Free days out with children
- Travel, United Kingdom

Great free days out with kids

What to do on rainy days? If you don’t like sitting at home and have active kids who want to be entertained all the time then come and join us on our museum tour. We love British national museums, not only because they are free (although, that helps to keep the family budget under control) but they are also great fun. In every single one, we’ve been to, there has always been something interesting to do or try. They are all made with children in mind. If you expect us to take you to London though, then don’t hold your breath. We are going to take you further north.

 Coventry Transport Museum

You can spend there a magnificent day out with all the family.  We learned about the real-life stories of Coventry’s innovators, watched an interesting story about rising and falling of British motor industry. We got so close to some of the most amazing vehicles ever invented that our fingers were itching to touch (we managed to resist). The exciting exhibits included old and new models, slow and fast cars, vintage and modern vehicles. All beautifully lit and displayed. But there weren’t just cars! Bicycles too and some of them looked like those from very old movies. You know, those with one big and one small wheel. I would love to try one of those. On second thought, maybe not. I don’t like falling.

And the best of it all is the 4D land speed record simulator (there is a charge for this one).

Hugh said after coming out of the speed simulator: ‘That was dead-cool! It was the best part of the museum’ his eyes shining like a Christmas tree lights.

RAF Museum in Cosford

OMG! How could they fit in so many planes in these hangars is beyond me.  I can’t tell you all the name of the aircraft on display but there is so many of them and they are huge! What I can tell you is, you need at least half a day to explore it all. It is truly fun and entertaining day out for all the entire family. This is the only place in the Midlands where you can get close to so many breathtaking aircraft and there is also the world’s oldest Spitfire! How cool is that? A number of themed hangars including National Cold War Exhibition and War in the Air displaying aircraft from Britain, Germany and Japan will leave you speechless.

Have you ever seen Red Arrows flying above your head and wondered what does it feel like sitting in the cockpit? In that case, you can experience it here in the 4D simulator rides. This experience is worth every penny you pay for the ticket.

We agreed: ‘ We love coming here. We’ve visited the RAF museum about 5 times so far (a couple of times before our kids were born) and there is always something new to see, something we missed the last time.’

National Football Museum in Manchester

First of all, this museum is housed in a very interesting modern building. Urbis was opened in 2002 and is designed by Manchester architect Ian Simpson. You might wonder what the crooked spire is for when you see it. It was designed to show where the hearth of the city centre is. Hmmm, interesting…

Are you a football fan? You can admire thousands of objects and read many stories about the history of this game, competitions and players. There are many trophies on display and you can take a photo with some of them! Kids can take part in many activities which makes it even more interesting.

You can also take part in Football Plus+ challenges which include Penalty Shootouts, Pass Master, Shoot Stopper, On the ball, One-two, Match of the day commentary challenge, lift the trophy but you need to buy credits for these to be able to play.

The entire 3rd floor is dedicated to the King of Football, Pelé.  You can learn about his life and career and admire the stunning artworks and striking images. In overall, this is a fantastic museum for football lovers. Our daddy complained, though, apparently we dashed through it too quickly and he did not have enough time to read everything! Just for the record, we spent there over two hours and the rest of the team was hungry.

Dad said: ‘I could spend two more hours here reading it all. I must come back again, by myself!’

Note to mums who are not so keen on football: leave the boys to it and enjoy a nice coffee in the downstairs cafe. Take a book or a magazine because you won’t see them for hours!

Musem of Science and industry in Machester

This is a gigantic museum. I think that if you come to Manchester to visit this museum, you should not plan to see anything else. It will take you a whole day. You will find here a number of buildings to explore, amazing exhibits and collections including air and road transport, working engines, locomotives, textiles gallery… We utterly enjoyed the live presentation about working textile machinery and realised how hard it used to be to work in such conditions and what is used as a filling in our cushions! It’s not what you expect and I am not telling you.

The first floor is the best part for children. Hands on experience on the whole floor. This is a great place to play and learn and it’s not just for children. After a while being totally engrossed in solving a puzzle, I noticed, to my delight, that none of the adults was just standing by, they all were playing or solving some puzzle. Phew, I wasn’t the only one.

Hugh said ‘this was not a museum. It was a playground. In the museums, you can’t touch things but here I could try so many cool things.

Mummy said ‘I could easily spend here all day. I just wish we did not have kids with us. I loved the shape puzzle the most. This is my favourite museum so far.’

I hope you enjoyed our little tour around the museums and decide to go and visit them yourself. After all, if you want to know what are your cushions filled with, you can either cut it or go to  Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

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