Arts & Culture Round-up: Museums, memories and more

Arts and culture 610This month’s round-up comes at an inbetween stage. It’s rainy old October. The weather’s often too grim to make the great outdoors seem inviting. But even though theatres and cinemas have begun to crank up their shows, there’s still not as much entertainment on offer as there is in the run-up to Christmas.

So: what’s a parent to do, to keep the youngsters from going stir-crazy?

Hit the museums, that’s what!

And it seems that plenty of bloggers have been doing just that, over the last month.

A Mum in London was pleasantly surprised to find the British Museum to be child-friendly, when she visited their Ancient Lives New Discoveries exhibition. And My Family Ties trialled the Gamar app at the British Museum, which she said kept her fifteen- and eight-year olds engaged with the items on display.

A Baby on Board enjoyed rediscovering the Science Museum with her toddler. And Clarina’s Contemplations headed off to the Museum of London Docklands, the lesser-known but still enjoyable sister of the Museum of London.

In other parts of the country, bloggers have been congregating: both Jenography and Chelseamamma reviewed the Milestones Museum in Basingstoke. If you’re a fan of history and interesting memorabilia, it sounds worth a trip. And in Wales, Cardiff Mummy Says has been making the most of the principality’s cultural offerings by visiting the National Museum Cardiff and St Fagans National History Museum.

Regular readers of this round-up will know that last month I featured the controversy sparked by Jake Chapman when he said that children shouldn’t visit art galleries. This month, The Ordinary Lovely describes her failed attempt to take her children to see the Mondrian exhibition at Tate Liverpool. And There and back again….a mother’s tale has put together a fascinating post describing her visit to the Baltic in Gateshead, as well as a summary of other bloggers’ thoughts on taking children to see art. It really is worth a look, if you’re interested in this subject.

Autumn’s often a time for reminiscing. A few bloggers have been looking back at the cultural activities from the summer: Globalmouse Travels  featured a piece on Futuroscope, a futuristic park in Poitiers, France. The magnificent Bavarian Sojourn encountered witches at HexnWasser (Soll, Austria) and recounts luscious tales of wine museums, Venetian castles and bookshops on Santorini, Greece. Not to be surpassed, Mums Do Travel tells us all about the Otzi Dorf Stone Age village in Austria, where she met Otzi himself, a preserved prehistoric man.

Reminiscing came in other forms this month. Life, Ninja Killer Cat  visited Landmark Trust property Swarkstone Pavillion, where you can walk in the footsteps of the Rolling Stones. In a sweet post by the aptly named Sweetener and Spice, Caroline writes about taking her son to the cinema for the first time to see Thomas the Tank Engine, Tale of the Brave. Although she didn’t think much of the film, the experience sounded a special one. And – if it’s memorable  experiences you’re interested in – why not hop over to the Pigeon Pair and Me, where I’ve posted about my childhood love of Narnia, and am giving away family tickets to see The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the Rose Theatre, Kingston-Upon-Thames.

And finally: If you’re worn out by all this talk of getting out and about, to museums, theatres or overseas cultural spots, you can read about a good old bit of grown-up, home-based entertainment courtesy of Opposable Thumbs, who describes films by two Nicks she’s seen recently (ok, you’d have to travel to the flicks to see one of them – Nick Cave’s 20,000 Days on Earth – but you could always hunker down in the dark once you get there). And Tealady Mumbles interviewed Martyna Wren, an old-school singer who’s currently on a Teashop tour.

What have you been up to recently? And do you have cultural plans in the run-up to Christmas? Do let me know!

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About Nell Heshram

Nell Heshram is a writer who blogs at the Pigeon Pair and Me. On her blog she shares tips on arts and culture for kids; family travel; and what’s new in her home town of London.


  1. 03 October 2014 / 14:40

    Thanks very much for including my post. Looking forward to reading some of the others too. The great thing about having older children is that now the teenager can babysit and I have got my social life back.

  2. 03 October 2014 / 14:43

    Such a lot of great posts, thank you so much for featuring mine! I will have a good read of everyone’s tonight 🙂

  3. 03 October 2014 / 15:40

    Thank you for including my post. This is a really interesting round-up and I’m looking forward to reading about where everyone’s been.

  4. 03 October 2014 / 16:04

    what a fabulous round up , thank you for including me.