Horrible Histories Spies - Imperial War Museum, London

It is Tuesday and so you know what that means: Travel Tuesday! I have really enjoyed looking through all the links up this past week.  I was homesick by by Louisa with her P is for the Perfect Pacentro, learning about how Kate's Dad Lives in Kenya, and having my wanderlust fueled further by Lindsey's travels to Thailand.  I cannot wait to see where you are all sharing travels and stories of wanderlust from this week!  You all make this link up so much fun and inspiring! 

For Travel Tuesday I take you to the Imperial War Museum in London, England.  We had the opportunity to visit this summer with my family.  The reason for our going was to visit the limited time Horrible Histories Spies exhibit that was going on at the museum.  My boys love the Horrible Histories television programme and so we left it as a surprise until we arrived at the IWM. 

Horrible Histories is a British children's television series based on the Terry Deary book series of the same name. It aims to provide entertainment while also informing its audience about history, thereby making a stereotypically boring topic fun - Wikipedia 

The exhibit was very hands on and geared towards kids and the child in all of us.  In fact I am not sure who had more fun: my sons or all of the adults.  The boys got a special new Horrible Histories book and a special stamp sheet that they could use through out their experience at the museum.  In different stations they could get an embossed stamp to signify they had completed that part of the journey. 

In typical Horrible Histories fashion they were able to provide the truth of spies with real artifacts coupled with gruesome tales and sometimes disgusting things you as an adult would not really want to know.  They had pictures and videos and many interactive areas where they could engage with computers to learn more about spies through out history. 

Of course at the gifts shop they had every gag spy item imaginable as well as their book series for purchase.  They even had quite a bit of books and films for the adults in the fiction and non fiction genres of war and spies.  

One of the most fun activities we enjoyed was becoming spies and making our own faux passports to fit our secret cover identity.  We then had to memorize our cover story and get questioned by the passport control to see if we could stay in the country.  It was all quite fun and the whole family was entertained. 

The Imperial War Museum is a great museum to visit when you are in London, England.  After we visited the Horrible Histories Spies exhibit (and had a break for tea, of course) we went to see other areas of the museum.  They have a pretty impressive area about war and spies geared more for adults though my children had almost as much fun as before.  Even if you have young children like mine I would recommend taking them because we found it to be a great home education resource.  It opened up dialog for more conversations about history, war, and spies.  My boys were most impressed with all the artifacts they had that spies really used in this part of the museum.

Here were some favourite captures taken from the day:

More on Horrible Histories
Want to know a little more about what Horrible Histories is all about? I definitely recommend checking out their website below and you can find plenty skits and songs on youtube as well. My family's favourite is the RAF song as we have history with the USAF and the RAF. It definitely brings in a lot of memories of my dad and I think he would have thought this song was so hilarious. I think you will too so I have shared it below. 



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  1. I loved Horrible Histories as a kid! Admittedly, it looks way cooler now but it's always been a great series! I would be all over going to this as an adult and loving it!

  2. Oops forgot to add, thanks for sharing my post :-).

  3. Thanks for sharing one of my favourite posts Bonnie. x My eldest is 5 years old, do you think he would be old enough for Horrible Histories? I love history myself and Alfie is showing interest. The Imperial War Museum looks brilliant. Would love to go.

  4. Wow! This sounds so cool—potentially checking this out when I make my way to London early next year!

  5. I had never heard of Horrible Histories until we went to the Royal Armoury in Leeds, they are hilarious! I found I spent more time in that section than any other haha.

  6. I hope they weren't still doing all the construction on the building while you were there! But if they were you'll have to go back next summer! Thanks for hosting! x

  7. Oh you know what, they were. I had completely forgotten about that due to the great time we had. We definitely want to go back. It was a really great way to spend a few hours in London.

  8. They are so funny. I love that I can watch it with my kids and it entertains us both. x

  9. Definitely do Michelle. The IWM was a place I wish I had visited sooner!

  10. Oh indeed! Maddox has been watching it since he was 4.5 and both boys just love it!

  11. Oh yes, I'm glad they are still going strong and getting the younger generations into it. Such a great concept.

  12. we love the horrible histories in our house! I've been sending them to friends in the US as well whose kids like them. too.

  13. I love the Imperial War Museum. When I visited a few years ago, the special exhibit was about trenches. When my friend and I went for our tickets the lady at the counter gave us a bit strange and said the exhibit was for children. We just laughed and went anyway. It was one of the coolest things I went through. I took pictures throughout the exhibit and I've used it in some of my lessons for teaching, so I'm glad I did it. I wish I was in England now so I could see the spy one in person.

  14. Bonnie your family is adorable. That is all!

  15. That sounds like so much fun, I visited the Imperial War museum when I was little (like a hundred years ago!) and i found it really dull to be completely honest, so it's great to see it evolving into such a fun museum to encourage kids to go and more importantly learn.

  16. Love the IWM, so interesting. History teaches children so many skills which they can use throughout their lives so it's great that your boys are into it already :)


  17. There's a section that was closed during the construction with real tanks, etc which Sam's nephew loves so the boys might too! x

  18. I did not know about this museum so thanks for sharing - my husband would love to go there. I went to Churchill's War Room when I studied in England but not this museum. I think your boys will enjoy the war rooms too if they have not gone yet.

  19. I have been to many museums in London but haven't been here (yet). I love it when museums gear towards children because it makes certain subjects much easier for kids to understand and way more fun to learn about. Awesome!

  20. One of these days I will be organised to link up on a Tuesday! I'm so organised with my blogging! The good news is that I've figured out that I need to select "full version" of your theme to access Disqus comments!

    I love the Imperial War Museum but haven't been in years. Must rectify that next year.


I love to interact with my readers and I try my best to respond back to all comments.

Bonnie Rose

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