We've been to the Imperial War Museum North a few times now, and my boys always enjoy looking at the exhibits and seeing the Big Picture Show, but the special events for school holidays really are so well done, they're always the highlight.
First we were all taken into the main space, and had story time underneath the Harrier Jump Jet. This was really different, really cool, and actually gave the children a chance to sit and look around them while the story telling was taking place. It wasn't too distracting, but it made us very aware we were in the museum, rather than being off in a white-walled room that could be anywhere.
The story told of a young man who was sent to war at sea. The children were taught about all of the strange foods and animals that the young man saw, including a coconut, and a parrot which he took as a pet. We were told how he felt when he returned home and told his family what he'd experienced. It brings war to life for the children and makes them think about the fact that every single soldier is a real person with thoughts and feelings.
After storytime we were taking part in a craft activity. We were led to the big learning space near the gift shop, where the children were all given card, scissors, pens and templates to make their own 'Message In a bottle'.
My boys had great fun with this, although the messages were a bit unusual!
|Help! Send I fone and PS|
|Not sure if this is a message or a Martian in a bottle.|
My other half enjoyed it too....we love a bit of extra imagination and creativity.
Afterwards we ate lunch in the Watershard Cafe. I can't put my finger on why, but the cafe always seems incredibly posh and expensive. There's no doubting it is outstanding quality, and when I look at the prices, it actually isn't over-priced. Something there has just gone a little wrong, and it may be the hot drinks. Tiny mugs, expensive prices, yet gorgeous. I may not be in the right demographic when I just want 20 minutes to sit down with the children.
|Truly gorgeous hot drinks - this though is a large, at around £2.50|
|The children's meal deal ham sandwich|
The view is excellent. Even with the usual rain and gloom, you can see out all across Manchester - including the BBC and ITV Television Studios across the canal. To see even more of Manchester take a trip up the Air Shard. I didn't go up this visit because I don't like it, but I have done on previous occasions.
After lunch we went on a quick look around the museum, which we're getting to know quite well now. We went back into the main space to watch the Big Picture Show about The War At Home. There are several different shows throughout the day including some aimed specifically at children - the Horrible Histories: Rotten Rationing has been our favourite so far.
There is loads of space in the Imperial War Museum North, which is great for anyone with a wheelchair, buggy or boisterous 4 year old! Our youngest still hasn't quite mastered Hopscotch yet!
The Imperial War Museum North bring history to life for children most weekends and holidays. You can find their calendar of events by clicking this link. We'll be back in July to preview their Summer event - Horrible Histories: Blitzed Brits.
The museum is open 10am-5pm 7 days a week. Last admission is 4.30pm. Entry is FREE. Car parking costs from £5 for up to 4 hours.
We were given lunch for the children and a family ticket for the Air Shard in return for this post. Everything else is FREE FOR ANYONE.