September events at Horniman Museum


Temporary Exhibitions

The Robot Zoo

  • Until Sun 8 Nov 2009
  • Enter this amazing world of robotic creatures and discover mind-boggling facts about animals that share our world. These animal robots and hands-on  interactives show fascinating real life characteristics, such as how a chameleon changes colour and how a giant squid jets around. Learn about powerfulsprings that launch a grasshopper into the air and how a bat locates prey in the dark using special equipment.
  • Models show the animals’ insides as a host of familiar machine parts and gadgets, such as shock absorbers and pumps, which demonstrate mechanisms that make animals work. This blockbuster show is in the UK for the first time and provides fantastic hands-on fun for the whole family.
  • Adults £5, Concs £3, Children £2.50, Children under 3 FREE

Wycinanki: The Art of Polish Paper Cuts

  • Until Sun 27 Sept 2009
  • Explore the art of wycinanki, the traditional Polish folk art of cutting paper in this stunning exhibition. Wycinanki was traditionally used by Polish farmers to decorate their cottages and often depicted scenes from daily life, such as weddings or holidays. This beautiful art form is still popular and widely practised in two regions of Poland, Kurpie and Łowicz.
  • Free admission

China: Symbols In Silk

  • Until Sun 25 Oct 2009
  • This beautiful exhibition features historic textiles including silk objects, from embroidered robes to exquisite shoes, as well as altar pieces and a figure of the Buddha Sakyamuni.
  • Free admission

Sound Designs

  • Until Sun 1 Nov 2009
  • Fascinating drawings of musical instruments from the Horniman’s Boosey and Hawkes archive. The drawings provide an insight into the technical innovations that established Boosey and Hawkes as one of the premier instrument manufacturers.
  • Free admission

Medicinal Garden

  • Until Sun 30 Aug 2010
  • Have you ever taken Echinacea to help prevent a cold, used Eucalyptus to unblock a stuffy nose or used witch Hazel for a skin complaint? Come and visit our new garden display to see these and many other plants with healing properties for different parts of the body.
  • Free admission

Nature as Designer

  • Sat 3 Oct 2009 – Sun 10 May 2010
  • Nature acts as an inspiration for artists and designers. This unusual exhibition combines photography, design and nature and includes beautiful large scale photographic images of
  • objects displayed in unexpected and truly inventive ways.
  • Free admission

Fabric of a Nation

  • Sat 28 Nov 2009 – Sun 28 Feb 2010
  • Fabric of a Nation focuses on the role of printed cloths and their designs as anexpression of cultural, social and political identity in modern Ghana, cutting acrossethnic and language differences. This exhibition reveals that these beautiful fabrics play an integral role in many aspects of daily life such as ceremonies, politics and religion.
  • Free admission

Darwin 200 Photographic Competition: Exploring and Investigating Nature

  • Fri 20 Nov 2009 – Sun 11April 2010
  • Darwin’s spirit of exploration and investigation has inspired people of all ages to capture the beauty of nature. This exhibition of stunning photographs shows the winning entries selected by our panel of judges.
  • Free admission

Treasured Traditions from Europe
Join us for a series of free performances that feature the vocal and instrumental music of south eastern and central Europe.

Matthaios Tsahourides – the Pontic lyra

  • Sun 13 Sept 3–4pm
  • The sound of the bowed strings of the Pontic lyra is always associated with the music of the Greek communities from the historical Pontus region of the Black Sea. Dr Matthaios Tsahourides will also demonstrate the Greek lutes, laughto and bouzouki.

Monooka and friends

  • Sun 20 Sept 3–4pm
  • The accordion and clarinet mix with flutes from Romania, in a programme led by a talented singer, who will present vocal music including doine from Banat,Transylvania and Moldavia, and her own melodies that draw on traditional genres.

Dessislava Stefanova – Bulgarian Voices

  • Sun 27 Sept 3–4pm
  • This acclaimed Bulgarian singer leads a trio of female voices, the Dessibelles. Her concert also features music for the Bulgarian gaida bagpipe and kaval end-blown flute.

Special Events

Behind the Scenes of Natural History

  • Sun 20 Sept 2 – 3pm and 3.30 – 4.30pm
  • Get up close and personal with some of our rarely-seen Natural History specimens and learn about the architecture of the Gallery with Jo Hatton, our Keeper of Natural History.
  • Free admission
  • Open to all. Please book in advance by [email protected] or call 020 8699 1872 ext 196.

Curator Talks and Object Handling

  • Sun 20 Sep 2.30 – 4pm
  • Horniman curators continue a series of illuminating monthly talks, drawing upon the collections. Each hour-long talk is followed by an opportunity to explore the Hands On Base.

Children’s and Family Activities

Make and Create

  • Every Sat from 26 Sept – 12 Dec
  • 1.30 – 2.15pm and 2.45 – 3.30pm
  • Celebrate festivals and the changing seasons through art and craft each weekend.
  • Make Diwali decorations, sugar skulls for Day of the Dead, join us for the Big Draw, and get creative for Hannukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. Visit for detailed information about individual sessions as some are repeated.
  • Education Centre
  • Free admission
  • For families with children aged 3+. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets available half an hour before the session from the Information Desk. Limited spaces.

Busy Bees

  • EveryWed from 2 Sept – 16 Dec
  • Every Fri from 4 Sept – 11 Dec
  • 10.30am, 11.15am and 12pm
  • Fun sessions for Under 5s and their carers discovering the Museum. Creative play, enchanting stories from around the world, Museum objects and simple craft activities, changing every week.
  • Hands On Base/Education Centre/Dutch Barn
  • Free admission
  • For families with children aged under 5. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets available from the Information Desk at 10.30am and 11.30am. Limited spaces.

Family Storytelling -Tales from the Galleries

  • Every Sat from 5 Sept – 19 Dec
  • 2.15 – 3pm and 3.30 – 4pm
  • Our collections and Gardens come alive with enchanting stories from around the world.
  • Free admission
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult. Drop in. Check at the Information Desk for the location of the session.

Bug Behaviour and Welly Walk

  • Sun 13, Sat 19 Sept
  • 2 – 3.30 pm
  • Investigate bug behaviour and find them in the wild in the Gardens and Nature Trail.
  • Dutch Barn, Gardens, Nature Trail
  • Children must be 8+ and accompanied by an adult. Tickets available half an hour before the session from the Information Desk. Limited spaces. Welly walk is weather dependent.

Hands On

  • Every Saturday from 5 Sept – 12 Dec 11–11.45am and12.15 – 1pm
  • Every Sunday from 6 Sept – 13 Dec 2 – 2.45pm and 3.15 –4pm
  • Touch real objects from all over the world in these family sessions. Explore animals, toys, puppets, music, costume and much more in themed workshops using our amazing handling collection. Please visit for detailed information about individual sessions and additional Saturday afternoon sessions.
  • Hands On Base
  • Free admission
  • For families with children aged 3+. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets available half an hour before the session from the InformationDesk. Limited spaces.

Discovery For All

  • Sat 12, 26 Sept
  • 2–3.30pm
  • How sharp are shark’s teeth? How do you wear a sari? Have you ever played aWest African thumb piano, balanced a gourd on your head or stroked a badger? Explore thousands of real objects from around the world in these special sessions.
  • Hands On Base
  • Free admission
  • Everyone welcome. Children must be aged 3+ and accompanied by an adult. Drop in, some queuing may be necessary.

Children’s Courses

African Drumming for Children aged 5–12

  • Every Sun from 27 Sept (except 25 Oct) 11– 11.30am
  • With Nzinga Dance Ensemble.
  • Education Centre £25
  • 10 sessions
  • For enquiries and bookings contact Nzinga Dance on 020 8314 5498, email [email protected] or by post to PO Box 36992, London SE6 4WH.

After School Art Club: Sounds Great!

  • Every Fri from 25 Sept 4 – 5.15pm
  • Make and decorate your own fantastic musical instruments, inspired by our collections from around the world.
  • Education Centre £15
  • 5 sessions

Where can I find out more?
Read the Fun Kids review on the Horniman Museum

The Horniman Museum was founded by Victorian tea trader Frederick Horniman in 1901, and is where you can discover the natural and cultural world:

  • Horniman Aquarium; dive into an underwater world
  • Music Gallery; sound out instruments from every continent
  • African Worlds; celebrate Africa’s history and diversity
  • Centenary Gallery; encounter world cultures
  • Natural History Gallery; step back in time
  • Environment Room; the Environment Room is now closed but the bees will be buzzing back next spring.
  • Hands on Base; touch and explore real objects
  • Library; find out more about the collections
  • Gardens; enjoy 16 acres of beautiful green space
  • NEW Nature Base; explore the natural world with the Horniman beehive and fun interactive displays