Frequently asked questions for group leaders.
Entry to the museum—including our object galleries—is free but charges apply for some activities. Please check the individual web pages for details.
The museum is open daily from 10.00–18.00 (last entry 17.15). Galleries start to close 30 minutes before the museum closes.
The museum is closed on 24, 25 and 26 December.
Any changes to opening times will be listed on our Visit page.
We ask all groups to book in advance.
This enables you to access group discounts for charged activities and guarantees your tickets for events that have limited capacity. It also allows us to send you information that might affect your trip and it makes check-in quicker and easier when you arrive.
All groups, such as schools, home educators, scouts, other youth and adult community organisations and tour operators can check availability, build an itinerary, and book their visit using our group booking portal.
For safeguarding, and to ensure health and safety in the museum, our adult to child ratio policy for groups is:
Ages 5 and under – 1:4
Ages 5 to 11 – 1:8
Ages 11 to 16 – 1:10
Ages 16 to 18 – 1:30
Over 18s – 1 responsible adult per group
Please ensure you have enough accompanying adults before you request your visit. They must be aged 19 or over.
Children arriving without accompanying adults may not be allowed into the museum.
We do not pre-book lunch areas, but you are welcome to use:
- The picnic terraces on Level -1
- The seating area on Level 2 near Gallery Café
- The seating are on Level 1 near The Technicians Gallery
- Any quiet, uncarpeted corners of the Museum (except the Group Entrance area)
Be careful not to block through-routes, doors or stairs, and please tidy up rubbish once you have finished eating. You may not eat packed lunches in the museum's cafés.
Snacks and drinks can be bought from the Gallery Cafe on Level 0 or the Shake Bar on Level 3.
If you’re having problems using our group booking portal, please ensure your web browser is up to date.
If you’re still encountering issues, please contact us on 033 0058 0058.
If your booking is for a free visit and does not include charged activities you can make changes at any time, subject to availability of tickets.
If your booking includes charged activities you can increase the number of visitors on your eticket at any time, subject to availability and provided that you pay any additional sums which may be charged for the increase by credit or debit card upon changing the booking. You can do this by logging into your online account or calling us on 033 0058 0058.
For all other changes, including reductions in visitor numbers, date changes or cancellations, the group booking terms apply. Please read our full booking and cancellation terms.
If your booking is for a free visit and does not include charged activities you can cancel your visit at any time.
If you booking includes charged activities our group booking terms apply. Please read our full booking and cancellation terms.
If you are not with your group our evacuation procedure could result in children being evacuated while you are in an unaffected part of the building, or vice versa.
Adults are also responsible for safeguarding and health and safety for the children in their party while in our public building,
The Museum is a public place so please remind your group to respect other visitors, exhibits and museum staff.
Outside of the hands-on galleries, many irreplaceable exhibits are on open display so you can get close to them. To preserve their longevity, please remind your group not to touch or climb on them. CCTV and security officers are in place throughout the building to monitor this.
We expect visitors of all ages to adhere to this code of conduct and poor behaviour could mean that people are asked to leave.
Please read our safeguarding information before your visit. If you have any concerns during your visit please contact a member of staff immediately.
You'll need to carry out your own risk assessment.
Our insurance confirmation letter provides details about our public liability insurance.
On weekdays during term time free storage for coats and small bags is allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis on arrival at the Group Entrance. Space is very limited so bring as little as possible in case we are not able to accommodate your belongings.
At weekends and during holidays you will need to use the self-service lockers on Level -1. These are card payment only:
- Small—£3.00: Fits coats and hand-sized items (35cm H, 25cm W , 43cm D)
- Medium—£5.00: Fits rucksacks and small bags (43cm H , 33cm W , 43cm D)
- Large—£7.00: Fits carry-on luggage and medium-sized bags (53cm H, 40cm W, 43cm D)
Sorry, we are not able to store suitcases and larger items.
When scanning the locker QR codes, please ensure you follow the correct link to the Science Museum website if using a third party QR code app.
Lunch bags can be pre-ordered from our caterer Benugo:
- £5.50 per child for a ham or cheese (v) sandwich, a bag of popcorn, an apple, and a bottle of water.
- £8.50 per adult for a salad or sandwich, a bag of crisps, an apple, and a bottle of water or soft drink.
Alternatives are available for special diets.
Call 020 7942 4483 or email email@example.com, Benugo will send you a form to place your order and once it's confirmed they will send an invoice for the cost.
Please note that orders need to be placed at least a week before your visit date.
To support your visit, we have a selection of free, educational trails and activity sheets that you can download from our resources website.
Use the filters to select by age and topic to find resources that best fit with the learning outcomes for your trip.
You can also find great classroom activities to use before and after your visit.
Download a map to help you plan routes around the museum, and make copies for your accompanying adults.
Schools and formal education groups should use this version for visits on weekdays in term time.
Other groups visiting at the weekend and in holidays will find this version more helpful.
A sensory map is also available.
Our shops get very busy, so we recommend visiting in small groups across the day rather than just before you leave.
Your help in supporting younger students with their purchases is invaluable, especially at the tills.
You can normally pre-order souvenirs ready for collection on the day, but supply chain difficulties mean that we are not currently able to offer this service.
There are drinking fountains around the museum, where you can also fill your own water bottles.
You can buy bottled water from our cafes and the shop.
Visit our Accessibility page for general information and please tell us about any access requirements when you make your booking so that we can provide the best advice.
If you haven't visited with your group before, we recommend a pre-visit to familiarise yourself with the galleries, test run our activity sheets and plan your routes around the building.
Contact us in advance to request teacher preview tickets for Wonderlab, IMAX films and special exhibitions so that you can assess suitability.
Check for gallery closures that might impact on your plans.
This map shows the location of the Science Museum in South Kensington and which entrance to use with your group.
On weekdays during term time you'll enter via the Group Entrance on Imperial College Road.
At weekends and during school holidays use the Main Entrance on Exhibition Road.
Please see our Getting Here page
For groups requiring easy access into the museum on weekdays in term time we have parking for one small-sized minibus (no longer than 4.6m) per day, close to the Group Entrance. This parking must be reserved in advance, so please request it when booking your visit.
If the bay is not available, there are two parking spaces for disabled badge-holders near the main entrance of the museum, although these belong to the RBKC Council and cannot be reserved.
Sorry we cannot offer parking for other groups.
Yes, the Science Museum holds a Learning Outside of the Classroom quality badge. This means we are recognised for our quality educational provision and effective risk management.