on standby outside the museum.
The National Maritime Museum holds the world’s largest maritime collection, housed in historic buildings forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. The museum is part of Royal Museums Greenwich which also incorporates the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the 17th-century Queen’s House and Cutty Sark. Royal Museums Greenwich works to illustrate for everyone the importance of the sea, ships, time and the stars and their relationship with people. This unique collection of museums and heritage buildings, which form a key part of the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site, welcomes over two and a half million British and international visitors a year and is also a major centre of education and research.
We have everything available to us at our doorstep – literally! There is a Costa Coffee store opening soon right downstairs and I’ve been telling my friends I don’t know if that is a good idea because I will probably tell Daddy P to watch the kids while I hide out in there behind my sugar-free caramel decaff latte.
I love living in Greenwich.
I wrote a post a couple of weeks back about an exhibition that is currently on in the National Maritime Museum until August 29th called “Above and Beyond”. I also wrote in the post that it was aimed at kids from 7+ which is what it states on the Royal Museums Greenwich website however when we went, there was a lot more younger children (preschoolers) at the exhibition which was lovely to see as I didn’t expect that. (I think Baby Girl was the youngest visitor on the day we went.)
National Maritime Museum
The NMM is one of the Royal Museums Greenwich alongside Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory and the Queen’s House – all of these places are available for viewing pleasures but I believe the National Maritime Museum offers the most free galleries and exhibitions out of the four. It is also one of the most baby-friendly museums I’ve been to so far.
| watch our video – click play below|
The Above and Beyond Exhibition
Our day out to the exhibition was much better than I anticipated. Mainly because I was slightly worried that LO won’t enjoy it but it was quite the contrary – he absolutely loved it! We were lucky enough to be invited along to review the exhibition for my blog, which I kindly accepted. 🙂
I’ve also been given an exclusive promo code so all of you lovely readers can get 10% off your tickets.
Just use the code MUMMY10 when booking online or directly at the admissions desk.
The day we decided to head out to the museum it started raining lightly but all was well as I brought along with us LO’s umbrella so he could stay dry – I don’t mind the drizzle as much. We got our Peppa Pig umbrella from The Works for just £3.00. So cheap as all the other children’s brollies I found online were around £10-14. (That is extortionate!)
Once we picked up our tickets at the admissions desk we headed to the lift to take us downstairs. Inside the exhibition were lots of interactive stations where you could learn about how aircrafts fly in the air, how sonic waves travel and how they affect the nose of the planes. You can also take a virtual elevator ride to outer space and fly your own supersonic jet simulator. LO wasn’t interested in the big children’s games and instead preferred playing with the buttons on the sonic waves machine. He had fun so I didn’t mind – instead it gave me time to walk about and explore other parts of the exhibition.
We took the virtual elevator ride to outer space and saw the edge of planet Earth. It was amazing! We also found out what commercial planes are constructed from and learnt about the different space rockets and shuttles that have been sent to space. There were to-scale miniature versions of the space crafts which looked so cool. There are staff members in the exhibition who I believe you could go to for more information if you wanted to find out more about something specific. Most of the older children were playing at the flight simulators – there were even people queuing up to play!
The AHOY! Children’s Gallery
After we were done with exploring the Above & Beyond exhibition, we headed back upstairs to have a quick play in the AHOY! children’s gallery before going home. LO’s been to play here once before and loved it then and it was no different this time round. He was confident in playing around the areas by himself and really enjoyed playing with the foam ships and inside the little play house.
It’s aimed at children from 0-5 years so expect to see plenty of toddlers and preschoolers running about. You may also find a few mums with babies hiding out in here too. 🙂 I love this little area – it was only opened about a year ago but I think really adds a fun element to the museum and also it’s the one place where you can let your kids roam free and scream and shout with potentially annoying anyone else. Haha!
I hope you liked our video and review. Have you been to any museums lately?
NB. We were kindly given tickets by Royal Museums Greenwich to review this exhibition. All words, opinions and photos are my own.
School’s over and the summer holidays are now here!
With the beautiful weather around, why not treat the family to a wonderful day out in Greenwich? You can head down to the high street for a spot of shopping, stroll around Greenwich Park and admire the flower garden or deer encouter, or you can pop along to one of the Royal Museums of Greenwich (RMG) and see what’s on. The National Maritime Museum has a spectacular intergalactic exhibition on for kids this summer.
LO does enjoy good stories about space and he’s a big fan of rockets (after his dinosaurs and cars of course!). I discovered this when we went along to see Adventures with Sam Outer Space at Greenwich Theatre last year. The National Maritime has so much to offer! We love visiting and I think LO enjoys it there too – we’ve gone a few times to see the main gallery and then have a little play around in the new AHOY! childrens gallery.
The Above & Beyond Exhibition is open from Friday 27 May–Monday 29 August (Read on to get 10% off your tickets)
11am – Visit the Above and Beyond exhibition and have lots of fun
12:30pm – Have lunch at the Museum café
1:30pm – Check out the Ahoy gallery (aimed at under 7 years old) or Check out the All Hands gallery for children aged 6+
2:00pm – Let the kids have fun with the Great Map whilst you sit down for a drink at the Neptune café which is in front of the map so you can easily keep an eye on the kids
2:30pm – Take a look around the rest of museum if you’re not too tired
3:30pm – Stop and shop at the National Maritime Museum – perhaps you’ll treat yourself to a cute little souvenir or gift?
4:00pm – End the day as the kids will have probably be needing a rest or their nap by now 🙂
I purely just made this up by the way but it’s the only way I could demonstrate how much there is to do in the wonderful museum. There’s lovely places to eat, great free galleries and tons of interactive stuff for the kids to do, why wouldn’t you not want to spend a day there? Plus, if it starts to pour down with rain (knowing British weather, it could happen!) you’ll be indoors so you’ll stay nice and dry while waiting for the rain to pass.
Here are some amazing photos of what’s in store at this space exhibition, courtesy of RMG.
It looks fantastic!
I can’t wait to take LO along to see it! I can see why this space exhibition is aimed at bigger kids as the interactive games involved are a little advanced for pre-schoolers and toddlers. LO is only 3 years old but he loves interactive shows so much I know he’ll have a great time regardless… Plus, I will be with him at all times so I will just have to use my imagination and make it for fun and enjoyable for him. I will also be vlogging about our day out so don’t forget to come back and check out the post and vlog. 🙂
At the museum admission desk – ideal for you if you’re already there or in the area
The choice is completely up to you.
Happy Summer Holidays! 🙂
NB. I worked with Royal Museums Greenwich on their Above and Beyond campaign. In return, I was kindly invited to review the exhibition which I will be posting up later on. All words and opinions are my own and images used in this post have been credited to Royal Museums Greenwich respectively.