V&A Dundee Selkie Selfie

{Scotland} The V&A Dundee with Kids

Happy Museum Monday! A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about our visit to Dundee Science Centre. While we were in Dundee, we also took the opportunity to check out the new V&A. Well, it’s not really that new any more (it opened in 2018), but I still hadn’t been to see it, so it was still new to me.

I lured my 8 year old to the V&A with the promise of a lunch. We were already running quite late for lunch, and I thought that would be the only way I’d get him to agree to add it on to an already long day, and we’d have a quick look around after lunch before catching the next train home. I totally underestimated how interested my child would be – two hours later we were among the last people to be ushered out the building as it was closing!

V&A Dundee Entrance Hall

First, we went to check out the Scottish Design Galleries on the top floor, which is the V&A Dundee’s permanent exhibition.

V&A Dundee Scottish Design Galleries

My little museum geek spent almost 15 minutes designing a lamp shade on one of the touch screens, then constructed a Wellington boot on another touch screen interactive (he played through that one three times!), before listing to an artist talk about how she designs her jewellery.

V&A Dundee Scottish Design Galleries

We also spent a considerable amount of time at the bridge building interactive (and then I accidentally knocked it all down just before he finished…)

V&A Dundee Scottish Design Galleries

We missed stepping out on to the ‘must see’ balcony, because they had closed it early that day, but we had a wee rest in the cosy reading corner.

On our way back down, we passed a table with handling objects where you can learn more about the architecture of the V&A Dundee – he asked the poor gallery attendant about every single object! She ended up having to consult her info booklet. The handling table is a regular feature of the museum.

Downstairs, in the entrance hall, there lots of different activity sheets to choose from, and you can add your artworks to the display wall. Plus there’s a shelf full of family friendly books to read.

V&A Dundee craft area

As well as the activity sheets, there are also some family trails you can pick up. We managed to complete some of the trail before closing, including tracking down Selkie the Seal to take a #SelkieSelfie!

V&A Dundee Selkie Selfie

I was pleasantly surprised how much fun my 8 year old had at the V&A Dundee. I probably wouldn’t have gone to Dundee just for this (with kids), but it’s a great add on to the many other family visitor attractions that Dundee has to offer.

How to get there

Location: 1 Riverside Esplanade, Dundee, DD1 4EZ

Take the train from Edinburgh Waverley or Haymarket to Dundee, and then it’s less than a 5 minute walk to the V&A Dundee. Total travel time is around 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes, depending on which train you take. The trains heading for Aberdeen are faster, as they make fewer stops, whereas the trains that terminate in Dundee take longer

Good to know

Opening hours: Open daily year round, 10am to 5pm.

Cost: Admission is free. There is a cost for some temporary special exhibitions.

Website: www.vam.ac.uk/dundee

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