It was my birthday a few weeks ago and as I had to work on the day itself T decided to take the next day off work and we decided Manchester would be a nice trip out; more specifically the Manchester Museum.
I’ve wanted to visit the museum for a while now because I knew they had a dinosaur exhibit. What I didn’t know was how big the place was and how much more there is to see there! We walked into the entrance lobby and Spike was impressed instantly by the size of it, the amount of people there (Summer holidays!) and the dinosaur skeleton model they had in the lobby. She stood as still as she could and looked all around, then war-cried her way into the place.
That war cry continued as we went up the first lot of stairs to be greeted by an elephant skeleton that had huge tusks and took up most of the first room. She ran round and round it pointing at it in awe! Next up we went into the Living Cultures and Archery room which I found fascinating. Spike carried on running from exhibit to exhibit, gasping and pointing and basically being absolutely awesome, she had so many people going “awww, look at her!” but it was tiring for me and her daddy! My favourite part of this bit was definitely the exhibit about the Japanese culture and their weaponry, which has always been a fascination of mine, one that was made worse by discovering Zoe Marriott’s books (an author I will ALWAYS recommend). The swords on display there were beautiful and the armour was amazing. I liked the actual archery section too, and as me and the Mr both keep saying we want to try archery again it rekindled that conversation!
Next up was the Egyptian exhibition and that was interesting, with the actual mummy coffin on show and information about the way kings were buried, but it wasn’t for me – I remember too much about that kind of thing from school so it wasn’t new to me, so we moved quickly on to the next section.
The next section was incredible and probably my favourite. Its called Discover Nature and its full of animals, stuffed and put on display (Im not sure if they were real but the ones you could touch felt it!) It was all set out like a magical woodland that just felt so special to be in and there were low down exhibits for the kids, books about nature for them to read and bean bags for them to sit on while they did so. It was a magical exhibition and where we spent most of our time. Spike absolutely loved the bits that were low down on her level and loved the atmosphere, the sounds of the animals and things like that! My one disappointment with this was the lack of information I could see, there was a massive section with loads of different animals in and I was trying to work out what a couple of them were and I didn’t know and there weren’t any signs to tell me.
Spike spent most of her time in this bit climbing up and down off the bench that was in it but even that was sweet, it was designed to be a relax bench for kids to sit and read their book with their parents in the beautiful atmosphere so I definitely enjoyed given her a cuddle on it!
Next up we went into the Living Worlds section of the museum and I absolutely adored it there too. It was all about animals and how they have developed and evolved over time, but also about how things we are doing to the planet are affecting it. There were big infographics about how small changes can help tackle climate change and tokens so you can say how likely you are to make those changes.
Spike started to get sleepy after all her running around so the second floor was a bit of a dud. We didn’t spend any real time in it because I wanted to take Spike to see Stan the T-Rex and T wanted to let Spike sleep! I did enjoy looking at the animals in the vivarium, which I didn’t realise would have actual animals in because obviously I’m dumb! Then we went on a mission to find Stan. On our way to Stan we found the planets part of the museum which I think was probably T’s favourite bit, he likes space and stuff and Spike seemed really interested in them too which was good! Then we found Stan… honestly I wanted to spend so much more time in that part of the museum but at this point Spike was starting to cause a scene so we got a quick selfie and were off.
I loved the interactiveness of Manchester Museum and know its probably somewhere I will go time and time again when Spike is older. Its fascinating and theres something for every interest and they really do cater for kids well. I was sad we weren’t there on one of the workshop days because they sounded awesome and to be honest I was amazed that Spike was as interested in everything as she was because I didn’t expect her to be. I know she’s older now but last time we went to a museum she just ran around a bit and ignored everything, but I think Manchester Museum does such a good job of full glass exhibits so she could see everything and thats what grabbed her attention.
I would definitely recommend Manchester Museum to anyone visiting, and even from, the area. Its such a fantastic thing for kids especially right in the centre of the city and I can’t wait to go back and do it all again soon!