Dawnosaurs and Dinosnores, Natural History Museum, London

The last twice we’ve been to the Natural History Museum have been pretty special occasions…. It wasn’t always like this! When J’s obsession with dinosaurs was in full effect, we practically lived here! It’s a gorgeous place – inside and out!!!

Top tip: If you come here regularly, do consider membership!!! You get to skip the lines, get into exhibitions free and get discounted rates at the shops and cafes!

But, as J’s dinosaur obsession gave way to all things Godzilla… we just kind of stopping coming… J moved on and when he moves, we move with him.

But, we had the chance to go to the Christmas Dinosnores – the last one where participants would sleep with Dippy the Diplodicous in Hintz Hall – for one night, we actually WOULD live here… it felt like a fitting end to the end of J’s dinosaur era!!

There was a night of full on entertainment! T-shirt making, a science show, dinner and a torchlight treasure hunt through the dinosaur hall! And more… We returned to Hintz Hall to find it beautifully decorated for Christmas (No, I’m pretty sure the kids AREN’T meant to be here.. but it was a photo opportunity far too good to miss… and no-one said a word!) and the children went to sleep after a wonderful carol service.

G was shattered, but J struggles to wind down before bed without at least a glance at his IPAD!

The next morning was equally magical! Running off to brush your teeth and get dressed as quickly as possible is such an adventure for children! Then there was breakfast. It was a bit too sugary for us… thankfully I had enough snacks to go round… J doesn’t touch sugar and G is not awfully keen either! But after a night on the floor of a museum, I will say, the coffee tasted mighty fine!!! A visit from Santa and  his real life reindeers! (they had to stay outdoors though) completed the morning.

And that was it… our swansong to Dippy was complete. Definitely more emotional for me than it was for either of the children!!!

Now, I have to say, I had no intention of visiting the museum again until the current refurbishment was complete – in around July 2017, so it had to be something a bit special that would not only take us there again, but take us there VERY early on a Saturday morning…

And this was it! Dawnosaurs.

Dawnosaurs is an early morning free event that lets children on the autism spectrum enjoy the Museum with their families and siblings, free from the hustle and bustle of the general public. We’ve been to the Science Museum mornings many times, but not Dawnosaurs… so we felt we needed to go check it out!

Some parts of the museum are closed but, to be fair (apart from the earthquake room!) all the best bits are open… and there are hands on displays in each area.

My favourite by far was the dinodoodles sheet… Seeing J concentrate on a picture is a moment I will never forget!! There were times when holding a pencil was too much for him.

But now, he’s able to create his own masterpieces. This is his indominus rex….

 and this is a volcano and spinosaurus that J and G created together:

There was a great science show that ran 3 or 4 times during the morning… must’ve been exhausting for the presenter, but it was very good! J was chosen to go and meet the baby Armadillo which was probably the highlight of his day

                                         

We checked out the dinosaurs:  and the sloth bear! 

The sloth bear always makes me smile because a few years ago, when J didn’t speak much… he shouted ‘sloth bear’ as we were walking up to it and I was like ‘that’s a dinosaur!!’ I swear neither of us had ever seen it before…. and he’s shouting at me ‘NO!!! SLOTH BEAR!!!’…. You can guess which one of us was right!!!!! 🙂

The museum got VERY busy VERY quickly once it opened at 10am, so we quickly hurried to the red zone to see the earthquake room but we were gone by 11am… just a bit too busy for us!!

But, that makes me very thankful that these mornings exist… that the museum spends so much time and effort in making the museum so inclusive (and such good fun!) for all. So, thankyou Natural history museum. We will definitely come again!

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