Be a tourist or a Londoner on a day out: The London Transport Museum is a must-see attraction of the capital. The iconic double-decker buses, the tube and the world-known public transport signs are all attractions, you can’t see anywhere else in the world. The London Transport Museum has a fantastic and historical collection of old buses, metro trains, maps and posters. The exciting history of London’s public transport with lots of interactive experience makes it a great day out if you visit London – plus it’s located in Covent Garden, another famous place to visit when in London. We are regulars in the museum, as the children just love there. But there’s always something new too: the museum has temporary exhibitions on all the time.
Why is it autism-friendly
It has lots of interactive experience to offer. All the simulators, hands-on learning possibilities are balanced well with play corners and pretend play. The museum not only offers endless possibilities to learn and educate but also encourages free play, experimenting and discovering. Children can dress up as a driver or a ticket controller and also can drive a toy bus. For children with autism the simulators are a fantastic experience. A lot of boys with autism are really obsessed with all sorts of vehicles and they are interested in how they work, so here they can touch them, climb on them or drive them – which is a great way to learn about them.
Challenges as an ASD parent
If you’re planning to visit with a child with autism, the London Transport Museum can be the most wonderful place for them – but that also means some challenges.
It can be a bit crowded and noisy so if you have the choice, visit on weekdays. Weekends are generally busier, as there are a lot of local visitors joining too. Around popular attractions like the bus or tube driving simulator and the train table at the play area you need to be prepared for queuing and waiting or other times quarelling over toys. Also, plan your TRANSITIONING from one activity to the next and your EXIT of the museum. For these little people abandoning the exiting toy or the idea of eventually going home can be really challenging. We normally opt for a choice of a small toy in the shop (the shop itself is very tempting and I can often see meltdowns happening – which is fair enough, seeing all those fantastic toys, but we all need to draw a line) and a cake nearby to make our exit smoother.
The museum is fully aware of how important is to make visitors with autism feel more comfortable, so on certain days they provide mornings to SEN school groups with low sensory environment. They also offers Sensory Bags during the visit. Advanced booking is essential as places are limited.
Plan your visit
Check out the website and buy tickets online, they are cheaper that way. (The tickets are valid for a year and children under 17 are free – so it’s an incredibly good value!) There are always some fun things happening, like Tuesday’s singing and stories sessions (term time only), festive activities and you can take a museum depot tour too.
Fun things not to miss
Family station activities – spotting shapes, was one of Bobcat’s favourite activities, but there are plenty more to choose from: crafts, collecting or sequencing – great for any children.
Stamper trail – it helps guide you through the transport history of London. Searching for each stamper in the different areas of the museum is really good fun.
Family play zone – with climbing possibilities to let some of the excess energy off and a train table with tracks. Next to this, is the Museum Cafe, conveniently located, so the tired parents can also sit down with a coffee and keep an eye on the children at the same time.
Temporary exhibitions – There’s a new temporary exhibition on in every few month to look forward to and normally the museum tries to cater a lot of different interest: posters, maps, etc.
Did you enjoy this post? Read about another great day out at Peppa Pig World here.