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About the Exhibition

252m years ago, in a period called the Permian, life on Earth was dominated by extraordinary creatures.

It was a time of fearsome sabre-toothed predators, giant insects and bizarre-looking sharks.

The Permian ended with a mass extinction that destroyed 90% of all life, paving the way for Earth’s next great rulers… the dinosaurs.

In this fascinating, family-friendly exhibition, which is travelling to the UK for the first time, you can discover more about this mysterious time period.

On display will be fossil skeletons as well as full-size models and animatronics that bring the Permian back to life. You can also sift through interactive dig pits and get creative in an art area.

A relaxed opening for families who are unable to visit when the Horniman is busy, including children with autism spectrum conditions or neurodiverse families will take place on Thursday 16 April, 9–10am. Look out for Permian Monster activities during the school holidays.


Tickets for Permian Monsters

Permian Monsters is open from 15 February until Sunday 1 November 2020. Book your tickets

Members and Benefactors go free - find out more about becoming a member or supporting the Horniman as a Benefactor. Present your membership or benefactor card at the entrance to Brick Wonders in Gallery Square. Please note: during busy times, such as half term, you may need to queue to enter, due to the capacity of the exhibition.

Tickets are valid all day for the day of purchase for single entry only. Visit Permian Monsters any time during Museum opening hours.


Ticket Type


Family (2 adults, 2 children)


Family ticket with Gift Aid




Adult with Gift Aid




Child with Gift Aid


Combination tickets - Permian Monsters + Butterfly House

+ Aquarium 


Combined Adult


Combined Adult with Gift Aid


Combined Child 


Combined Child with Gift Aid


Combined Family 


Combined Family with Gift Aid


Combined tickets through 
the Butterfly House page 


You can also go free with an Art Pass.

Children under three may visit free of charge and carers accompanying visitors with access requirements get free admission. A family ticket is for two adults and two children aged 3-16 years.

Combination tickets for Permian Monsters, the Aquarium and the Butterfly House are now available - please book through the Butterfly House page, as this requires a timed ticket for entry.

Planning your visit

Permian Monsters may be particularly busy during weekends and school holidays, making queues likely. If you are planning to visit between during one of these times, you might find the following tips useful:

  • Where possible, book tickets in advance and print out or download your booking confirmation to your phone. You will then be able to skip likely queues at the Ticket Desk. However, please be prepared to queue for entry to Permian Monsters, our fantastic family-show, which we expect to be very busy. The exhibition entrance is on Gallery Square on the Lower Ground level – if you have a ticket, please make your way straight there via the lift or the stairs. 
  • If you are a Member, there is no need to book to see Permian Monsters. Simply show your membership card at the entrance to each ticketed area, but please be prepared to queue.
  • If you have the choice, please travel light and leave your buggy or scooter at home.
  • Our delicious Café will be open as usual and is expected to be particularly busy around lunchtime. The Dutch Barn near the Bandstand in the Gardens is available to eat packed lunches. Please refrain from eating and drinking inside the Museum - this is not permitted as it encourages pests and endangers our collection.
  • If there’s anything we can help with, in advance, please email us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk
  • Our friendly visitor teams are easily identified by yellow lanyards. We will do our best to make sure you have a great time, do approach us if we can help with anything at all.


Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs is a travelling exhibition produced by Gondwana Studios.