As visitors find time off to visit museums with family and friends, locations across the country are adding a festive spin to their existing exhibits and attractions.

While the connection between Christmas and prehistoric creatures isn’t immediately obvious, that hasn’t stopped these locations from getting into the spirit.

Some of the most well-loved prehistoric exhibits at museums across the UK have been spruced up in time to welcome visitors with a festive season’s greetings.

Manchester Museum’s T-Rex gets a santa hat

Art Fund – News
A still from the Manchester Museum's video
A still from the Manchester Museum's video

Manchester Museum took to Twitter to show off the latest addition to its T-Rex skeleton.

Known fondly as ‘Stan’, the museum’s prized dinosaur stands over 12 feet tall and has been given an equally giant Santa hat in time for Christmas. Adding the hat to the skeleton required a team of museum workers and a scissor lift.

The museum, which is currently closed for refurbishments until late next year, has added the accessory as it opens its Fossils Gallery during collections for a Christmas Gift Appeal.

Those providing donations will have a chance to see the dinosaur and have a meet-and-greet with santa.

Natural History Museum’s Dinosaur Christmas Jumper

The festive animatronic dinosaur
The festive animatronic dinosaur © The Trustee of The Natural History Museum

A T-Rex at the Natural History Museum has also been given a Christmas make-over, with a festive jumper to meet the requirements of its odd proportions.

Made entirely from recycled materials, the jumper was created by Leicester company British Christmas Jumpers, and reportedly took staff 100 hours to complete.


The animatronic dinosaur is not just dressed up for Christmas cheer, but is turning its tiny hand to modelling. The museum’s shop is selling a version of the jumper, fit for humans, in its online store.

Visitors hoping to see the dinosaur’s modelling effort have until the festive season ends, as the jumper will be on show until Christmas eve.

Leeds City Museum’s 10,000 year-old deer gets a pre-Christmas clean

Rebecca Machin. Leeds Museums and Galleries' curator of natural sciences, cleans the giant Ice Age deer at Leeds City Museum.
Rebecca Machin. Leeds Museums and Galleries' curator of natural sciences, cleans the giant Ice Age deer at Leeds City Museum.

Standing more than seven feet tall, Leeds City Museum’s 10,000 year-old giant deer has been given a pre-Christmas clean by experts.

Part of the Life on Earth Gallery, the ‘Megaloceros giganteus’ was among the largest deer to have ever lived, and has the largest antlers of any known deer, measuring around 12ft from tip to tip. The creature is part of the deer family which includes reindeer.

As well as the deer, the museum’s family-friendly, free Ice Age trail will include a snow leopard and other wintry creatures dotted around the museum.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “The Leeds Museums and Galleries collection includes some incredible specimens and we’re extremely lucky to be able to see them on display.

“It’s also inspiring to see those collections interpreted in so many imaginative ways over the festive season, giving visitors a chance to explore them in new and engaging ways.”

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