Want something free and fun in London? The Science Museum London attractions may be the perfect fit for you and your family.
London’s Science Museum is publicly funded, which means they don’t charge an admission fee. There are fees charged for select events held in the museum and some temporary exhibits, which includes the popular Science Night events that allow children and their parents to enjoy a variety of interactive activities in the museum after it has closed for the night.
There are a lot of exciting attractions at the Science Museum that no child should miss on their London vacation. We’ll highlight some of the best attractions for you below, focusing on permanent or long-standing attractions. The museum is always hosting temporary attractions that highlight topics not permanently on display, so it’s always good to check the website to see what’s on the floor during your London vacation.
Fun Facts About the Science Museum in London
- More than 3 million visitors explore the Science Museum every year.
- There are more than 300,000 items on display at the Science Museum at any given time.
- The current Science Museum includes displays that were once presented in the Museum of Science and Industry which merged with the Science Museum in 2012.
- Kids aged 8 to 11 can enjoy “science night” events at the museum with their parents.
- The Science Museum was once connected by a corridor to the Natural History Museum, which is still located nearby.
Top Science Museum London Attractions:
The Treasure Hunters App
Everyone has their own app these days, and the Science Museum in London is no different. The Treasure Hunters app turns your visit to the museum into an exciting treasure hunt that personalizes the experience to the interests of your kids.
Download the app to your smartphone or tablet before heading into the museum. Give yourself time to setup the game because you will need to create names and select avatars for each member of the family. Another option is to split into teams and assign team names and images. Familiarize yourself with the rules, and you’re ready to play a game that makes the Science Museum even more fun for all.
IMAX: The Ronson Theatre
A lot of the Science Museum London attractions require physical interaction, but you can give your legs a rest in the IMAX theatre on Level 0. You’ll go on a 3D adventure that pulls you right into the massive movie screen while exploring interesting places like Antarctica.
All shows in this theatre are educational and related to science in some way, but they’re also highly entertaining. You will need to book tickets and pay for most shows playing in the theatre.
The Atmosphere Gallery
Go back billions of years to explore the changing climate on planet Earth. This exciting Science Museum attraction utilizes virtual reality technology to make the complex topic of climate more understandable for children. The activities cover climatic changes from the past as well as those developing in our current times, so there’s a lot for children of all ages to learn.
This is one of the great Science Museum London attractions for families to explore together because climate is such a topical issue in our modern society. Parents often learn just as much as their kids when they play along.
Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery
This interactive science lab includes 50 interactive activities that explore everything from electricity to chemistry. There are activities for every age group, including some that are perfect for siblings of mixed ages to explore together.
Some of the kid-approved explorations in the Wonderlab include:
- Particle Detector – Detect the remnants of exploding stars while learning about cloud condensation and other marvels of the natural world.
- Thermal Camera – Spend some time watching your body temperature change in front of a thermal screen.
- Visible Vibrations – Explore the impact of sound on the physical world while learning about the science behind musical instruments.
If you want your child to learn new things and think about the world in new ways, you might get just what you want in the Wonderlab. The exhibits and activities are so varied that every child is bound to find something that catches their interest.
The Garden – Interactive Gallery
This is a fun play area for the littlest members of the family to learn science on their own terms. Unique play equipment allows young children to simply play, but they will pick up bits of science as they go along. It’s the perfect hangout for kids too young to enjoy the attractions visited by older siblings or for kids to give their minds a rest after some of the more brainiac attractions.
The Shake Bar
This is the perfect ending to a day of science. The museum’s Shake Bar serves up ice cream, and your kids get to participate in the creation of their treats. They can each decide what flavors are combined to make their unique shake, and they can even design the tub if they choose to eat ice cream by the spoon.
An ice cream break is a good way to transition young kids between attractions at the museum. You may also use it as a way to relax after a fun day of learning, listening to your children talk about what learned and what they want to learn more about later.
Tips for Visiting the Science Museum London Attractions with Kids
Many kids do well at the Science Museum in London because there are so many interactive attractions to keep their interest. You should still put the odds of a happy tour in your favor by explaining expected museum behavior before you arrive. Letting your children know that there are some exhibits that they shouldn’t touch is a good start, and of course, you want them to stay with you at all times even if there is a crowd of other visitors.
It’s also a good idea to look at some of the exhibits on display online before you visit the museum. You can encourage your children to read age-appropriate books related to some of the exhibits before you go on vacation. They may have more interest in the museum once you get there because of that previous exposure to the topics on display.
Finally, make sure you schedule adequate time to get through the museum without rushing. If your child takes an interest in an exhibit or activity, you want to have the time to linger a bit. Allowing a kid to thoroughly enjoy elements of a museum that they find interesting is likely to put them in a good, cooperative mood if you come across exhibits that they don’t find quite as exciting.
There’s a lot to see at the Science Museum in London, and it’s okay if you don’t get to everything before moving on to the next big attraction. Just make sure you go to the exhibits your kids will like best first, allowing you to leave when it makes sense for your family.
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