We met up with the lovely Jess and took on the Natural History Museum. We've been a few times before, but we'd actually been avoiding it a bit because it is the museum in that area that always has a queue outside, and toddlers and queue just don't go! I don't think we chose the best day to decide to actually join the queue (maybe the Sunday before half-term is it's busiest day?!). It didn't take long to get in though, it was the queue inside for the dinosaurs that was ridiculous.
The previous times that we had been I'd always kept the buggy with me, and Kit had flitted between buggy and walking. It's always been fairly busy, and when your son's favourite phrase has become 'I run away Mummy', trying to juggle pushing a buggy and not loosing a toddler in a crowd did not appeal. The main reason that I'd never put the buggy into the cloakroom before was because I'm tight, and I didn't want to pay - if only I'd known that it is actually free! As I was splashing out (or not as it turned out in the end) I thought I'd also pick up one of the explorer backpacks for Kit from the information desk (turns out they too are free). I thought that it would probably be too old for him, but you don't know unless you try do you?! Kit loved the hat and binoculars (and wearing the backpack!).
You could pick which topic you wanted for your backpack, and I'd picked 'Monsters' for Kit, but that was the dinosaurs and we decided not to brave the extremely long queue to see them so we didn't get the chance to try it. I think I was more disappointed to not go to see the dinosaurs than Kit was, I've never seen someone get so excited about seeing some shells as he was when we entered the marine invertibrates section!
As we moved around the museum there were lots of buttons to press and telephones to listen into, which is any toddlers dream.
In my opinion the best section is the bugs section, although it does make me itch! There is loads to play with in there, and giant bugs are always fun. There is so much to see in the museum, it's a shame everyone is so focused on the dinosaurs really. The mammals were pretty empty, and actually seeing a blue whale, elephants and a giraffe was pretty awesome. If you head there pick up your explorer pack, dump the buggy and explore the bits without the queues!