Pitt Rivers Museum, showing dedication to families
Pitt Rivers Museum, showing dedication to families
Pitt Rivers Museum
Pitt Rivers Museum

A day out in Oxford: Museum of Natural History and Pitt Rivers Museum.

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Kids in Museums volunteer, Mar Dixon had a fun filled day exploring the museums of Oxford with her family…

My family went to Oxford to visit the Pitt Rivers Museum and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. These museums are unique in that although they are technically two museums, they are under the same roof.

As you walk into the front part of the gorgeous Museum of Natural History, the sight that hits you first is the Tyranosaurous rex. Off to the left there is also a scene of animal skeletons in a line as if they are walking towards the door. It’s fun and fanciful, and sets the tone of the museum straight away.

My daughter, Charlotte, enjoyed being able to touch lots of the items on display. The museum is extremely kid friendly with different trails and activities available. The information labels were easy to follow and encouraged kids to think further about the item they were looking at.

We then went to Pitt Rivers, which is located through a grand door in the back of the Museum of Natural History. When you walk in you are greeted with a magnificent, powerful sight. It is a traditional museum as you’d expect to see on TV when they are trying to create the quintessential scene.

The cabinets are crammed FULL of artefacts and make no apologies for this.

The collections aren’t about anything specific, more about human activities throughout the world. Examples of puppets, shrunken heads, housing, guns, swords, etc. are all included in the collection. It sounds overwhelming but you only need to look at the cases that interest you. Kids are provided with a torch to help identify items and focus their attention. As was Christmas week, it was quite crowded but still very enjoyable. There were plenty of kids working on the trails as we investigated each of the cabinets.

Both museums are free to enter with donation requests at the front. The gift shops had items that were reasonably priced.

The museums are worthy of a visit, or two or more! Kids of all ages will have a wonderful time. We spent a few hours but they are both museums that you can spend all day in.

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