Life in the Dark | Natural History Museum
In a world full of baby groups it is very easy to forget that, as fun as they are, they aren't particularly enriching. We have decided that once a month a culture day is needed, where we get out and about in London and explore all the many things it has to offer. It's also good to venture further than the little corner we have been living in, there's only so many times you can walk around your local park.
So on a continued exploration of enlightening Rosalind's mind we set off to the latest exhibition at the National History Museum. One of my mum friends had suggested 'Life in the Dark' as a good place to start as it would work as a baby sensory for them.
We set off, baby wearing and hopping on a tube just after rush hour. We must have looked like quite the mum club, the three of us with babies strapped to our chests.
We alighted at South Kensington and came out of the station just as the National History Museum gates opened. We quickly joined the queue and once inside headed straight to the coffee shop for a catch up and a chance to feed the babies (and ourselves) before heading to the exhibition for our time slot.
Once we'd had our fill of cake and coffee (San Pellegrino lemon and a brownie for me) and the little ones had been changed, watered and strapped back in we headed through the main hall, under the impressive Blue Whale that is currently suspended, diving towards visitors as they enter.
Turning off down one of the many wings we got to the exhibition and headed inside. It was a strong start, all the babies were completely transfixed by the forest light mural on the wall so we stood there for a good few moments letting it sink in.
Walking through surrounded by the sounds of the night we had a chance to read about the animals who thrive in the darkness using all the senses. Each was split into categories dependant on their night time/ darkness strength. There were the usual suspects, birds, fish, bats, anteaters and the some very strange looking animals with huge eyes and long claws.
The next major installation to completely capture the babies attention was the 'bat cave' where lights danced in the ceiling over head, rushing back and forth mimicking the movement of bats.
Rosie joined the other two in looking up, her eyes darting all over the place as she tried to take it all in. You could only imagine what they must have been thinking!
Moving on and we stood in front of infrared sensors, laughing because my nose was cold and so in the image it looked black whilst Rosie's head glowed.
We had a chance to stroke a taxidermy badger and fox, the fox fur being MUCH softer than I expected. I said to the girls that even though I grew up in the country I have never seen a badger (apart from at the side of the road sadly). I see plenty of urban foxes in London though!
The final installation was by far my favourite, lots of tiny lights all made to mimic the life found at the depths of the ocean. I find it absolutely fascinating thinking about all the life under the sea and how it's a whole part of the world that remains largely unexplored.
Again Rosalind was wide eyed at the lights but I think it may have all been a bit much for her, walking around in the dark, because she fell asleep as we left the exhibition.
We'd thought that we could maybe pop in and see the dinosaurs but with all the babies asleep we decided it could keep for another day. I don't think you could get around the whole museum before closing time, there's just so much to see.
We've also found that it is very easy to get out of the babies schedule when you are out and about, and as parents you tire very quickly so it's always better to leave sooner than you think you should.
We did go and take a better look at the whale before we left however, the size of it is just astonishing. Of course we stopped for the obligatory selfie with our babies, capturing the memories.
I'm so excited to bring Rosie to look at all the animals once she is a bit older and can understand just what she is looking at.
If you are in London and looking for something to do to keep even the smallest of children entertained definitely make sure you visit Life in the Dark. It's informative and interactive, a perfect way to spend an hour or so educating your children. If nothing else it'll blow their minds with all the light displays!
You can find more information and book a time slot here.
Oh and guess who woke up just as we were leaving. Probably a good thing though, her Daddy would have killed me if I'd taken her to see the dinosaurs without him...