Originally founded as the Bethnal Green Museum in 1872, this imposing round-arched red brick structure was repurposed in the ’20s towards kids.
In 1974, it was re-baptized the Childhood Museum as a branch of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Its location just outside the Bethnal Green tube helps it welcome over 400,000 visitors every year, who come to see the V&A collection of childhood-related objects and artifacts. With toys dating as far back as 1300 BC through to each year’s top ten Christmas items, it is an incredibly thorough compendium of youth. Its multiple-audience labels for each exhibit make it an intriguing and fun visit for adults who hark back to a simpler time.
Inside this incredible museum, be on the lookout for an iconic childhood movie figure complete hiding somewhere in the museum. You may see her umbrella before you see her!
Update as of October 2022: The museum is closed, undergoing a major transformation into Young V&A - a place for early years to teens. It will reopen sometime in 2023.