This Easter Sunday, we decided to go to the fabulous Horniman Museum in South East London. The Horniman was a childhood haunt of mine and so going back was probably more exciting for me than it was for my 5 year old. From Brighton where we live, it’s a little over an hour drive, well worth the effort and if you’re a Londoner and you haven’t been before, what are you waiting for?! The museum has been around since 1901 and is in a beautiful old Victorian building (I swear so much of it remains the same as it was when I used to go there over two decades ago). The big draw are the taxidermy animals, everything from my personal favourite, a huge walrus residing on an iceberg to a family of badgers and a peacock. My family enjoyed larking around and mimicking some of their favourite furry friends (the bread stick walrus impersonations were nothing to do with me I swear!). The gallery also has some fossils on display and shows how some of the animals have evolved, this we found quite interesting as the girl has just started to take an interest in learning about this kind of thing. After we’d browsed all of the exhibits, we found a room off of the natural history gallery where the kids can interact, press buttons, touch real artifacts (we got up close to some snake skin) as well as draw their favourite animals and put their pictures on display.
Later, we enjoyed the music gallery, looking at interesting instruments from all over the world and within this gallery is a room where the kids can really let their hair down and bang, strum and tinker with all of the instruments which are there especially to have fun with. A great room for roaming toddlers in particular!
The museum currently has a dinosaur exhibition running until October, this one we will come back for because on this occasion we wanted to get outside. The Horniman has beautiful gardens which we decided to eat our packed lunches in during a sudden burst of sunshine (though the museum does have a cafe on site too).
For Easter the Horniman had also put on an Easter egg hunt, bouncy castle and other activities. It’s worth checking their website before visiting as there seems to be events and child friendly activities taking place all year round. They have a farmers market in their gardens every Saturday Feb-Nov, a must do if you’re a local.
We had such a fun couple of hours and have vowed to come back to see anything we missed. The Horniman is a charming museum, bursting with interesting collections, the permanent galleries are completely free and it’s all family friendly. (Another plus is the fact is that the museum is away from the popular Central London exhibitions which means less crowds, a big draw for us!).
If you do go, please send my love to my old pal the walrus (bread sticks optional). Lx