Science Museum Early – Birds and Night Owls: 2023/24 Annual Report

Early Birds is a sensory-friendly event organised regularly by the Science Museum. It is designed for individuals who need a quieter environment to enjoy the museum, since the busy hours with the general public can be overwhelming. Those with autism spectrum conditions or with sensory processing differences can benefit from adjustments.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Trustees of The Lord Leonard and Lady Estelle Wolfson Foundation for their support towards Early Birds and Night Owls since 2014. Your generous contributions over a decade have played a crucial role in enabling these cherished events to accommodate the sensory needs of several families.”


“I wanted to say a huge thank you to the staff at the museum for putting on the Early Birds event last weekend. My two children are both autistic and my daughter in particular has very complex needs and usually would not be able to manage visiting somewhere like a museum. However. because of the early opening. which meant a quieter journey. the ability to park nearby. the quieter museum and reduced sensory stimulus. she was able to engage in very fun and educational visit. I am so grateful to everyone involved in putting on such an inclusive event!”

·1 just wanted to say thanks for having the event yesterday. which I attended from Oxford (handily parking in blue badge space right outside) with my 20-year old daughter and 17-year old son – who never want to do stuff together – as we are all autistic/ADHD. It felt incredibly special to be in the museum after hours and the quiet and low lights were lovely. We had an amazing time exploring the main museum and were blown away by the Power Up exhibition. which is the main reason I took my son (he’s doing gaming at college but otherwise never leaves the house). For a couple of hours we got to relax. enjoy ourselves and have fun. The staff were all really lovely and helpful. I’m definitely going to look out for similar events in future. [ ] Thanks again for holding this event – it makes such a tremendous difference to have things like this available.”

“I wanted to thank the museum for doing these sessions for our SEN kids. I can’t tell you what it means to us parents to have these offered. My daughter is Autistic and really struggles with noise and crowds. She also cannot stand or walk for too long as she suffers from severe joint pain which is also linked to her Autism. She is passionate about Aviation and hopes to work in airline safety or for Air Traffic Control one day. Being able to visit the museum during Early Birds when it is quiet is her absolute joy. We all had such a lovely morning together. So many people write our kids off just because their brains have some different connections. But some of the greatest minds in history were neurodiverse. So thank you for including our kids in your museum events and enabling them to explore their passions to the max. We look forward to visiting again soon.”

Read the full report here.