Scotland's fourth most popular tourist attraction in the heart of the city.
My wee boy loves anything with wheels; trains, buses, trucks and cars and I'm sure fellow mammas of one year olds would agree – anything that moves and makes a noise or has flashing lights is sure to be a hit.
So on an unpredictable day in Glasgow where the sun is still too lazy to show her face fully, I suggest you bee-line it to the Riverside Museum, Scotland's fourth most popular tourist attraction in the heart of the city.
Just a short walk from Patrick train station or a short drive from the city centre, the Riverside Museum lies on Pointhouse Quay in Glasgow harbour and is a totally free attraction. It was even the 2013 winner of "European Museum Of The Year", so it really is well worth a visit.
The museum offers plenty of sensory experiences for children of all ages, wide open spaces and interactive games for little ones, and an abundance of historical information regarding transport in and around Glasgow. It is suitable for older children and adults alike; this this truly is a crowd-pleaser for the whole family.
Upon entering, we were greeted by a friendly member of staff and given a map of the museum. Although the building is not huge, it is a bit of a maze so using the map ensures that you make the most of your visit. After all, with over 3,000 objects to explore, it's nice to know what your looking at and where to go next.
As soon as we began the tour my son was full of wonder; running to and from each vehicle that greets you as you step inside; old police cars, a steam train and a camper van. Each of these vehicles has a small amount of information to go with it, which really brings them to life and I'm sure for older children, the history would be fascinating.
My son did quite often want to climb the ropes around each exhibition instead of reading about them, but luckily I was never once made to felt uncomfortable about him being so "hands on". The staff and the museum layout itself, with its tidy clutter seem to understand, captivate and embrace the fun and inquisitive nature of children's minds, as well as holding the interest of adults. In fact, having fun seemed a requirement, and learning was the happy byproduct.
What the museum does best is use every surface of space to the fullest, so that as you wonder around, your eye never rests on one place and it's simply impossible to be bored. There is also a wonderful mixture of tangible objects, written information and over 90 touch screens so older children can interact in a more modern and hands-on way.
The facilities here are fantastic; there is a coat room available by the entrance, which only charges a pound and mothers/fathers with prams can also leave there buggies, knowing they will be safe while they help their children play.
There is a jam-packed gift shop onsite so you can take home a souvenir or, for something a little more personal, there is a penny press that only charges a pound. Children can turn the wheel and watch there penny becomes a momentum of their day in minutes.
There is a cafe on the top floor, as well as a larger restaurant below offering a wide selection of reasonably priced food and drink; the soup in particular was really yummy and the friendly staff allowed the toddlers to eat their packed lunches alongside us in the clean high chairs they provided. The restaurant also over looks the river and The Tall Ship, which adds that extra something special to your resting time.
I think our favourite part overall was the old street that runs through the middle of the museum, with cobbles and street lamps and horse and carriages. It really does feel like your taking a stroll back in time and each "shop" provides a perfect insight into Glasgow's shipbuilding history and life during this period of time.
When: Open 10 - 5pm most days (Friday and Sunday is open 11 - 5pm).
There really is no reason not to pay this wonderful gem a visit over the Easter holidays. It's informative, fun and there's something for everyone.
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