The Imperial War Museum Duxford (with a Toddler)

d1Last weekend was an epic one for Toddler Boy as we took him on his first trip to the Imperial War Museum Duxford. A splendid day was had by all, especially Toddler Boy who was allowed off his reins in the American Air Hanger and ran to his hearts content around the big planes for an hour and a half. The rest of the time he was somewhat straining at the leash (see above pictures). Despite not even being two, he clearly understood what he was seeing, apart from the bomb which he did his best to detonate/ de-activate (I’m not sure which ).

Highlights were going on-board Concord and the BOAC plane. He also enjoyed the inter actives which required using headphones and worked out how to use them very quickly. Favourite words of the day were ‘Truck and WOW!’ accompanied by pointing and high speed running toward the aforementioned object.

As a museum curator, I was interested to see how he would deal with somewhere like Duxford which is far from the traditional set-up of cases and small objects with labels. I was amazed at how remarkably well behaved he was, particularly as we tried our best to explain things to him. Something I imagine would be tedious for some adults. Like any parent, I was slightly concerned how he would deal with some of the images of war, violence, injury and guns. However, they didn’t seem to hold much interest when compared to trucks and planes so I didn’t have to worry.

d2Duxford is quite well kitted out for children, with two cafes, plenty of pushchair access and loads of space to run about. The only slight issue is the biting East Anglian wind which was reminiscent of January mornings spent on Holkham Beach. Throughout most of it Baby Girl remained asleep, perhaps I’m being sexist but now Ive got to think of a museum for girls.