The American Museum, Bath

The American Museum, Bath

& a touch of old Hollywood glamour!

So we had many days to fill in the Summer and as the holidays moved on I started to look for interesting days out that weren't too far from home and that I could manage alone with the children! It's always really hard taking young children to museums/stately homes especially ones where there are no opportunities for younger children to touch, explore and have a run about.  I think many Museums are getting the hang of this now and it can actually make for a really fun experience.  So I decided to take the plunge and pay a visit to the American Museum in Britain, somewhere I remember visiting myself as a child!

The American Museum is tucked out of the way on route to Bath, situated in the beautiful Claverton House. It is one of the few places in the UK you can visit to really appreciate how people lived in America from the earliest English settlers to the Civil War and focuses on the development of American Decorative Arts.  It is set (and this was the deciding factor with the children) in 120 acres of beautiful grounds with some of the most stunning local in all honestly I was DESPERATE to see the Marilyn Monroe exhibition...

...When we arrived the guide told us to start at the basement for the American Heritage Exhibition where there were lots of interactive ways the children could get involved in learning about the Founding Fathers, Native Americans and the Civil War. Lulu and Oli loved this and we were down there for nearly an hour trying outfits on, putting our hands in various boxes, pressing buttons whilst K really liked listening to the quotes of famous Americans.

We carried on up through the manor that led through rooms all decorated in the style of some of the earliest American homes. I am fascinated by the history of the home so obviously I loved this and I could see K was captivated, the younger children however were getting slightly fidgety by the time we reached the textile Room which holds the most amazing selection of American Quilts that I have ever seen (I could have spent an hour in there alone) so we quickly moved back down to have lunch.

After lunch I insisted we visit The Marilyn Hollywood Icon exhibition which was fabulous for K and I and although we only managed a whistle stop tour (the little ones were itching to be outside by this point!) we enjoyed viewing her iconic screen costumes surrounded amongst the more personal items.  It was amazing to see her dresses up close and I was absolutely tickled that I was able to see them!

Finally the children were let loose outside and as predicted loved exploring the grounds which included a giant tipi (or is it tepee?), American trees, flower garden, ponds and lots of space to simply run.  Once they were well and truly worn out we walked back to the house to buy some tubs of local Marshfield Ice-cream before heading home.

I'm not sure how much they learned about American History but what they did learn was that museums are fun and interesting places and I think for now that is enough!


Walk like a cowboy...


Talk like a cowboy!


Lulu discovers a girl can never have too many hats...


...or too many scarves!


The amazing view from the grounds






A real Wagon and a tub of Ice-cream! Oli's idea of heaven!


One from the phone! You are allowed to photograph areas inside the museum although I didn't get very many pictures as I had my hands full with Lulu until she was set free in the garden!

The Marilyn exhibition is on until October 30th 2011 so there is still time to visit. For more information on the American Museum in Britain click Here.

Bye for now.

Em xx

Posted in Day's Out