London Favourites: Natural History Museum

London Favourites: Natural History Museum

This is the second post in my series of London Favourites.  I will be posting 1-2 times a month about fun activities and attractions for the family, as well as ideas for grown-up days/nights in London. Last month we visited the Tate Modern, and this post explores another family favourite - the Natural History Museum.

The Natural History Museum is another one of those free museums that make culture so accessible in London. And, there are DINOSAURS. Big, giant dinosaurs. Who could ask for more? We arrived at the museum at 10.15am last Sunday and there was already a long line to get in the museum. Luckily it moved quickly and we were inside within five minutes and able to enjoy the exhibits and the gorgeous building. If you are visiting on the weekends or school holidays, it is best to arrive as close as possible to when the museum opens at 10am or near closing (the museum closes at 5.50pm).

The museum is divided into four main zones. The blue zone is full of dinosaurs and large mammals; the red zone includes things such as volcanoes and geology; the green zone includes bugs and birds; the orange zone contains the Darwin Centre and the soon-to-open Wildlife Garden. Since Dubz is obsessed with 'dino-roars', we mainly stayed in the blue zone. He loved the large animatronic dinosaur, and when we left it, he said 'bye bye dino-roar, love ou'. Too cute! Dubz also enjoyed seeing the creepy crawlies in the green zone. Moozles did not like the bugs at all. But she enjoyed seeing the large mammals and learning about the dinosaurs.

The Natural History Museum has three cafes and one restaurant, but there is also a picnic area in the basement. This is where we sat at a table with our packed lunch. I would like to tell you that we are such a thrifty family and are great at saving money. But before we left we took the kids to the gift shop and let them go crazy buying dinosaur books and dinosaur toys. They didn't even have to beg. Oops.

We spent about three hours at the Natural History Museum. As we live in London, we can go back and see more with each visit (we have been before). But if you are visiting London, you could happily and busily spend an entire day there. But as it's free, you could pop in for a couple of hours and still see loads of wonderful things. There is free parking to be found on a Sunday, either single yellow lines, metered or some resident parking. But you can take the bus or the underground (nearest tube station is South Kensington, which is a 5-minute walk away).

London Favourites: Natural History Museum London Favourites: Natural History Museum London Favourites: Natural History MuseumLondon Favourites: Natural History MuseumLondon Favourites: Natural History MuseumLondon Favourites: Natural History MuseumLondon Favourites: Natural History Museum

 

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17 thoughts on “London Favourites: Natural History Museum

  1. Renata

    I've been to this museum a couple of times. First time was a year ago and luckily we went during the week in term-time, so it was nearly empty. Then we tried again in August - and gave up after half hour trying to walk among the crowds inside; December; even worse, we didn't even get in. So many people! We gave it a one last try earlier this month because my husband had never been there (and would soon go back to work) and this time everything was ok and not so crowded 😉
    Queues can be gigantic not only in the front entrance but also for the Dinosaur exhibition, so I'd suggest you add an item telling people to go early in the morning and if possible avoid holidays and weekends 😉
    Oh this last time I managed to see the Darwin exhibition, that was being refurbished last year, and it was amazing!
    Take care 😉

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  2. What a wonderful experience for you little ones! It's photos and information like these that makes me visit museum. If only I could get my hands on a plane ticket to the UK!

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  3. I took Monkey here for the first time last summer as he is also dinosaur obsessed, we had a peek at the creepy crawlies too whilst we were there. I love the fact that it's the sort of museum you never tire of as there is so much to see. We'll be back again this year I'm sure.

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  4. I love this post as we were thinking of going here on Saturday. With a 8, 7 and 4 year old would the science one be better do you think? I really want to go to the Imperial War Museum but might not inflict that on my children yet x

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    1. Post author

      Either would be good. Both are great for all those ages. You could even do a couple of hours in one, have lunch and then have a couple of hours in the other as they are right next to each other. My girl prefers the Science Museum but my boy prefers the Natural History Museum. The Science Museum has a great section on astronauts and going into space. But the dinosaurs and the bugs at the Natural History are really cool. I can't decide, I just can't decide! xx

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  5. Megan - Truly Madly Kids

    I do love the NHM. We have been many times as we live in London too and it is easy (ish) to pop to.

    My tips are:

    1. Do the dinosaurs late - the crowds really thin out towards the end of the day
    2. There is another entrance on Cromwell Road which has less of a queue

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  6. Hello there, I really enjoyed reading your post. We go to the Science Museum next door a lot as it has a toddler/pre-schooler area in the basement but we took our little man to the NHM as well last time and he loved it. He especially enjoyed the handling table and telling everyone he had held a dinosaur egg! Looking forward to reading more x #magicmoments

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