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Is the Natural History Museum boring for 3 year olds?!

(26 Posts)
PasstheTwiglets Sat 28-May-11 09:02:44

Trying to decide between a visit to Science Museum or Natural History Museum. Sci.Mus. is FAB for both my kids ages but we've been there so often that I thought a change would be good. But I seem to remember that there isn't much hands-on stuff at the Nat. Hist. and so 3yo DS might be bored. Has anybody been with a 3yo and what did they think?

RobynLou Sat 28-May-11 09:08:00

been there with my 3 yo loads and she LOVES it, she is borderline obssesive about fossils and dinosaurs though, she has a photo of herself next to the portrait of mary anning in her room!
If you're going in half term the queue to get into the dino gallery can be hideous though, but there are dinos elsewhere in the museum.
if they get bored the science museum is only just down the road anyway...

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 28-May-11 09:10:19

dd used to love it. i don't know if they still do it but it used to be that if you left a credit card as a deposit you could borrow their Explorers pack which came with things to look for and a clues and a hat to wear.
If he gets bored the Science museum isnt very far away.

PasstheTwiglets Sat 28-May-11 09:23:51

I think DS will be scared by the dinosaurs. That's a good point about the Science Museum being very close though.

WeirdAcronymNotKnown Sat 28-May-11 09:33:28

We took our 3yo (4 in a month) there last week actually - travel is difficult for us so it was her first time in a museum. She LOVED it. Did a show and tell at nursery about it on Monday, and is now begging to go to the science museum smile

We did dinosaurs and birds first. She was getting a bit tired when we did the mammals so didn't enjoy that so much. We also did the creepy crawly bit <shudder> and now she takes great delight in telling us that dung beetles eat poo grin

She wasn't scared of most of the dinosaurs - just the animatronic roaring one (really glad we didn't bother paying for the extra dinosaur exhibit this time). DS (21m) OTOH was roaring right back at it and tried to climb into the enclosure grin

We also did the temporary butterfly house thing, it's free for under 4s so only cost £7 for us.

DiscretionGuaranteed Sat 28-May-11 09:38:52

She'll love it but it will be HELL at half term, I really wouldn't.

weblette Sat 28-May-11 09:42:04

My 3yo ds was initially freaked by the fact that everything was dead....

Loved the dinos but was far more interested in the Science Museum.

pinkhebe Sat 28-May-11 09:45:11

my eldest has always loved the NH museum, but my youngest (now 8) hated/s the suspended walkway in the dinosaur bit. But loves the rest

stinkyfluffycat Sat 28-May-11 09:49:53

My two and a bit year old loves it, especially the loud roaring extra large animatronic dinosaurs that I expected her to be terrified of.
She dragged us from room to room saying 'See more stuff! See more stuff!'

greencolorpack Sat 28-May-11 09:51:06

I used to try out all the museums in Kensington, if your 3 year old digs dinosaurs they will love it. If on the other hand they're terrified of huge animatronic (moving) replicas of dinosaurs, they will scream the place down the moment you get in there and you'll have to give up and go to the V and A ( but even there, watch out for huge statue of a man which from a certain walkway looks like he's looking right atcha. (We used to play peekaboo with him to great hilarity, but a three year old might be too young.)

My ds was the screaming scared one, my dn was the one who loved the dinosaurs. So dn didn't get to go there very often.

If you hate huge crowds you're better off in the V and A. People don't think of taking children in there but its still really interesting.

Firawla Sat 28-May-11 09:53:11

If he will be scared of dinosaurs I would probably give it a miss then as that's the main thing? I took my ds when he was 2.5 and he liked it but we mainly looked at the dinosaurs. I do think science museum is more exciting for them
If its just a change from science museum that you want what about something else like transport museum, that's fun for young children cos they can go inside all the buses and there's loads more that people recommend that ive not been to like museum of childhood, that docklands musum with softplay or army museum?

FreakoidOrganisoid Sat 28-May-11 09:59:16

I took mine last summer at just 4 and 2.5, both loved it. DS made me read every single bit of information though!

DiscretionGuaranteed Sat 28-May-11 10:38:15

Agree that Museum of Childhood, Museum of London in Docklands, National Maritime Museum and London Transport Museum (adults have to pay for that last one but the rest are free) are all excellent for toddlers.

RobynLou Sat 28-May-11 10:50:58

and there's the british museum with the mummies...

PasstheTwiglets Sat 28-May-11 12:54:53

Thanks everyone. I have been to the Science Museum in half-term and it was horribly busy so perhaps a museum isn't such a good idea then. I will have a look at the other ideas mentioned, thank you!

MCos Sat 28-May-11 23:52:44

What about going early, at opening time? Probably wouldn't be so busy then?

Roo83 Sun 29-May-11 10:08:42

I'm glad you posted this-we're planning a trip to London with 3yr old ds but weren't sued if he'd be a bit young to enjoy it. Lots of good info in here. Hope you have a lovely time,whichever museum you go to

PasstheTwiglets Sun 29-May-11 10:11:23

Have now decided to do Tower Of London instead,I think!

AuntieMonica Sun 29-May-11 10:17:58

i thought DD (3.11yrs) would be terrified of the dinosaurs (she was of the noise of the paying exhibition) but loved the other animals, proudly announcing to anyone who'd listen 'these won't bite me, they've been killed' shock

we also did the Aquarium last week, well worth the money, a really good few hours worth

RickGhastley Sun 29-May-11 10:20:33

I've been taking DS there since he was tiny and he loves it far more than the science museum. At the moment they have a huge tent outside full of butterfies whizzing around and landing on people. You can also see them hatching. It's £3.50 entry for age 4 and over. I guarantee your DS will love it.

The dinoaurs are only one small part of the museum so I would say go even if your DS hates dinos! The bits DS likes best are the mammals, birds and creepy crawlies then upstairs through the "planet" into the volcano bit where you get to experience being in an earthquake. One bit not many people seem to know about is the Young Explorers bit in the basement where kids can handle objects like stuffed crocodiles and skulls. Fab!

meditrina Sun 29-May-11 10:26:06

All London museums will be busy during half term, but if you go early (especially on a sunny day) it should be doable. It might be worth going downstairs in the Natural History Museum to the hands on bit (timed sessions of about 30 mins). I remember DD aged about 3ish being fascinated with the "how to recycle a rabbit" video in the ecology zone (not for the very sensitive, as the rabbit dies) and DS being surprisingly keen on the old-fashioned arrays of display cases of minerals. The earthquake/volcano zone is good too.

Meglet Sun 29-May-11 10:26:55

I took DS last Spring when he was 3.5 and even though he liked it he was bored and tired out after a couple of hours. We went during term time so it wasn't too busy.

He wasn't scared of the dinosaurs but wouldn't stop for a moment to look at anything, he just kept dashing to the next thing and the next thing <<rolls eyes>>.

It's worth it though (especially if you like dinosaurs), just be prepared to keep the visit short.

PasstheTwiglets Sun 29-May-11 11:14:08

I do liek the Aquarium but we've been there a few times now.

The butterfly thing sounds great, Rick!

LOL at the rabbit thing - DD will be there too and she is CRAZY about rabbits so that wouldn't go down to well. Once she read that people eat rabbits in France she burst into tears for about a fortnight and vowed to never go there EVER AGAIN. I neglected to mention that we eat them here too smile

EssexGurl Tue 31-May-11 17:32:14

We took DS when he had just turned 5 and I think it was a bit dull for him. Yes, the dinosaurs are good but the rest of it was over his head. But - it is free!

JamieAgain Tue 31-May-11 18:14:25

Where do you live?

The Horniman Museum in S London is FAB, and there's also a playground across the road. The museum is very eclectic, with a Natural History "bit", an great little aquarium, and anthropology bits. Nice grounds as well. Will link

Much more doable in half term than the Natural History

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