Today’s #Blogtober17 prompt “car” reminded me of a recent fun family day out despite not all going entirely to plan…
With the weather forecast against us and a desire to find some new indoor attractions to keep the mini ones busy (that didn’t involve soft play yet again) we’d headed into south Lincolnshire on a Sunday in September.
Having consulted the Lincolnshire Heritage Open Days schedule we’d discovered that Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum was hosting a pioneering female aviators exhibition – High Flying Women (this has now been replaced by Airships Over Lincolnshire… Lighter Than Air) and, never having visited before, we put the code in the sat-nav to find out more.
I hadn’t expected it to be a huge museum but also hadn’t expected it to be quite as tiny as it is either – but it definitely punches above its weight.
The minis were as warmly and enthusiastically welcomed by the friendly and knowledgeable volunteer curator as my husband and I were and, clipboards in hand ready for collecting answers in the temporary exhibition section, we entered the room of exhibits to see what was on display.
At any age hands-on learning is much more fun than passive experiences but especially so for children and Cranwell Aviation Heritage Centre more than meets this challenge. A flight simulator, an aircraft recognition game, a chance to try and drop a supply package on target, dressing up opportunities and a navigation challenge mean that you’ll be spending a lot longer in the centre than you may have first thought on entering.
Clutching their lollipops won for completing the worksheet accompanying the exhibition (despite being pre-literate Willow takes these types of things very seriously), we headed out into the courtyard that’s home to a Jet Provost which Luke and Willow enjoyed running around pretending to be airplanes themselves.
When they’d come back down to land it was then time for the automobiles section of the day and when things started to go slightly awry.
Next on the itinerary was to stop for lunch at V-ATE, a “pit stop dining experience” in Boston – sadly it seemed to have been next on everyone else’s itinerary too and we arrived to be told there was an hour-and-a-half wait to be seated which we didn’t think the minis would endure. The restaurant has only recently opened, the photos of its extensively themed interior have heralded much hype and, according to those I know who’ve managed to get a table so far, the hype is justifiable both for the food as well as overall experience. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to try again another time, perhaps not on a Sunday lunchtime.
Fortunately our next planned stop – The Bubblecar Museum – advertised having a cafe as well as being “the UK’s most unusual motor museum” so we headed straight there instead.
Despite being far from a petrolhead and actually a very reluctant driver at best, the Bubblecar Museum is somewhere I’ve long wanted to visit. I’m a big fan of 1950s style and the microcars are, quite frankly, just cute. As Luke’s toy cars are everything to him at the moment I thought it would appeal to him too.
Our welcome didn’t quite have the warmth of the earlier one however as the curators seemed quite suspicious if not disapproving of the mini ones’ exuberance. With the dire warnings of potential dangers of their static car, motorcycle and moped displays ringing in our ears (not to mention the chance of fingers being trapped in the entrance door) we still managed to enjoy the displays in the micromusem, circling both floors several times talking about the different colours of the vehicles and pointing out items in the cabinets. With no interactive elements to their collection (you can pay extra for a ride in a Bubblecar) we didn’t spend quite as long here though. Luke did make sure he left the gift shop clutching a new toy car for his collection however.
The day did also serve to fuel my enthusiasm for finding more small and quirky museums to visit however as I find the passion behind such specific collections particularly engaging. And seeing as I’ve just found out through Twitter that there’s a Lincolnshire Chair Museum perhaps we have our next destination!
If you know of any interesting little museums then let me know in the comments below.