V&A Museum of Childhood
V&A Museum of Childhood Review
A treat for children of all ages, this East London outpost of the Victoria & Albert Museum—in an iron, glass, and brown-brick building transported here from South Kensington in 1868—houses one of the world's biggest toy collections. One highlight (among many) is the large Dolls' Houses collection—a bit like a miniature Geffrye Museum with interiors from 1673 up to the present represented. Other favorites range from board games and puzzles to teddy bears and train sets. The collection is organized into galleries: Moving Toys, which includes everything from rocking horses to Xboxes; Creativity, which encompasses dolls, puppets, chemistry sets, play kitchens, construction toys, and musical instruments; and Childhood, with areas devoted to babies, an exhibit of children's clothes from the mid-1600s to the present, and toys inspired by adult pursuits, such as toy soldiers, toy guns, and toy hospitals. Don't miss the magnificent 18th-century commedia dell'arte puppet theater, thought to have been made in Venice. There are special activities for the under-fives and the shop has replica toys that make great presents.
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