I asked to tag along on my youngest child’s school field trip to the Natural Science museum in Brussels with kids, having been there 10 years before with my older children I remember that I really enjoyed it. So we drove (during morning traffic, ugh) in the school bus packed with children, parents and teachers to the “Dino museum”. Even though it’s called “Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Science”, locals call it the Dino museum and the children have just had a dinosaur theme in class and
What did I think of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences?
It was a little bit more run-down than I remembered and many stuffed animals were covered in a layer of dust, many interactive activity points were broken which was a pity, but it did not really take away from the impressiveness of this all, especially the the Bernissart Iguanodons, one of the earliest and most important prehistoric discoveries ever. This exhibit does not disappoint, the nine black mounted skeletons are displayed in the same poses they were in the 1800’s. They look incredible and this alone makes the museum worth a visit.
When you enter the museum you are greeted by a huge imposing whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling, it’s not the Smithsonian t-Rex kind of wow, but it still looks fantastic, and lets you know that you are in for a treat.
We unfortunately did not have time to visit the human exhibition or the temporary TEDDY and BEAR exhibition , but due to a friends daughter, who is a classmate of my son and was sick on the day of the field trip, we are planning on going back this month and we will hopefully be able to visit the rest of this very likeable museum, and I will add on to this post.
Our highlights were:
- The children spent the longest time laughing, stomping and pretend running in front of the interactive dinosaur video wall. I think this must have been their most memorable part of the field trip.
- The well preserved 30 Iguanodons that were discovered in a coal mine in the 19th century is probably one of the most significant discoveries of its time and the kids were impressed to say the least. Wow …when you walk into the main dinosaur exhibit room, you have a view of almost everything, this is impressive.
- Another hit was measuring themselves next to a dinosaur leg bone. Got some funny face pics there.
- Seeing a mammoth displayed in front of an elephant was pretty cool. (got many Ice age movie comments).
Opening dates and times:
- On the 24th and 31st of December, the Museum will close at 15.00.
- The Museum is closed on the 25th of December, 1st of January, and 1st of May.
- Consult the dates of the Belgian school holidays.
- Please note: the library is open Monday to Friday, between 9:00 and 12:00 and between 13:30 and 16:00. It is closed on national holidays and between Christmas and the New Year.
- Adults: € 7
- Students, European Youth Card (EYCA), Seniors (65+), Friends of the institute, Disabled visitors, FED+: € 6
- Children under 18 (accompanied by an adult): € 4.50 (from 6 years old)
There is also the possibility for a free entry for:
- for everybody on the first Wednesday of every month, after 13:00
- for children under four (for TEDDY & BEAR) and under six (for the permanent exhibitions), accompanied by at least one paying adult
- for Museum annual pass holders
- for one accompanying person per disabled visitor
- for ICOM members
- for teachers with professional ID
- There is a very small car park outside and is always full! If you go by car, you can park around the island but paying about 3€ or more.
- You cannot really have a picnic there unless you reserve a table before hand in the lunch room. We did reserve a place (this was on a schoolday) and we really had to hurry the kids into eating quickly because there was already another class waiting, so I’m not sure how this works if you just go as a family. There is a cafetaria next to the room, but you need to order the food from there. I only ordered a well needed latte but I could see some of the stuff they had on the menu and it looked pretty decent and the prices a well. The typical Belgian lunch items like baguettes, pastries (croissants, donuts, chocolate buns). You could eat your lunch outside, but that would all depend on the weather, and hey, we are in Belgium…so be prepared.
- There is a locker room if you want to leave your jackets and backpacks behind.
Visit the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences?
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Intro to me:
I asked to tag along on my youngest child’s school field trip to the Natural Science museum in Brussels with kids.
This was a kindergarden class affair. I visited the Natural History Museum with my 5 year old son, two teachers, four parents and 30 children (yikes!) between the ages of 3.5 years old and 6 years old.
Have you been there before? Let me know about your experience and what is to your opinion a must see exhibition.