There are lots of exciting things to see and do at the Natural History Museum – not least the earthquake room and animatronic T-Rex! There are also explorer backpacks for under 7s with an explorer hat, binoculars, drawing materials and activities, and self-led guides for children 5+ to explore the museum exhibits.
It is sometimes difficult dragging the kids out of the hotel (http://www.britanniahotels.com/), especially if you say the word “museum.” However times have changed and museums are making their exhibits a lot more child-friendly. There are more interactive and fun offerings for youngsters. They won’t want to leave the museum, for a change!
There are a few child friendly cafes and restaurants on site, all with vegetarian options, and all with highchairs and with staff happy to warm your bottles or baby food. You can also bring a packed lunch to eat in the picnic area or outside on the lawn. Admission is free.
Read the Parent’s Survival Guide for more tips on visiting the Natural History Museum with children.
ICE SKATING RINK
During the winter, bring along some warm clothes and take advantage of the spectacular Natural History Museum Ice Rink. If you just want to hang out with a hot chocolate and watch the skaters, that’s free and there is a nice cafe and viewing area. If you’re brave enough to get your skates on, family tickets (2 adults + 2 children, or 1 adult + 3 children) cost £36 during peak times, £31 off-peak (plus booking fees), for a one hour session, including skate hire. This is very popular, so we’d strongly recommend booking ahead:
Click here to book tickets
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This museum is a good space for little ones to have a run around on a rainy day. While not especially pitched for young toddlers, but it does have some areas that will be fun for you all to visit.
Some Highlights include: The dinosaur exhibit is the focal point for the under fives. If you have a buggy, you need to go up a flight of stairs to enter the exhibit, or use a small lift. You then walk along a cat walk, looking at dinosaur bones while approaching a life sized, mechanical, growling T-Rex!! This part is great fun, but lots of children do get frightened. The mini-beast room is by far the best toddler room as many of the buttons and displays are within arms reach for them. The room only has one entrance, so you can let them have a bit of a wander. The Investigate room is by far the coolest room for the older toddlers. This room is booked ahead by schools in the mornings during term time. The best time to use the Investigate room is after 2:30, weekdays, during school hours. There are dozens of specimen trays holding assortments of insects, bones, shells and animal skins. These are wonderful treasure trays for the little ones to touch and explore. The room has microscopes that small children can access by kneeling on the counter and looking through the lenses. There are trays filled with pond dippings, plastic skulls, a skeleton, large fossils and live insects for children to interact with. All over the room there are magnifying glasses, pencils and paper to record and amuse busy children.
The bird gallery is really interesting. It’s a long hall with near floor to ceiling cases of different species for birds. As the cases are accessible for the little ones, they are able to get a close-up view of the stuffed Victorian bird collection. There is also an amazing humming bird display. I would not let two toddlers wander around in this room as it is basically a hallway with two doors at each end. Come read more reviews on London-Baby.com
My 2 year old really loved looking at all the dinosaur skeletons but was pretty frightened of the animatronic T-Rex so be wary of that. He also loved running round the Cocoon in the Darwin Centre. This is just one long spiral path-way so it’s safe to let them run around as there’s no side rooms they can disappear into.