Review 2014: The Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum, London

Review: Natural History Museum

We went to the Natural History museum last year in August, during the school holidays.

It’s been one of the places I’ve wanted to take Miss NHM for a while, but we were waiting until she was big enough so we didn’t have to take a pushchair on the underground.

We drove up to Richmond and parked in DeerPark car park (only £8 for the whole day) and caught the train into Waterloo. We then navigated the Tube with Miss NHM across to Kensington. The tube was a bit of a challenge, even with two adults. I have no idea how people navigate London and the tube with more than one child!

We had a brilliant time, but it was quite a gruelling day. I wouldn’t recommend taking two or more children on your own. You definitely need at least a “one adult to one child” ratio!

Play

As we went during the school holidays it was MANIC. We had to queue for 20 minutes just to get into the building. Luckily it was lovely weather and people seemed to be in a fairly good mood.

The reason for the queue was because you have to have your bags scanned and checked. Once your belongings have been checked over, you walk into the main lobby. It was crushed with people. As it’s free entry, LOTS of people visit during the school holidays. The picture doesn’t really do it justice as to how busy it was.

There weren’t as many skeleton exhibitions in the main lobby as there used to be. Also, there seems to be a lot more cafe’s inside.

I’ve noticed that our culture is becoming a lot like the US (I’ve spent over 10 years living and working in the US, so understand their culture well) where everything seems to revolve around food these days.

We walked up to the stairs to the top of the Natural History museum, up to the great Secoya tree.

 

If you have vertigo, I recommend not standing near the edge when you get to the top! lol. We spent a lot of time in the mineral and rocks room, not least because it was quiet and fairly empty.

It was pretty cool seeing the diamonds in the vault and Miss NHM loved looking at the different gems.

We then caught the lift down to the bottom of the museum so we could find the blue whale. I wanted Miss NHM to see the blue whale whilst she is still young.

However, she REALLY didn’t like this area. She freaked at the stuffed animals and couldn’t wait to get out of this section.

She has mentioned the blue whale many times since though, so he/she clearly had an impact!

I couldn’t get a better picture unfortunately because I only had my iphone on me and there were so many people it was difficult to get a good shot without people in it!

We then stumbled into the “Human body” section. I remember when this was a brand new exhibition and the highlight of coming to the Natural History Museum. It was a bit depressing to see how dated and run down it was. Clearly I am really old! lol.

We avoided the Dinosaur section because I knew if we saw T-rex Miss NHM would probably have fainted. However, we went to have a look at the exhibition near the Dinosaurs. The TV screens were amazing:

After an hour and a half, Miss NHM had had enough, so we had to leave.

Miss NHM was three and a half when we took her along. I thought she would be the perfect age, but it was a bit too much for her.

Tips

Take a picnic. Food is expensive. If you stand with your back to the front entrance there is a very quiet grassy area to the left with seats that not many people sit in.

There is also a wildlife garden in the corner but Miss NHM had had enough by this point so we didn’t get a chance to check it out.

The other side grassy area, near the Science museum was packed, so it was nice to find a bit of peace and quiet.

The earlier you can get to the museum the better. The afternoons are the busiest.

Don’t take anything with you that might set off an aeroplane scanner.

Food

There are lots of restaurants and cafe’s throughout the museum but they were London prices. Recommend taking a picnic.

Facilities

Were excellent considering how busy it was.

The toilets were confusing though. Very arty but could not work out how to get in! lol.

Baby Facilities

Mr NHM said they were in good condition.

Parking

No idea as it’s central London so we always use public transport.

Prices

FREE!!!! Although you obviously have to pay for transport into London.

Rating out of 5

4.6 out of 5. I was a bit disappointed at the exhibits that were on offer, it was just too busy and you had to queue for ages to get in.

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