I love the science museum, these guys are great, they throw awesome events and just don't take themselves seriously. I was dying to go to another one of their awesome Lates and last night was on the topic of Sexuality. Raawwwr.
They fill the place with fun loving young Londoners, dotted a few pop up bars around the place and set up a silent disco. Best of all, it's free! How great is that!
I danced like a fool to my heart's content in the disco, giggled with strangers and was charmed by the staff.
So I love a good Science Museum. And this is a good Science Museum.
How could it not be. Floor after floor of edutainment, where you're both interested and amazed. Things that light up, things that go pop, things you want to touch but can't because they're exhibits and then things that you want to touch and then you can touch because they're made to touch.
Obviously, this is a place for children, but it does appeal to my inner child who still thinks that he could be a scientist by putting baking soda and vinegar in a homemade volcano and watching what happens.
But here's the best part of the Science Museum - Late Nights. Once a month, not only do they extend their hours, but they also do exhibits just for adults (yesterday's was the science of sex), serve alcohol and leave all the other exhibits open so you can press buttons to your heart's content and not have to feel bad that there's a kid waiting that you probably should give up your spot for but you don't really want to (but then do anyway because you're a nice person.) They also have things like DJs and silent discos and great curated exhibits just for the evening.
Seriously, late nights, amazing.
And above all that, like all museums in London, this place is free. And not just free, but all the exhibits, including the special limited time ones, are free too (unlike other spots where most is free and you pay for the rest.) Fantastic.
This place is fantastic! Three floors of show; It's a MUST TRY for science lovers!
Sorry, I just wasn't impressed. And I was ready to be impressed. Perhaps that was the problem. But everything seemed dated and tired. the Higgs Bosson exhibition we went there for was a total let down. They obviously aren't catering for anyone who's picked up a book on the subject, or a newspaper for that matter. It was 10 minutes of a slide show at the beginning about how some fictional characters were very excited about the discovery and then a few stands which seems to tell me the same or irrelevant information. Missed the mark for me somewhat.
We then went to see the psychology exhibition, which was much better, but navigating to it took us about an hour. The building layout and directions are very confusion. We almost gave up. But the small interactive screens were very cool. I found out that my finger prints are rather unique and where my surname is most prevalent in this country.
I desperately want to love this place - my father designed a machine that used to be an exhibit here, so I've always been really fond of it.
I went along to see the Large Hadron Collider exhibition and I was half pleased, half disappointed. We sat down for a video (scientists meeting) at the beginning, and it really didn't tell us anything. I realise that I have a head start with understanding the LHC and what it does, but still - 20 minutes on how three people felt the morning of the unblinding of the Higgs results was waaaay too much. However, once we were released to go through and see the display, it was pretty interesting. I had never seen the detectors, so that was very cool. (In a really nerdy way!)
We then went up to the IMAX cinema to see the 3D film 'Hidden Universe', which again didn't tell me much more than I already know, but was a lot of fun to see.
We also went to the exhibition 'Who am I?" which was FULL of interactive quizzes, games and information - absolutely amazing for children (and pretty good fun for adults too!)
The biggest problem with the museum is that there are still large swathes that are just really old.
TIP: At the shake bar on the third floor. Loads of amazing ice cream and toppings. Cheekily asked if I could steal a malteser to go with my coffee. Grumpy chap told me I had to pay 70p for five. That seems rather a mark up!! (I declined!)
Really cool museum that is full of interesting bits of science related to modern inventions to things that occur in nature. I have been here a few times, including the Science Lates evening. For adults this is the only way to do it! No kids running around, screaming, and getting in the way of reading signs.
The layout is a bit awkward, with the long strech of museum at the back and then having to come back to go up to the other levels. However it is worth wandering around each section to see what is around the corner. One of my favourite exhibits is the "what does the internet sound like." I also really enjoyed the space exhibit... actually I enjoyed most of the exhibits!
Of all the museums in London, this one was the one I was looking forward to the most. Sad to say that I was very disappointed.
There weren't very many interactive exhibits and the building was large and confusing.. Every floor has a different theme to it, but as you go up the stairs, there's less to see. After walking around for about an hour, I got pretty bored.
There are a few displays worth seeing, though. There's this cool holographic globe which shows you satellite images of the earth. The trains and engine displays were pretty fascinating.
Overall, if you have a short amount of time in London, visit other museums. This one is mediocre, in my opinion.
Great place for kids - there were tons of kids there! But it was also an excellent educational place for adults as well. Tons of fun.
In comparison to the V&A museum, and to the Glasgow Science Museum, this isn't a stand out place for me. I suppose in fairness, the one in Glasgow is a Science Centre, so there is a lot more interactive things at the Glasgow one, whereas here it's a lot of displays.
It is still a fascinating place. There's scale replicas of various spacecrafts and other wonderful space related things, there's models of trains and engines and there's a hell of a lot of science. The only thing about this museum out of the 3 main ones is that it's absolutely filled to the brim with children, as it's probably the most child friendly of the three, and with a museum full of screaming children, you're going to eventually end up with a sore head. I didn't spend very long in here for that exact reason.
Got to visit the "Who Am I" exhibit during my London trip and liked it. The other exhibits that showed what items people used in a typical day in the 1920's etc. was also interesting. I liked the vintage cars, too.
I could spend weeks in London ogling exhibits at old medical museums. There is just so much medical history here, I am at a loss for words.
As a student of public health, I had to visit. It didn't disappoint, especially given that it was free. London museums are the best.
So much to do and see, both for adults and kids. It can get really busy at weekends, but even so you are still able to enjoy the exhibits.
Cafe queues can be quite long, as can waiting for lifts. Apart from that, no complaints.
The restaurant at the imax cinema end has burgers, sandwiches, pasta and soups that are really tasty.
Being a geek and a scientist, I looked foward to my latest visit to the Science Museum but I was sorely disappointed.
I just felt that they didn't fully utilise the space effectively. i tried to see the place through the eyes of a child and I didn't find it an inspiring visit. Not enough interactive exhibits. Quite dull in my book and I felt doubly disappointed as it was to have been the highlight of my visit to 'museum row'.
At least it was free. Oh dear, I hope I'm not turning into Victor Meldrew!
Oh, and one more thing:
Silent Disco = awesome to a previously unknown level. Seriously, this stuff could change the world, one grooving, clapping, silent head-phoned person at a time.
Mind your head? I was blown away... in the Exploring Space gallery. "It's human nature to stretch, to go, to see, to understand. It's not a choice, really. It's an imperative" (Michael Collins, Gemini 10/Apollo 11)
To stretch: I was with a father and his son on the Flight 360 simulator exploring the virtual sky. For a moment, we thought to fly above 8km/sec in order to escape the Earth...
To go: whether in the Flight gallery or the Modern World gallery, we were never alone. The volunteer guides were full of energy and vivid stories making our journey fun and memorable. Some of my favourites are the oldest locomotive, the Puffing Billy, Stephenson's Rocket, Ford Model T, Lockheed Electra, and the Apollo 10 Capsule.
To see: Hubble 3D IMAX not only made our eyes dazzle, but also make our hearts pump. 30+ lives stood by ready to sacrifice in order to save Hubble. The Glimpses of Medical History gallery has the detailed models of the important moments. I was surprised to find out how real the old operating theatre and the pharmacy store look with the actual ones in London.
To understand: Who am I? is the new exhibition integrating modern technology. The interactive website has lot to explore (sciencemuseum.org.uk/who…). I'm proud to say that my mentee was part of the planning team as she did her summer internship with the museum.
The giant light catcher, mirror from the great Rosse's telescope in the 1850s, reflects our exciting moments, childhood, time at MIT, and much more beyond imagination.
Kudos to Paul, Eddie, Daniela, Nana to accompany my wonderful science journeys!
If you're a geek - you'll love it!
Seriously though, I could spend hours here, before being dragged away kicking and screaming like a child
- my poor girlfriend! She had to put up with me in geek heaven looking at all the cool stuff and then making sure I have'nt missed anything by checking it out again.
It still amazes me that this place is free and well done to London for getting that right - so many schools come here from all over the country, its great to be able to be involved and interact with so much technology.
I can't imagine London without it's science museum - in my opinion it really puts it in the top museums in the world - without question.
As an adult there is only one way to truly enjoy the Science Museum and that is Science Museum Late aka SM Lates. I went this past Wednesday and fell in love with Silent Disco! The best thing about this event is that it's free. Entrance into the museum is free and the Silent Disco is free! For the unitiated this is a giant dance paryt where people are given their own headphone where that allow you to choose what music you listen too. The result is a bunch of people dancing and/or singing to literally to their own tune.
You can also get free entrance into many of the museums attractions that you would otherwise have to pay for like the IMAX and the new Wallace and Gromit exhibit. Or if you want to just walk around and appreciate human scientific achievement you can finally do it in peace and quiet with a glass of wine, beer or a cocktail. Does it get any better than this. Now if only it happened more than once a month...
A fun stop on any family tour. Lots of reading on the first floor and not so much interactive exhibits, travel up to floor two for more hands on exhibits.
Hidden gems on the top floors; History of Medicine and Medical Scenes. I was feeling a bit let down by the science center and on a whim discovered the top two floors. Tucked away about the flight experience (total tourist trap) you'll find the Health Matters exhibit. If you have small children this might be your last stop on the top floors unless they will tolerate some reading from you. The glimpse into medical scenes is amazing. View medical scenes dating back to cavemen through 1986 complete with mannequins and tools. While this exhibit is a little outdated it's not gory and it's extremely educational. If you did bring little ones along skip the corner that starts with the caveman diorama - it gets a bit gory in there.
History of Medicine is on the floor above and it's fantastic. Not the usual flashy exhibit this one contains loads and loads of older medical equipment in glass case after case after case. Allow a good hour to scan this floor. It's much smaller but you can't beat the items and information. Amazing!
Another exhibit not to miss is the ships. Mostly ignored in the reading material about the museum this wing is chock full of models of the worlds most notable ocean liners and the like. Really a gem of an exhibit for sure. Again, not full of bright colors so might be tough to keep the kids engaged. Also on that side of the museum are the Math and Computer exhibits. Not my thing but a nerd convention for sure.
The IMAX theatre is decent and the shows are short. If you're on a budget you might want to skip these - not enough bang for the buck. I saw Deep Sea and was mildly impressed. Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet narrate the film. Why couldn't they get Leo? Right outside the IMAX is the Welcomme Center. Worth a peek around for sure. I had already had my fill of screaming kids so I didn't look too closely.
All in all a great museum. My favorite in London? No, definitely not but free and educational. At the time of writing the tube exit was closed. Head on up the V&A tunnel and you can exit to the street and get to the Science Museum that way.
On a sunny Saturday in London, I decided to take a bit of a walk with only my keys, iPhone on armband with headphones, and ID in tow... and I ended up in the Science Museum.
Hooooomg, it's fantastic in there. Seriously, it's free. Not like the V&A where it's freeeeeeee, but not if you want to see any of the special stuff! It's free. Even all the special exhibits are free. Okay, sure. If you want IMAX, you'll pay. But whatevs.
You guys, the Apollo 10 Command Module is there. That ALONE was worth the trip for my geeky NASA nerd self. But there's so much more stuff! LOTS OF STUFF! There are rockets and cars and Vespas and engines and boats and computers and moon rocks, the London Philharmonia's Universe of Sound where I got to play a triangle and tambourine (yes, even 31-year-olds love banging on percussion), and a whole area called "Who am I?" that you can mess around in for a good, long while and find out that you, as you've always suspected, have man hands.
So I've been here twice -- once for the monthly adult night, and the other as a volunteer trip with some kids from an academy.
The adult night was actually really fun -- things are set up in the museum, rather than having things set up around what's in it. They had free oyster samplings in the cafe, everything was open up as it would normally, but there were special rooms set up: wallace and gromit milkshake-making session, a lecture on sexual relations, speed-dating, silent disco, and a dj/dance floor at the launch pad. I think this takes place every second or third wednesday of the month, so i would recommend checking it out for a different experience.
When i went with the kids, it was a lot more boring... for me. The IMAX shows were really cool, but everything does seem a little bland, although the kids loved the launch pad room. It wouldn't hold my attention for that long, but it's worth popping by.
I'll preface this by saying that the bulk of my enjoyment here has been on one of their smlate events.
Everything seems to be well set out for their late night events - and whilst the alcohol stopped being served earlier than I appreciated (at the same time as the silent disco - I wanted moar drink after that, damnit!), it's understandable that they kinda wanted rid of us. The staff I spoke to seemed pretty nice - and even put up with my trying to convince them to open things for us, or let us queue jump, etc.
During the days, I remember as a kid kinda being a bit bored of the place. As someone else said, there's a lack of real interactivity to really draw in the young'uns. Not an issue in the late events, as the whole point is you're AVOIDING the kids, but they're a relatively small part of what the museum does/open times. Alas!
All in all, it does what it does well, and the lates are worth going to, so I really can't fault it.
When I walk into the huge, dark room with the rockets and moon landing crafts on the walls, I feel 8 again. That one room is the essence of the Science Museum for me. But we all grow up. This place is great for adults - interesting exhibitions and the *amazing* science museum lates and perfect for kids too - take any surly toddler down to the interactive area and watch them melt with excitement.
It's just brilliant. Living in London means I can occasionally come for an hour on a weekday and avoid the crowds and not feel like I've got to see every, single, last exhibit.
A massive museum filled with many things. The focus seems to be more on the engineering and physics side of science, rather than biology (that's what the Natural History Museum is for). Lots of exhibits on current issues, such as energy.
The elevators are slow and there aren't many, but there are stairs everywhere for those of you who aren't lazy.
Admission is free, so you might as well visit.
It's definitely geared for younger visitors; kids will love it, but there's still many interesting exhibits for adults.
Science! Tons and tons of it! I had been to this museum back in 2007 (before Yelp?) and was in the neighborhood so I stopped by to see what had changed. While a few things were exactly as they were back then (apparently the Concorde is still flying and the 747 is the largest passenger plane), there were still a number of new exhibits that impressed me.
One whole area on "Plasticity" was interesting, going into depth of how much plastic does in our lives - from Barbie dolls to furniture and more.
Lots of climate change displays on the human impact on our planet were especially interesting and quite insightful.
If you do it right, the Science museum is an all day event. You can easily spend 5 or 6 hours walking through each of the exhibits. Most of the museum is completely free - only some of the premium movies and such are an extra cost.
I was visiting the UK to do a little research about my hero Alan Turing, and one of the first places I hit was the Science Museum.
Not only is their mathematics gallery informative, interactive, and fun, but they actually have rebuilds of, are rebuilding, or have built Babbage's difference engine and mechanical computers. They also have the Pilot ACE (one of the first electronic computers) that was completed based on Turing's designs.
The shop is a lot of fun, too, with all kinds of gadgets and toys to inspire creativity in the kids or to make the geek in you go crazy.
I highly recommend a trip and with free admission, how can you go wrong?
Came for the Aircraft exhibits and was not disappointed. While not even 1/10 the size of the RAF, USAF, or Smithsonian Air and Space Museums, the aircraft and engines displayed are extremely significant.
From the actual first aircraft to cross the Atlantic, the Vickers Vimy to the first British jet aircraft, the collection is superb. There are also a Spitfire and a Hurricane hanging from the rafters along with a number of other exhibits. You can get pretty close to those aircraft from an elevated walkway that traverses the exhibit hall.
It also houses a huge collection of early jet and piston engines from WWI and WWII up to the present.
The rest of the museum has various types of machinery and other items like a steam boiler used for the earliest steam engines used in English mines and the Apollo 10 Command module.
If you are interested in Engineering and the Sciences, this is the best of the great free museums in London. Don't forget to make a donation to keep them free.
My least favorite museum I visited in London. Maybe if you're a true science geek, you'll enjoy it. I was a biology major and almost-chemistry minor in college and I did not. There was a long exhibit running around an entire floor that focused on developing technology in the 20th century and how London got through the wars. The only thing I liked was a Vivienne Westwood creation that was more fashion than science. But it was mostly for kids I think even worse than Boston's Science Museum which I also don't enjoy because it's strongly geared towards kids.
Perhaps if I came on adult nights with free food, it would change my mind.
There are many things London does well, but they can truly crank the hell out of a museum. Seriously, the science museum is fabulous, in all manners of the word. It is huge, stylish and fills you with a feeling of grandeur. It makes learning about the intricacies of science fun.
Some smarty pants decided on throwing late night science parties. Once again... FABULOUS! It is free (expect long queues though) and late into the night you can enjoy the museum with a beer or glass of wine in your hand, marvel at some of the interactive exhibitions and shows, and best of all take part in the silent disco. "Silent what...?" Yep, a silent disco, and I'll tell you what... yeah you guessed it, that's fabulous too.
Seriously, it doesn't matter whether your twelve or eighty-two, the Science Museum is definitely worth a visit.
In London you truly are spoilt for choice when it comes to FREE and wonderful museums. Due to this The Science Museum, situated in the middle of two other glorious museums, the Natural History and the V & A, isn't always my first port of call. Don't get me wrong, it is a brilliant Museum and I would highly recommend taking your children.
However, upon visiting at the weekend I saw a fascinating current exhibit called 'Listening Posts', not recommended for children due to it's uncensored content. It takes the form of a large scale art installation, consisting of numerous small monitor screens with real time text from chat rooms across the world wide web, Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin have created "a dynamic portrait of online communication, displaying uncensored fragments of text, sampled in real time, from public Internet chat rooms and bulletin boards". The screens filter and order fragments of text into scenes akin to movements in a symphony.
It is an amazing exhibit illustrating the current sound of the Internet and mesmerising if, like me, you find this crazy Internet age truly wondrous.
Like Yee Gan, being a geek and a scientist, I was also looking forward to the British Science Museum and was also sorely disappointed. Sure it was big and had lots of exhibits. But it was soooooo boring!! THIS is the reason that most people non-scientific find science boring! I mean, sure it's free so I should appreciate it. But free should not equate to dull.
I went to a science museum in Valencia, Spain and it was so much more exciting! So much more interactive. And everything was explained well enough for both a science-y and non-science-y person to understand, and not dumbed down either. Plus, it was fun! i.e. there was a Marvel Comics superheroes exhibit that explained the "scientific nature" of the superhero powers etc. This is what a science museum should be like. And exactly what the British Science museum isn't.
If you visit London with kids and the weather's not up to much, you should definitely head over to the Science Museum. The shop itself is enough to keep 8-14 year olds amused for an hour or two.
Head up to the 3rd floor and visit the Launchpad for excellent hands-on activities and experiments, I love the mirror that allows you to shake a ghostly hand with yourself. Watch out parents though... last time I was volunteered to have a sledgehammer swung down into my chest with only some thin wood for protection by one of the demonstrators.
There are lots of other hands on galleries too, some you have to pay for, and some which are not that interesting to kids. The IMAX cinema is supposed to be good too.
Highly recommended and less busy that trying to see dinosaurs at the National History.
Like "A brief history of nearly everything" come to life. Without Bryson's annoying narrative.
It will bring out the kid in you.
Out of all the museums on museum row, this one is my least favourite. It is lovely enough but wasn't hands on enough for my likes. I am a very tactile person and reading about science and looking at the exhibits wasn't really my cup of tea. I wanted to be able to do more experimentation.
The IMAX theater is a nice trip though and I went here several times with friends.
Love, love, love the Science Museum! Unlike some of the other reviewers, I actually quite *like* the austerity, dryness, and non-interactivity of this museum. Part of what I find so exciting about science is the history of it and the sense of awe and humility I get from thinking about things so much bigger and more complex than my puny little life, so the fact that the Science Museum is a building that houses a lot of STUFF, rather than millions of interactive exhibits, is just fine with me. Plus my husband is a huge space nerd, so I had my very own wanna-be docent, giving me wonderful, super-excited lectures (ad nauseum) about the rockets and models that the Space Gallery is packed with. He was like an excited 6-year-old at the zoo.
We decided to visit the museum in the mid-afternoon on a Sunday. We went to the IMAX 3-D Deep Sea movie, which was awesome but left us little time to see much more. We'd both been here before, but our spongy little brains were thirsty for more SCIENCE!!!(tm) so we're already stoked about returning next weekend.
It is hard to find an excuse to visit the Science Museum if you don't have kids, so the best time to go is when you are babysitting. Though children do seem to get bored rather quickly looking at the non-interactive exhibits. I still love Launch Pad, the interactive area, which has changed location numerous times since I was a child. There are all sorts of different experiments to try and lots of knowledgeable staff ready to explain them. There are also science lessons presented in an entertaining format that encourages audience participation, which are great for children to learn about a specific topic.
The rest of the museum has a range of themes, from the History of Medicine to Shipping Through the Ages, with many of the exhibitions being permanent. Trying to see the entire museum is definitely an all day project, and is perfect on a wet winter day. However, you might want to try and take in the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum on the same day and just concentrate on a few areas.
Went to the special event Science museum holds called "Science museum lates" last night (last Wednesday of every month). Already my third time here and second time at lates, so not quite new to me, but still had fun!
Basically, science museum lates is 6:45pm-10pm and it's just for adults, so there are no kids screaming and running around wildly. Also, wine/beer is served! It's free to go in and look around for the most part, but several of the more interactive rides and imax costs money.
The coolest floor by far was the "launchpad" (3rd floor). They have a bunch of little games and experiments set up about light, electricity, sound, etc.
Only bad thing is that there's a massive queue to enter (but it goes at a decent speed, we probably waited 10-15 min) and because it's so packed, you have to wait here and there to have your go at the games. Educational and fun.. and you can buy astronaut ice cream in the gift shop before you leave!!
I remember this place as a child being uber fascinating.
It used to be free I remember, it may be again now.
It always captivated my scientific senses. The cool thing was the area where you actually got to see "science in action" whether it was pedalling a bike to generate electricity or the sand mechanical contraption. Clearly these have been updated since I was last there but coming again more recently.....
Many things had changed but it still had the same feel from when I came on a school trip. It's worth a revisit every so often as it is vast and trying to see it all completely in a day is almost sheer madness!
Probably one of my fav. musuems in London, of which there are plenty to choose from!
I am still amazed that the amazing museums in london are for free. It is something that anyone must definitely take advantage of.
The Science museum is huge and it can take more than two days to see everything in proper detail. I have been there more specifically in the Mathematics gallery. It does not take long to see this gallery, (about 45 min) although I am no good with numbers I enjoy seeing all the shapes and forms numbers can create. It is a universal language, it is an exact science. On display you can see ellipses, polygons, polyhedra, sliceforms, topological surfaces and even a very large model of a slide rule in which you can practice getting your own sums right!
If you are interested in understanding what exactly the above terminology means you must wander over to south kensington.
If some of the subjects above are of no interest for you then there is another thing which is more everyone's cup of tea.
The IMAX 3D is a must! I went to see Fly me to the Moon 3D, it is the exciting adventure of three flies that go into outer space in the Apollo 11 mission (the one that landed on the moon). It very funny, educational and its in 3D, so cool! It's only £7.50 for adults and £6.00 for children and students.
I used to go here every weekend -gave it a rest for about a year and last weekend went back with child in tow. Just how amazing is the water section for kids ??
The basement has alot on interactive areas including the water fountain / scupture / trough thingy!
There is a wall of supposably water proof flurescent ponchos in varying sizes for the children to put on which never really keep them dry -- you inevitalbly have a wet child at the end of it !!
This has to be one of the most popular spots in London for kids or it certainly feels like it . It is so crowded and the water section is only one part.
This museum is amazing and even more incredibly free!
The kids know this is for them and they seem to really react to the space - or mine does --maybe it is living in the east end that does that!
I did not enjoy science at school. The only fond memories I have are of practical lessons and attempting to see how many strange colours and puffs of smoke you could create with your chemicals. However, now I've grown up a bit I deeply regret not paying more attention. Science has recently provided me with more awe-inspring moments than any work of fiction ever could. For instance did you know that the static on the television when it isn't tuned correctly holds a signall from the big bang, an explosion that happened 4000 billion years ago? That's some crazy shit.
Along with my newfound love of science I've taking to frequenting the British home of science in the form of the Science Museum in South Kensington. Like its neighbour The Natural History Museum it provides entertainment and knowledge to people of all ages and features interactive and less interactive features to get your teeth into.
The Science Museum has a wealth of different attractions but its main galleries are Making the Modern World, featuring a whole host of engineering marvels, Exploring Space, a favourite with the kids (and myself), and the Energy Hall, which holds an array of steam engines which helped power the industrial revolution.
Other features of the Museum include a coffe shop/cafeteria for mum and dad to relax.
A word of warning - don't come on a bank holiday unless you want to be awallowed by wave upon wave of screaming children. Bear this in mind and I guarantee and fun and informative outing.
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