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Fantastic Beats: The Wonder of Nature

Natural History Museum

A spellbinding celebration of nature

Get ready for a wonderous collision as the natural world joins the magical world in the enchanted galleries at the NEW Fantastic Beasts exhibition. Narwhal tusks, a giant squid and a dragon like dino skeleton are waiting for you…

There will be squeals of excitement from mini wizards as Magizoologist Newt Scamander’s legendary costume and magical suitcase greet you are you enter the first gallery. Ready yourself for ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and ‘Harry Potter’ prop heaven.

Next up are the Dragons. Look out for the dragon skull from professor Lupin’s classroom sitting alongside a real life Dracorex Hogwartsia dino skeleton specially named after the Potter films.

Then onto Mermaids with a replica stain-glass window of a swirling mercreature from the Goblet of Fire. The manatee skeleton is awesome. Move through to Unicorns with two magnificent narwhal tusks on display plus wizarding wands from the Potter films filled with unicorn hair.

Throughout the exhibition the legendary is complimented perfectly by real life animals. Look up and see a giant squid in the Sea Serpent section, search out the 4m oarfish skeleton and the rather gruesome tentacle of a real squid found in the tummy of a sperm whale.

Wander through Newt's Shed a treasure trove filled with naturalists props and explorers backpacks before stepping through into the wild and encountering numerous mythical beasts amongst natural animal wonders. Watch out for the disappearing Demiguise with his candy filled handbag before investigating real animals with huge camouflage ability; stick and leaf insects, butterflies.

Press the magic button and watch the animated Niffler scurry out of his burrow collecting gleaming gold coins before learning of the natural worlds animal collectors.

Children will love the giant animated Erumpent – trigger the perfume bottle and watch his extraordinary mating display. Dodge the naughty Bowtruckles tucked in the branches of an interactive tree, hear them blow raspberries and wave their angry little arms before catching a glimpse of the giant Occamy shrink and disappear into a tiny teapot.

All the way through the exhibition are wonderful parallels between the powers of mythical beasts and their real life animal opposites.

The last zone shows Newt the conservationist with his Mooncalf eye drops and feeding charts. Once again comparisons are drawn between real animals struggling to survive in the wild BUT with a positive message about how many species are being brought back to life through excellent conservation work. Learn how the kakapo flightless parrot came close to extinction but is now thriving in New Zealand thanks to the excellent work of conservationists.

As you leave the exhibition Newt’s suitcase spills particles recreating all the real and fantastical beasts you have encountered throughout the exhibition. It's a strong finish to an inspiring exhibition. You leave feeling the natural world is just as incredible as the mythical one. We LOVED it and children will too. The ticket price is rather steep but if you have a mythical beasts fan in your household its unmissable.

If you are stuck at home do take a tour of the exhibition online through the Google Arts & Culture platform. You will find fun puzzles, colouring books, quizzes and games to keep little ones amused.


9 December 2020


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