Category Archives: free

02May/13

Pearson Park, Hull, East Yorkshire

Pearson Park is a Victorian park situated about 2 miles north of the city centre in the leafy Avenues area of Hull. It is popular with university students, and local families.
 
This week we have had some visitors over from New Zealand and they were keen to see some squirrels so we went to Pearson Park to see if any were willing to show themselves off.

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25Apr/13
The Natural History Museum London

The Natural History Museum, London

The Natural History museum in South Kensington is huge. There are literally thousands of exhibits on dozens of different themes, all under the umbrella of our natural history. It is all housed in one of the most beautiful buildings in the capital and, best of all, is completely free to enter.

 

Natural History Museum exterior

 

With children in tow, you can’t possibly do the entire museum in a few hours. You need to be selective and do it in parts.

On our latest trip, we first visited the dinosaur exhibition. We queued to get on the gallery, where you can view the exhibits from up high, and walked round to the fascinating animatronic T-Rex. It’s very realistic (I imagine) and there were a couple of quite scared young children.

Natural History Museum T-Rex

 

Then back through the gallery and we learned all about bones, teeth, and eggs. There were things designed to let little hands touch them, and a wonderful display of cultural items stemming from our fascination with all things prehistoric, like film posters for The Land Before Time, and a collection of Zoids.

Natural History Museum dinosaur teeth
 
 
Zoids

 

 
Then we went to the Creepy Crawlies gallery where we learned all about what insects eat, and how they live and reproduce.

Natural History Museum
 
Arthropods at the Natural History Museum
 
 

Then we moved on to the large mammal room, which houses, amongst other things, an actual sized replica of a blue whale, a couple of real (but quite, quite dead) elephants, giraffes, rhinos, and antelope. You can also ascend to the gallery to look at them from above.

London museums

 

 
Then moving through to the small mammals exhibition, we saw everything from sloths to koalas and armadillos – trophies from a more exploratory era.

free museums in London

 

 
This time we spent almost 3 hours in the museum including a small stop at the museum’s cafe (top tip – unless you want to remortgage your home, take a pack-up and use the basement picnic area).



The Natural History Museum is ma-hoo-sive, and there is something for everyone. Not all is suitable for young children, and some parts will leave children hideously bored, but as its free entrance, its easy just to pick and choose which bits you want to do. 

 

There are a lot of floors and steps (though I did see lifts for pushchairs and wheelchairs). 

Be warned – we walked straight in, however as this is a free and very popular attraction, some days you may have to queue.

Nearest tube station is South Kensington, with quite possibly the longest subway ever between the station and the museum. 



Just next door is The Science Museum. Well worth combining a visit there too.

Guest writer Jennifer has also visited the Natural History Museum recently. See what she had to say here.

Things to do in London with kids

Check out our post – Things to do in London with kids

09Apr/13

The Natural History Museum, South Kensington, London

The key attraction at the Natural History Museum is the dinosaurs. We’ve visited with our son Harry a few times over the last few years, and it is always the area that we head for first. It can get very busy, so it’s worth planning your visit for either early in the morning or later in the day. You follow an elevated walkway past dinosaur skeletons along with some brief information about the dinosaurs, then you head downstairs for more detailed information about the different types of dinosaur – how they moved, what they ate, what they looked like and so on. In between the two areas prepare yourself for the unavoidable moving, roaring Tyrannosaurs Rex – it seems to terrify most young children going past it!

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16Feb/13

Big Fun with Little Trains at The National Railway Museum, York

During half-term, the National Railway Museum in York is running activities on a toy train theme.
 
There are lots of things for your children to do, on top of the usual NRM attractions. See our full review of the National Railway Museum for information regarding accessibility, facilities and family friendliness.

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14Feb/13

Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, East Yorkshire

Check out our post – Things to do in Hull with the kids

Ferens Art Gallery in Hull city centre is one of the free museums run by the local council. 
 
It houses a wide variety of permanent galleries of paintings and sculptures, both old and new. It also has a few spaces which are used for temporary exhibits. Recently, these exhibitions have included work by David Hockney, Andy Warhol, and Leonardo Da Vinci. 

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27Oct/12

Paddington Bear at the National Railway Museum, York

This October half-term, the National Railway Museum in York are playing host to everyone’s favourite Peruvian immigrant – Paddington BearThe museum and the Paddington Bear exhibition is completely free. A fuller review of the museum itself can be found here – National Railway Museum, York.
 
The Paddington Bear exhibition is fun and aimed at children aged from 3 to 8. There are Paddington related activities scheduled throughout the day, including storytelling sessions, and a bear trail.

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23Oct/12

Pollok Park, Glasgow, Scotland

After more than a decade living in Glasgow, Pollok Country Park to me is still a gem in the city. Before I had children, I had my allotment there, went running in the large expanse of this urban park with a real country feel to it, or visited the Burrell collection, one of the finest museums of Scotland and possibly the UK. Now, with children, the park still has a magic spell, and never more so than in winter. Continue reading