Tag Archives: Day trip

A visit to The American Museum in Britain

American MuseumThe draw of the museum worksheet seems to be strong with Scrip at the moment, luckily. The American Museum in Claverton, just outside of Bath, went one better with a backpack full of activities handed over when we arrived. There are three age-related options – hers was suitable for 4+ years and she loved the little grizzly bear glove puppet who popped out when she unzipped the bag and helped us along the way.

The museum is set in an old manor house – Claverton Manor – in stunning grounds with views around the countryside and down to the River Avon. There’s plenty of parking and a good cafe on the site, plus a gift shop that sells more than just bright, unrelated plastic toys (although I’m sure there were a few of those as well). The museum charts American culture and history from early settlers to present-day with pictures, videos, hands-on displays and period rooms recreated.

The trail booklet inside the backpack guided us around the displays and there was something to do in many of the rooms along the way – ranging from a magnifying sheet to spot something close up, to a little wooden town to build, to a puzzle inspired by one of the beautiful collection of American quilts. She seemed to really enjoy it.

The trail was just the right length and left enough time and energy to have a quick look at the American Toy Story display (on until October 2016). She recognised some of the toys but the best bit was trying on toy costumes and drawing your favourite to add to the wall. Freed from his carrier Baby D seemed to enjoy crawling around here as well.

It’s a shame we hadn’t left any time for exploring the gardens as it’s in a beautiful location and I would have loved to look around. There was also a concert in the afternoon. But unfortunately nap time for D was calling and I think we may just have tired out Scrip as well.

As with anything I visit with small children I vowed to come back alone and actually read the captions of the displays as it was really interesting and a lot of it, moving. And with such a beautiful museum in a breathtaking location I think I may just make it.

More on the American Museum website.

American MuseumAmerican MuseumAmerican Museum

 

We’ve also visited the London Transport Museum, braved central London with a toddler and here’s my London (children’s activities) Bucket List.

Time and space

When I first went back to work, one of the things I realised I hadn’t missed at all during my ten months off was my daily commute. I’d hardly used the tube since Scrip was born – apart from struggling into town from one step-free access station to another, a handful of times. As an adopted Londoner, the tube should be my default mode of transport – so how, I wondered, had I never realised how crowded and claustrophobic and generally unpleasant it was?

photoI’m now back into the working groove and hardly notice when I’m squashed up against someone’s shoulder for 30 minutes on a rainy morning – I can keep my head down and read my soggy Metro with the best of them. But I do still long for the luxury of space – and time, as I rush from one meeting to the next and then home again. And that was one of the benefits about my husband’s wonderful birthday surprise to me.

On Saturday, we set off from Kent for a day trip to France that he’d arranged. It was just the two of us – we did consider taking Scrip but the idea was that this was a day to do exactly what we wanted to do – and that we didn’t compromise her routine and our mini mini-break along the way. And it was lovely.

Scrip spent the day playing with her Nana and Grandpa and we spent the day pootling down the coast road from Calais to Boulogne, stopping wherever we fancied and enjoying the bright sunshine and gorgeous scenery along the way. There couldn’t have been more open space to roam around – on the beaches, the promenade in Wimereux and around the edge of Boulogne Old Town. We had a lovely French lunch outside, stocked up at the supermarch√© and took our time along the way. And we were even back in time for bathtime.

I couldn’t believe all this freedom was just a 35 minute Eurotunnel train ride away – a very different kind of train journey to my daily commute and one I’d wholeheartedly recommend.