Founded in 1753, the British Museum is devoted to history, culture and art with works from Greece’s Parthenon (the Elgin Marbles), Egypt (world famous Rosetta Stone), Northern Europe (Viking masks) across to Mesopotamia, Mexico and China – lest we forget Inuits and Indians! As such it’s fondly referred to as “the World’s Museum”. But with a collection of 8 million objects, covering 807,000 sq feet (75,000 m²), just where does one start?!? Join us on a treasure hunt to give you some focus, threading themes and cultures together. THATConcept is identical to our other hunts (photographing your team in front of as many pieces as possible within a given amount of time – 90 mins to 2 hrs), but it differs just slightly as we provide the room numbers per treasure (as the BM’s layout is particularly tricky), facilitating your THATBrit strategy. Additional THATMuse bonus challenges are embedded in your treasure text, ensuring that hunters read about their treasure -- making the hunt educationally flexible!
So grab your phone or camera, photo your team in front of as many pieces of treasure as possible, & if we’ve done our job your kids will be leading you back into the museum after your hunt! THATBrit is also good for a girls' night out (Lady hunt anyone?), corporate team-building event (our Fun + Games theme's been tested by repeat clients, Lego!), or a customised Birthday / Hen / Stag party.
BM Love Hunt
There are plenty of love works covered from romantic love (a medieval citole with Queen Elizabeth I's coat of arms on it, which one of her favorites, Robert Dudley very well played her love ballads on) and conjugal love (the famous Sophilos Dinos, a wedding gift telling the story of Thetis and Peleus's marriage) to impish love (prancing after putti), seductive love (Venus a plenty, from Lely's Venus based on Praxiteles, to others) and more salacious love (an 11,000 year old Levant stone sculpture of two IN COITUS - the oldest known piece - legs intertwined) to just plain old silly love -- Are you familiar with the minor fertility god, Priapus? He always has an over-sized phallus that's out and about, propped up in his hands, or the Egyptian god AmunRa, which in one grano-diorite version of the BM's collection has his hands around a large empty circle which, in 1323 BC, had a hefty-sized schlong that has now gone very noticeably missing! Don't let me leave out sad love -- the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos (one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, and the very structure which gives us the word Mausoleum) was overseen by Artemisia, wife (and sister) to King Mausollos, who was so bereft at her loss she apparently drank wine with his ashes in it every day after he died (do you suppose that made her a cannibal?). Another wife-sibling couple whose story heads its way in is the Egyptian gods Osiris and Isis -- after Osiris is chopped up and sprinkled about by his enemy (and brother) evil god Seth, Osiris's wife (& sister), Isis screeches a deafening & extended wail as she flies around the Egyptian kingdom collecting Osiris's bits so she can pieces them together. She finds everything but his penis! A few of these stories (such as Osiris & Isis, of course Venus & Cupid, Thetis & Peleus), make their way into the Louvre Love Hunt, but that one is far more marriage oriented -- as the Louvre has such scrumptious paintings of wedding feasts.
From the Queen of the Lewis Chessmen to the Babylonian Babe, the Queen of the Night, this lady hunt pumps your pumps up, down and around the BM. Famous femmes like Lely’s Venus & the Nereid Nymphs to little-known ladies like the seal of Elizabeth de Sevorc, a Northern French aristocrat (who was entirely independent of a husband, son or any man – as she had her own money and land, just like the 1st Roman Empress Livia, who’s also in the hunt). The prize treasure is spelled out in a letter scramble, for the most celebrated lady of them all!
THATMuse goes ghoulish on this search for all things dark & macabre, from maudlin mummies & Greek sarcophagi to Aztec sacrificial knives dripping with blood (yikes!). Famous folk like Ginger (the Gebelein Mummy) and the Lindow Man (a Roman who met with a grisly end in 1st century Britain) make some special appearances. This theme covers a good amount of ground, so it’s not for the faint of heart, but is also family friendly (geared to kids older than Fun+Games, as treasure text is longer). What better way to get hunters' attention than to go for the gore?!?
FUN + GAMES
Tested by repeat corporate clients (& makers of fun!) Lego, this theme celebrates the "World’s Museum" through the prism of play! It's our most popular theme for first-time visitors (adults & kids alike), as it unifies the collection from all corners and quarters. The BM’s treasured Lewis Chessmen are of course our prize pieces, but you’ll also scrutinize a Mesopotamian Lion Hunt, find a Roman girl playing Knucklebone, lest we forget Greek Olympic champions! And did you know the Egyptians sent their dead off with board games?
LION HUNT FRIEZES Palace of Ashurbanipal, North Palace of Nineveh (Northern Iraq) Assyrian (Mesopotamian), 645 BC
In 12th century Europe lions begin to decorate royal coat of arms; this connection between kingship & lions was probably a result of the European crusades to the Middle East. Here we have a chief source, the Assyrian Lion Hunt frieze – a true triumph of Man over Nature. King Ashurbanipal left his mark on his grandfather’s Palace at Nineveh (a city measuring 12kms/7.5 miles) with the North Palace, where these fine feline creatures – vicious, attacking & sad brutes meeting their grisly end – lined the walls. Get a load of just what the fence of this hunting field was made of: shielded soldiers lined shoulder-to-shoulder (oh go on, earn 20 THATMuse points for a photo of your team lined up in profile like them & pointing to one of their rows (there are two human shields within this room)... I guess men were as disposable as lions to the Assyrians! Apparently the Mesopotamian lion, brought to extinction by the 19th C (quelle surprise!), was compared in size to a large St Bernard dog. Still, that doesn’t lessen the queasiness I feel when seeing the small boy standing above their cages (see his small protective cage above?) whose job it was to liberate those ferocious creatures (take 20 THATMuse points for a photo pointing one of these boys out). And yet the 21st C viewer finds compassion for these bloodied beasts, writhing in their last moments. For a bit of your own hunting, scour these gypsum alabaster reliefs & earn 50 THATMuse points by listing 4 of the 8 types of animals found in this room (not including lion or man!). No partial credit, but the BM tags do help!
PUBLIC HUNT (sometimes scheduled simultaneously to our THATLous au Louvre!)
2nd Friday of the month from 5:30 - 7:30 pm (space limited)
Public Hunt Prices: 15£/adults, 12£/students (PhD & below), 10£/kids (between 5-13 years old, free for kids under 5)
PUBLIC HUNT SCHEDULE
March: Launching the Lady Hunt! Fri 31 March to wrap up Women's Month (5:30 - 7:30)
April: Fun + Games, Fri 14 April (in Paris for Easter? We're hosting a simultaneous THATLou au Louvre from 6:30-8:30, Paris time!)
May: Skull Scouting, Fri 12 May
June: Love Hunt, Fri 16 June (sold out)
July: Fun + Games, Fri 14 July (Celebrating Bastille Day in Paris, our THATLou theme will be All Things Gaul, au même temps!)
Aug: Love Hunt, Fri 11 Aug
Sept: THATBrit Babes (Lady Hunt), Fri 8 Sept
Oct: Skull Scouting, Friday the 13th of Oct (in Paris for half-term? Try Skull Scouting au Louvre on Fri 27 Oct for Halloween!)
Nov: THATBrit Babes (Lady Hunt), Fri 10 Nov
Dec: Love Hunt, Fri 8 Dec
Xmas: Fun + Games, Fri 22 Dec (running simultaneously in Paris, the THATLou theme will be Food + Wine, festive for French feasting!)
CLASSIC HUNT (individually scheduled)
For the Classic Hunt we meet you at the museum, navigate the security line together & provide a brief history of the museum before orienting you with the map, reviewing the hunt (strategy's important). Please note you are not met at the end of the Classic Hunt (as distinct from the Luxe Hunt), however you are offered "friendly competition" if you'd like to play against another like-minded family (if one surfaces for your date & theme). Friendly competition does not cost more or less & is not required (some families prefer to split into two teams one parent & kid/s per team for inner-family #MuseumFun!).
CLASSIC HUNT PRICES: Flat rate of 75£/per family (up to 6 people)
LUXE HUNT (scheduled either 9:30 - 12:30 or 1:30 - 4:30 pm)
Your THATMuse Rep meets you in front of the museum on Great Russell Street. Together you pass through security & enter Norman Foster’s iconic Great Court where we provide a short history of the museum before you’re given team packs (the hunt, map & pencils), briefed on the rules & shown how to strategise. Once oriented, teams (of 2-4 people) are dispatched to scour the BM’s venerable halls for their treasure while your THATMuse Rep spot checks that you’re not cheating (no running, no calling your Egyptologist Aunt!). Once we've regrouped we tally scores together before the all-important prize-giving ceremony; this can be at a museum café, nearby high tea, pub or patch of green outside the museum (Russell Square, anyone?), as you wish (this is defined by email beforehand). Hotel-pick up is also offered for an additional 30£
LUXE HUNT PRICES: 275£/3 hours (includes light-hearted prizes, limited to families of 6 people or fewer)
... often opt to customize their hunts. Please contact us for a quote -- ideally mentioning if you’d like a customized hunt or not & a bit about your demographic (office team-building event, Hen/Stag do, birthday/anniversary hunt, school group?). Please note museum registration (free, but needed more than 7 days in advance) is easily handled by the client directly (we’re happy to send links) or you’re welcomed to ask us to (for an additional cost). References available upon request.
BRITISH MUSEUM TICKETS
Entry is free, but recommended donation is £5
Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, England
METRO (TUBE STATIONS)
Tottenham Court Road, Holborn, Russell Square, Goodge St Station
Stop: New Oxford Street: 1, 8, 19, 25, 38, 55, 98, 242
Stop: Southampton Row: 59, 68, X68, 91, 168, 188
Stop northbound on Tottenham Court Road/Southbound on Gower: 10, 14, 24, 29, 73, 134, 390
Open 10am – 5:30 pm every day, except Friday when it’s open till 8:30 pm
Closed 24, 25 and 26 December and 1 January (open every other day of the year)