We had so many plans for this Whitsun Bank Holiday which all involved being outdoors and ending the day with a BBQ. Mr Mack and I had spent some time away from Mini yesterday doing a Sushi class and lunch with friends so we had told her we were going to have some family time today. Those plans went out the window as we woke up to a rather dull and soggy looking day.
Rainy. Bank Holiday.
A combination of words that instil dread into me, as I’m sure they do parents across the country. Pre child it would have been a great excuse to have a lazy day, watch trashy movies and cook great food. Post child it spells double trouble, mini goes a bit crazy cooped up indoors all day, plus we’d promised her a day out, but then everywhere you try to go is mega busy and crammed with all the other parents desperate to get their kids out the house.
After some frantic googling and head scratching we decided on a day at the Birmingham Think Tank, we have been before but not for a few years. We also found a handy 241 voucher from Visit Heart of England (valid until 31st December 2017, thank me later 🙂
We set off with picnic in hand, hoping it wasn’t going to be too crazy busy. We only queued a few minutes and mostly that was for a bag security check. Mini chose to head straight to the “Kids City”, which I’d say is definitely the highlight of the museum for most little ones. The area is really well put together and comprises of a collection of areas that children can let their imaginations run wild. There is a great water play area, doctors, dentists, ambulance, shop, café and garage area to name a few, complete with accessories and dressing up clothes. Mini is going through a dressing up phase at the moment so that definitely went down well with her, throughout the day she became an astronaut, a super hero, a spider, an adventurer and a pilot.
There is a large indoor picnic area which is great as so many places are against you taking your own food, and helped us to keep costs down a bit. There is also a café which I got a coffee from, and I must admit looked very reasonably priced and had a good selection to chose from.
As it was the school holidays there was a good programme of activities on including crafts, shows and talks. We went to the “fly me to the moon” show which we were told was the first time it had run. It was a really great show, with some live science experiments and opportunities for children to get involved. Mini was impressed with the demonstrations of the rocket fuel but wasn’t such a fan of the loud noises (neither was the baby who was asleep in the chair next to us, up until that point).
Next we visited the “Things about Me” section, Mini is really interested in learning about the body and how things work so this was a great section for her, its lovely seeing her get inquisitive and interested in science, although Mr and I were holding our breath as she listened to a video about how babies are made, thankfully we didn’t get any awkward questions, phew!
Next we visited the Planetarium show, which is an extra £1.50 per person and needs to be booked when you arrive. We enjoyed it however, felt it should be included in the entrance price, which it used to be. I don’t think we will pay the extra to see it if we return.
We then had time to explore the “Future” zone, which was a hit with Mr Mack as he enjoyed the robots, along with a room with a giant glitter ball – he’s a sucker for a glitter ball. We also spent some time looking at the fossils and animal taxidermy area, Mini decided she wanted to hug and kiss a stuffed fox, she’s a sucker for anything soft!
Unfortunately the Science Garden was too wet to use today but looked lots of fun and we will make sure we come back to that another time. We would definitely recommend the museum for a day out with children, there is loads to do and interactive displays to play with.
We ended up having an indoor-BBQ and snuggled up watching a film before bed. I’d put that down as a pretty successful rainy bank holiday, fingers crossed the next one is a little brighter.
I’d love to hear from you about your bank holiday adventures and rainy day top tips and survival guide…