Museum opening hours
Open daily 10.00-17.45 (last admission 17.30)
Closed 24, 25 and 26 December and 1 January.
Admission to the V&A Museum of Childhood is free
Some events carry a separate charge.
During schools holidays the Museum is often very busy and, in order to comply with fire safety regulations, we have to restrict the number of people in the building at any one time. We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused. This is only likely to affect your visit at peak times during school holidays, but you may like to consider visiting after 2.30pm, when the Museum tends to be quieter.
V&A Museum of Childhood
Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9PA
By public transport
Underground, Central Line, Zone 2
The Museum is less than five minutes walk from Bethnal Green Underground station. Unfortunately Bethnal Green Underground has no lift, visit Transport for London for more information on public transport accessibility.
Coaches - A drop-off point and parking for two coaches is available outside the Museum on Cambridge Heath Road.
Gallery information and map
The Museum is arranged into four main galleries – the Moving Toys Gallery, the Creativity Gallery, the Childhood Galleries and the Front Room Gallery.
Eating and Drinking
The award-winning benugo café sits at the heart of the Museum's majestic Marble Floor. The café is open plan which means that visitors can enjoy a bite to eat whilst soaking up the lively ambience of the space.
benugo pridethemselves on offering handmade, authentic and natural products. Products change seasonally to make use of the freshest ingredients and everything is sourced as locally as possible. The milk is organic and the coffee is fairly traded.
The café offers a wide selection to suit all tastebuds, including sandwiches and salads, hot dishes, cakes and pastries and hot and cold drinks. A vegetarian option is available every day as well as children's portions and a Kids 'pick and mix' menu. Highchairs and free wi-fi access are also available.
Enjoy cake and a hot drink for £3.50 after 3.30pm from Monday to Friday.
Terms and conditions apply
- One offer per customer, per visit
- Offers are not available during school holidays, on Bank Holidays or at weekends
- Offers only available at the V&A Museum of Childhood
- The Manager reserves the right to withdraw the offers at any time
Our staff are trained to meet the needs of all our visitors.If you have any further questions about Access at the Museum, call 020 8983 5200.
Visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing
Our classrooms and audio visual displays are equipped with an induction loop sound enhancement system.
An induction loop is available from the Information Desk. To use the loop, you will need to switch your hearing aid to the 'T' position.
Visitors who are blind or partially sighted
There are many interactives to touch and play with throughout the Museum such as dressing up clothes, rocking horses, Lego and a dolls' house. The Museum also runs free activities for families every day, including arts and crafts, and storytelling.
Assistance dogs are welcome. Water is available on request.
Visitors with additional learning needs
There are lots of hands-on activities for visitors to engage with at the Museum including the Sensory Pod, a multi-sensory space in the Creativity Gallery.
Visitors with special educational needs
A range of resources and activities are available to visitors with special educational needs. For more information, visit SEN.
One Thursday each term is set aside as a Quiet Day, for groups with special educational needs only. This autumn term it is Thursday 5 March. All ages of children and young people are welcome to these popular and inclusive days, when the Museum is generally quieter and students have full access to the galleries and interactive displays. Find out more
Wheelchair users and visitors with mobility difficulties
The Museum is wheelchair accessible and wheelchairs are available from the Information Desk. Seating is available throughout. Accessible toilets (including one fitted with a Radar lock) are located at the front and rear of the Museum, on the Lower Ground Floor. The rear lift can be accessed via the car park at the back of the Museum by prior arrangement.
ParkingFree on-site parking can be arranged for visitors with specific access needs. The car park is accessed via Victoria Park Square, to the rear of the Museum. To book a space and for more detailed directions, call 020 8983 5200. The nearest pay and display bays can be found on Cambridge Heath Road. TheMuseum is not in the congestion charging zone.
Other general facilities
Packed lunchesFor visitors wishing to eat their own packed lunch, outdoor picnic tables are located in the Museum's grounds. Additionalfacilities may be available at weekends and during school holidays in the Summerly Room on the Lower Ground Floor, but please check availability in advance of your visit.
Highchairs are available from benugo café.
Baby changing facilities are available in both the male and female toilets on the Lower Ground Floor and in the Quiet Room.
A buggy park is located near the stairs in the Front Room Gallery. Items are left at the owner's risk.
The Museum's quiet room is located on the Lower Ground Floor. The room has multiple uses: as a prayer room; a space for nursing mothers; or as a chill out space for families with children with autism. The room is equipped with an ensuite family-sized toilet, a bottle warmer, a baby changing table and comfortable seating.
Free WiFi is available throughout the Museum.
Visiting with under 5s
Information to help visitors with under 5s prepare for their visit to the Museum.
Can I get a feel for the Museum without visiting?
Take a look at the Museum's virtual tour to get an idea of layout. Click on the thumbnails to visit each gallery in the Museum. Visit the Virtual tour.
Where are the toilets?
Toilets are located on the Lower Ground Floor. Baby changing facilities, nappy bins and family-sized cubicles are available in both the male and female toilets. The Quiet Room on the Lower Ground Floor has an en-suite family-sized toilet cubicle. An accessible toilet is also available. Collect a RADAR key from the Information Desk to unlock it.
Is there anywhere to go for privacy?
The Quiet Room is located on the Lower Ground Floor. The Quiet Room has comfortable seats, a baby changing area, nappy bins, a bottle warmer and an en-suite family-sized toilet cubicle.
Is there a cloakroom?
Unfortunately there are no secure storage facilities at the Museum. Cloak bins are situated on the Lower Ground Floor. Items are left at the owner's risk. A buggy park is located at the front entrance.
What about eating and drinking?
benugo cafe sells a wide range for children, including a kids 'pick and mix' menu. A bottle warmer is located in the Quiet Room on the Lower Ground Floor. Breastfeeding is welcome anywhere in the Museum. Highchairs are available from the cafe. Indoor lunch facilities are available on the Lower Ground Floor, check with staff about availability.
What can under 5s do in the Museum?
Daily activities include Animal Magic and Art Smarts. For more information, visit Visit the Daily activities.
Are there any events tailored to under 5s?
The Museum regularly holds events for under 5s and many school holiday events are suitable for children of all ages. For more information, see What's On.
Montessori family packs for children age 5 and under are available to borrow from the Information Desk for one hour. Packs contain playmats, trails, tactile toys and more.
Is there a lift?
The front lift can access all floors, including the Lower Ground Floor (for access to toilets and baby changing), Ground Floor (entrance / exit, shop and cafe), Mezzanine (Moving Toys and Creativity galleries) and First Floor (Childhood galleries).
Groups and tours
For more information or to book a group visit, call 020 8983 5205 or email email@example.com.
If you are planning a visit for a group of 10 people or more, please let us know in advance. To ensure maximum enjoyment, we can only provide guided tours during the Museum's quieter times - weekdays between 14.30 and 17.30, and weekends from 10.15 to 12.15.
Talks for students
A selection of talks, led by a member of the learning team, are available for student (post 16) groups studying CACHE, history, post-graduate teacher training and NQTs.
The Social Construction of Childhood
(A-level sociology and first year undergraduates)
An illustrated talk with images of childhood, followed by a small group hands-on session with objects from the learning collection and linked enquiry questions to inspire discussion.
The Importance of Play for Young Children
(CACHE and related childcare courses)
A short illustrated talk based on the Museum's collections, followed by a carousel of activities exploring the role of the adult and the learning outcomes for child play.
How Children Learn in Museums
(Trainee teachers, NQTs and teaching assistants)
An introduction to the resources and experiences that museums can offer, combined with practical suggestions for preparation for learning outside the classroom.
A range of guided tours for adult groups are available, each taking a more in-depth look at a particular theme related to childhood.
Treasures of the Museum
A guided tour of the top ten objects in the Museum's collection as selected by the curatorial team. The must-see objects include an ancient Egyptian paddle doll from approx. 1,300 BC, a 17th century Nuremberg dolls' house and an early 18th century child's wardrobe designed in the style of Kew Palace. The tour includes a talk on the history of the Museum, which charts it's opening in 1872 up to the present day.
Toys from around the World
Find out some surprising facts about the origins of some of the world's most famous toys and games, including Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly and Lego. Explore handmade toys made by African children and hear the curious tale of an 18th century Venetian puppet theatre.
The Victorian Child
During Queen Victoria's 64-year reign, enormous changes occurred in the lives of children, brought on by new education and labour laws. The Victorian Child at Home compares the lives of children from the early Victorian period to those of the late Victorian period, with reference to changes in fashion, furniture, toys and games. The Museum's stunning dolls' house collection also provides a fascinating insight into the lives of the growing middle classes during this period.
History of the Museum
The Museum's iron and glass structure is a unique example of Victorian architecture. Originally erected in London's West End, the building was moved across the city and opened as the East London Museum of Art and Science in 1872. This tour explores the Museum's fascinating 140 year history. (30 minutes, £40)
Childhood Past and Present
Childhood is universal, and yet no two childhoods are the same. Family life, education, wealth, war, health and cultural influences shape a child's experiences. Childhood Past and Present looks at ten iconic objects related to British childhood, spanning 300 years up to the present day, from 18th century swaddling bands to 21st century computer games.
Tours area available Monday-Friday, 14.30-17.30 or Saturday and Sunday, 10.15-12.15. Tours last 60 or 90 minutes (unless otherwise stated) and are £65 or £95 for a maximum of 15 people. All tours must be booked in advance, all bookings will receive a letter of confirmation. Bookings cancelled with less than 10 working days notice will be charged in full.