As my Maternity Leave draws to an inevitable end (even if job hunting means I don’t know exactly when) I feel I should make the most of every day. So when my plans with a friend fell through yesterday, I declared we wouldn’t waste the day sitting at home on our own (the Other Half is off skiing this weekend with his dad – I know, best girlfriend in the world, right?).
As with all new parents, we’re feeling the pinch; so free days out are good. But it’s so cold at the moment, indoors is also good. I found Eeh Bah Mum’s post on Days Out in London with a Crawling Baby (very helpful, I recommend it). She suggested Tate Modern. So I thought, ‘ooh! Let’s be cultured & try something new!’
Alas, Little Miss Fussy Pants, was not on form yesterday. Everything took four times as long as usual (also contributing to why the original plans fell through). By 11:45am, I had persuaded her to have some lunch, wrestled her into her pram suit &, in no uncertain terms, forced her into the buggy. Sandwiches, snacks, diapers all packed, I bent down to tie my shoes, stood back up & she was fast asleep. Go figure.
So, as I am flying solo for a few days, I decided the day out could wait & I turned back into the living room for some me time.
One hour later, I was called back to the hall with a little squeak.
To the Tate!
I haven’t been to the Tate Modern since I was about 14 when they had giant slides from the different levels down into the Turbine Hall. I remember thinking ‘I’m not much a fan of modern art,’ but the slides were awesome.
Baby Girl & I started at the Poetry & Surrealism gallery where I learned I’m still not a huge fan of modern art. But Baby Girl liked the shapes & colours & designs to look at.
There was a Studio for kids to explore with a chalkboard wall & giant letters. (It was something to do with one of the exhibits… but I didn’t read the placard… You can tell I’m really into my art… Why did I choose the Tate!?) Baby Girl was pleased to be out of the buggy for a bit & was fascinated by the older children running round.
Tate Modern Baby Pros:
- Its free! (Map are £1, donations welcome on the door.)
- There’s changing facilities in the men’s loos. (FYI, I didn’t double check this, but saw the sign on the men’s door.)
- The fourth floor is great. An open space with steps a massive window looking into the Turbine Hall. It was warm, full of families, two women breastfeeding & buggies galore. At the moment there’s big wooden blocks & shapes for building with, which the older ones were having a lot of fun with. The museum lady overseeing the fun said there’s always something family friendly here, though it does change throughout the year.
- Fully accessible for buggies (if you can fit in the elevator – see below).
Tate Modern Baby Cons:
- The changing tables have been installed way too high. So high in fact I had to leave Baby Girl until we got home instead as it was shoulder height. (I realise I’m diddy, but this was high for anyone!)
- The elevators. There are signs clearly stating ‘give wheelchairs & buggies priority’ but of course, no one does. So I spent half the afternoon waiting for elevators with space to get between levels.
Blackfriars tube – District & Circle line with elevators
Mansion House – District & Circle line, stairs only
Southwark – Jubilee line with elevators
London Bridge – Jubilee & Northern lines with elevators
Would I recommend Tate Modern as a Baby Day Out? Actually yes. Go, expand your horizons & have a giggle looking at the funny art through your littlun’s eyes. Just make sure you go on a week day. In my ‘must-make-the-most-of-the-day’ moment, I forgot it was a Saturday. Major error.