With such a range of different exhibitions, galleries and things to see, every kid will love something at the Horniman Museum and Gallery.
Animal-lovers can visit the alpacas, goats, sheep and other smaller animals at the petting zoo.
If your kids are more interested in unusual animals, The Horniman has one of the biggest collections of taxidermy in Europe. In the natural history gallery kids and grown-ups alike can learn a great deal about evolution and see all kinds of amazing animals from butterflies to the famous (and overstuffed) Walrus. Queen Victoria apparently thought very highly of the walrus.
Much smaller, but less crowded and easier to digest than the Sea Life London Aquarium, the aquarium in the basement is perfect for young kids who want to ‘find Nemo’ or learn about English pondlife.
There is also a music room full to the brim with all kinds of different instruments from through the ages. You can even use the interactive tables to listen to what some of the most interesting looking ones sound like.
For older kids, who might enjoy weird and disturbing artefacts, try the centenary gallery.
Dinosaur enthusiasts are in luck as the temporary exhibition space is filled with a family-focused interactive exhibition until October. It looks at how dinosaurs looked after their eggs, nests and babies, and you can even touch a real dinosaur leg bone!
There’s a cafe and a well-stocked gift shop but on a nice day why not save money and bring your own picnic to eat in the lovely gardens?
The Horniman Museum and Gardens are buggy and wheelchair friendly. There is a buggy park in the basement and lift access making it a perfect museum to visit with young children and toddlers.
The Horniman had so much more to offer than I first expected. The aquarium was a lovely surprise, especially as I loved Finding Nemo growing up. At first, I thought i’d just see some freaky taxidermy but there was also an interactive music room showing stuff though time which was pretty cool. Plus there was a cute petting zoo and garden. I’d say this place is probably most enjoyed when having young kids with you.
You can find loads more information by Laura Porter at aboutlondonlaura.com
This is a hidden gem, when compared to other large museums in London, but it’s outside of central London so you’ll either need to take a bus or the overground to get there. It’s well-worth visiting. It’s a relatively compact museum that’s perfectly sized for kids to enjoy. There are fun curiosities, such as the giant stuffed walrus which is a must see. There are also a butterfly garden (which isn’t free) and an animal walk. There’s a great environmental education programme that hosts activities for young visitors and outside there are beautiful gardens to explore. It’s a fantastic museum. Recommend.
Great day out; plenty to do for all interests.