I think the first thing to note about Manchester Museum is that it’s so easy to travel to. To my shame, I’m no public transport person, but I was persuaded by thrifty husband that the bus was by far the easiest and quickest option. I grudgingly admit it was a good idea. The number 41/43 bus was every 5 minutes, much cheaper than parking in town and it dropped us right outside the door.
We began our Museum journey investigating rocks, minerals and fossils. Fossils are topical for us currently as we’ll shortly be holidaying on the Jurassic Coast where there are fossils aplenty. We’ve never fossil-hunted before so it was timely for the girls to learn about how they are formed and view a few great ones.
There were plenty of dinosaur skeletons and footprints to capture the imagination, including Stan the T Rex! We were invited to take a selfie with Stan and of course were only too happy to oblige.
My two girls will shortly turn 7 and 5. The last time we visited the Museum they were still toddlers. Their age makes all the difference; they were immediately thrilled with the exhibits on offer, dashing around, pointing at bones, crystals, fossils and meteorites.
Onto the nature discovery and living worlds sections where again the girls were chasing around learning about the different animals and our impact as humans on the world. They were fascinated with the beetle collections in particular – forcing themselves to look at them and pulling yuck faces!
We spotted four Book Benches from the Read Manchester project for kids. They’re currently completing the Summer Reading Challenge so I liked this addition to the Museum activities.
We spent some time in the Ancient Cultures section. My eldest has learnt a little about the ancient Egyptians at school recently and she was hugely fascinated with the “actual, real Mummies” we saw. Manchester Museum has an important collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts. This is my favourite of the collections as I do love watching documentaries about the Egyptians.
The Vivarium is a good place for the kids to do a bit of poisonous frog and snake spotting and breaks up the usual exhibits nicely. I had to remind them it isn’t a zoo – research takes place here and we saw a number of researchers in action.
We had lunch in the lovely Muse cafe and then spent an inordinate length of time looking at the Giant Spider Crab (above). Hideous looking thing. The girls thought it was the best thing they’d ever seen. Yuck.
We ended the day in the Discovery Centre being Story Explorers. The girls did junk modelling and wrote their own stories about what they had made. The centre also contained a huge reading tent and it was nice to end with reading stories.
We enjoyed the day and will definitely return. My nearly-7 year old now wants to be a palaeontologist