London Transport Museum – Review for families

Visitor tips to get the most out of the play areas, buses, trains and trams on display at this vehicle museum

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What is it?

It’s the 200-year-old story of how public transport developed in London. Essentially, this is a museum of London’s underground, overground and buses. Find it in central London’s Covent Garden, a short walk from the Covent Garden market square and Royal Opera House.

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Age most suitable for:

Best for: Toddlers & Preschoolers, 5-7 year olds and 8-11 year olds

OK for: 12 years & over

Cost

£ – Children under 17 go free, but adults pay for a mid-price ticket. The good news is the ticket is an annual pass, which means you can visit time and time again. This price also includes a guide and for children, an activity booklet.

What’s on offer

The first thing you see is a giant warehouse with an eye-popping collection of buses and cars through the ages – many of which you can clamber on. There are three floors in total of vehicles and transport-related exhibits, including signs, tickets, posters and drawings.

On weekends and in school holidays, there are a range of activities and events for children to get involved in, such as the Family Station, where children are given a coin bag and fill it up as they take part in numerous activities throughout the museum. Specific events vary, so check the official website for details.

There’s an indoor picnic area and the museum also has an upper deck and lower deck café. There’s a baby changing facility on the ground floor and a baby feeding room. The museum has lifts and ramps, which are handy for when you’re pushing round a buggy.

Highlights

There are two children’s play areas: All Aboard and Interchange. These are great for under 6s. All aboard has model buses and trains to move around London’s most famous landmarks, while Interchange is an interactive area which offers children the chance to dress up and drive a bus.

The museum’s layout is clever, working like a timeline. Interactivity is key to this museum – there’s lot to touch, play on and play with.

This is a great rainy day place to go. It will entertain children for a good couple of hours.

Given that parents buy an annual ticket, it’s a great place to drop in to when you’re in the area. It’s not too big, but there’s a lot of detail here, and plenty to rediscover.

What to watch out for

– It can be quite busy, with lots of excitable children milling around, during weekends and school holidays. Visiting during term times will give you a quieter experience.

– Tickets can be booked online and posted to your home within 5-10 days or you can print them out at home. However, tickets are non-transferable.

– Don’t be put off by the name. This isn’t just a museum for children who like vehicles – and it’s not just for boys. There are a lot of fun things to do and play with, which will interest any curious young child.

MFM tips

– Railcard booklets, train tickets and other brochures sometimes do 2 for 1 vouchers on this museum. If you want to save some money, check out current deals.

– The museum offers a specific, quieter morning session for families and children with autism, away from the hubbub of the general public. Check

What the owners say

“London Transport Museum explores the story of London and its transport system over the last 200 years, highlighting the powerful link between transport and the growth of modern London, culture and society since 1800. We care for over 450,000 items – preserving, researching and acquiring objects to use in our galleries, exhibitions and other activities.”

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Visit the official London Transport Museum website

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