I don’t actually like art as I said before, but I continue to be positively surprised. A friend and I went to see the Tate Modern a few weeks ago with our five month and seven month old babies – her suggestion, not mine. But, I am a convert, and here are the reasons:
- Sensual experiences: in a small room just off the Turbine Hall, there is an entirely dark room that lights up when you scream. Can you imagine what fun it is to get your babies to squeak and see their reaction at the lit up room? Of course, this was the one time when both our babies were entirely silent but we had great fun squeaking ourselves.
- Stimulate your mind: some exhibitions are very interesting critiques of society and make you think about the world: I found the video of women who were paid in heroin to be tattooed disturbing and the exhibition using the ancient Romanian art of haybinding to create modern sculptures made me think of the passing of time.
- Rough and tumble play: There is a fantastic room with giant colourful snakes where children can play. Stumbling over and under the snakes, kids experience a fun playground and you see art. Find it on floor 0 tucked away in a corridor close to the clore learning centre.
- Play with building blocks: in the architecture room, there is an artwork which is basically lots of wooden blocks on a blue carpet visitors can play with. Needless to say, it is always full of kids. If there are two of you, one can watch the kids play and the other explore the rest of the architecture room. What a treat!
- One of the best views in London: go to Switch House restaurant on level 9. It is a bit pricey, but they were very friendly to our babies – bringing extra bread for them to gnaw on and not batting an eyelid at the several spillages. And the view is breathtaking – we made the most it with a glass of wine while waiting for our table.
Baby friendliness indicator: ***** one of the baby friendliest places I have been to. Baby changing facilities almost everywhere, lots of opportunities to sit down and art work made for kids to play on. I even so a nursery group visiting with their staff, so if professionals choose it for an outing, it must be fun!
Tips on how to make the most of the Tate Modern: don’t plan to see too much otherwise you put yourself under pressure. And: go on a weekday – you won’t have to wait too long for the buggies to go in the lift.