It was my daughter’s 4th birthday last week, so to mark it, the family and I went down to London.
This was the first time we’ve ventured down since we relocated back to the UK nearly two years ago, and besides the usual sightseeing, we wanted to see the animals – both living and extinct- with trips to both ZSL London Zoo and the Natural History Museum.
Stegosaurus is not just most people’s favourite dinosaur, it’s also one of mine – and the 150-million-year-old “Sophie” doesn’t disappoint, being the most complete Stegosaurus on display anywhere worldwide.
Sophie has been on display at the Museum since 2014 and is the first thing you’ll see if entering from the Exhibition Road entrance, located in the Earth Hall, and looks incredible set against the backdrop of the escalator that goes up to the Red Zone.
The main dinosaur exhibit is in the museum’s Blue Zone, found on the lower ground floor. There’s plenty to see, being packed full of facts, fossils, and interactive exhibits, being one of the most impressive dinosaur collections in the country. Here is a selection of photos from the exhibit:
One of the biggest highlights for me where the animatronic dinosaurs that form part of the exhibit which. As anyone who follows me knows, I’m a big fan of all-things robotics, so these awesome life-like animatronic exhibits were right up my street.
The main animatronic exhibit is the ¾ scale T-Rex, found near the beginning of the main dinosaur exhibit, which absolutely terrified my daughter. You can sample some of the robotic dinosaurs for yourself in the reel shared below:
There was of course no Dippy on display in the Hintze Hall. This is because the plaster-cast replica of the dinosaur on display at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History has been on tour since 2017. However, it’s expected to return to the Natural History Museum later this year, which offers a great excuse for another visit the next time we’re in town.
It had been a long time since my last visit to the Natural History Museum, which must have been all the way back when I was in primary school – a shockingly long time ago these days. I was hugely impressed with the variety of exhibits on display, and not just the dinosaurs.
Although we’re obviously biased, of the two attractions – London Zoo and the Natural History Museum – I have to say that the later won hands-down. It’s not just exceptional value for money, with tickets being free (although I strongly urge anyone who visits to donate), it also offers hours upon hours of things to explore and interact with.
What’s better still, and although we unfortunately didn’t have the time this visit, is that located right behind it is the Science Museum – another favourite of mine, and a great choice of museum for anyone visiting London with kids.
All in all, the Natural History Museum is a great, affordable day out for all the family – especially for dinosaur fans, young and old – being one of the UK’s must-see attractions for dino-lovers. I highly recommended it, and will most likely pop down for another visit once Dippy is back this summer.