The Sarge had a few days off around New Year’s so we decided to take advantage of that and pop up to London for a day at the Natural Science Museum. Many of the museums here in England offer free admission with the opportunity to make a donation when you leave. I think it’s a great way to encourage families to get out and spend time together without it making them go broke.
The entrance was beautiful and we totally got sucked into this blazing red ball. It lead to the rock exhibit which was really informative but an absolute train wreck with so many people around and an antsy toddler. We could barely see any of the displays and Lena wasn’t interested in waiting so we breezed through that section fairly quickly.
The skeletons on display were incredible and there were even some replicas of prehistoric fish that were as large as the side of my house. After taking marine biology in high school and learning about everything floating around in the water, I became a bit disenchanted with the idea of ocean swimming. I can’t even fathom getting in the water with some of the creatures I saw on display. I think I’ll stick to my bathtub from here on out.
We breezed through an impressive (and slightly creepy) taxidermy hallway with everything from a case full of 300+ hummingbirds to a giant stuffed ostrich and vultures that could probably demolish an elephant in two seconds. By this time, Lena had planted herself on Jason’s shoulders so she had a bird’s eye view (see what I did there?) of everything and provided a very loud monologue of everything she was observing.
Then it was on to the creepy crawly section which was a bit more geared towards the under-5 patrons. Larger-than-life butterflies and caterpillars dotted the room, all leading to the main attraction: a mechanical scorpion the size of a small car. This enormous arthropod seemed to cast a magic spell over every child with whom it made eye contact. Lena was equally intrigued and frightened but seemed unable to remove herself from his gaze until we pointed out a computer screen nearby. She excitedly attempted to build an arachnid via touch screen while a mechanized lift system placed the correct number of legs and body parts based on her selections.
By this point, nap time had long since passed and our mini scientist was letting us know she’d just about had her fill of fun. We posed for a few photos with the dinosaur and tortoise (?) before stopping in at the cafe for a quick bite.
I don’t think I’ll ever cease being in awe of the beautiful architecture of Europe. It’s all so beautiful and timeless.
As we walked back to our tube station, we contemplated going for a quick spin on the ice skating rink behind the museum as it was the very last day for skating. Sparkly lights, dusk and a chill in the air made it seem like a great plan. Then I realized I don’t know how to skate and would likely end up bruising my tailbone as well as my pride so we nixed that idea.
Thankfully, Lena didn’t seem to mind and was just as content going for a ride on the tube and running back and forth between us while trying not to fall. It’s always a good day when everyone is still smiling at the end of it!