Preview: The Campsite @ The Natural History Museum

October half-term is just around the corner, and once again we find ourselves hunting for some kids to borrow.

The Natural History Museum is turning itself into a kind of autumnal festival site for the week, with vintage camper vans, colourful caravans and pop-up tents in and around the Darwin Centre. The idea, created by innovative art-and-play theatre company, Field Trip, is to evoke the field work of the Museum’s scientists. And while we think it’ll be fun to rock up child-free, we can’t help thinking we’d get so much more out of it with a Little Londonist in tow.

Under the list of “get involved” activities, you can dress up and pose in a human-sized specimen display case; play giant Jenga and swingball; or bash out a “nature story” on a “traditional typewriter” to add to the archive’s catalogue of stories. (We love the idea that the humble typewriter is a genuine museum piece now. What would our mothers say?)

For more reticent museum ramblers, there’s plenty to watch and enjoy, rather than jump in: a musical comedy inspired by Charles Darwin; a real polar tent used by Antarctic researchers; a tiny caravan-based peep show of a blue whale on an adventure; and films to watch in a vintage camper van cinema, with velvet curtains and popcorn. Look out, too for the Lost Camper roaming the Museum itself, and point her in the right direction of all these fun and games…

The Campsite runs from 27 October to 2 November, between 11am and 4.30pm at the Darwin Centre Courtyard and atrium at the Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7. Entrance is free.

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