Are you a cat person or a dog person? Or do you love both? Either way, the Horniman Museum’s latest exhibition will delight kids and adults. The aptly named ‘Cats and Dogs’ exhibition (on until 30 October 2022) is a fun, hands-on educational experience immersing visitors in the world of these beloved pets.
Did you know there are an estimated 10.5 million cats and 12.5 million dogs in the UK?! Sure they are cute and loyal but how well do we really know them? This exhibition explores the scientific, social and cultural role that cats and dogs play in our world, and invites visitors to go on a sensory journey, exploring what it’s like to be a cat or a dog.
Straight away when you enter the exhibition your kids will run right to the striped arch. Here you can leap up and see what is the highest sensor can touch. Can you leap as high as a cat? You’ll be amazed at their skill. And you’ll most likely have a hard time dragging your kids away from this! That is until they see the slalom poles where they can race like a dog on an agility course, and check their time against several dog breeds.
After these two action stations be sure to take your time and try out all the interactive stations along the route. There’s the popular game Guess Who set up in both cat and dog versions. There’s are quizzes (you can play as a family – with the all important quiz buzzers to press!), a little kids corner with stuffed animals and books, several video watching stations with headphones, montages about pets in popular culture.
My son and I sat for a while at a digital dog breed mixing visualiser – you choose a female of one breed and a male of another and the computer shows you what their offspring would look like! We also enjoyed guessing what different dog and cat noises meant they were thinking/feeling and seeing if we were right. And there’s a fun pet trivia game at the end.
It’s the kind of exhibition that doesn’t seem that big when you first walk in but you’ll soon be immersed in it and hopping happily from station to station. You might even be wagging your tail by the end.
I’d recommend this for ages 6+ to get the most out of it. It really would be best for kids who can independently read as there’s lots of text to take in. You can of course help them out along the way though.
You’ll notice throughout the exhibition that signage is translated into several languages. Cats and Dogs is a touring exhibition, created by Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, Paris. Enjoy it while it’s in London!
The Horniman often has family activities happening so be sure to check their website to see what else may be happening the day you plan to visit. Be sure to take a picnic and enjoy their gorgeous gardens and views of London.
Horniman Museum and Gardens
Until 30 October 2022
10am – 5:30pm
Child ticket £4.50, Adult ticket £8.50, Family of 4 ticket £19.
More details: website
We were invited by the museum to attend this exhibition.
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