The Wallace Collection is another world only 5 min from Oxford Street. It is a Family collection in a former private home and opened to the public 110 years ago.
The new exhibition "Esprit et Vérité: Watteau and his Circle" opens on Saturday, 12th March and lasts till Sunday 5th June 2011 and is viewed as a perfect accompaniment to the Watteau exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art which will open at the same time.
Personally, I love such small museums. You are less overwhelmed by the often amazing amount of art on display. I feel you can give more justice to individual pieces and still know that you might just be able to see and enjoy all or most of them on display.
You can pop in and revisit your favourite piece and enjoy the familiarity of it. Kids may feel less intimidated (the rooms are quite stately, but not huge), and I am sure that this heroic knight could be the perfect enticement for some:
The museum has a few family activities, among them a drop-in art workshop on every first Sunday of each month. And, entry is free.
An added bonus is definitely The Wallace, the Courtyard Restaurant, bright and inviting (covered, dry and warm).
Here the brasserie serves breakfast, lunch, French afternoon tea or a quick coffee from 10am-5pm and dinner on Friday and Saturday evening (although by then the museum is sadly closed).
P.S. Jean-Antoine Watteau (1884-1721)