A museum is the perfect rainy day activity, especially one that is educational and fun! Milestones Museum in Basingstoke is exactly that. It is a living history museum, giving children the chance to see in the Victorian period to the 1930s and 40s and beyond.
Set in an indoor street landscape, as you walk in you get to see through the glass balcony onto the street below giving you a tantalising taste of what’s to come! Vintage nostalgia galore!
You wind through the historical streets and explore the collections of industrial and everyday life. We really loved the real shops, especially the 1940s sweet shop where you could buy a ration amount of sweets. The real shops really brought history to life.
When you go into the Museum you can pay for a ration book and token for children, which they exchange for the ration of sweets they would have received per week in the Second World War. After choosing their sweets, they can have their ration weighed and their ration book stamped. The Teddy Bear Museum was really sweet too! I found the replica Victorian schoolroom interesting and the working printing press.
George loved the vintage vehicles especially the different busses and rollers. Children are allowed to sit on one of the busses.
George’s second favourite was the vintage arcade machines. Even in today’s modern world, puppets can still keep children entertained! In order to play a game you had to exchange a £1 coin into old pennies to start them. There were some machines you would expect like penny machines, and some unusual ones like a guillotine where you could chop a man’s head off and an eerie laughing sailor which freaked George out a bit!
There are various events on at certain times of the year. In October half term there is a Halloween event, with eerie effects and traditional Halloween decorations. The Christmas events look really good, especially the Santa’s grotto, which is one of the cheapest I’ve seen!
There is free parking on site.
There is a café ‘Milestones’ Rooftops Café’ that serves fish and chips, soup, savoury pastries, sandwiches, children’s meals, hot and cold drinks, ice cream and more! They also have their own pub, The Baverstock Arms, serving hot and cold drinks. There is also a vintage tea tent, open on weekends and during school holidays, serving hot and cold drinks and cake!
There is also an outdoor picnic area so you can bring your own food!