By Elisa Freeling

Whether you’ve got wee ones possessed by the seemingly innate obsession with dinosaurs, or older kids who love the Jurassic film franchise, London offers loads of encounters with the monsters of the Mesozoic.

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum, South Kensington, West London

Of course we start with the big one: the museum’s dinosaurs include a roaring T rex, a triceratops skull and an oviraptor egg. There’s also Dino Snores, a sleepover for kids 7 to 11, and Dawnosaurs, a free event for children on the autism spectrum.

Dinosaurs in the Wild

Dinosaurs in the Wild, Greenwich (until 31 July 2018), Southeast London

This immersive experience combines live action, animatronic creatures and impressive 3D effects. Read our review here.

Crystal Palace Dinosaurs

Crystal Palace dinosaurs, South London

Dating from the 1850s, more than 30 dinosaur statues are dotted around a pond in a corner of Crystal Palace Park. The sculptures are not altogether accurate, but there are informative signs to give you a scientific perspective, and charismatic creatures including Iguanodons and pterodactyls will thrill the little ones.

Horniman Museum, Forest Hill, South London

The Horniman’s collection includes an Iguanodon footprint and ammonite fossils. (Read our review of the Horniman here.)

Dinosaurs and miniature golf, across London

Don’t let the T Rex rattle your hole in one. There are no fewer than four spots inside the M25 where you can play mini golf amongst the beasts of the past: Jurassic Encounter in New Malden, Dinosaur Escape in Northolt, Dinosaur Safari in Arkley and Jurassic Falls in Walthamstow.

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Gullivers Themepark

Gulliver’s Dinosaur and Farm Park, Milton Keynes

Designed for kids from 1 to 6, this park features animatronic dinos roaring and clawing, and you can see their living descendants in the reptile centre.

Dorset Museum

Dorset County Museum, Dorchester, and the Jurassic Coast

True, this is a couple of hours from London, but the Natural History Museum’s beloved Dippy the Diplodocus has begun its UK tour here and is on view until the 7th of May. Combine a trip to see Dippy with fossil-hunting on the Jurassic Coast, a must-visit for any budding palaeontologist.

Elisa Freeling
Author

Elisa moved to London a decade ago from San Francisco, where, in pre-children days, she was the managing editor at Sierra magazine. She lived in Brook Green, Notting Hill and Chiswick before settling in Northfields, where she lives with her book-loving daughter, architecture-loving son, and thickly moustachioed husband.

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