We made use of our local assets today - visiting Gateshead Central library and the Shipley Art Gallery, which are just round the corner from our house.
The library's always fun - especially now it's been completely refitted. The new children's section is huge, light and bright, and they seem to have also had an influx of new books. We had a whale of a time searching for books by Cressida Cowell (we watched How to Train Your Dragon recently, and M was very taken with the idea that there were a series of books behind it), and read far too many Julia Donaldsons.
The best bit, though, is the new self-service machines. They're so simple that a five-year-old can work them quite happily - and M was entranced by the fact they give you a printed list of what you've borrowed.
This afternoon we headed to the Shipley, to see their Sit Down exhibition, on tour from the V&A Museum of Childhood. It's all about chairs and seating for kids, with chairs of all ages and shapes - everything from an 18th century high chair to a beanbag. There's an interesting selection of items, but very few that you can actually sit on, which was rather disappointing. The 'interactive' bit was quite poor, in fact - a Goldilocks and the Three Bears-style table with chairs to try out suffered from not all the chairs being there. I get the feeling that the exhibition was probably considerably larger originally - it really didn't live up to expectations, and was certainly nowhere near as good as some of their previous efforts (the Supremes costumes and the Penguin covers spring to mind).
M did draw her idea of a great chair, though - I especially like the cat servant who caters to your every need:
Today's budget: £0 (Our library books weren't overdue!)