Walking into this museum was like taking a step back in time. We cautiously walked up to a small house near the entrance, having heard that you could look in the buildings. One of the kids tried the front door, it didn’t open. We sneaked round the back, unsure if this was an exhibit or actually someone’s house and we were trespassing in their garden. One of the children noticed the door was open and tentatively took a step inside. Two seconds later he screamed and came running out laughing his head off! There was a man stood just inside the door, in his pyjamas, having a wet shave by the kitchen window! He invited us in and excused the fact he was shaving. It was all a bit bizarre however he was very friendly and told us about his house.
When we had looked round the man’s house and spoken to him for a while we set off to explore the rest of the town!
Half way down the hill we spotted an old bus coming and, as we so happened to be near a bus stop, we jumped on board. The bus dropped us off near the old school.
The school was interesting and we had a look around and met the teacher who invited us to a lesson later. The kids decided they weren’t so sure they wanted to go to school in the olden days so we wandered over to the shops.
Looking round the old shops and looking at all the things you used to be able to buy was fun. Especially the sweet shop and bakery, where you could buy sweets and cakes, which obviously we had to! We took our cakes to the pub garden to eat and then found some old fashioned toys to have a go at. We especially liked trying to push the metal hoops down the cobbled street and were expertly shown how by a man in old fashioned costume.
We then happened upon an old trap factory where a man told us about the traps and showed us how they worked.
On the way to exploring the docks and watching some chains being forged, we had a quick peek in the old cinema and decided it would be hard to see if you were sat behind someone tall!
The last place we visited was the one the kids had been excited about all day, the old fair! We bought some tokens and the children went on the helter skelter, swing boats and a very fast and bumpy roundabout. We then spent a surprisingly long time having great fun in a small room of funny mirrors.
We had a great day stepping back in time at The Black Country Living Museum.
Taking an autistic child to the Black Country Living Museum?
The queue to get in when we we arrived was extremely long! It is definitely better to buy tickets online beforehand and take the confirmation email to the gift shop till. I spent 2 minutes in the queue and then booked online on my phone to avoid the rest. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing this as it said it could take up to 24 hours to get the confirmation email. My confirmation fortunately came in seconds though and the gift shop had no queue.
Most people start at the top of the museum and go to the mine. We made it down the hill to the further exhibits quite quickly and completely avoided any crowds.
The fair is great for children who like swinging.
You can touch most things that you can reach.
There is a canal with no fence.
There are demonstrations and talks however you can avoid these easily of you need to.
We avoided the mine tour due to the wait and amount of people waiting, this didn’t ruin our day though.
Visiting the school when the lesson isn’t on means it is quieter and you are free to look around and talk to the teacher if you want to.
If you catch the bus from half way down the hill, you don’t need to wait for everyone to get on.
The children wanted chips from the old fish and chip shop, however the queue was out the door and a sign half way down it said it was half an hour from there. Instead we went to the fair where there was a food van with hardly any queue.
The Black Country Living Museum is in Dudley, UK. There is a charge for the car park of £3.50 and extra charges for the fair and anything you want to buy in the shops etc.
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