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Archive for March, 2009

Introducing BabyFeet v2.1

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Little’un has recently developed a thirst for knowledge which, whilst obviously a Good Thing, can be hard work at times.  She’s particularly interested in bones and muscles and so forth at the moment so where better to take her than the NHM?  More bones than you can shake a well proportioned tibia at.

Well we had the most fabulous day.  We hardly saw an eighth of what’s on show, which is fine as it’s free to get in so we can go back as many times as we like without feeling as though we have to get our money’s worth.  We concentrated on the dinosaur display this time as they captured Little’un’s imagination as soon as she saw the huge diplodocus in the entrance hall.  There were plenty of bones and interactive displays, with the highlight being a working model of a Tyrannosaurus rex which I thought might scare Little’un (who can be a sensitive soul at times) but she was utterly entranced.  It was extremely busy, what with it being a Saturday and a nice day, and we did feel rather herded round at times by the volume of people, but the displays were interesting and informative, if a little dusty on some of the skeleton displays.

 

We also visited the mammalian section where the life sized blue whale produced more “ooooh”s and “wow”s from our four year old natural history enthusiast.  There were curators on hand to talk to the children with skulls, bones, tortoise shells and so forth that children both large (ie me) and small could touch and explore.  We could have spent hours in there, it was utterly brilliant.  I felt like a schoolgirl myself, I got so caught up in Little’un’s excitement. 

From a practical point of view the trip was really easy.  A handy hint for anyone coming into London from the north is to park at East Finchley tube station on the Northern Line – it’s easy to find from the A1 and a measly £1 to park all day on a Saturday and Sunday; it’s in zone 4 so you can get an adult travelcard for just over £6 which will allow you to travel by tube all over central London.  The museum is near South Kensington station on the Piccadilly/Circle/District lines and is well signposted from the station.  There are places to buy food at the NHM but they are busy and expensive – we paid rather a lot for sandwiches, drinks and cake and vowed to take lunch with us next time.  There are plenty of places to sit and there seems to be no objection to taking your own food.

We jumped back on the tube to Hyde Park Corner after we’d got a bit fed up of wandering round displays and went for a lovely walk past some of London’s landmarks.  It took us about an hour to wander past Buckingham Palace (with a stop to see the guards), up The Mall to Horseguards Parade then along Parliament Street to Westminster and Big Ben, across Westminster Bridge to Waterloo Station and the northern line back to East Finchley.  The daffs and crocuses were out on the lawns in the parks and Little’un thoroughly enjoyed running through them.

Unfortunately the batteries on my camera ran out after the dinosaurs and my backups were duff so I only got pictures of dusty old bones for posterity, but rest assured, we shall most certainly be going back; I will make a point of getting lots of shots of my interested and excited daughter to share with you all.

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