21 things to do this autumn for adults

Visit the Museum's lambscapers in the Wildlife Garden 

For the big kid in all of us, we've rounded up the best things to do at the Museum during September, October and November.

Moonlight yoga, detective work, nature photography and all-nighters - there's an activity to suit all tastes and budgets.

What's the first thing you'll tick off your list?

  • Free entry

  • The Natural History Museum
    Cromwell Road
    London SW7 5BD

  • Open every day 10.00-17.50
    Last entry 17.30
    Closed 24-26 December

1. Experience nature up close

Wildlife Photographer of the Year showcases 100 of the world's best nature photographs. Go deeper and discover the surprising - and often challenging - stories behind the images during a time of environmental crisis.

A selection of this year's images from the exhibition in London will be on display at Tring.

18 October 2019 - 31 May 2020. Adult £13.95, Members go free

2. Gaze up at the Moon

The six-metre model of the Moon is suspended from the ceiling so you can wander underneath or take a moment to sit and enjoy the quiet space.

Wondering which side is the far side? Move around so you're facing the Dinosaurs gallery.

Until 5 January. Free, no ticket required

3. Peek into Earth Hall portholes

Take a closer look at the portholes in Earth Hall. Can you find the boomerang-shaped fossil amphibian skull that lived about 295 million years ago? Or the gold specimen in a rare wire formation, intergrown on white quartz crystals?

There's also a deep purple amethyst geode, formed when gas bubbles are trapped in cooling molten rock. 

Permanent, free

4. Meet a cheeky bat

If you can't get out to see bats in their environment, swing by the free Expeditions and Endeavours exhibition to see this cheeky fellow from the Hayes/Hardwicke collection: a flying fox (Pteropus sp.), also called a flasher bat (#nsfw).

Until 1 November in the Images of Nature gallery

5. Squid Goals

Meet Archie, the 8.62-metre-long giant squid, along with Darwin's octopus, all preserved in jars (and tanks) in a behind-the-scenes tour of our Zoology spirit building.

Various dates. £15, booking essential

6. Stretch out in the moonlight

Wake up with a fast-paced Dynamic Vinyasa Yoga class or wind down after a hard day at work with Slow Flow Yoga, all taking place under Luke Jerram's Museum of the Moon.

Until 26 November. Prices and dates vary, advance booking required

7. Explore the Museum after dark

Roam the galleries with a drink in hand, meet scientists at pop-up science stations and gaze at Hope lit up in Hintze Hall at our monthly Lates event.

This October, explore the science in the fiction with a Doctor Who-themed evening, complete with a TARDIS under the Moon.

25 October and 29 November. Free entry, some activities are paid

8. Join the party after Lates

Find your groove to the best in pop, rock and party classics as three DJs do battle over separate wireless channels at our Silent Disco.

The fun kicks off after our monthly Lates event (excluding September and December).

Adult £22, Member £20

9. Space out: Mars, Moon and meteorites

Blast off on an adventure around the galleries that are out of this world. See pieces of the Moon, a Martian meteorite and diamonds from stardust. 

Permanent, free

A close-up of the Apollo 16 Moon rock sample on display in Earth Hall

10. I see ewe

The Museum's Wildlife Garden lambscapers are back! The same crew from last year are drafted in from the London Wetland Centre in Barnes.

The three greyface Dartmoor sheep - Bee (10), Bracken (four) and her lamb Ivy (two) - play an integral role in sustainably managing the garden. Say hello to them until early November (unless they get a little too hungry and eat all the grass and leaves).

Free, 10.00-17.00

11. Taxidermy and terracotta

The terracotta tiles inside and outside the Museum include design elements drawn from natural history. The eastern side shows extinct species, while the western displays living zoological species. Learn more about the Museum's architecture on a Members-only welcome tour

12. Meet your ancestors

Find out about one of our closest ancient ancestors in the Human Evolution gallery. Step back in time and see how they moved, hunted and adapted to a changing world.

See the 420,000-year-old Clacton spear, the oldest preserved wooden spear in the world, and a 3.5-million-year-old hominin canine.

Permanent, free

13. Are you a dinosaur fan?

Have your phone or tablet at the ready to take a tour around the Museum where some of the most famous and imposing dino specimens are on display. First up is the skull of the Triceratops, an amazing plant eater with three horns, a parrot-like beak and a large frill. 

Permanent, free

14. Let Sir David Attenborough guide you around Hintze Hall

If we could choose one person to narrate our lives, it would be Sir David. His unmistakable voice and expertise on all things nature make him the perfect person to take you on an audio guided tour of Hintze Hall's star specimens.

Permanent, free 

15. Unleash your inner child

Ride through Earth in the Red Zone, and don't miss the Stegosaurus on your way - it's the most complete skeleton of its species ever found.

Head through the Volcanoes and Earthquakes gallery and prepare to hold on tight: you're in for a rumble in the earthquake room, where you'll get a glimpse into what life was like for residents of Kobe, Japan, during the 1995 earthquake.

Permanent, free 

16. I came, I dinosaur, I conquered

The mummies may be in Bloomsbury, but we've got a T. rex, a Stegosaurus, a Mantellisaurus and a Triceratop skull - and there's plenty more roar where they came from.

Permanent, free 

17. Pay a visit to Guy

Guy the gorilla was a much-loved resident of the Zoological Society of London for most of his life. When he suffered a heart attack during an operation in 1978, his remains were donated to the Museum.

Guy's skin was mounted by Museum taxidermist Arthur Hayward, first going on display in 1982. 

See Guy on display outside the Treasures gallery.

Permanent, free

18. Become a CSI detective

Crime drama lovers, this one's for you. If you always know whodunit before the cops, why not put your forensic skills to the test? Solve a gruesome murder by figuring out time of death using bugs, analyse fingerprints and decode blood splatter patterns.

1 November. Adult £59, Member £53.10 

 

19. Get your skates on!

The smell of mulled wine is (almost!) in the air. Soak up the festive atmosphere as you skate surrounded by fairy lights in frost-covered trees. Non-skaters can enjoy a bird's-eye view at the Café Bar.

From 19 October. Adults from £12.65, children from £8.80, families from £39.60

 

20. Meet a scientist

Come to a Nature Live talk where you can meet our scientists and learn about their latest research. The topical talks run for 30 minutes every week on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the Attenborough Studio. 

Free, no booking required

21. Orbit: A Journey Around Earth in Real Time

Reflect on the beauty of our home planet from space in this film by Seán Doran with music by Phaeleh.

Embark on a journey around Earth as seen by astronauts on board the International Space Station, in a real-time Ultra High Definition video reconstructed from time-lapse photography sourced from NASA archives.

From 21 October. Free, no ticket required