Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs. Image courtesy of Gondwana Studios.

Exhibitions and Displays

Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs
15 February – 1 November

252 million years ago, in a period called the Permian, life on Earth was dominated by extraordinary creatures. It was a time of fearsome sabre-toothed predators, giant insects and bizarre-looking sharks. The Permian ended with a mass extinction that destroyed 90% of all life, paving the way for the Earth’s next great rulers… the dinosaurs.

In this fascinating, family-friendly exhibition, which is travelling to the UK for the first time, you can discover more about this mysterious time period. On display will be fossil skeletons as well as full-size models and animatronics that bring the Permian back to life. You can also sift through interactive dig pits and get creative in an art area.

A relaxed opening for families who are unable to visit when the Horniman is busy will take place on Thursday 16 April, 9–10am. For more information, please see the Special Events section. In addition, look out for Permian Monsters activities during the school holidays.

Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs is a travelling exhibition produced by Gondwana Studios.

Tickets*: Child £5, Adult £9, Family (up to two adults and two children) £20. Horniman Members and Benefactors enjoy free, unlimited entry. *Prices include a voluntary Gift Aid donation which helps support the work of the Horniman.

Stages of Making
Until 19 April

Step into this immersive exhibition in The Studio where all the artworks have a story to tell about design, techniques and time.

Inspired by the history of the Horniman and its collections, Stages of Making is produced by a collective of local community members working with artist Katie Schwab. Works include painted walls, table tops made from yoghurt pots and a giant rag-rug created from used t-shirts by members of the public. Visitors can join in daily making activities to contribute to a live archive or book for one of the special workshops. See the website for more details. Free.

As I Live and Breathe
Until 4 May

Award-winning, internationally exhibited visual artist Claire Morgan has created stunning new pieces for the Horniman, including a dramatic installation in Gallery Square. Claire’s thought-provoking work draws on the theme of waste and the impact that humans have on their surroundings. Her pieces include thousands of fragments of colourful waste polythene frozen in time. Free.

Turn It Up: On Paradoxes
Until 21 June

Jide Odukoya’s photographic series shows a contrasting Nigeria through the lens of traditional weddings, highlighting how moments of extravagant celebration are an important part of Nigerian cultural identity because of the fragile wealth that supports it. Free.

Grasslands Garden
Open year round

Wander through wild landscapes in the Grasslands Garden, featuring spectacular plants from North American prairie and South African grasslands. Celebrating critically threatened wild landscapes, during the winter months visitors will be able to see beautiful architectural seed head heads and fading flower spikes.

Linked to the World Gallery, the naturalistic planting scheme was devised by Olympic Park designer James Hitchmough. Free.

Green Turtle
Until May 2021

A magnificent taxidermy mount of a male Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas, on loan from the Natural History Museum is on display in the Natural History Gallery. Over 100 years old, this impressive animal was collected off the coast of Nicaragua in Central America and presented to the Natural History Museum in 1906. This small display will showcase the challenges facing Green Turtles and other marine life today and what we can do to protect it. Free.

February Half Term
Monday 17 to Friday 21 February


Bath Bomb Workshops
Monday–Friday, 10am, 11.30am, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm

Make an explosive bath bomb full of fizzy fun with Einstein’s Entertainers! Learn about the science of volcanoes and natural explosions and take home your own piece of bath bomb lava to put in the bath. Tickets: Child £7.50.

MAKE! Permian Volcanoes
Monday–Friday, 10.30am–12.30pm and 2–4pm

Join in some volcanic art and craft fun inspired by our new Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs exhibition. Get crafty and take home your own creation.  Free, drop in.

Horniman Explorers: Permian Monsters
Monday–Friday, 11am–12.30pm, 23.30pm

A fun hands on family session exploring real museum objects linked to our new Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs exhibition. Free. 

Regular Events

Stay in Tune Thursdays
Every Thursday (except during school holidays), 2–5.15pm

On Thursday afternoons during term time the Horniman becomes an age-friendly space for adults to socialise and enjoy hands-on music sessions, concerts, tours and more. There is extra seating and a more relaxed grown-up atmosphere across the Museum, plus a special offer in the Café. Free.

The regular programme is:

2.30-3.15pm             Hands on Music (dementia friendly session)

3.30-4pm                   Hear it Live! (dementia friendly session)

4.15-5.15pm             The Aftershow – a music appreciation discussion 

Hear it Live!
Every Thursday, 3.30-4pm

Join us in the Music Gallery every week for concerts featuring our early keyboard instruments from the 17th to 19th centuries. Upcoming performers include Dušan Toroman (square piano), Masumi Yamamoto (virginals) and Callum Anderson (organ). Free. 

Curiosity Talks
Tuesdays 4pm and Saturdays 11.30am

Enjoy talks on a range of fascinating objects and topics, delivered by our Visitor Hosts. Free, drop in. 

Welcome to the Horniman Tours
Wednesdays and Saturdays 4pm, Sundays 11.30am

Our Visitor Hosts provide a short introduction to the Horniman on these informal tours. Free, drop in.

Horniman Market
Every Sunday, 10am–3pm

Visit our weekly market to enjoy a range of delicious hot food, pick up fresh and seasonal produce from local traders, and treat yourself to irresistible cakes and craft beer. Located in our glorious Gardens you will also find regular guest traders specialising in everything from natural bodycare to homemade jams. In addition, special markets will take place throughout the year. Please follow us @HornimanMarket Free entry.

Library Open Day

First Sunday of each month, 10.30am5.30pm

Browse our library collections and see some of the library treasures. Free, drop in.

Horniman Museum and Gardens
100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ

Please check the website for updates