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The Royal Airforce Museum with kids

The Royal Air Force Museum in London has been on The Young Londoner’s list of venues to review since forever and we decided to visit post lockdown once the playground and all hangars had opened.

The Royal Airforce Museum in Edgware is a tribute to the nation’s beloved Air Force and everything associated with it. This place is so much more than just a museum – it is a brilliant socially distanced day out for the whole family whether you are a history buff, engineering enthusiast or just up for some fun.

The kid was excited by the suspended airplanes as we parked the car and were greeted by a staff member clad with face visor and directing us to the one way system (which very clearly marked with sprayed pink airplanes on the ground). There are lots of hand sanitising stations as well as toilets in each Hangar and face masks are available to purchase on site.

First up Hangar 1 where this young Londoner ran in and was super excited at seeing the yellow Westland SeaKing Search and Rescue helicopter. Here we learned about the first 100 years of the RAF and the toddler climbed on airplanes (and was photographed) in various poses with replica Spitfires (the only airplane to be in World War II from beginning to end) as well as various other models. 

Some of the interactive aspects remain closed off to the public because they require a lot of touching and so we made our way outside where upon seeing the play area the toddler headed straight there. 

The play space is absolutely brilliant with a variety of different airplanes, air traffic control towers, helicopters and vehicles that the kids can climb in and out of. The kid spent ages playing pretend games where the air traffic control towers became a school that was under attack and needed rescuing. The outdoor seating space is plentiful and the staff were constantly cleaning the tables as soon as groups moved along. 

Hangar 2 was also well received and we were impressed by the sheer amount of aircraft that they had managed to cram into the building. The toddler was particularly taken with the wooden Bleriot XXVII and enjoyed the interactive videos. Here we also had a toilet break and were again very impressed with cleanliness. We then explored the rest of the Hangars at a bit of a hurried pace and we skimmed on a lot of the history (the joy of going to museums with toddlers). 

There are lots of activities that you can continue from home like making your own cardboard airplane, learning more about the phonetic alphabet or learning about aerodynamics. We are loving the phonetic alphabet, especially as this toddler is generation Alpha. 

The RAF Museum is a brilliant day out for the whole family, it is educational, interactive and free. We spent around 3 hours on our visit but could have easily stayed longer. Parking costs £4.50 and can be booked in advance. More information and advance bookings can be found on their website here.

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