I am always proud to tell people about the national museum that is right on my door step. When I was a child, we used to go to the National Film and Photography Museum and pretend we were flying on a magic carpet…or head into the IMAX screen to see a giant polar bear swimming through the ice. I have some great family memories.
The National Media Museum as it is now known, is a jewel in Bradford’s crown in my opinion. Always coming up with new fantastic exhibitions, interesting films offerings and amazing cake, the place is FREE… FREE I tell you! As such, I have made quite a few visits there over the past few years. The Boy and I went to the grand gala opening of a film featuring (and introduced in person by) Benedict Cumberbatch, I go regularly with my friends for Mummies’ Movie Club and I have taken Chiplet a few times to experience the museum.
We went earlier this week to visit the Nature, Camera, Action exhibition, which is on until 12 October and claims to showcase the secrets behind nature films. Chiplet is very much into learning animal names at the moment and I knew I had made the right decision, when we rounded the corner and he saw the gigantic frog poster on the side of the building and proceeded to shout Frog for the next 5 minutes.
We were greeted by a fantastic member of staff, who took time to ask us how long we were spending there and what sort of things Chiplet liked. So we sped off first to an interactive storytelling sessions ‘The Not So Sleepy Hedgehog‘ this was aimed at 3-7 year olds and was a little loud and scary, but Chiplet seemed pretty entranced by the story of the hedgehog and shadows. We wandered around Gallery 2 which featured animals closer to home, along with an example of a photography hide and different cameras to explore. Chiplet was a little young for the backpack explorer activity that was running, but he loved the spots in each gallery where you could cuddle a lovely soft animal and sit and read a book about different wildlife.
No visit to the Media Museum with a toddler would be complete with a trip into the Magic Factory – this gallery is a little like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, but for light and colour. Chiplet loved the coloured filters looking out over Bradford city centre and also running through the nooks and crannies of the gallery.
We also spent some time in the Games Lounge where Chiplet tried his hand at beating Mummy on Sonic the Hedgehog, but was pretty woeful to be honest. He went slightly crazy in the Experience TV, becoming part of the set of Coronation Street, The Teletubbies and a space adventure and had worked up an appetite (or so I thought) as we headed to one of the free picnic areas in the museum. Here he deconstructed his cheese salad wrap to just eat the cheese and shout more and me until I gave him a pot of raisins. All in all, it was an exhausting 3 hours, and lots of fun, although I somehow ‘forgot’ to sample the cakes in the cafe this time…
Oh I used my new phone for the photos… very grainy and a bit rubbish… HTC have failed me with this model – which has cracked screen after only a month of use!