Review: The Tiger Who Came To Tea and the Adventures of Mog the Forgetful Cat Exhibition At Discover Children's Story Centre

[AD- Press Trip] Today we were invited to Discover Children’s Story Centre in Stratford (East London) to experience their new exhibition: The Tiger Who Came To Tea and the Adventures of Mog the Forgetful Cat. Discover aims to encourage storytelling and imagination through creative play and their new 3d immersive exhibition really helps bring the books by Judith Kerr to life. This exhibit is now closed but I have written a new post about their new exhibit The 100 Story Hotel. 

Sitting down with the tiger who came to tea at Discover stratford

Other than the red flags waving outside, Discover is a largely unassuming building in Stratford High Street. It’s a short walk from Stratford station (head through the bus station towards the red metal sculpture and keep going, you will find Discover next to the Magistrates Court). Once inside and past the ticket desk you enter a world of exploration which encourages children’s imagination. You are asked to leave pushchairs, scooters etc in the unattended cloakroom area and there are also lockers where you can leave coats and bags (at your own risk) making it easier to explore.

The permanent space includes two “story worlds” where children can play, read and explore as well as a garden outside with lots to investigate, but the standout aspects of Discover Children’s Story Centre are the bookable parts. There are short storytelling sessions aimed at 0 to 3 year olds and the main event on the ground floor aimed at 0 to 8 year olds. The main exhibition changes ever year and previous exhibitions have been Julia Donaldson’s A World Inside A Book and The Fantastic World of Dr. Seuss (both the storytelling sessions and exhibition are a small additional charge on top of the Day Pass). The current exhibition is expected to run until September 2019, although the last one was extended due to popularity. There are also occasional special events including with authors, more details are on the website.

The Tiger Who Came To Tea and the Adventures of Mog the Forgetful Cat Exhibition at Discover Children’s Story Centre

We were lucky enough to be amongst the first to experience this wonderful new exhibit based on 14 stories by author and illustrator Judith Kerr. We followed the tiger footprints down the stairs and waited outside the exhibition before being led into a small room where we were told the story of The Tiger Who Came To Tea, but it’s more of a performance than simply a reading of the book. After the story we were invited to go through a doorway into a magical room which has been transformed to celebrate all things Mog (and a few other stories).

Listening to the Tiger who came to tea at the Discover straford exhibition

The sessions are around 40 minutes long which have been the perfect length for previous exhibitions, but there is so much to do this time that it is almost too short, at least there is no risk of children getting bored. Children can dress up as various characters, interact with scenes from the books, read the books and even play in a town set up with a vets, bookshop, fishmongers, greengrocers and hardware store. They can also go back to Sophie’s house and have tea with the Tiger. It is lots of fun for children and adults alike.

A model of Mog the forgetful cat at Discover The Children's Story Centre

A book shop full of Judith Kerr books and a bus

Playing at the fruit and veg shop at Discover Children's Story Centre Straford

Playing with a scene from The crocodile under the bed at Discover Stratford

The experience might be enjoyed most by children familiar with the stories, but this isn’t necessary. My daughter hadn’t read any of the Dr. Seuss books when we visited that exhibit a couple of years ago (aged 5) but she still had a great time and soon became a fan of the books as she insisted on reading them afterwards. It is aimed at children 8 and under and the perfect age is probably 3 to 6 years old (but great for older and younger siblings too).

As part of the preview we were then invited to a special lunch, but on a normal day visitors can eat in the first floor cafe, bring their own food (there are picnic tables outside and usually space in the basement depending on school parties etc), head to Westfield Stratford 10 minutes walk away or there is McDonalds, Starbucks and a range of independent eateries a couple of minutes away.

The The Tiger Who Came To Tea and the Adventures of Mog the Forgetful Cat Exhibition will get booked up in advance of school holidays and weekends (there are no slots left for this half term) but they are quieter during term time. It’s always worth prebooking if you want to visit the exhibition or storytelling. During school terms there can be schools visiting during the day too.

Day passes and entry to the exhibition costs £8 for adults and children aged 2 and older (£3.50 for 1 year olds) and there are discounts for Newham residents. We have previously been Annual Pass Members which are great value if you are local, although there is still an additional £1 per person to go into the exhibition.

I have previously written about our visits to Discover Children’s Story Centre and if you want to find out anything else or book tickets head to the Discover website.

***Disclosure: we were invited to a preview of the The Tiger Who Came To Tea and the Adventures of Mog the Forgetful Cat Exhibition.***

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