- With its splendid array of exhibitions and galleries that will excite and delight people of all ages, this is easily one of the best free museums in London.
- There are several free object galleries in the Science Museum that are open to the public, exploring space, humanity and even time.
- Interactive galleries Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery and Engineer Your Future, which include hands-on exploration, activities and games.
- Get ready to expand your knowledge with the Science Museum’s exhibitions on medicine, space, maths, and more.
At South Kensington's Science Museum, there's a plethora of artefacts to marvel at, activities to interact with and an abundance of scientific knowledge to gain. It’s one of London’s top attractions, the go-to place for all things science, and tons of fun to boot. It’s no wonder it attracts around 3.3 million visitors every year!
The London Science Museum has several permanent exhibitions for families to enjoy, with most of the museum free of charge to explore. Certain temporary exhibitions may require a paid ticket. Throughout the museum, there are special exhibitions, a unique collection of items and historical wonders to be blown away by, and incredible hands-on interactive galleries that the kids can get involved in. The object galleries will have your curiosity sparked, as you observe over 250 years’ worth of artefacts from all over the world. If bringing kids with specific interests, whether that's space, transport or gaming, why not go on one of the family trails? You’ll whizz through the building to the best spots for you, with plenty to explore on tour about their favourite subject.
See, hear and feel the technologies from the past, and observe their tremendous evolutions over the years. Even better, experience some of them yourself in the immersive simulators the Museum has to offer. Find out what it’s like to be aboard a Typhoon jet or take the controls on Fly 360 and see what’s like to be the pilot! If you've got younger kids, the brilliant Fly Kids simulator was specifically designed for two to five-year olds.
While you're at the Museum, be sure to check out Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries. There are 3,000 medical artefacts to marvel at in the vast exhibition space - said to be the same amount of space 1,500 hospital beds would take up! Prepare to be amazed by 500 years of historical artefacts, from Alexander Fleming’s penicillin mould to the world’s very first MRI scanner, and some seriously advanced medical robotics. As if that isn’t enough, there are some commissioned works created specially for the exhibition; you’ll get to see unique works by artists Eleanor Crook, Studio Roso and Mark Quinn, plus photography by Sian Davey. The multimedia exhibition is educational, enlightening and interactive, offering educational fun in different formats for kids (and adults) of all ages.
Hosting some of the most brilliant exhibitions London has to offer, the Science Museum does not hold back. You’ll have the opportunity to check out a life-size model of the first spacecraft to explore Mercury, BepiColombo. With no details spared, this European Space Agency’s spacecraft is perfect for any space fanatic or aspiring astronaut.
In case you thought the Science Museum was just for kids, adults can enjoy the Science Museum Lates; special nights where the museum is open past its normal closing time. They typically occur on the last Wednesday of every month. From chats to curator’s talks to silent discos, the Science Museum is very much a place for adults too.
For some awesome scientific goodies, the Science Museum Shop is available for the purchasing of exhibition souvenirs, cool science toys and fun science experiments to try at home! Feel free to have a look in the shop, or buy online if you prefer.
With so much to see, it’s no wonder the average time spent in the Science Museum is two hours. What’s more, the area has even more to show you, with the Natural History Museum a two-minute walk away and the incredible Design Museum also in Kensington, it’ll simply be one London museum after another, perfect for a wonderful family day out.
What to know before you go
- General admission is free but special exhibitions may charge for tickets.
- Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery requires a day pass, with prices starting from £8.
- Some artefacts in Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery use magnets, so those with medical devices such as pacemakers are warned that these may be affected. Each of these items will have a warning sign beside it.
- Toilets and baby changing facilities are all accessible.
- A buggy parking area can be found in the Family Room on Level -1.
- Food and drink can be bought from The Energy Café, with eat-in and takeaway options available.
- If you fancy a picnic, you can bring your own food and eat in the picnic area on Level 3, outside the Equinor Gallery.
- The museum is wheelchair accessible, with lifts throughout and a small number of adult and child wheelchairs are available for borrowing. They can be booked in advance or on the day.
- The nearest station is South Kensington (Zone 1) which is on the District, Piccadilly and Circle lines. South Kensington station is a five-minute walk from the museum, via the pedestrian subway.
- Buses 14, 49, 70, 74, 345, 360, 414, 430, and C1 stop in front of South Kensington station also.
- There aren’t any parking facilities for museum visitors, but the nearest pay-and-display parking areas are on Prince Consort Road and Queen’s Gate.
- Blue Badge Holders can park in any of the disabled parking spaces on Exhibition Road, for four hours.