Family Days Out – National Museum of Scotland

The redevelopment of the National Museum of Scotland has been quite a big deal. With an investment just shy of £50 million, generic cialis the site in the heart of Edinburgh has been transformed and upon its re-launch, I couldn’t wait to have a family day out to see what was on offer.  The last time I was in the Museum of Scotland, I was knee high to a grasshopper and remember finding it a vast and intimidating place, but packed full to the brim with new discoveries to be made.  Imagine my delight to find that feeling was still the same nearly 20 years on. Walking into the main hall was like stepping back in time but having the memory coloured in with brighter and more vivid colouring pens.  The impressiveness of the hall was not lost on our two children either, who both exclaimed an audible ‘Wow’ almost simultaneously as they took in the quite spectacular space.

I was struck by the amazing smell of an old museum, which took me by surprise as the new modern glass facade on the outside tricked me into thinking I was entering some sleek minamilist boutique hotel.  I actually wondered whether it was being piped through the building like they do with fresh bread in a supermarket. Then of course we discovered the amazing collections within. Exhibits dating back 130 million years just make the mind boggle and the 12 metre long T-Rex skeleton is simply staggering.

Armed with our map we attempted a planful approach to seeing each exhibit that we really wanted to see, but the sheer excitement and hunger to soak it all up found us wandering around mouths wide open and pointing here, there and eveywhere at something else that had caught our eye. The levels are carefully planned and well segregated, from Natural World displays, World Cultures, Art and Design, Science and Technology and of course, Scotland, there was no way we were going to cover all ground in an afternoon.

The interactive exhibits geared specifically towards families were fantastic and introduced learning concepts in a fun way (how does the wind blow and how do we lift things being just two that caught our attention for some time.) The Imagine gallery was a bit hit with our under fives, giving them opportunity to dress up in outfits from different cultures, make a Chinese dragon dance, play the bongo drums and an assortment of other musical instruments and create their own stories with imaginatively designed word jigsaw puzzles.

Access and facilities for families was great, with toilets and baby changing on every level, glass lifts for easy buggy transits to the next level of exploration. Eating and drinking options cover everything from grabbing a quick coffee between discoveries to languishing over a leisurely lunch in the impressive and much coveted Tower Restaurant.

A truly fantastic place to take a  family day out – and create new memories from some very old things!

Yes, National Museum of Scotland, I like what you’ve done with the place.

Do you rate a day at your local museum as a family day out? Whats been your most memorable moment visiting a museum? Share your comments and your stories below, we’d love to hear.

 

The views expressed in this review are my own and no sponsorship or payment was made for this review.

Image Credit Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

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Comments

  1. I couldn’t disagree more about the baby change facilities and ‘ease’ of getting around. it was horrendous, every time we’ve been. The handdryers are so loud that the wee ones started to cry non stop, the lift tooks so long to come and the queues were always so long for them that it was easier for daddy to carry the empty pram up the stairs and for me to take baby. I found the eating options very expensive for the basics, again with a big queue.

    The museum exhibits are good, but they really need to improve the facilities.

  2. Super Mummy says:

    Hi Em,

    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to share your experiences. I’m sorry to hear your visits haven’t been as well received as ours. It’s frustrating isn’t it, when a family day out is spoiled by some of the basics you mention, particularly when the exhibits themselves offer so much and the free entry could allow for multiple repeat visits.

    I guess we’ve been lucky and not found queues for food or lifts to be a problem when we’ve gone. I can relate to noisy hand dryers on a more general front, both mine always shriek at the noise anywhere we go, we’ve learned hand towels (or loo roll!) for drying hands saves any tears.

    Thanks again for letting us know your thoughts, great to have input from others. Hope your next day out is more well-oiled on the basics.

    J

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