#NewThings Challenge – Visit a New Place. The Natural History Museum.

#NewThings Challenge – Visit a New Place. The Natural History Museum.

Nat His 5This month I am taking part in the #NewThings challenge with the CSMA club. Once a week, for the next four weeks, we will be given a task to complete as a family to try something new. The first challenge is to visit a new place.

When Grace got a really good school report back at the end of last term, we knew that we wanted to take her somewhere educational and interesting this summer. She takes a keen interest in fossils and nature so we knew she was exactly the right age now to visit the Natural History Museum. We planned this for 28th August, toward the end of the summer holidays which would coincide with a trip to see Phantom of the Opera for Ross’ birthday.

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Grace has never been to the Natural History Museum and nor have I, despite the fact that this is my favourite building in forever. Ross went once, a long time ago, when he was 8 years old. So, we were really excited to arrive via South Kensington tube (a very convenient stop that takes you almost to the door). With us were my Mum and Step-Dad and my niece, Emily. Grace was thrilled to have her cousin along and they had a wonderful time together (I could tell by all the giggling!).

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We only had to queue for around 20 minutes before we got in – not as bad as I thought it would be! I have to admit that I always dreamed that I would go in the main entrance but the side was almost as impressive. At first section we visited started off with looking at the rocks and minerals at the bottom of some escalators which lead into a model of planet Earth (a bit disappointed that the escalators weren’t working). Grace was in her element (if you would pardon the pun!) and absolutely loved the whole section.

Grace and Emily were fascinated by the Earth’s Treasury which housed rubies, diamonds and other precious stones. Emily knew her birth stone was emerald but Grace was really pleased to find out hers, which is Garnet (she remembers it by reminding herself that it rhymes with darn it!). 


We then experienced the volcanoes and earthquakes section and stood on a large moving floor which was made out to be a Japanese supermarket to feel what being involved in an earthquake might feel like.

After a break for a sandwich and a drink (Top Tip: DO NOT forget to take sandwiches and drinks in with you. £4.45 for one sandwich and £1.95 for one can of coke is an absolute rip-off!!), we looked around the rest of the Earth section but moving toward the Dinosaur exhibit.

We had booked tickets online to see the Dinosaurs (Top Tip: go on the Natural History website to book tickets for free at a time that will suit you) and boy are we glad we did – the queue was huge! We walked straight in to find a Triceratops and other ancient beasties staring back at us. We were taken across a walkway getting ever closer to our encounter with the T-Rex. On our way there were many fascinating skeletons of different-sized dinosaurs.

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The T-Rex was a bit of a disappointment. We learned many fascinating facts, including that if a T-Rex falls over then it will die as it can’t get up again and that they weigh the equivalent of 200 10 year old children. When we reached the fierce giant though, he wasn’t working. I was building myself up for a bit of a scare but..nothing! The rest of the exhibition was fascinating though and, together with Earth’s Treasury and the Mammals section, this was my favourite part. 

We moved onto the Human Biology section. I have to admit to being a little concerned that Grace was going to start asking lots of questions but, thankfully, no. She was fascinated and a little perplexed by the giant baby which was enclosed in an area designed to mimic a mother’s heartbeat and stood laughing at the bottoms with her cousin! (Note Ross’ expression!).


We then paid a visit to the Mammals. Grace was keen to see some of the big cats and didn’t want to leave the Jaguar when she came across it. I couldn’t wait to see the Blue Whale – and it didn’t disappoint. Amazing! Along with the dolphins, elephants and all the fascinating facts.

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All too soon our visit was coming to an end but we couldn’t leave without a visit to the shop and a proper look at the Central Hall which housed the Diplodocus. 

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I would have been happy just spending all day in that Hall. It was stunning. Unfortunately we did not have time to go up on the bridge but this gives me something to look forward to when we visit next time – and at least we got to leave via the front door!

Disclaimer:  This is our entry for week one into the CSMA  Club #NewThings Challenge

I have also linked up to this week’s #MagicMoments with Jaime over on The Olivers Madhouse


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  1. September 3, 2014 / 6:15 pm

    One of my fave places and have not visited in years so you may inspire me to return with this fab post.
    Went there once from school as a reward for good work.
    Got to love dinosaurs wherever and whenever.
    Sounds like an amazing family day out

    • September 3, 2014 / 10:26 pm

      Aww, thanks Kate 🙂 We really did love it there and it was a wonderful family day – I am determined to see the rest next time! x
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  2. September 1, 2014 / 3:52 pm

    I wrote a post about this recently. My top tip – arrive as it’s opening and then you can go straight into the Dinosaur with no queues at all and enjoy your time there. Agree the childrens sandwiches are extremely disappointing. Do love it there though, great for kids #MagicMoments
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    • September 3, 2014 / 10:28 pm

      That is a great tip too Mary! Plus, that way you are more likely to see everything as well! It is brilliant for kids 🙂 x
      Victoria recently posted..I Know What We Did Last Summer!My Profile

  3. September 1, 2014 / 11:43 am

    Glad you had a good time. The NHM is a wonderful building as well as a great museum, isn’t it? Our boys went with the grandparents last week – the only thing they didn’t like was the queue to get it. (I think they get their lack of patience from me …)
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    • September 3, 2014 / 10:34 pm

      Thanks Tim 🙂 I totally agree with you about the building and I really wanted to see it for this very reason! I think the fossils were more for Grace. Yep, the queues can be rather long!
      Victoria recently posted..I Know What We Did Last Summer!My Profile

  4. September 1, 2014 / 10:17 am

    The Natural History Museum is one of my favourites. It is so huge there is always something new to discover. We have never been to the Earth’s Treasury. Beautiful shots of the outside! x #MagicMoments
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  5. Wicked World of Lucas
    September 1, 2014 / 9:07 am

    What an awesome day!!! I’m gonna have to admit to giggling about how Grace is remember the name of her birth stone and poor old Ross for being soooooooo embarrassed!!! #magicmoments

    • September 3, 2014 / 10:36 pm

      It was awesome! And I am so with you on laughing at both of those things (the bottoms photo is now a classic for me!) x
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  6. September 1, 2014 / 7:44 am

    It looks fab! Love the photo of Grace giggling at the bottoms! We went there too last week – my first time since I was 9! Sadly we didn’t have enough time in there and didn’t get to see the dinosaurs 🙁 We enjoyed the volcanoes and earthquakes bit though, as that’s something my kids are interested in – and it was a lot quieter!
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    • September 3, 2014 / 10:37 pm

      It really was totally fab 🙂 Spooky that you were too! It definitely was quieter in the Earth part and that was the bit that I think we all found more interesting as we were there for ages!
      Victoria recently posted..I Know What We Did Last Summer!My Profile

  7. September 1, 2014 / 4:33 am

    Amazing clicks. Been to Natural History Museum in NY couple of years ago. My girl absolutely love it. This post reminded me of that trip. Sounds like you all had great fun.

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  8. Jollyjillys
    September 1, 2014 / 12:26 am

    Looks like a great day Out. I used to go there all the time as a child

  9. August 31, 2014 / 6:31 pm

    I did not know you could jump the queue for the dinosaurs by booking ahead! What a great tip, thanks for that.

    And what a shame T Rex wasn’t working – it is good when it is I promise! But hey, a great excuse to go back.
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    • September 3, 2014 / 10:41 pm

      No problem at all! I only knew because my Mum told me 🙂 I know, a bit gutted and relieved at the same time on that! We will definitely go back x
      Victoria recently posted..I Know What We Did Last Summer!My Profile

  10. August 31, 2014 / 9:09 am

    Such alot has changed since we visited, the earthquake and volcano bit looks awesome and all new.

  11. August 31, 2014 / 7:28 am

    Wow the Natural History Museum looks like a fabulous place to go for a day out. Will be adding this to my list of places to go. Thanks for sharing x

  12. August 29, 2014 / 8:42 pm

    I’ve not been to the Natural History Museum for years, since we took my eldest nephew a few years ago to see dinosaurs. I’m looking forward to taking N when he’s older.

    I like the earth stuff/volcanoes. Hopefully that area will be something he’s interested in so I can spend lots of time there too!
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    • September 3, 2014 / 10:45 pm

      It was brilliant and there are loads of gadgets and gizmos for the kids to tinker with so I am sure he will love it 🙂
      Victoria recently posted..I Know What We Did Last Summer!My Profile

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