I love taking my son to new places that challenge his world view, but that are also fun and very engaging for all of his senses.
The National Museum of Australia is one of these places and located conveniently near the centre of the ACT. It houses the nation’s collection of social historical objects and is one of our favourite places to visit on a regular basis as there are a variety of visiting exhibits, they focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories… and it is free!
There are a 4 tips that I have for anyone considering visiting the museum on holidays or when in Canberra with their kids to help in making the trip enjoyable and stress-free!
1. Getting there
It is paid parking at the museum and it is limited to four hours, but they do have facilities for card payment if you do not carry change money with you. It can get very busy during school holidays and if there are school visits booked in for the exhibits, so it can pay (haha) to call ahead if you have any concerns about large crowds.
Bus #7 bus services the peninsula area and is reasonably priced for children (i.e. free for under five years!). The number 7 is also regularly an accessible service which means that it can be difficult to get your pram or stroller and out of the bus. Find out information on times that have an accessible service here.
2. Change and feeding facilities
There are no feeding or change facilities attached to the cafe as they are located on the second floor, which is accessible through the elevator to the left of the cafe.
The museum has recently refurbished their cafe and now offers a wide range of snacks and meals to a high standard. It did not take long for our food to be served, however it was not busy in the cafe despite it being the peak lunch time period. I found the meals to be reasonably priced for adult servings and the quality of the cuisine.
Master X enjoyed some of my grilled chicken out of a netted feeder whilst seated in the chair that was provided. Unfortunately we had to carefully watch him in the chair as it was impossible to figure out how to harness him- and it looked as though another family nearby had similar issues.
Access for those with prams and strollers is ample, with a widely-spaced parking lot which makes it relatively easy to maneuver the transportation for the littlies in and out of the car without worrying about taking a piece out of the neighbouring vehicle.
Once you are in the museum, the space continues, and we had no trouble moving our large pram around the varying exhibits, including the visiting exhibition.
The staff at the museum are friendly and helpful and offer a wide and sound knowledge of the facilities and the exhibits. There are regular tours that run through the different exhibitions. We will be returning to the museum again soon!