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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

2 hours at The Natural History Museum

When in London this weekend for my son's 8th birthday I could not decide between taking him to The Natural History museum which to me is something every child should see in their life or The Science museum which is next door and I think my son would enjoy too as science is his favourite subject at school. I have been to The Natural history museum before with my husband so we were very aware of how huge it is but still, we took the decision to try and see them both in the same day. I am pleased to say, it can be done!

The Natural History museum is very easy to find - simply exit South Kensington tube station and it is right in front of you - you will probably spot the queues first! We got there for just after 11am and queued for approximately 20 minutes - the queue was very fast moving.

The Natural History museum IS FREE! and nobody hassles you to donate (although of course it is good to give what you can). Maps can be purchased for £1. There is an impressive model of a diplodocus in the museum foyer but don't forget to look around at the stunning architecture too. We paused for a moment to consult our map and decide upon the main sections we wanted to see.

Our first stop was the blue zone on the lower floor which is home to the famous dinosaur exhibit. This was definitely the busiest part of the museum with the flow of people regularly coming to a standstill. We still managed to see everything though and take a few pics. The dinosaur exhibit is spread over one floor with a mezzanine level which you walk along first. It is packed full of information and I think if you wanted to look at everything properly you could expect to spend 3 hours in this section.

We are big dinosaur fans in our house and it was lovely watching our children putting their knowledge to the test as they were naming the dinosaurs and consolidating everything they have learnt at school. The highlight of the dinosaur exhibit for us was definitely the moving T-Rex - very scary!

The exhibit questions whether T-Rex's were killers or scavengers amongst other things, is full of up to date research and really makes you think. We loved it and there is something for all ages.

Next, we quickly walked around part of the Green section (sorry - no photos). It was lovely walking amongst the planets, models of cells and fossil collections. Although we didn't stop to read anything it was enough to just walk around and take the environment in.

After the Green section we headed to the red zone which was the other part of the museum we really wanted to see. This section is all about our ever changing planet and featured lots of interacting ways to learn about weather, erosion, volcanoes and earthquakes. I was really inspired to read that weather is never actually destructive - it simply changes part of our world. Certainly food for thought!

How fantastic is the entrance to the red zone! Loads of fun and very exciting. I can't believe this is free!

The volcanoes and earthquakes area was amazing with lots of hands on fun - the highlight being the earthquake simulator. We all got to stand in a mock shop and the floor moved as if we were in a real earthquake - such a fantastic way to learn about what happens.

We spent about two hours in the Natural History museum but only probably covered about 1/8 of everything there is to see. You could easily spend two days here but if you want to, you can also break it down and spend a few hours there only visiting a few sections of interest. We certainly learned a lot during our two hours - everything was so visual and interactive. I would really like to visit the museum again and see more.

We left the museum via the gift shop - some things were expensive however these cuddly dinosaurs were only £8 which I didn't find too bad. There is a huge selection of fantastic books available to buy too and certainly worth a browse.

You can find out more about The Natural History museum here:-

The museum is situated next to the Victoria and Albert museum and The Science museum.


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