Only marginally less popular with the kids than its natural historical neighbor, the Science Museum is a celebration of the wonders of technology in the service of our daily lives. On the ground floor, the shop – selling wacky toys – is part of the revamped Energy Hall.
In Exploring Space, rocket science and the lunar landings are illustrated by dramatically lit mock-ups and models, before the museum gears up for its core collection in Making the Modern World. Introduced by Puffing Billy, the world's oldest steam locomotive (built in 1815), the gallery also contains Stephenson's Rocket and the first purpose-built, mass-production system ever: the Portsmouth Block-Making Machines designed by Marc Isambard Brunel, the father of Isambard Kingdom, in 1803. Also here are the Apollo 10 command module, classic cars, and wall cabinets displaying an absorbing collection of everyday technological marvels from 1750 to the present. Beyond is the Wellcome Wing, bathed in an eerie blue light, occupying three floors and celebrating the latest discoveries in the biomedical sciences. The Who Am I? gallery on the first floor explores discoveries in genetics, brain science and psychology. Back in the main body of the museum, the second floor holds displays on computing, marine engineering and mathematics; the third floor is dedicated to flight, among other things, including the hands-on Launchpad gallery which features levers, pulleys, explosions and all manner of experiments for children (and their associated grown-ups). On the fifth floor is an intriguing display on the science and art of medicine. Tickets to the museum's in-house IMAX 3D cinema cost extra.