This half term we were invited to visit the London Transport Museum. They are hosting a Museum Mission to discover more about London’s signs and symbols. Ethan loves signs and symbols so I thought this would be the perfect activity for him to enjoy and interact with.
What Will You Discover At The London Transport Museum?
The London Transport Museum will introduce you to the heritage of London and its transport system. Starting in the 19th Century you will be able to explore London’s Victorian transport system. You can sit in an Omnibus and also discover how the world’s first underground system was built.
Steam locomotives were used to pull the trains in the Victorian underground system. The only surviving engine from the 1860s can be found in the museum.
The museum’s displays and exhibitions will show you all the different transport that London has used in the past. You will be able to see horse-drawn cabs, trolleybuses, underground trains, and Routemaster buses. As well as also learning about the current transport options.
Museum Mission Signs and Symbols
This year during the school holidays the London Transport Museum is holding museum missions. These missions are a playful prompt for families to interact with whilst exploring the museum’s galleries. During Signs and Symbols, there are eight missions to take part in which include
- Act Out the floor symbols
- Dress Up to construct the worlds first underground
- Match all the different coloured roundels
- Personalise your own roundel
- Collect a ticket from the past
- Design your own symbol
- Colour in the London landscape
- Join in the Transport Games
Our Completed Museum Missions
The children completed three of the museum missions during our visit. They dressed up to help construct the worlds first underground.
They also personalised their very own roundel.
Lastly, they collected a ticket from the past which they helped stamp on the number for their age.
Our Visit To The London Transport Museum
My last visit to the London Transport Museum was many years ago when I was a young child. The memories I have of the visit are rows of buses and trains quite close together. You were also able to sit in some of them. The London Transport Museum has really changed since then and both me and Darren were very impressed with the layout and all the interactive elements.
When you enter the museum you are directed to the lift to start your tour on level 2. It is here that you start to explore transport in 19th century London. Little E loved the horse-drawn tram. We also sat inside the Omnibus after the children got used to the mannequins also going for a ride.
On level 1 we learned about the steam underground. It never occurred to me that steam trains would have been used to pull underground trains. Considering how old the underground system is it makes perfect sense. It was on this level that we got the chance to sit in the ‘Harry Potter’ train.
Ethan was desperate to get down to the lower level. He kept saying buses and taxis. We did manage to stop on the way at the All Aboard Family Play Zone so that the children could have a go at driving a bus.
On the lower level of the museum, you will find trams, trolleybuses, buses, Routemaster’s and taxis. We had lots of fun exploring all of the different forms of transport.
The Traffic Lights
It soon became apparent why Ethan was also desperate to visit the lower floor. He had spotted the traffic lights. Ethan loves all things road signs and the museum has a set of working traffic lights with a crossing.
Ethan spent ages at these traffic lights pushing the button and waiting for the green man. I took the opportunity to practice our road crossing skills together. They were a real highlight for Ethan and he wasn’t the only child having fun with the traffic lights.
The Stamper Trail
As you enter the museum you can collect a stamper trail sheet. There are thirteen stamps to collect as you make your way around the museum. They help you follow the story told in the museum displays. Both children really loved this activity, it gave Ethan direction which always helps on a day out. He did get a little upset with us at one point as we did collect a few of the stamps on the lower floor out of their correct order!
The All Aboard Playzone
Whilst Ethan was having fun with the traffic lights Little E was having fun in the All Aboard Playzone. This is a play zone for children aged 0-7 where children can play in an interactive fleet of mini vehicles.
Is The London Transport Museum Autism Friendly?
The museum holds special Early and Evening Explorers events. On certain days they open outside our regular hours. This gives you the chance to enjoy the Museum at a quieter time that is free from the general public. They also turn off many of the gallery sounds and have sensory bags available to support exploring the collection. Places must be booked in advance. You can find out more on the London Transport Museum’s website where you will even find a handy visual story,
When we arranged our visit to the museum they were aware of Ethan’s needs. As we were unable to attend the Early and Evening Explorers event they informed us that afternoons at the museum tend to be quieter. I think the afternoon we visited might have been a little bit busier than normal. It was the first Sunday of the half term and the rain of storm Dennis was probably keeping people inside for longer.
Good To Know
There is a cloakroom available to use as you enter the museum. It is free to store your coats here as well as soaking wet umbrellas.
There is a cafe available inside the museum it is next to the All Aboard Playzone giving you the chance to grab a hot drink whilst your little ones play. There is also a small indoor picnic area if you want to bring your own packed lunch.
Canteen is the museum’s new cafe bar. Canteen is open to the general public as well as the museum visitors. You can purchase breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks here. We stopped here at the end of our visit for indulgent hot chocolates and cakes. Little E even tried a babyccino. It was the perfect end of our visit to the London Transport Museum.
Our video below is of our visit to the London Transport Museum.
DISCLOSURE – We were gifted entrance to London Transport Museum for the purposes of this post and to create our YouTube video. We always share our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, and experiences.