Family Day Out Review: Natural History Museum, Tring
Natural History Museum, Tring
Value For Money10.0/10
Variety Of Activities6.0/10
Things We Like
- Free entry
- 1000's of animals to learn about
- Space for kids to explore freely
- Additional activities available (e.g. drawing)
Things We Dislike
- Busy at peak times
- Not many interactive exhibits
- Can be difficult to navigate with a pushchair
What’s It All About?
Home to one of the largest collections of stuffed mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects in the UK, the Natural History Museum at Tring is a fun, educational and free half day out for families of all ages.
What Do We Think?
We’ve been going to the Natural History Museum at Tring for a number of years now – both pre-kids and since becoming parents. It’s a definite family favourite and one of our first options when we’re looking for somewhere to go for a few hours when the weather isn’t great.
Not only is there loads to keep the kids occupied, but it’s also free. Yes, totally free (although contributions are welcome!). It’s a really nice looking building from the outside, but it’s sheer size is a genuine surprise when you go inside. Over three floors, you have huge wall-to-ceiling Victorian glass cabinets filled with an assortment of animals grouped together by classification.
The ground floor hits you with a bang (not literally) as you’re greeted by a large polar bear, along with other animals such as lions, monkeys, cheetahs and birds – oh, so many birds. Level two has a rhino, giraffe, elephant, crocodile, giant sloth and hundreds of fish. There’s also a number of wooden cabinets where there’s butterflies, beetles and the ‘famous’ dressed fleas (yes, you read that correctly).
The top floor is home to deer, antelope, kangaroos, seals, dogs, snakes and loads of other things. You genuinely find something new each and every visit, which is pretty surprising considering that we’ve walked those floors hundreds of times.
Although great to visit the Natural History Museum at Tring with a baby / young toddler, our daughter gets so much more out of the visits now she’s older (3.5 years old). When she was younger, we’d tend to go there to give her somewhere to explore, run around and try (but fail!) to impart some animal knowledge.
Now though, not only does it fuel her inquisitive nature based on what she sees, but there’s other things she can do. For example, there’s clipboards, paper and pencils so that she can draw the animals, there’s a bench upstairs with some animal-themed kid’s books and a dressing up area where they can pretend to be the animals they’ve seen.
In addition, the Natural History Museum at Tring also does themed events and activities. This includes things for holidays like Halloween and Christmas, as well as regular recreations like the outdoor drop-in session called Welly Wednesday or Toddler Time which gives your preschooler extra activities to do as they explore the museum.
Unsurprisingly, the museum and car parks do get busy at the weekend and during school holidays. As such, we only really tend to go on a weekday when it’s a lot quieter and a more relaxed environment. If possible, I’d also suggest you ditch the pushchair in favour of a baby carrier as corridors can be a little tight when it’s busy.
All in all, the Natural History Museum at Tring is a brilliant family day out and a place you really need to visit if you’ve not yet had the pleasure.
What Does It Look Like?
What Do I Need To Know?
Address: The Walter Rothschild building, Akeman Street, Tring, Hertfordshire, HP23 6AP.
Opening Times: Monday-Saturday 10.00-17.00, Sunday 14.00-17.00.
Toilets: Yes. Male and female toilets. Also a unisex accessible toilet. Baby changing facilities also available.
Cafe / Restaurant: Yes. Zebra Cafe offering sandwiches, snacks and drinks. There’s tables in here as well as outside picnic benches.
Parking: Yes. One small, free car park on Akeman Street and another larger, free car park off Hastoe Lane. Free parking on nearby roads too.
Duration: 2 to 4 hours.
Age Range: Babies and Toddlers (0-3), Young Children (4-8), Older Children (9-12), Teenagers (13+).
Have you visited before? What do you and the kids think? Let us know in the comments!
Check out our interactive Days Out Map for other reviews of our family visits to UK attractions.