With its larger-than-life stuffed animals and thousands of intriguing objects, the Horniman Museum is truly a child’s wonderland.
The Horniman Museum and Gardens sits tucked away in Forest Hill, South East London. Not your ordinary museum, the Horniman dates back to Victorian times when collector Frederick John Horniman opened up his house of bizarre and curious objects to the public.
Its collections are fascinating, but it’s actually its reputation for being extraordinarily family-friendly that is particularly notable about this hidden gem. It even has a Most Family Friendly Museum award to prove it! And the best bit? It’s free!
It seems almost too good to be true to be able to visit a museum with your kids in tow. Well, without boredom setting in and a meltdown occurring after five minutes. Ahh, those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety! Simply stopping the inquisitive little monkeys touching everything is no easy feat.
You don’t need to worry at the Horniman though, as touching everything is actually the idea. Children have the chance to handle 3,700 real objects! Shark jaws, African masks, clothes and musical instruments are all ready to be picked up, played with or tried on.
Bringing Imagination To Life
And that’s not all. There are insect collections, an aquarium full of tropical fish and a mini zoo of animals all waiting to be discovered. Maybe it’s the gigantic overstuffed walrus, or the Japanese merman that captures the imagination.
Perhaps it’s the Bengal tiger, or the robot exhibition that piques interest. You can almost see our children’s imaginations coming to life as they come face to face with the Horniman’s real Egyptian mummies and dinosaur footprints. Visions of the film Night at the Museum come to mind!
The museum also hosts regular events such as Busy Bees storytelling sessions for little ones and exploratory pond dipping sessions for older children. And don’t leave without exploring the 16 acre garden which is perfect for picnics and nature trails.
So why not make it your next family day out? Visit http://www.horniman.ac.uk/ for a full list of current events and exhibitions.