Every so often I remember the small gem which is the Postal Museum. We’ve visited a couple of times over the course of about 18 months and enjoyed different parts of it each time. The Postal Museum is set out over two buildings (across the street from each other) and includes exhibition spaces, the Mail Rail experience, the Sorted! play space and a decent but sadly not amazing (hello dry dry dry cake) cafe.
It’s fair to say that the Mail Rail, the star attraction of the Museum, is not C’s favourite activity – in fact she has asked to “please never go on that train again”… but I (and the grandparents) really enjoyed it. It’s a clever combination of physical immersion in the railcarriages (a close fit for adults but cool), projections and narration as you make your way around a 15 minute loop. I would go on that train again… but in fairness it is dark, sometimes loud, and a bit claustrophobic if you’re that way inclined. So maybe we’ll try it again in a few years!
In contrast C had a fantastic time at the Sorted! play space at each of our visits. Set up as a mini town, the area has streets, buildings, trolleys, pulleys, slides and chutes; kids can work alone or together (it’s so nice when you get a few kids who all want to do the same thing!) You have to book a 45 minute slot and they do sell out, so book ahead online if you have particular plans for the day. Otherwise, if you have a wait there is plenty to see across the street at the main exhibition space for the Museum.
The Postal Museum holds a collection over 60,000 objects and records detailing nearly 400 years of postal history. It is a treasure trove of serious history and quirky facts, and set in a vibrant and colourful space. For the kids there are activity trails, and of course the world’s most under-rated ‘toy’ the pneumatic tube… C and I sent messages back and forth for quite some time…
We will definitely be returning – adult tickets convert to an annual pass, and there is plenty we haven’t seen in the Museum itself. My guess is we’ll do another few trips to the Museum and Sorted in the next 12 months or so before we hit the stage of only being able to visit in school holidays when it gets very crowded in the Museum.
The Postal Museum has an ongoing run of special exhibits, and a huge range of weekend, half-term and school holiday activities to check out too.