Review: Natural History Museum, Tring

The Natural History Museum in Tring has been on my to do list for a while. Here’s what we thought when we finally got there!

Throughout the Summer holidays NHM Tring has been running workshops linked to their exhibitions. Today was Magnify Minibeasts, an hour long chance to explore minibeasts in the Museum grounds and find out how they see in their world.

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We started with a trio of activities to help demonstrate how dragonflies, spiders and snails see with wonderful hands on activities including luminous paint! 

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Next we examined trays of pond water to identify a range of inhabitants from snails to dragonfly larvae with experts on hand to help us. We loved seeing them up close in our magnifying pots.

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Finally we heading to the meadows with our nests to hung for minibeasts in the grasses. Aided by our knowledgeable guides we saw lots of minibeasts from shield bugs to crickets and grasshoppers. So much fun. 

After our Minibeast workshop we had worked up an appetite. Zebra cafe is on site offering sandwiches, children’s lunch boxes, cakes and hot and cold drinks. It is open on weekends and school holidays!

This time we took a picnic and sat at one of the many picnic tables on offer. Luckily the sun was shining but on rainy days there is also an indoor picnic area. 

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My eldest daughter is obsessed with animals and is equally excited about them whether dead or alive. As I suspected, the vast collection of stuffed mammals, birds, reptiles and insects were a huge hit.

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There are six galleries including a temporary exhibition space. You can get really up close to the specimens here which my girls loved. I suspect their highlight though was getting to sit on a model giant tortoise in the Rothschild room…

Our time in the galleries was short this time but for future visits we will definitely make use of the activity sheets on sale in the shop. There are three available designed for different age groups as well as clipboards to borrow which Lottie loved!

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Continuing with the theme of eyesight, Animal Vision is NHM Tring’s latest family exhibition. This free exhibition features a range of animal eyeballs on display as well as lots of hands on activities. My two particularly enjoyed matching the eyes to the correct animal face as well as spotting camouflaged animals on a great interactive screen.

We had a fantastic day at NHM Tring – it really is a museum like no other! 

 More information

  • NHM Tring is open Monday – Saturday from 10.00am – 5.00pm and Sunday from 2.00pm – 5.00pm. 
  • Admission is free except for some additional activities. 
  • Check out what’s on before you go. Some events require advance booking. 
  • Parking is free. There is a small car park next to the museum and an overflow car park a short walk away. 
  • Your best bet for food is a picnic or a bite to eat in Tring itself – especially during the week.