Fossil Dig

Learn all about fossils, how they form and get up close with some real fossilised creatures in this hands on session.

Explore some fantastic fossils.

Get hands on and discover how a fossil is formed, what becomes fossilised and why, have a go at working out some mystery fossils and touch a cast of one of the most important fossils ever discovered – the archaeopteryx!

Learning Objectives:

  • Pupils will know that the study of fossils is called Palaeontology and understand how a fossil forms.
  • Pupils will be able to identify different kinds of organisms which can become fossils.
  • Pupils will be able to explain why many fossils are found in coastal regions.
  • Pupils will appreciate our understanding of fossils and extinct species is developing all the time.

This is really fun! it makes such a difference being able to touch them, I get it! Year 5 pupil


Workshop information

How to book

Booking a taught session includes a welcome briefing on arrival, timed access to a lunch space, cloakroom facilities and access to toilets for the exclusive use of school groups.

Contact us to make a booking:
020 8291 8686

When you contact us please have ready:

– the name of the taught session you would like to book or topic you are studying,

-1st/2nd/3rd choice of date and preferred session time,

– the number of pupils and adults attending.


Entrance to the Horniman Museum and Gardens is free of charge. Taught sessions and access to some exhibitions are charged for. We invoice after your visit.

The following charges apply:
– 45 minute or 1 hour object handling session, (up to 30 pupils): £72.50 ex VAT (£87.00 inc VAT) per session
– 30/45 minute object handling sessions for Special Education Needs classes (up to 12 pupils): £36.25 ex VAT (£43.50 inc VAT) per session
– 60 minute Gamelan and 90 minute sessions (up to 30 pupils): £122.50 ex VAT (£147.00 inc VAT) per session.

We offer a bursary scheme for schools that meet a set criteria.

Planning your visit

See Plan Your Day for other essential information including our Risk Assessment.

We are open from 10am-5.30pm, 6 days a week; the Museum will be closed on Wednesdays. Entrance to the Museum and Gardens is free of charge but must be booked in advance by emailing

We are open from 10am–5.30pm. Entrance to the Museum and Gardens is free of charge.

Entrance to our charged temporary exhibition can be booked for a reduced educational rate of £3 per person. Our Butterfly House and Aquarium will remain closed to school groups at this time to allow for social distancing. Charges apply to all children aged 3 years and over, and all accompanying teachers and adults, unless they are specific 1:1 carers.