When you're working flat out and exhausted, the last thing you want to do with the kids on a weekend is a trip out to the museums in London, but you know the kids will love it, so let me make it simple for you.
The Natural History Museum makes a great rainy day activity and is one of our very favourite places to visit; there are so many attractions that you could easily spend all day there. It can be very busy, but with a bit of planning, you can have a few moments to rest in areas that your little people will be sure to enjoy; so I've outlined the top 5 things to see while you're there and give you a few places to sit down along the way.
Here are our favourite five:
1. The Investigate Centre
A hidden gem, the unobtrusive investigate centre is chock a block full of real things to touch, measure, research and draw. It is one place where you don’t need to keep worrying that the kids will touch something as here the can actually touch, hold and discover without you having to give ‘the look.’ From fossils and starfish to preserved beetles and snakeskin, this is one area you cannot miss. It is reserved for schools in the morning but is open for a short time between 3.40pm and 5pm on weekdays (last entry 4.30), and all day weekends.
2. Dinosaurs Exhibition
The newly refurbished Dinosaur section is full of fossils and animatronics, sure to bring beaming smiles to faces. Zach will always let us know he wants to see ‘the Dinos’ without fail. It used to be a wasted trip with him running straight out yelling ‘I’m scared’ and I would shout after him telling him to slow down. Now I think about it, I think he may have just been using it as a chance to run. Either way, he loves it now, and this is always at the top of our list.
You can’t visit the Natural History museum without a visit to see the blue whale and his friends. You forget how big these animals are until you are standing side by side. Whether a busy day or quiet, if you take the stairs to the upper level, you can have a moment to rest on the benches and take it all in.
4. Human Biology
Full of interesting facts about how our bodies work and mirrors to distort your body shape. Even toddlers will enjoy this section as they can walk around and investigate with few items that they are not allowed to touch, which gives you a bit of a break. Which is nice.
5. Birds + Invertebrates
I’ve squeezed these two together because they are only little, but both a must see. The birds section because it will be sure to bring the biggest smiles to the face of children who will love recognising many of the birds which they see in everyday life. Just don’t get freaked out by the display of tiny birds that looks like it belongs in Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds.’ The invertebrates section is absolutely fascinating and is a great place to use our museum worksheets (download using the link below) but also a nice, manageable section, where cruising babies can be put down for a minute!
That's our list! What are your favourite attractions in the Natural History museum?