What is open and when?
The Science Museum re-opens on Thursday 3 December. We look forward to welcoming you back.
For those who like to plan ahead, you can support the museum by booking your next visit.
We have contacted all visitors who had booked tickets for the closure period to offer them the chance to move their booking for after Thursday 3 December.
Please call our Contact Centre on 0800 047 8124 if you’d like to speak to a member of our team about your tickets.
Please call our Contact Centre on 0800 047 8124 to speak to a member of our team. They’ll be able to rebook you onto a later date or offer a refund. Unfortunately we aren’t able to offer refunds on any donations that have been given as part of your booking.
Our priority is the safety of all our visitors and staff. We have new measures in place to help maintain social distancing and ensure you can enjoy your visit to the museum safely.
This means some parts of the museum aren't open initially. However we will continue to review our approach in line with Government guidance.
Where possible we are keeping interactive exhibits open for you to enjoy, with an enhanced cleaning regime.
All areas of the museum are open apart from:
- Fly Zone
- IMAX Cinema (opens on 9 December after refurbishment)
All of our interactive galleries are open.
Exhibits with touchscreens, levers and buttons, touch objects, gallery books and braille labels have an increased cleaning regime. Hand sanitiser stations are also located at key points throughout the museum.
Exhibits involving the mouth or close contact with the face, or which involve prolonged interaction with hard-to-clean areas have been removed.
We ask that you don’t touch the historic objects on display in the museum. This is for your safety and to protect the objects from damage.
Wonderlab is open to visitors with enhanced cleaning and safety measures. In order to maintain social distancing and for your safety some exhibits are not in use, including those involving the mouth or close contact with the face.
Hand sanitiser is located throughout the gallery.
We recommend you book Wonderlab tickets in advance.
The IMAX Cinema re-opens on 9 December after major refurbishment. We recommend you book IMAX tickets in advance.
We are working in line with Government guidance to offer all other experiences to you as soon as it is safe to do so.
Guided tours are paused for the time being, to help maintain social distancing. You can explore our digital tours here.
Due to the nature of the library and archives not allowing for social distancing, we are not currently able to provide public access to our library and archives reading rooms or these collections.
However, our collection—and the inspirational stories it contains—remains open online. You can find further information about the archives we care for via our online collection, the archive catalogue, the Science Museum library catalogue and the National Railway Museum library catalogue.
We offer a free enquiry service to help you find out more about the items in the Science Museum Group Collection. Please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more.
Planning your visit
Yes. Please follow Government guidance about households and bubbles to ensure you are visiting safely.
We welcome visitors of all ages to explore our galleries and exhibits. For our younger visitors, our multi-sensory galleries The Garden and Pattern Pod (recommended for under 8s) is now open from 3 December with enhanced safety measures in place, encouraging excitement and curiosity about patterns in the world around us.
Please note there will be limited capacity so entrance is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Yes, we are open for school groups during term time.
Our offer has been updated in line with Government guidance. You can find more information on our learning page.
In partnership with the National Tourist Organisations of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, this standard confirms that the museum has met Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines.
There are new measures in place to ensure everyone can maintain social distancing.
You need to book free, timed admission tickets in advance to help us manage the number of people in the museum at one time
Your tickets will be scanned by contactless e-scanners
Within a small number of galleries there are one-way routes to follow
Signage is in place throughout the museum to help guide you and maintain social distancing
Screens are installed at all ticket desks and information points
Please wear a face covering in the museum. Our staff will also wear face coverings
We ask you to make contactless payments where possible.
Following Government guidance, we have enhanced cleaning regimes throughout the museum. This will include (but is not limited to):
We have more cleaning staff working throughout the museum
Cleaning is more frequent and also happens when the museum is open to the public.
We are paying particular attention to high-touch points such as lift buttons, handrails, Braille labels and interactive exhibits.
Hand sanitiser stations are located throughout the museum, including at key points such as entrances, exits and interactive experiences.
Please ensure you follow Government guidelines to keep yourself, your group and others safe. Before your visit you’ll receive an email with helpful information about how to have a safe and enjoyable day out at the museum.
Yes, visitors to our museums will be required to wear face coverings, in line with Government guidance, for your safety and the safety of other visitors and staff.
We welcome everyone and recognise there are circumstances where, for health, age or accessibility reasons, some visitors will not be able to wear face masks or coverings. We hope that fellow visitors will be respectful and if you feel anybody’s conduct towards you is inappropriate, we would urge you to speak to a member of staff who will assist you immediately.
The Government lists specific ‘legitimate reasons’ why people do not need to wear a face covering, including:
- Children under the age of 11
- Not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- If putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- If you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate.
If you would like to be identified as someone who is exempt, please visit our Information Desk when you arrive to pick up a wristband.
You are asked to wear face masks or coverings until you have sat down with your food or drink. Once at a table all visitors are welcome to remove their face coverings and to enjoy their meal or drink.
Hand sanitiser is located throughout the museum, including at key points in or around all galleries with interactive experiences. Please remember to follow Government guidelines on regular hand washing. We also encourage you to bring your own hand sanitiser.
Toilets are open and we have introduced new hygiene measures and enhanced cleaning regimes. To help maintain social distancing, alternate sinks and alternate urinals are closed and in some areas we are operating a one-in-one-out system. Disposable paper towels are available instead of hand dryers.
Baby change facilities are available, with an enhanced cleaning regime in place.
No. We will follow the latest Government guidance on this and we ask that you please do the same.
We are not checking temperatures on entry to the museum. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, please follow Government guidance and stay home and self-isolate.
You need to follow the latest Government guidance on Test and Trace.
Please let a member of staff know so they can then support you, following our first aid procedure.
Please note that we are also supporting NHS Test and Trace. If you do not want your data to be shared, if requested by NHS Test and Trace, please notify us at email@example.com.
Booking free museum admission tickets
Yes. To help maintain social distancing, we're limiting the number of people who can visit each day. To help us manage this, you will need to book free tickets in advance online.
Book museum admission tickets
Wonderlab requires a separate ticket which you can also book online:
If you are unable to book online, you can call our booking team on 0800 047 8124 to book your tickets.
Tickets are currently available until Sunday 10 January 2021. After that, you will be able to book at least two weeks in advance of your visit date.
You will receive your tickets by email which you will need to bring with along with you, either on a mobile device or as a print-out. As part of our commitment to sustainability we are asking that you avoid printing tickets where possible.
The tickets will have a barcode that will be scanned by a contactless scanner on arrival at the museum.
If you are unable to find the email, you can log into your account on a mobile device and access your tickets from there.
To maintain social distancing, we ask that you avoid passing anything to our staff by only using the contactless scanners provided to self-scan tickets.
We can’t guarantee that tickets will be available on the day, so we recommend you book tickets online or via the booking team on 0800 047 8124.
We will do our best to accommodate latecomers, however if we’ve reached capacity for the time slot that you have booked, you will be asked to wait until the next available timeslot or book again for another time. This is so we can maintain social distancing inside the museum.
Yes. You need to book free general admission tickets to the museum as well as a separate ticket for exhibitions or experiences.
When choosing your timeslot, we advise visitors to allow enough time to reach the exhibition or experience after you enter the museum. Please allow at least 15 minutes to reach Wonderlab or the IMAX cinema from the entrance.
Please contact the booking team on 0800 047 8124 to exchange or return your ticket.
Yes, you can leave the museum and re-enter on the same day by showing your e-tickets to our staff at the main entrance.
The Science Museum is easily accessible by walking or cycling and you can visit the TfL website for more information on walking and cycling routes within London.
You can also refer to the Transport for London (TfL) website to plan your journey and get up to date Government guidance on travelling by public transport.
We ask all visitors to book free tickets and an arrival slot in advance online to help us manage the number of people who visit each day.
To ensure social distancing, areas for queuing outside the museum are clearly marked.
You are welcome to stay in the museum as long as you like, but an average visit lasts around two hours.
We ask that you use contactless card payments where possible. However, we do also accept cash.
We have introduced some self-guided routes around the museum to help maintain social distancing and ensure visitors have a relaxed visit.
We also have a selection of family trails you can follow.
We are limiting lifts to household bubbles and for anyone with access requirements. Please only use lifts if you are unable to use the stairs.
Please visit our Accessibility page for more information about facilities and who to contact if you need to know more.
Our cloakroom is open with additional safety measures in place. We can only accept coats and small bags so please leave suitcases and other large items at home.
Buggy parking is available next to Pattern Pod on Level 0. Belongings are left at your own risk.
Our multi-faith room is open with additional safety measures in place.
If you have an object you wish to donate to the Science Museum Group Collection, please do not bring it to the museum. Instead please visit our object donations page for more information.
Wheelchairs remain available to book in advance or on the day. Visitors will need to call the call centre in advance or speak to a member of staff on the day. More information can be found on each site's Accessibility page.
For Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries and Information Age, audio description can be accessed through the Audio Eyes app, free to download for iOS. It provides audio-only descriptions for key objects and tactile displays and enables visitors to roam freely through the gallery.
Visitors who are blind or partially sighted can request their own personal hand sanitiser to use during their visit.
We welcome and support visitors who choose to wear a Sunflower item as part of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme. Please note that we do not provide Sunflower items. Find out more about the scheme on the Hidden Disabilities website.
Please visit our Accessibility page for more information about facilities and who to contact if you need to know more.
Food and drink
The Energy Café and Shake bar are open for you to buy food and drinks during your visit. You can eat in the café or take away.
- Social distancing measures are in place in the queuing and seating areas
We are using disposable materials rather than crockery
Drinks are served in takeaway cups only and we are unable to refill keep cups at this time
All food is prepared off site.
You are welcome to bring your own food to eat in our picnic areas on levels 2 and 3 of the museum.
Please wear your face covering throughout the museum until you're seated in the cafe.
Wonderlab annual passes
Yes. We are extending all Wonderlab Annual passes by the number of days the museum is closed.
Yes, as we are limiting the number of people who can visit each day to help maintain social distancing.
If you are an existing Annual Pass holder please log in to your account using the ‘Log in/Register’ button on the top left of the booking page before booking your Wonderlab tickets so you can choose a free time slot.
Yes, the Science Museum online shop will continue to operate as normal as we hope to keep you inspired with our wide range of Christmas gifts including toys, games, science kits and books from across our five museum
We are being guided by the official advice provided by the UK Government and Public Health England, and are working closely with our logistics partner to ensure we are doing everything we can to provide a safe shopping experience for you.
The evolving situation may have an impact on our delivery services so we ask customers to check the shop site for the latest information.
We use the following carriers (click below for detailed information about their updated plans in response to coronavirus):
If you have any questions, please email our customer service team: firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of our extended shop Christmas returns policy, the returns period will be extended to 31 January 2021 for all orders placed between 1 November to 31 December 2020