I have to confess, the appeal of Tate Modern with my oldest child slightly eluded me. In my recollection, it seems every time we went the museum was unusually packed and difficult to negotiate. There was the one time we went with Tiffany, my childless, single friend visiting from Chicago who was not particularly interested in helping occupy my ill-slept, somewhat hyper child. I spent the entire outing; the Tate, Thames Path and Millennium Bridge; chasing after my daughter through crowded precarious spaces with a loaded pushchair.
I have a new-found love of Tate Modern now that I have experienced the new Under 5s Zone. We went early one morning with a pair of two year olds who spent an hour playing and laughing in the interactive play space.
Located just outside the lifts on the fifth floor, overlooking Turbine Hall is a small, but perfect space for wiggly toddlers. The Cubist inspired area includes a funky, musical slide they will not easily tire of running up and down. There is also a miniature mirrored house with changing lighting schemes and a fantastic sound of gurgling water. The rest of the area has some great tactile and visual interactive displays. Further along there are touch screens intended for older children and adults, but the little ones naturally enjoy playing with them and just running around.
I am so happy the Tate has put in this Under 5s Zone, I will happily suggest meeting my childless friends there on future visits. While it’s not a destination in and of itself like The Kids Zone at the National Army Museum, or the Garden in the Basement of the Science Museum, it does make the outing very much enjoyable for all.