Whether you’ve got a budding paleontologist in the family, or just fancy finding out a bit more about dinosaurs, London has plenty of places where you can go properly Jurassic.
Natural History Museum
South Kensington’s Natural History Museum is the obvious go-to for dino action. Dippy, the diplodocus in the Hintze Hall, may be packing his (her?) bags shortly, but the Dinosaur Gallery will still be open for business.
Wander through the gallery and see the most complete stegosaurus skeleton ever found, the first T-rex fossil found, and of course, the animatronic T-rex, among plenty of other items to keep dino lovers happy. Heck, there’s a whole shop dedicated to the creatures.
Natural History Museum, South Kensington. Free entry to galleries.
Horniman Museum’s impressive grounds are home to a Prehistoric Garden, planted with species which were around at the time dinosaurs walked the earth. Plants and trees including yew, redwood and ferns are all in there, along with a life-size sculpture of a velociraptor.
Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forest Hill. Free entry (donations welcome).
Grant Museum of Zoology
The Grant Museum of Zoology’s impressive collection doesn’t disappoint when it comes to dinosaurs. Part of an iguanodon leg bone, and bones from the spine, are on display, as well as specimens dating back to the time of the dinosaurs, including marine and flying reptiles such as ichthyosaurs and pterosaurs.
The museum is also particularly proud of its collection of models of dinosaurs and other extinct species (pictured above).
Grant Museum of Zoology, Fitzrovia. Free entry.
Crystal Palace dinosaurs
On an island in the south of Crystal Palace Park sit the Crystal Palace Park Dinosaurs, made in the 1850s and restored intermittently ever since. We hate to break it to you, but of the 29 models, only four are dinosaurs — the rest depict other prehistoric species, including mammals.
If you want to start smaller, the local campsite has a model dinosaur trail for the kids.
Crystal Palace Park, Crystal Palace. Free entry.
Dinosaur crazy golf
London has not one, not two, but THREE dino-themed crazy golf courses, perfect for family days out. Nine giant dinosaurs flank the 18 holes at Jurassic Encounter, while our friends on the A20 in Sidcup are still going strong, with a whopping 36-hole course. Over in Northolt, swing for your life — just avoid the questionably coloured water.
Jamie Oliver’s Diner
Jamie Oliver’s Diner on Shaftesbury Avenue serves up American diner food with a side of dinosaur decor — ‘dinersaur’, if you will — including a giant T-rex suspended above the staircase.
Jamie Oliver’s Diner, Shaftesbury Avenue.
Little Dinosaurs play centre
Younger dinosaur fans can get their fill at Little Dinosaurs, an indoor play centre close to Alexandra Palace with slides, climbing platforms, and squishy dinosaur mouths to climb through.
Little Dinosaurs, Alexandra Palace, £3.95-£4.95.
Crocodiles are often labelled as dinosaurs, and while this isn’t correct, animals of the Crocodylia order (which includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gharials) are known to have outlived the dinosaurs. While we can’t show you a croc which was personally around prior to the extinction of dinosaurs, we will point you in the direction of the reptile house at London Zoo, which is home to Philippine crocodiles.
ZSL London Zoo, Regent’s Park. Adult from £24.25, child from £17.60.