That's quite a confusing image at first, but step back and view it from afar.
What do you see?
You should see President Obama in a black and white image. Up close it's clear that the image is made from words, in fact the words are from his inaugural speech at his first term of office. This is just one of the impressive exhibits in Ripley's 'Believe It, or Not' which we were invited to visit during the Summer holidays.
London is awash with many tourist attractions, and over the last few years we've seen quite a few of those suitable for young children when we have our annual weekend in the capital city on the Britmums' weekend in June. This year I went on my own to London for the conference and it wasn't looking like we'd visit it as a family, until I received an e-mail inviting me to visit Ripley's 'Believe It or Not' in Piccadilly Circus. Included in the trip was a pre-opening hours tour of Hamley's and lunch at Planet Hollywood.
And did I mention that this fell on my birthday? It was a perfect celebration!
The London Ripley's 'Believe It or Not' is the largest Ripley's in the world. It has over 700 exhibits, galleries and interactive experiences spanning across 6 floors of a magnificent building, right in the heart of the tourist area of London in a beautiful building, which used to house the Guiness Book of Records. The founder of the chain was Robert Ripley, who was a cartoonist and reporter, using this medium to share information about his worldwide adventures and bizarre and unusual treasure finds. Ripley opened his first museum in Chicago in 1932.
When we arrived in Ripley's, we took the lift up to the floor where visitors work their way down through the exhibits. The very first one we saw was the toot-sweet machine from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, highly entertaining, particularly to see something so familiar from my own childhood. There is a plethora of other amazing sights in the museum; portraits of world leaders (past and present) created in recycled materials, a waxwork dummy of the world's tallest man to measure yourself against, and many more slightly bizarre attractions. There are some age-appropriate exhibits like the Dungeon (which we quickly skimmed through with eyes firmly forward) or the Shrunken Heads room, however the Underwater Wonders and Cosmic Mysteries section enthralled The Boy.
The best bit for The Boy was the Hall of Mirrors, which he went into three or four times. Definitely one of the best mirror halls I've been in. He also really enjoyed the Black Hole, a spinning tunnel which we had to walk through, I on the other hand was holding on for dear life as my body was leaning at a 45º angle to the one I should have been standing at; I was convinced I was spinning! I may have gone through that several times to challenge myself.
We spent a very interesting two and a half – three hours in Ripley's but easily could have stayed for another hour or so as we'd raced through some sections, in order to catch the train home.
Ripley's 'Believe It or Not' is open to the public 365 days of the year from 10am until midnight. Tickets cost £26.95 for adults and £19.95 for children. Family tickets are £79.95 for two adults and two children. 15% discount is available by purchasing your tickets online in advance.
I'm pleased to be able to offer one lucky reader of TheBoyandMe a family ticket worth £79.95 to Ripley's 'Believe It or Not'. Simply complete the Rafflecopter form below to be in with a chance of winning.
We were invited to London to visit Hamley's and Ripley's, and received a meal at Planet Hollywood. My opinion of Ripley's is honest and unbiased.