One of the best places to visit on a rainy day is a museum. They can bring learning to life for your children and with so many hands-on areas available now, little fingers can really dig in and discover for themselves.
Where can you ogle at a necklace made of dried frogs, get down and dirty at an archaeological dig or have your portrait ‘Warholized’? At the six museums shortlisted for the Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award – the biggest museum award in Britain and the only one with a winner picked by families.
It was a tough job whittling down the 20 strong longlist nominated by visitors, volunteers and museums themselves. An expert panel of judges, chaired by Jenny Abramsky, chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, had to make difficult choices. ‘All the museums on the shortlist are providing wonderful experiences for families,’ says Jenny. ‘The transformation of museums across the UK to encourage family visits has been remarkable and deserves celebrating. And taking part in the Family Friendly Museum Award by visiting the shortlisted museums will be worthwhile and fun.’
But it’s visitors who shouted the loudest about what they wanted in a family friendly museum. ‘Some of the things I liked – looking through masks, feeding the fish, watching the ants, learning about dinosaurs, the big German rocket, doing the trail, looking at the cool things in the shop,’ said Nathan, aged 7, about his visit to shortlisted World Museum in Liverpool. ‘I loved the day I went to the museum. I loved EVERYTHING!’
The shortlisted museums are:
World Museum, Liverpool
Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands
Brixham Heritage Museum, Devon
Haselmere Educational Museum, Surrey
Wolverhampton Art Gallery
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
What Happens Next?
The shortlisted museums are road-tested anonymously by families who judge them against the Kids in Museums Manifesto and pick the winner. The winner will be announced in the Telegraph and on the Kids in Museums website at the end of May.