Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Dinosaur head on museum stand

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History is home to an enormous collection of 7 MILLION objects in the heart of Oxford! The museum opened in 1860 in the gorgeous neo-gothic architectural building. It really is a stunning setting.

looking up at ceiling in neo-gothic architecture museum with blue sky through window panes

We think the highlight of the museum is its dinosaur collection. This contains numerous fossils and skeletons which are all on display. My kids LOVE going to see the dinosaurs!

3 children stood in front of dinosaur skeleton in Oxford University Museum of Nautral History

It’s also fascinating to see the mammal skeletons on display, there are so many! The whales hanging from the ceiling in particular are quite spectacular! It’s hard to get an idea of their size from pictures so seeing the skeletons is quite amazing. We also play a game of trying to guess the animal from the skeleton. Its actually much harder than it sounds!

Mammal skeletons on display in Oxford University Museum of Natural History

There are lots of different kids trail sheets on clipboards that you can pick up to complete on your way round the museum. There is so much to see that it can almost be too much to take on board. I found the trail sheets really helped the kids to focus and look at certain things closely. Oxford Museum of Natural history is a very family friendly museum. There are even little viewing holes for smaller kids to see inside the display cabinets!

Toddler looking through viewing porthole in display cabinet

One other thing we love in this museum is that there are lots of fossils and things that you are allowed to touch. The staff are really friendly and they organise regular activities and events too. Its well worth checking whats on at weekends and in the school holidays. Every Saturday is ‘Science Saturdays’ where families can meet real scientists and get up close to some of the exhibits in the museum. Every Sunday is ‘Family Friendly Sunday’ with crafts, trails and activities for all the family to enjoy.

Children touching large fossil at Oxford University Museum Of Natural History

Entry to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History is free of charge, which makes it an affordable day out for everyone! It is open 7 days a week 10am-5pm. Food is not permitted in the museum but there is a cafe upstairs or you can have a picnic on the lawn outside. Why not tie in a visit to the Pitt Rivers Museum, which is adjoined to the building and also free of charge to enter?!

Facilities Checklist

  • Toilets / Disabled Toilet Yes
  • Pushchair / Wheelchair Friendly Yes, wide aisles and a lift for access on the right-hand side of the museum. Lifts also located within the museum to access different floors.
  • Disabled Access 3 disabled parking bays outside the museum, visual and audio guides available to download on the website, SEND sensory packs available to borrow from reception, sunflower lanyards available to borrow, hearing loop at the welcome desk, touch tours for the blind run every 2nd Thursday of the month, autism friendly early opening hours.
  • Dog Friendly  No, assistance dogs only
  • Refreshments available Cafe on site selling hot lunches, sandwiches, snacks and drinks
  • Car Park No, use public car parks or public transport
  • Gift Shop  Yes
  • Baby facilities 

Address: Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW

Price Band: FREE entry!

Website: https://www.oumnh.ox.ac.uk/

Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with Oxford University Museum of Natural History. This is a review from our own self-organised visit and all words, opinions and photos on this post are that of my own.

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