1. Free entry!
Entrance to this fantastic museum is totally free, meaning you can rock up any time you fancy and can enjoy a brilliant day out whilst not spending a penny! There are some chargeable exhibitions which operate occasionally and change throughout the year, but you are under no obligation to attend to these. As the museum is a recognised charity, donations from visitors are always welcome and the money goes towards the funding and maintenance of the building. The museum is a great place to bring the kids for a fun-filled day out; you could easily spend a number of hours getting lost and being immersed in the history, culture and science that the museum holds!
2. Learn, learn and learn some more!
With hundreds of different areas to explore, and many different topics covered, the museum offers a wealth of information for visitors to take in during their trip. The museum is split into four different zones: Red, Blue, Green and Orange. The Blue and Green Zones are home to skeletons and replicas of mammals, reptiles, birds, insects and of course, dinosaurs, with a special exhibit of the first T Rex fossil ever found. The Red Zone focuses on the science behind Earth as we know it and how life first began on the planet, whilst the Orange Zone houses the peaceful Wildlife Garden and the active science lab of the Darwin Centre. With many interactive exhibitions, and new ones opening all the time, the learning at The Natural History Museum is never-ending.
3. Dive into the past
A brand new attraction, Sir David Attenborough’s First Life Virtual Reality experience, has recently opened at the museum and has already received rave reviews. The exhibition takes visitors on a breathtaking 3D journey to meet some of the earliest inhabitants to walk the Earth. Combining the museum’s innovative research with high tech Samsung Gear, the virtual reality experience brings ancient sea creatures to life and allows visitors to get up close and personal with animals that once swam in our planet’s oceans over 500 million years ago. Prices start from £6.50 per adult and the exhibition runs until early September — book ahead on the website to avoid disappointment!
4. Go ice skating at Christmas time!
I know it’s a bit early to be saying this, but in just over 2 months time, you can embrace your festive spirit whilst visiting this iconic museum. During the winter season, the forefront of the museum is transformed into a beautiful ice rink situated around a giant Christmas tree and set under a canopy of 80,000 sparkling fairy lights! The rink has been running at the site for ten years now, and visitors return time and time again for their magical winter experience. The ice rink is open from November 15 through to January 16 with exact dates to be confirmed. Tickets are £15.40 pp; book ahead on the museum website or through Ticketmaster to guarantee your slot on the rink.
5. Experience the Sensational Butterflies exhibition
Explore the museum’s tropical house and walk amongst hundreds of free flying butterflies and moths from a variety of global destinations. Creatures from as far a field as Asia, Africa and South America are kept in the house and visitors can follow their journey from caterpillars to butterflies in one of nature’s most incredible transformations. Visitors can also speak to butterfly experts and enjoy interactive games and exhibitions. The butterfly house is open from April – September throughout the year. Ticket prices are £5.90 pp.
By Jessica Buck