Katie at the Kids in Museums office opening bright and colourful nominations for the Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award
Katie at the Kids in Museums office opening bright and colourful nominations for the Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award

The 2011 Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award is launched

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What’s the most family friendly museum in Britain? Visitors decide.

Now it’s visitors chance to choose the best museum in Britain. The 2011 Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award is launched – the biggest museum award in Britain and the only one judged by families.

It may be a small, local museum, or a large and lofty national. It can contain absolutely anything. It just has to be especially welcoming toeveryone, of every age.

Perhaps it’s the notice by the meteorite saying, ‘This is the oldest object you will ever touch.’ Or a toddler being invited to roar at a ruff-collared duke’s portrait in the 17th century gallery to show early appreciation of art? Or the quiet chat about a wartime childhood between a grandparent and grandchild over a 1940s record player on display? More and more museums are welcoming noisy, nosey families of all ages. It’s visitors who bring a museum alive.

Now it’s visitors chance to say where they do this best. Previous winners include a tiny two-room art gallery in Cornwall, a University natural history collection in Oxford and an open-air museum with a mineshaft in the Pennines. It’s not what’s in the cabinets that counts, but how a family feels when they walk in the door. Nominations for the Award close on 10 December 2010.

Nominations can be made by email or by post, in any form – email message, letter, DVD, model, scrapbook…

Email: [email protected]
Post: Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award
Kids in Museums
Downstream Building
One London Bridge
London SE1 9BG

For pictures of previous winners and Quentin Blake logo, email [email protected]

Want to know more?

Find out more about the Award, past winners and Kids in Museums at: http://www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk/ 

Follow the progress of this year’s Award and the work of Kids in Museums on: www.twitter.com/kidsinmuseums

And just in case you don’t know it already, here’s our story…

Kids in Museums was founded when writer Dea Birkett’s family visited the Aztec exhibition at the Royal Academy, London. Her two-year-old son River shouted ‘Monster!’ at a statue that looked rather like – well – a monster. But rather than congratulating their young visitor for his early appreciation of Aztec art, River was thrown out for being too noisy.

Dea soon discovered her family wasn’t alone in being made uncomfortable when surrounded by objects and art. After she reported her family’s expulsion in the Guardian, hundreds of visitors wrote in to say they’d also been made to feel unwelcome in a museum. So charity Kids in Museums and the Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award were launched, determined to show how museums and galleries can get it right for families.

The Award’s previous winners are Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry; Weston Park Museum in Sheffield,(museum’s motto -‘Doors and minds open daily’); Falmouth Art Gallery; Pitt Rivers Museum and the Oxford University
Museum of Natural History; and Killhope North of England Lead Mining Museum, one of the few places in Britain you can travel down inside a mine.

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