Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Paddington half term fun at the National Railway Museum

Last Saturday, I took the children back to the National Railway Museum in York to road test their Fun with Paddington Bear event that is running over this half term. We've been a few times now, most recently to their Harry Potter event back in February. However, this time, we decided to try going on the train. It took me a while to realise I could go directly to York by train from here - if I try to search for journeys from my local station, it tells me that it takes 3 hours and requires 2 changes. What it didn't tell me was that there is a direct service from Blackpool to York that passes very nearby and the journey takes a couple of hours. More importantly, with a railcard, it's cheaper than driving.

It was a very cold day in York when we arrived so we were grateful to reach the museum and get inside. Unfortunately, this time, it seemed like all the Paddington related activities were taking place in the Station Hall, with nothing in the Great Hall, a place my two like to inhabit so that we can make our regular pilgrimage to the Bullet Train.

Activities on offer this week include welly wanging, after which you may make a medal to take home. Make is probably an overstatement, as the children chose their medal and someone put it together in a press. You could also meet Paddington himself, something we failed at because when we first passed, Missy Woo didn't want to go near him, then we missed his next appearance, and then it was too late because we needed to get our train back home. This made Missy Woo upset but that was rectified by the purchase of a Paddington bear to accompany us on our train home, and accompanying purchase of model Japanese high speed train for Monkey.

Other activities on offer include dressing like Paddington (although most clothes are smaller sizes, mine just about fitted into everything) and ride on a steam train - this time, Puffing Billy who unfortunately had open carriages which made for a Very Cold Ride. We also had fun trying to spot the teddy bears hidden around the trains, each with a letter to make up the word.

Over lunchtime, we met up with some other bloggers to have a special teddy bears' picnic lunch, including Paddington's favourite, marmalade sandwiches. Missy Woo refused to eat them, saying that she didn't "like the carrot" in them. She's not lived that down since, changing her story to the fact that she doesn't eat oranges, only drink them, even though she does. 

Once again, we ran out of time to do all the things we wanted to do and had to head back to the station to catch our train home, which was enjoyable because we could watch the world pass by and I could keep the children amused. As ever, entry to the NRM is free but some of the activities mentioned do attract a small charge, although across the whole day, it's still much cheaper than other family days out. Although my two are probably towards the higher end of the age bracket at which it is aimed, they still enjoyed the day, and Missy Woo now wants to collect all things Paddington. 

You can see Paddington Bear at the NRM until Sunday 4th November. Get your wellies out, and don't forget your marmalade sandwiches. 

(NRM invited us to the above event and gave us vouchers for lunch and to try some of the activities for free. All opinions are our own.)

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