Sunday, July 30, 2006


I spent my last free day in London at the Natural History Museum. It's very different from the other museums I've spent the past few weeks in because it designed for short attention spans. It's bright and flashy and perfect for kids. All the other parents in the country must agree because it was mayhem, especially in the dinosaur exhibit. Kids were running everywhere. It was crazy, but refreshing to see children excited by learning.

This is the Ecology exhibit.

It feels more like the entrance to a ride at Disneyland than a science exhibit. It makes an exciting contrast with the historic architecture.

This feature is created with one tv screen surrounded by mirrors set at angles to reflect the image. In the bottom picture you can see my reflection while taking the picture. (Click for a larger view.)

The museum shop is full of educational toys. Once again it was fun to see kids excited by learning.

The Natural History Museum was designed by Alfred Waterhouse and opened in 1881. It's been a landmark in London ever since. Children have been coming here for over 100 years to discover a world bigger than themselves. There has been so much traffic that the mosaic floors have been worn away by 80%. The museum is trying to restore them.

The dinosaur exhibit seems to be the most popular spot in the museum.

You enter on a cat walk that looks down on suspended and dramatically lit dinosaur skeletons. The walkway itself looks like the backbone of a dinosuar.

At the far end you find an animatronic T Rex, and then wind back at ground level under the walk way. It's fun and fast and the kids loved it.

I felt like a kid again too, exploring something new.

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