17 things to do this spring for adults

Hand-painted ceiling panels in Hintze Hall

Look up: spot fruit trees such as lemons and pears, and garden favourites such as rhododendrons, irises and sunflowers on the ceiling in Hintze Hall. 

Hello? Is it spring you're looking for?

With longer and (hopefully) warmer days, get ready to shake off the layers and explore 17 things to do this spring.

See what's on at the Museum from March to May, including movie nights, the Moon, herbivorous dinosaurs and British wildlife.

1. Take a selfie with the Moon

Your Instagram feed will look out of this world. Stand in the Jerwood Gallery beneath Luke Jerram's touring artwork, Museum of the Moon, and experience Companion: Moon, a series of free performances by interactive theatre-makers Coney.

17 May 2019 - 1 January 2020

Free, no ticket required

2. Celebrate Audubon Day

It's Audubon Day on 26 April. Visit the Birds gallery to see six of John James Audubon's iconic prints including the striking American flamingo and American white pelican. 

In the Treasures gallery you can view one of the original plates from the valuable book.

Permanent, free

Sir David Attenborough in a grey jacket with grey background

3. Wish Sir David Attenborough a happy birthday

He won't actually be here on his birthday (8 May), but you can be guided around Hintze Hall's star specimens by the best voice in the biz, see an Attenborosaurus (an extinct marine reptile) or visit the gogotte in Lasting Impressions, donated in 2019 in honour of Sir David's ninetieth birthday.

Permanent, free

4. Spring to life

As you'd expect, the Wildlife Garden is pretty spectacular this time of year. Keep an eye out for local wildlife in your own garden too, and find out more about British wildlife.

Free, 10.00-17.00

Stegosaurus skeleton in front of large model earth with escalator going through it

5. See the original plant lovers

Turn over a new leaf this spring - or just eat one like herbivorous dinosaurs did. See a Triceratops skull and Euoplocephalus tail club in the Dinosaurs gallery, an Iguanodon (one of the first three dinosaurs discovered) in Hintze Hall, a Dacentrurus in Fossil Marine Reptiles and the most complete Stegosaurus ever found, taking pride of place in the Earth Hall.

Permanent, free

Learn more about dinosaurs with our Dino Directory

6. See the world through a new lens

Wildlife Photographer of the Year showcases 100 of the world's best nature photographs. Experience the changing face of nature and uncover the sometimes challenging stories behind the images.

Until 30 June 2019, £13.50

Three king penguins on a beach in the Falkland Islands. Photo taken by Wim Van Den Heever.

Three Kings by Wim Van Den Heever. The photo was taken on a beach in the Falkland Islands.

7. Meet a scientist

Come to Nature Live to meet our scientists and learn about their latest research. The topical talks run for 30 minutes every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the Attenborough Studio.

Free, no ticket required

8. Become a detective

We know we're not the only ones binge-watching crime documentaries.. If you always know whodunit before the cops do, 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 spatter patterns.

24 May
Adult £63 Member £56.70

9. Look for hidden treasures

Before you rush to see the collections, take a moment to look at the ceiling in Hintze Hall. Made up of 162 decorated panels, they feature hand-drawn botanical illustrations and date back to when the Museum first opened in 1881.

Spot fruit trees such as lemons and pears, drugs such as tobacco and opium poppies, and garden favourites such as rhododendrons, irises and sunflowers.

Permanent, free

10. Explore the Museum after dark at Lates

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.

In March we take a look at life inspired by nature, April sees us dosing up on nature's medicine and in May we're uncovering the collections.

29 March, 26 April and 31 May, free entry with some paid activities 

11. Follow the HMS Challenger voyage through photographs and illustrations

After departing Portsmouth in December 1872, HMS Challenger spent four years exploring the Atlantic, Pacific and Southern oceans. It was the first sea voyage to carry an official photographer.

See original photographs and illustrations in the Expeditions and Endeavours exhibition in the Images of Nature gallery.


12. Shed those winter layers

Take a deep breath and stretch out under the blue whale. Feel rejuvenated with a morning yoga class hosted in collaboration with East of Eden. After a live gong bath to finish the session, explore the galleries before the Museum opens to the public.

7 April, Adult £35 Member £31.50

13. Celebrate mothers in nature

Resembling modern fish and dolphins, the specimens in the Fossil Marine Reptiles gallery include a female ichthyosaur fossil with evidence of six unborn young in her womb, and another specimen that died and was preserved in the process of giving birth.

See them both opposite the entrance to the Birds gallery.

Permanent, free

14. Have a hoot

It's easy to overlook this wide-eyed favourite in a mad dash to see the dinosaurs. Keep your eyes peeled in the Birds gallery and you may notice a small owl's head with a blue pencil in its ear (no, those fluffy tufts are not ears).

Permanent, free 

15. Finding marlin

The striking blue marlin in Hintze Hall is the largest of the Atlantic marlins and a fierce predator (it's also a chunky fellow, as one of the heaviest fishes in the ocean).

After losing its way, the four-metre long specimen was found stranded on a Pembrokeshire beach in September 2016. Scientists had to come up with an innovative preservation technique to keep the specimen suitable for display.

Permanent, free

16. Take a countryside jaunt

Did you know the Museum has a sister site in the country? The Natural History Museum at Tring, nestled in a leafy corner of Hertfordshire, was built in 1889 to house the incredible zoological collections of the eccentric Walter Rothschild.

The train from London Euston takes around 45 minutes and entry to the Museum is free. 

17. #SquidGoals

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

Various dates, £15, bookings essential