The Science Museum in London is one of the iconic London Museums that everyone in the UK goes to at some point during their childhood or has on their London travel bucket list. It’s one of the things we have on our top ten list of things to do in the summer in London, although the Science Museum is wonderful all year round.
We recently visited during February half term here in the UK so wanted to share our top tips on how to plan a great visit. Here are the 7 things that really helped us get the most out of our visit which I’d recommend to anyone planning a visit to the Science Museum soon.
Go early and beat the crowds
The Science Museum opens from 10am – 6pm every day of the week. It’s busier during the school holidays, but either way, you want to get there as early as you can to avoid the queues. The Museum is definitely quicker to get into and easier to move around in during the morning which is what we found during our visit.
Get yourself a map
Be organised before you visit and download the Science Museum floor plan or download it on the day using the Museums free WiFi. If you prefer paper versions grab a copy of the map when you arrive at the Museum. The maps are identical and packed with useful information on the different galleries, what’s free vs ticketed and where all the restaurants, toilets, lifts and stairs are. Basically, all the need to know stuff is on the map!
Check what events are on
The Science Museum often run different events throughout the year so check out their website to see what’s running on the day of your visit or grab a leaflet listing the days events when you arrive. All the events are listed by time, location and age making it really easy to find age and interest related events for children. Some are free and some are ticketed. Some you can drop into whilst others you have to pre-book. So it pays to plan ahead!
Visit the most popular galleries first
As you would expect, the most popular galleries and activities like The Garden, Pattern Pod and Wonderlab get busy quickly so try to visit these first. Be strategic and either start from the top of the Museum where Wonderlab is and work your way down, or start from the bottom where The Garden is and work your way up.
Take the stairs
The lifts at the Science Museum get really busy, and whilst there are lots of them there are often queues of people, usually with pushchairs waiting to take them. When you add that to the fact that the lifts aren’t particularly fast, it is definitely quicker (in my opinion) to take the stairs. Even if you have little ones with little legs, it usually works out much quicker to take three flights of stairs than to wait for the lifts.
Have a lunch plan
Restaurant prices at the Science Museum are fairly pricey even for central London. But offset against the free entry you could argue that the Museum has to make some money. So if you decide to eat at one of its many restaurants try the vibrant Energy Cafe on the ground floor or the quietly tucked away Gallery Cafe on the second floor. Alternatively, take packed lunches for everyone and enjoy them in one of the picnic areas on the third floor or in the basement.
Give back in any way you can
It’s unbelievable that in this day and age the Science Museum continues to be a free entry museum in the middle of central London. It would be great to keep it that way for future generations so give back in any way you can. Whether that’s giving a donation when you enter or leave, purchasing something to eat from one of the restaurants or buying some goodies from the gift shop. Anyone with children will appreciate just how much a visit like this could add up to if you had to pay to get in, so if you can give something back, even if it’s only a little.