Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A tale of two city museums

A knight at the museum - Royal Armouries

We've been to two museums already this half term - the Royal Armouries in Leeds and the National Media Museum in Bradford. Fantastically, because they're both national museums, they're free.

I'm not so homespun and organised that I packed my own supply of snacks and walked there, so after parking, a latte for moi and a Cornetto for the four-year-old, and two lightsaber pencils priced £5 from the gift shop....it's not completely free. But I am one of those comedy characters who nods smugly at the signs reassuring me that Every Purchase Supports The Museum.

And, *serious face* I really do think we should support and utilise these places, especially when they're on our doorstep.

Even from being a tentative toddler, pointing and naming, the boy has got a lot out of museums, art gallery, libraries, and botanical hothouses – anywhere my Leeds Card would get us.


I fully admit that a ride in the lift was just as appealing, if not more, than the exhibits.

But as he's grown, he's appreciated them more and more.
And in this, his very first half term school holiday, it seemed an uncanny coincidence that these two museums tapped into his major current passions.

Bad choice of t-shirt at the National Media Museum
Knights, castles, battles, swords and shields are right up his medieval street – he got a fort for his birthday – so the Armouries, or ‘knight museum’ as he has renamed it, was just perfect. His enthusiasm actually infected me – so that a museum which is essentially an ode to weaponry (though very thoughtfully done) was more exciting when seen through his eyes.

And the media museum is currently hosting a big Scooby Doo exhibition – his favourite television programme. Spotting the Scooby Doo clues on our trail around probably made both of us see and learn more than we otherwise would have.

That said, he still finds a ride in the lift a major highlight of the visit.

And, if I’m completely honest, so do I..... 

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