Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, UK Days out, Kids Museum

Half term is around the corner, I'm not going away bit I need great days out to keep my little people amused, I bet you do too.  I found a fabulous day out, we went on the weekend, I took my boys to The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, its in Great Missenden.

I'm guessing everyone knows who Roald Dahl is, otherwise where have you been hiding? In a box or maybe you've just been born?  I recalled being in Primary school, I must of been about 6, I sitting in the school hall, Mr Barnes reading us numerous stories, including James and the Giant Peach.  the idea of giant talking bugs puzzled me.   Even back in the 80s Roald Dahl captured the imagination of little people.

More recently, my son James has been coming home from school and asking me to read Roald Dahl books.  He adores Charlie and Chocolate Factory, at school they are currently reading in class the Fantastic Mr Fox.  Which is fabulous, as we have a little collection of books at home and now James and Liam are both requesting books to read and films to watch. 

When my boys were babies, I would read them the collection until they fell asleep, actually I would read a couple of extra chapters, I couldn't wait until the next night.  Then they got a little older, they wanted Thomas Tank and other character books read at bedtime.  I am happy we've gone full circle. 

As a treat I took them to Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.  We drove from Croxley - Herts, it took less then half an hour.  However if you are traveling from London, The Chiltern Railways is 40 minutes to Great Missenden from Marylebone, the station is just around the corner from the Museum.

The centre isn't huge but it great fun, with a lot of see.  Its like a giant collage of history for us to engage with.  Letters, note pads, photos, drafts, its like nothing has even been thrown away but its not cluttered, its informative, interesting and fun. There is something for everyone, even younger children can do things and not get bored. Its aimed audience is 6-12 years. 

Roald Dahl had a wonderful relationship with his mother, she gave him so much encouragement to write, without being pushy.  She would send him pens, writing pads, sweets.  Roald Dahl had a beautiful love for words, also making up words and bringing these words into our world.  He mind was totally bonkers sometimes but that shows in his stories. 

Roald Dahl's first published work, Shot Down Over Libya on 1 August 1942.  The story, is about his wartime adventures.  Later in 1943 Roald Dahl published his first children book, the Gremlins.  This story is about mischievous mythical creatures, the gremlins' they have motivation for sabotaging British aircraft.  Both of these books have an association to war, but mostly flying, this was a big factor in Roald Dahl's life, in 1939 Roald joined the Royal Air Force (RAF). He retired with a title Squadron Leader.

In later life in 1954 Roald moved into Gipsy House, Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire.  The Store centre has Roald Dahl's Comfy chair, desk with all of his little habits, pens, photos, lucky charms and rocks from his Cabin.  The cabin is situated here with a glass window, for everyone to gaze at it.

As its Easters we were given a little Easter Hunt, the boys had to found the clues and overall answer.  The answer was a name of a chocolate bar much to their disappointed they didnt win a bar of chocolate. But a collectable trump card.  This added to the entertainment for our afternoon.  

In the backrooms, there is plenty to do, from creative writing ideas, leaving a dream idea in bottle, dressing-up, decorating Easter Eggs. Also a touch of animation film making, James loved this the most.

We had a great afternoon, where was so much to do, see, learn, even being creative. I really enjoyed myself, so did my family.

If you fancy a little getaway from London, I recommend The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.   
Dont be shy, came and say Hi! - Whats your favourite story?  Mine is the Revolting Rhymes collection, Cinderella actually.  It's so much better then the original story.  Bouncing head cracks me up each time.

Disclaimer: Our fun day out!