February events @ Natural History Museum

February 1, 2010toFebruary 28, 2010

February events

Nature Live in the Attenborough Studio

  • Discover more about the work of some of the Museum’s 350 scientists and world class experts in a daily programme of informal, lively discussions in the Attenborough Studio. These live, interactive events allow you to quiz scientists about their work, see and touch real specimens and have your say in controversial and provocative debates using cutting-edge technologies to fully immerse yourself in the natural world.
  • The Attenborough Studio is the Darwin Centre’s hi-tech, purpose-built venue where an innovative and free daily programme of films and live events bring together for the first time real Museum specimens and scientists, live animals and footage of creatures in their natural habitat.
  • Daily at 14.30 and weekends at 12.30 and 14.30

Natural Diversity Season

  • Nature Live is celebrating the amazing diversity of planet Earth as part of the International Year of Biodiversity 2010. We will journey around the world and through our immense collections to discover the work our scientists do to study and record our planet’s natural diversity and view some amazing specimens that are rarely seen. Join us as we venture from the depths of space to the bottom of the oceans and from the highest mountains to the largest forests. Discuss why thousands of minerals, millions of mammals and billions of insects matter and how your actions can help shape the world around you.
  • Every Tuesday and Thursday at 14.30 until 1 April

The Frozen Archive

  • Climate change is rarely out of the news these days. But what is the evidence that we are not simply going through a warm period in Earth’s naturally varying climate? Some of the answers lie frozen into the polar ice caps. Hear how scientists are able to unlock their secrets and what these secrets mean for the planet.
  • 1 February at 14.30

Holey Whale Bones

  • Come and meet the zombie-worm, Osedax. These extraordinary creepy-crawlies dwell in the deep dark oceans feeding on the bones of dead whales. Join us as we look at how these worms eke out a living on this strange diet.
  • 5 February at 14.30

A Body of Evidence

  • When unidentified bodies are found, how do we put a name to the skeleton? Join us as we talk to a forensic anthropologist to find out how it’s done and learn about the techniques that can be used to assist with police investigations.
  • 10 February at 14.30

Malaria, Climate Change and Mosquitoes

  • The growth of malaria parasites in mosquitoes is temperature-sensitive. The mosquitoes that transmit malaria thrive in regions with warm, humid conditions and climate change is likely to allow the disease to spread into new areas. Join us to find out how Museum scientists are trying to combat this and discover what other factors affect the spread of the disease.
  • 22 February at 14.30

The Aye-ayes of Madagascar

  • Of all our primate cousins, the nocturnal and elusive aye-ayes are undoubtedly the weirdest. Among their many specialised features are continuously growing front teeth and a probe-like middle finger. Join us as we explore how aye-aye anatomy and behaviour have evolved to fill a unique ecological niche and allow them access to some unusual resources.
  • 24 February at 14.30

The Variety in our Solar System

  • From tiny specks of dust to giant planets made of rock and gas, to moons and rings, our Solar System is populated by amazing celestial bodies. Meet a Museum meteorite researcher to find out about the variety of the planets, moons and asteroids that revolve around our sun and hold some space material for yourself.
  • 25 February at 14.30

Hands-On Nature: Oceans

  • Visit the handling trolley in Lasting Impressions and take a closer look at some interesting specimens with the help of our science educators.
  • Every Saturday and Sunday, 14.00–17.00 and Monday, Wednesday and Friday throughout half term

Crafty Nature: Fabulous Fossils

  • Roll up your sleeves and join artists for exciting craft workshops. Use interesting materials to make fun creations based on natural history themes. This workshop takes place in Fossil Marine Reptiles and is suitable for children under seven.
  • 6 and 20 February, 11.00–13.00 and 14.00–16.00

Natural Puppet Tales

  • Join our storyteller and her puppets in lively storytelling workshops based on discovering amazing facts about the natural world. The workshop is best suited to families with children aged seven and under.
  • 28 February, 12.00 and 13.30
  • Admission: free, to reserve a place please visit the Central Hall information desk

Family half term events

Discover the Chinese Dragon

  • The Chinese New Year is represented by 12 animals. Discover more about them and find out which animal year you were born in from our Chinese storyteller and her dragon friend. This storytelling session takes place in the Flett Events Theatre foyer and is suitable for children aged 5–12. To reserve a place, please visit the Central Hall information desk.
  • 17, 18 and 19 February
  • 12.00, 14.00 and 15.00

Animated Fossils

  • Drop in to our animation activity in Fossil Marine Reptiles to explore how a fossil is made and make a storyboard and flipbook.
  • 16 and 18 February
  • 11.30–12.00 and 14.00–15.30

Gallery character: Charles Darwin

  • Meet Charles Darwin and his collection of beetles in the Central Hall, and hear about his famous theory for the evolution of all living things.
  • 15 February
  • 11.30–13.00 and 14.00–15.30

Gallery character: Mary Anning

  • Meet Mary Anning in Fossil Marine Reptiles, with her collection of interesting fossils.
  • 14 and 20 February
  • 11.30–13.00 and 14.00–15.30

Animal Vision

  • Join us for this interactive show with live animals and discover – how eye adaptations in animals such as snakes, iguanas and chameleons allow individuals to escape and locate prey, that bees and butterflies can detect ultraviolet light, the mystery surrounding scorpions and ultraviolet light
  • This interactive show is suitable for families with children aged seven years and over
  • 13, 17 and 28 February
  • 10:30, 11:30 & 13:30


Darwin Centre
Journey deep into the heart of the eight-storey cocoon to glimpse the working life of our scientists in collections and laboratories, quiz scientists about their cutting-edge research or view specially created natural history footage – all opening up the hidden world of the Natural History Museum’s scientific collections and research.  The new £78 million Darwin Centre is a state-of-the-art scientific research and collections facility that can be used by over 200 scientists at a time. It is also an awe-inspiring new public space inviting you to explore the natural world in an exciting and innovative way. The architectural highlight is a 65-metre-long, eight-storey-high cocoon – the largest sprayed concrete, curved structure in Europe. It safeguards the 17 million insect and three million plant specimens held inside the building.


  • Cocoon – travel through the Cocoon experience deep into the heart of the collections to glimpse the working life of our scientists. See the previously hidden world of scientific research through viewing decks, video, intercom and over 40 high-tech installations and hands-on interactive activities. Visitors will be able to interact with learning activators stationed throughout Cocoon and find out more about scientific techniques used in labs at Science Focus activity points near the viewing decks.
  • NaturePlus – take a NaturePlus card with you to personalise your journey around Cocoon. Use it to collect your favourite exhibits and specimens – from butterflies to a rhino beetle – and then discover more online at home, where you can also join in discussions with Museum scientists.
  • Attenborough Studio – the Attenborough Studio is a state-of-the-art communication centre where innovative technology, Museum specimens, live animals, spectacular natural history film footage and Museum scientists come together to create an inspiring programme of free daily films and live events.
  • Climate Change Wall – interact with the unmissable 12 metre wall of screens displaying films and interactive graphics that spotlight Earth’s changing climate and how the Museum’s research informs global efforts to understand that change.
  • Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity – a new resource centre for people or organisations with an interest in UK natural history. Much of the Museum’s UK collections are available here for amateur naturalists to study and visitors are encouraged to bring in their own finds and meet the Centre’s dedicated enquiries staff.
  • Architecture – explore this architecturally stunning building with breathtaking views from the eight-storey cocoon over the west London skyline, into the Wildlife Garden and up close to the Museum’s original terracotta façade.


  • TREE is a cross-section of an entire 200-year-old oak tree, cut lengthways, including the roots, trunk and branches and inserted into the ceiling of a gallery behind Central Hall. At more than 17 metres long, it is one of the largest specimens at the Museum. TREE is inspired by Charles Darwin’s iconic tree of life sketch, representing evolution, from his transmutation notebook B.
  • In 2008, 10 leading contemporary artists were invited to submit responses to celebrate Darwin’s two hundredth birthday and 150 years since the publication of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. The resulting exhibition of proposals, Darwin’s Canopy, was the first event in the Darwin200 programme, a nationwide series of events celebrating Darwin’s ideas and their impact around his two hundredth birthday. TREE was selected for commission from the 10 proposals and is also part of the Darwin200 celebrations.
  • Daily 10.00–17.50
  • Free

Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year
See the environment around you with new eyes and be inspired by the latest winning entries in the world’s most prestigious showcase of wildlife photography.  Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year is owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine. It is the international leader in the artistic representation of the natural world. The exhibition showcases the very best photographic images of nature, giving visitors an insight into the beauty, drama and variety of our natural environment.  The winning images are displayed in a stunning exhibition launched at the Natural History Museum that then tours the UK and overseas. Through an interactive installation, visitors to the exhibition can find out what the judges, scientists and photographers think about particular images. In addition, visitors can select their favourite image or choose from a selection of prints to have in their own home.

  • To 11 April 2010, 10.00–17.50
  • Admission:  adult, Gift Aid admission £9*concession, Gift Aid admission £4.50* family, Gift Aid admission £24* (up to two adults andthree children); free for Members, Patrons and children aged three and under

Daily family activities

Explorer backpacks

  • Grab your binoculars, put on your backpack and take a mini-adventure around the Museum. Filled with pens, paper, games and activities, these bright red backpacks are a fun way to explore the Museum’s galleries. Choose from themes including birds, mammals, oceans, primates, monsters and Wildlife Garden.
  • Suitable for under sevens.
  • Daily 10.00–17.00
  • £25 refundable deposit required
  • Please collect from the Central Hall information desk

Family Earth Lab

  • For families with children aged six and above. Drop in to Earth Lab and join our science educators to explore the wonder of fossils, rocks and minerals. Sessions are set up to allow everyone to join in at their own level and there is a range of fun activities to choose from.
  • Weekends and school holidays, 11.00–13.00

Dippy floor puzzle

  • Enjoy the wonder of our 26-metre-long Diplodocus – affectionately named Dippy – with a soft toy floor puzzle.
  • It’s free and is available in the Central Hall underneath the Diplodocus dinosaur.
  • Suitable for children aged seven and under. Complete the puzzle and get a funky Dippy sticker.
  • Daily 12.00–17.00 (times may vary)


  • Grab a funky fabric-based dinosaur book and follow a trail through the Museum, finding out what dinosaurs ate, how sharp their teeth were, what dinosaur footprints are like and lots more.
  • Suitable for families with children under five.
  • Daily
  • 10.00–17.00 (times may vary)

Jurassic Ark

  • Take the Jurassic Ark trail, gathering clues and discovering the animals that lurked in the shadow of the dinosaurs.
  • This fun-filled family activity pack includes code-breaking activities, a crossword, word search, stickers, free poster, eraser and pencil. When you’ve finished, you can claim a 10 per cent discount in the Museum Shop.
  • Daily 10.00–17.00
  • £1.50, available from the Museum Shop

Focus Points

  • Don’t miss our Focus Point handling trolleys. Whatever your age, come and explore real specimens with the help of our enthusiastic volunteers, using different natural history-themed activities.
  • Tuesday–Thursday, 10.45–14.00
  • Saturday–Sunday, 11.15–15.00
  • Creepy Crawlies, The Power Within, Mammals

Learning activators

  • Look out for our friendly volunteers roving the galleries. They encourage visitors of all ages to discover more about the natural world, using Museum specimens from mammal skulls to fossils.
  • Tuesday–Thursday, 10.45–14.00
  • Saturday–Sunday, 11.15–15.00

Investigate Centre

  • Get a feel for how scientists work by having a go yourself.
  • Bring your own questions, or use some of ours in this hands-on science space. Come and explore hundreds of real nature specimens that form the evidence for your exploration of scientific ideas.
  • The Investigate Centre encourages you to look closely at real objects using the many tools provided to find out more and become a scientist for the day.
  • Weekends and school holidays, 11.00–17.00 (last entry 16.30)
  • Monday–Friday in term time, 14.30–17.00 (last entry 16.30)

For more information:
See the Fun Kids review on the Natural History Museum