When it comes to London attractions, Madame Tussauds is always up there on the things to do with kids in the capital lists, but I have to confess it’s not a place I’d considered taking my children before. I didn’t hugely see the appeal of simply looking at some models – But, now they are older and so fully immersed in popular culture, I thought it would be right up their street and actually I was proved so wrong, it was so much more involved and fun than I’d expected and a real fab family day out.
What’s the Best Age to Take Children to Madame Tussauds?
I did wonder before going, if there would be enough to hold their attention after we’d seen a few of the waxworks, but they absolutely loved it. My son especially, was so into it from start to finish. He’s nine and to me seemed the perfect age, as he was old enough to recognise the majority of the models, yet young enough to also really enjoy the interactive displays.
We saw all ages in there and although there were lots of families with small children and tots in tow, I would say unless you are going specifically for older siblings, I wouldn’t have take them too young. There are a few areas with characters I think young children would recognise and enjoy, such as Shrek and Tinkerbell, but also large areas that wouldn’t necessarily mean anything to them. Also as you are not supposed to touch the models, I would imagine you’d also send a lot of time trying to distract them from touching the displays.
The only other thing I’d say about taking young children is the Spirit of London taxi ride. You sit in moving taxis and it takes you through interactive displays depicting the history of London. My daughter is seven and found it frightening, she can be quite sensitive, but it is very loud and quite graphic in parts.
What is Madame Tussauds London Like?
What I hadn’t realised before going was how interactive it all is. I imagined simply walking around various rooms of celebrity figures – but it’s so much more.
At the beginning you start off having your picture taken in the foyer, that you can then choose whether to purchase, befreo getting in lifts that take you up to the main displays. You start off in a set of rooms filled with different celebrities you can pose with, such as Tom Hardy on the sofa, or my sons favourite, The Rock in a neon disco.
This leads onto more TV and film characters and actors in themed areas. There was a great king Kong set, Steven Spielberg on his directors chair and you could even put yourself in classics like sitting on the bike behind ET. The moving King Kong replica was really clever and my little girl loved the Shrek model alongside Tinkerbell. Next up was sports and politicians and my son had great fun standing on the podium with Mo Farah and pretending to punch like his favourite boxer Antony Joshua.
The politicians and royals section was good and then the music section was my favourite. There were lots of interactive displays (Although I think there are even more normally, as we went just after lockdown in May 2021 so some have been removed or altered because of Corona restrictions)
Another thing to look out for is the chance to have photos and mini clips recorded and emailed. As well as the paid ones, we found a display of Dua Lipa (who my kids love) and if you enter your email address, you can get the video clip sent to you for free.
Having a Wax Hand Made at Madame Tussauds
At this point there’s also a kiosk where you can create your own wax model of your hand. Now there’s a few things to know about this beforehand – Children need to be over 8 and 130cm tall to do it and it does take awhile. If you don’t mind queuing its fine, but as its around 15 minutes per person, so you can be there a while if there’s few people in front. I would recommend it though, my son had a thumbs up model made and loved putting his hand in the wax and then watching the model form and take shape as it was pulled off. The end result is very clever and he loves that he could pick the gesture and colour too. It does come well wrapped, which I wondered about as we were then going on to other places, and once you’ve popped the light in afterwards, its a nice memento to keep.
Buying Tickets for Madame Tussauds London
We bought our tickets online as part of a combination ticket, visiting a few London attractions over two days. I have shared all the info on booking these in another blog on 36 hours in London with kids.
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