Explorers Family Festival: Black Natural History

Colourful illustration of a female face

Event Information

Celebrate the Black natural historians of the past, present and future.

Sunday 8 October


Across the museum

Tickets: Free

Hear Black scientists discuss their mission to achieve environmental and climate justice.

Join curator-led tours where you’ll discover the amazing work taking place at the Museum and take part in creative workshops to explore your own relationship with nature and the wider Black diaspora.

Tours and creative workshops have limited capacity and people from racially marginalised backgrounds, particularly from Black backgrounds will be prioritised for activities with limited capacities.

The Explorers Desk is in Central Hall

All children need to be accompanied by an adult.

What's on?


At the Brink of Disaster: Fire and Water

Dr Jazmin Scarlett became curious about volcanoes from the stories her grandpa told her about St Vincent. Find out all about her research on the most active volcanoes of the Eastern Caribbean Volcanic Arc and learn about how these volcanoes shape the area’s geography and affect local communities. Plus, discover how this has given Jazmin the skills to manage environmental disasters that happen in the UK. 


Attenborough Studio (Orange Zone)

Decolonial or Not At All: What Does It Mean to ‘Decolonise’ Climate Solutions

Globally, low-income communities of colour face the worst impacts of the climate crisis before anyone else. As governments, multilateral institutions and political movements negotiate environmental policies, they often fail to account for the centuries of colonialism. This needs to change. Join Aissa Dearing in a discussion about what it means to decolonise the climate crisis and how you can help to create a more just future for all.

Suitable for ages 12+


Attenborough Studio (Orange Zone)

Badger Butter and Cheap Cologne: How Smells Help Badgers and Humans Make Decisions

European badgers, Meles meles, are an iconic British species whose social lives rely heavily on their sense of smell. However, did you know that humans also make decisions based on smell? From ‘badger butter’ to cheap cologne, Dr Tanesha Allen will show you how scents affect how badgers, and humans, choose their mates


Attenborough Studio (Orange Zone)

From Coral Reefs to Sharks: A Deep Dive Into Our Oceans

How can we use DNA to rescue sharks? How can we tell if coral reefs are healthy? How do we protect the wonderful creatures that live underwater? Join conservationist Coretta Granberry as she shares her journey to become a marine scientist and her adventures across the world.


Attenborough Studio (Orange Zone)

Let’s Talk About Scent

It’s time to have the talk about the birds and the bees. Plants have been enticing them for millennia. Flowers produce an array of aromas and these have changed over time to attract pollinators. Dr Mikhaela Neequaye will be talking all things floral scent  as she discusses her research on alpine orchids, wild monkeyflowers, butterflies and bedstraws. 


Attenborough Studio (Orange Zone)

The Hidden History of Mahogany

Hear Hannah Cusworth’s research on the connection that the Black diaspora has with mahogany. She’ll talk about its cultural use in West Africa as well as how enslaved people shared their knowledge and how this led to the use of mahogany in English heritage sites.

Suitable for ages 12+


Attenborough Studio (Orange Zone)


AfroDino for Kids

Did you know Tanzania had a dinosaur that could grow to be 40 tonnes in weight? Or that there were families of theropods stalking prey across East Africa during the Jurassic? What about the herds of sauropods that walked across what is now Niger? Africa isn’t only the birthplace of the human species, it’s also home to some of the most iconic dinosaurs ever discovered.

Join our drop-in sessions:

• enjoy craft activities, such as mask making and fabric printing

• learn about amazing scientists in African palaeontology

• create your own collage field journal

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Suitable for all ages. 

Lasting Impressions Learning Space (Red Zone)

AfroDino Hackathon

Afro Dino Hack is all about making African dinosaurs famous. For all the techies out there, no matter your skill level, come join our free code jam.

Join our drop-in sessions:

• learn how to use Scratch to make a simple game

• use data from our collections to create your own dino-themed app

Coders of all skill levels are welcome and we recommend you bring your own device to take part.

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Suitable for ages 7+.

Lasting Impressions Learning Space (Red Zone)

Storytime at the Museum

When Nico’s new classmates see him making friends with birds they call him bird boy, but he takes that nickname and makes it his own. Join Nico and imagine yourself living the lives of different birds, then make your own bird friend to take home.

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Suitable for ages 3-8

13.00-13.45, 15.00-15.45 and 16.00-16.45 

We’ve only got limited capacity, so book your spot at the Explorers Desk

Investigate (Green Zone)

Body Butter Making with Salut Sunday

Join Rianna Norbert-David the founder of Salut Sunday for a body butter making workshop where you’ll learn how to make your own body butter using ingredients that have Caribbean history. Then dive into the environmental science behind the body butters with environmental scientist Thomika St Louis, who’ll take you on a journey across the Caribbean and West Africa.

13.00-13.45, 15.00-15.45 and 16.30-17.15 

Suitable for ages 12+

We’ve only got limited capacity, so book your spot at the Explorers Desk

Centre for UK Nature (Orange Zone)

Self Portrait Through Time and Nature

Ancient and historical knowledge from African communities has made great contributions to botany and medicine. Join natural historian Akosua Paries-Osei and environmental photographer Adiam Yemane in this workshop to explore our ancestral relationship with plants and use self-portraiture so that you can create how you would like to be seen with mother earth. 

12.00-12.45, 14.00-14.45 and 17.00-17.45

Suitable for ages 12+

We’ve only got limited capacity, so book your spot at the Explorers Desk

Investigate (Green Zone)

Weaving workshop: Natural Crafting from African and Caribbean Cultures  

Did you know that our London wild spaces are important for well-being, creativity, and our sense of community. Learn more with Charlie Nwanodi and Jasmine Karis Fontiverio-Hylton who will show you how to express yourself through natural crafting. You will use materials collected by foraging and discover weaving techniques inspired from across the Caribbean and Africa. Use your new skills to take part in a collaborative loom to envision what environmental justice for everyone looks like. 

Drop-in activity from 14.00 with short presentations at 14.30, 15.30, and 16.30.

Suitable for all ages

Marine Invertebrates (Blue zone)


Behind the Scenes: Tank Room Tour

Have a sneak peek behind the scenes of our Spirit Collection with Senior Curator of Reptiles Patrick Campell, with a focus on specimens from African and Caribbean regions.

12.00-12.45, 14.00-14.45 and 16.00-16.45

Suitable for ages 10+

We’ve only got limited capacity, so book your spot at the Explorers Desk

Hintze Hall Explorers Desk

Black Natural History Tour

Join our Principal Curator of Crustacea Miranda Lowe to hear the untold stories that bring to light the contributions of Indigenous people to natural history.

12.45-13.45, 14.45-15.45, 16.45-17.45

Suitable for ages 10+

We’ve only got limited capacity, so book your spot at the Explorers Desk

Hintze Hall Explorers Desk

Museum Highlights: Minerals Gallery Tour

The Minerals Gallery is one of the oldest parts of the Museum. Learn about the gallery with our Curator of Minerals Nadine Gabriel and test your mineralogical skills.

12.30-13.15, 14.30-15.15 and 16.30-17.15

Suitable for ages 10+

We’ve only got limited capacity, so book your spot at the Explorers Desk

Hintze Hall Explorers Desk

What is the Explorers Family Festival Series?

Our Explorers Family Festival is a free series of events that showcases the relationship that different cultures and communities have with the natural world. It is part of our Explorers Programme - an initiative that encourages and supports people from Black, Asian, Arab and other racially marginalised communities to pursue careers in the natural history sector.

Find out more