The Horniman Museum and Gardens

It’s been a while since I posted a London adventure! We had been looking forward to checking out the Horniman Museum for some time, and it made for a perfect family day with its eclectic collection and stunning grounds. We can’t wait to go back in summer, when we can spend half the day outside!

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Mr. Horniman was quite the cultural anthropologist, and amassed an incredible collection of curiosities, clothing, and artefacts from around the world. The items are beautifully curated in a way that is engaging to children, while also fascinating and enlightening for adults.

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There is one massive taxidermy room, with a collection that ranges from a 150+ year old walrus to brightly feathered birds. I always find taxidermy a little strange, like some sort of still-life zoo, but it’s nevertheless an impressive collection. The kids absolutely love seeing all the animals, learning about their relative sizes, and counting which ones they’ve seen in real life.

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Each of the rooms also has kid-focused activities dotted throughout the exhibit, such as tables with paper and pencils for colouring; an interactive fish pond that bubbles up wherever you step; a massive python skin (post-shedding) for touching; and interactive displays.

Finally, the cafe is impressive (plenty of healthy choices, reasonably priced, and an unusual level of variety for both kids and adults) and there is a farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. As I mentioned before, there is an enormous garden, with a view of London and more than enough room for everyone to run around, picnic and spend the day. As our visit fell on a cold and grey day, I don’t have photos of the grounds… so I’ll have to update this post next summer!

There is also a butterfly house and an aquarium, which are not free like the rest of the museum, but I’m sure we’ll explore them at some point. The museum also has special exhibits, so be sure to check their website for details.

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It doesn’t get more kid-friendly than this. It’s definitely aimed at families and everything is designed with children in mind. Multiple changing tables, a baby feeding room, a lift, buggy parking area, the aforementioned activities interspersed throughout the museum, and loads of space. Auden and Tristan didn’t want to leave!

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