Museum of Childhood

Address: Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9PA, United Kingdom
Telephone: 020 8983 5200

- Free


A bright and enchanting museum devoted to the early years of life.

Right by Bethnal Green Underground station, this charming and airy Victorian building is home to the children's section of the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was opened here in 1872 and has two main floors along with a good shop and cafe. Busiest at half-term and on rainy days, I find its atmosphere is delightful and while it may seem a long way to venture the experience is far less frantic than other better-known family attractions. Signs in Bengali and Somali scripts reflect the multicultural energy of Tower Hamlets, and there are free trails children can follow tracking down toys, dolls and teddy bears in the collection. While best suited to under 12s, adults will find plenty to muse upon nostalgically - the high point is an extraordinary display of doll's houses dating from 1673.

Value for money

Price advice

Admission is free, charges apply for some activities.

Expert tips

There are two public gardens close by where you can relax with children, or head for the wider spaces of Victoria Park to the northeast.

The museum puts on lots of free events and activities for families - for some you can just drop-in, others need to be booked.

Recommended for

  • Families with younger children
  • Education
  • History