Kensington Museums and Galleries
Kensington Gardens, Kensington
The Serpentine Galleries are a must-see for contemporary art lovers. Located in a former teahouse, the original Serpentine Gallery continues to champion cutting-edge modern art, and if you walk across Serpentine Lake, the collection extends to the new Sackler Gallery, which was designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Zaha Hadid. Take the time to explore the grounds, including the Gallery’s Pavilion, which provides a site for architectural experimentation with temporary structures that is always worth checking out.
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Rd., Kensington
Built in 1881, the Natural History Museum is also a world-renowned research center and boasts as much historical significance as scientific: Specimens collected by Darwin can be still be found in its halls. In addition to permanent galleries (we love the Earth Galleries, designed by Neal Potter) and exciting exhibitions, the museum features a wildlife garden, shows, films, hands-on activities for kids, and more. Especially fun for kids are the Dino Snores sleepovers, where, in Night at the Museum fashion, kids discover what happens when staff and visitors go home. During the holidays, they'll also enjoy the museum's outdoor skating rink (which can be reserved in its entirety for private sessions with an ice marshal). While it's wonderful for families, the museum proves equally interesting for adults, who can enjoy programs like Nature Live and talks with experts in science and natural history. Go right before 10 a.m. and enter on the right-hand side near the science museum to dodge the lines.
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