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History for Kids at Museum

Neil Haverson Published: 02 March 2024

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Girls dressed in Victorian clothing

You were up early getting the kids out of bed. Persuading them to have their breakfast, clean their teeth and pack their school bags. Then he can’t find his socks and she left her lunch box at school – and the clock is ticking.

Running late you have to cajole dawdling children to get their skates on. A final burst across the playground, watch them into school and then it’s phew! Made it. And you can finally relax.

To help you catch your breath, The Bridewell Tearoom at Wymondham Heritage Museum will be open at 9am on Thursday and Friday mornings. Entry to the Tearoom alone is free. The entrance is almost opposite Browick Road School, perfect for those who do the school run, to pop in for a restorative cuppa before starting their day.

And, of course, The tearoom is open when you pick the little darlings up in the afternoon. Take them for a soft drink and snack. There are crayons and colouring books available. But bring a few coins, they’ll need them for the wishing well. You might like to make a wish yourself. Perhaps for a hassle-free school run the following day.

The museum is keen for youngsters to visit the Bridewell to explore local history, and there’s lots for them to do and see to encourage them. During all the school holidays there will be free entry for children – and free squash in The Tearoom.

Kids playing with old switchboard in museum

The first opportunity for free admission will be Easter when the Easter Trail takes place. Every child taking part will get a prize.

New for the younger visitor this year is dressing up as characters from the Victorian era. Among the clothes are hats, aprons, shirts, long dresses and policeman’s helmets. Take a photo with the laundry mural as a background and post it on the museum’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

There are a couple of mice that live in a basket where the dressing up clothes hang. Children can take one with them around the museum and tell them all the exciting things they see.

Watch out for a “Name the Mice” competition coming soon.

For children who would benefit from them on their visit, available for the first time are sensory bags. Included in these are ear defenders, a selection of sensory toys and a “Feelings Fan” for children to be able to point to how they feel.

Kids looking into wishing well

Of course, there are the usual attractions that appeal to the young. The ever-popular dungeon with its spooky atmosphere showing how prisoners served their sentences centuries ago. The sandbox to dig for artefacts and the children’s quiz. Keep your eyes peeled as you go round the museum, answer the questions and win a prize.

Make a call from the 1960s switchboard, originally used in the Abbey Hotel in Wymondham.

And when you’ve done all that, The Tearoom awaits to serve up drinks and snacks – and that free squash in the school holidays!

Parents haven’t been forgotten. Mother’s Day is Sunday March 10th. Scattered around the museum will be pictures of famous mothers and their children. Can you match them up? Every mother accompanied by a child gets in free – and free daffodils. Plus there’ll be treats in the Tearoom. Plans are afoot for Father’s Day in June.

For the new season the museum offers an all-round family visit. For more information and details of opening times go to thewhm.org.uk.

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