I have always loved the V&A in South Kensington (not least for the fabulous gift shop) but I never thought of bringing my young son. But yes, fun V&A Museum activities for children abound!
When we visited on Saturday I was delighted to discover the V&A’s free drop-in pop-up performances at 11am, 1pm and 3pm every Saturday. And it was really entertaining. Set in the enchanting Cast Courts on the ground floor (thankfully not too far to walk for little people) the far corner became a small theatre complete with cushion seats for children and parents, with the opera Aida piped through the sound system.
Il Marzocco pop-up performance
Led by Louisa, self-proclaimed assistant to sculptor Donatello in Florence, the 30-minute act had the children ‘sculpting’ with toy tools, to help Louisa finish Donatello’s masterpiece ‘Il Marzocco’ the lion. But there is a twist. Il Marzocco talks and leads the children on a journey to complete him, complaining that he’s been unfinished under a drop cloth for too long. My favourite part was when they have to furnish him with the seal of Florence, but it breaks. Louisa asked the children what to do, to which my son yelled out, ‘hide it!’ (Note to self: search the house for hidden, broken items later). When they’ve finished Il Marzocco ends with a terrific ROAR!
There were about 10 children in our group, aged 2-8 years old. It seemed to be engaging for all of them as they learned through play. Parents can join in to help the littlest children. The pop-up performances change, but based on the quality of Il Marzocco, I’d highly recommend dropping in.
If you are keen to spend more time at the V&A, not far away is a ‘secret’ staircase leading to the third floor Learning Centre which may also entertain children but requires much more parental effort! And just across Cromwell Road are many child-friendly restaurants like Byron and Carluccios, which you can find of course on your Gobaby App. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Written by Jen Corlew