Gallery of the Day: Adventure Planet

August 30, 2011


We may no longer be in Edinburgh, but I do still have the remainder of my gallery guides at the National Museum of Scotland to write up. First up, the last of the Natural World galleries. ‘Adventure Planet’ sits above the two earth science galleries (Earth in Space and Restless Earth) and next to Survival. It’s an interactive gallery aimed at children and families, with things to encounter, explore and investigate: Encounter a black rhino, American bull frog or a white rat face to face; explore what lurks inside a cow pat or try and guess the mystery animals from the available clues; investigate some real specimens.

Click on the thumbnails to view the images in full size.


The absolute highlight of this gallery has to be the beautiful Stegosaurus skeleton. Yes, the T-Rex is cool, but let’s face it, it’s not pretty (according to the husband it looks like a giant chicken, which apparently is scientifically accurate). But the Stegosaurus is a real beauty. Since the gallery is very much a destination for families, many visitors coming alone or in adult groups may never see it. If you fall into this category of visitor and the idea of venturing into a gallery filled with excitedly screaming children fills you with dread, please nonetheless consider a short stop to see the Stegosaurus.

Things to do

The question for this gallery should probably be ‘what is there not to do?’ since there are so many activities, e.g.

  • Design a fish on the touch screen interactive and see if it will camouflage well enough to avoid being eaten
  • Unearth some bones in the ‘dino dig’ pit
  • Dress up as an underwater, arctic or jungle explorer
  • Touch some real specimens, such as the ram’s skull or the brain coral
  • Discover things tucked away in drawers or guess what’s hiding in the cubby holes
  • Explore inside a giant tree
  • A variety of natural world themed games and puzzles

The gallery is aimed more at older children, aprox. age 7 and above, but the boy with his 9 months still got something out of the touch objects (under careful supervision of course), crawling inside the giant tree, and dressing up as some kind of bizarre arctic scuba diver, since the fur hat and flippers where the only thing that fitted – though the boy probably had more fun trying to eat the flippers than from the dressing up itself^^


* Please note that these are my own personal highlights and not necessarily recommended as such by the museum.


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    […] National Museum of Scotland – Interactive family galleries, discovery zones, numerous other interactives scattered throughout the museum; sure, it’s big, so it can pack in more interactives than museums with less capacity, but what sets it apart is not the quantity of interactive but the fact that they have a section aimed at under 3s. #MuseumBaby agrees it’s a number one choice. […]

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