‘Ahoy’. Or not.

Inside Ahoy (photo from the National Maritime Museum)

I was planning to write a post about ‘Ahoy’ – the children’s gallery for 0-7 year olds at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. And if I’d taken the same approach as my toddler, I would have no problem at all in giving you all the information you need to plan a visit.

When we arrived on a rainy weekend day, she stormed to the front of the short queue, ducked under the rope barring entry and started exploring. I made the mistake of standing in line and learning the facility was at capacity. “There will be a ten to fifteen minute wait,” the nice lady said after I’d extricated my toddler (fairly slowly to be honest). I had enough time to glance around and see that ‘Ahoy’ offers a series of rooms with a maritime theme, like Mudlarks (but better) or the kind of thing you get downstairs at Discover.

Unfortunately, there’s no way of booking or getting a ticket and then disappearing round the museum until it’s your turn. You just have to queue. And I don’t know any toddler who’ll stand for that. So we gave up on Ahoy and headed off round the museum.

And I’m so glad we did. Because there was more than enough to keep a toddler entertained for a few hours. Plus, excitingly, there was a rare opportunity TO SIT DOWN.

On the first floor, there’s a huge open space with a map of the world printed on it. It’s perfect for toddlers. My mini maritime explorer had a whale of a time chasing after her little friend. She threw off her wellies and socks and completed at least twenty circumnavigations of the globe, while I sat. Yes, sat.

Run repeatedly all over the world at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

We found a spot for sandwich eating, took part in a crafts activity and then visited the far less busy children’s gallery for seven-year-olds and upwards.

We even had a look at some of the exhibits. Ships are – it seems – fairly interesting to toddlers (we’ve already been to the Cutty Sark – that’s another good place to visit).

I’m sure we’ll be back soon to report on Ahoy. Greenwich is a nice change of scene for us. The journey is easy, with plenty to see on the way. And there’s lots to do whether it’s good weather or bad.

What? The National Maritime Museum, which includes Ahoy children’s gallery.

Where? Park Row, Greenwich, SE10 9NF

When? Open daily from 10am (check here)

How much? Free

Facilities and access Greenwich is accessible by DLR, train and bus. The National Maritime Museum has a buggy park, easy access, lifts, baby changing rooms etc.



Author: Aline Reed

I am a freelance copywriter.

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