V&A Museum of Childhood
Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PA
The magnificent wrought-iron hall that houses the Museum of Childhood is a paradise for kids. The ground floor is occupied by a buzzy café and a museum shop, with the upper floors rising in open tiers around it. There are plenty of conventional displays in glass cases, the most appealing of which are the huge Georgian and Victorian dolls houses; and there are toys and dolls from other cultures too. But what kids will probably like best is the more hands-on stuff – there’s a sandpit, a fenced play area for under 3s, plus raucous Punch & Judy shows and tables for drawing. There are also little tables for board games, where you often see kids absorbed in a game of draughts or snakes and ladders. Changing exhibitions of fairy tales, photography and the arts provide scholarly interest too.