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VISITORS HAVE CHOSEN – THESE ARE BRITAIN’S 20 MOST FAMILY FRIENDLY MUSEUMS
The longlist for the Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award – the biggest museum award in Britain and the only one judged by families – has been announced. From Scotland to Southsea, Cardiff to Cumbria, there are museums that entertain and entrance visitors of all ages. And from the necklace of dried frogs at World Museum to Andy Warhol in Wolverhampton Art Gallery, they have stories to share and real things to wonder at.
The museums have been longlisted because they go out of their way to make visitors of all ages feel welcome. They organise archaeological digs for teenagers. They provide messy play for toddlers right beneath an awe-inspiring work of art. They are places where everyone can be comfortable, hang out, chill and chat. Which just goes to prove – it’s not what’s in the cabinets that makes a museum family friendly but being imaginative, innovative and fun.
Museums are changing and visitors are becoming more and more discerning,’ says Dea Birkett, Director of Kids in Museums. ‘It’s no longer enough to offer a few finger paints for five year olds. Visitors have said in their hundreds that they want the whole family – from fifteen to a few months – to feel they belong among the Mummies and Old Masters. That’s the challenge they’ve set museums. And that’s what the longlist are working so well towards meeting.’
The longlisted museums are:
World Museum, Liverpool
Haslemere Educational Museum, Surrey
Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands
National Army Museum, London
The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke on Trent
River and Rowing Museum, Henley on Thames
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Jewish Museum, London
Museum of English Rural Life, West Berkshire
Brixham Heritage Museum, Devon
Geffrye Museum, London
The Cardiff Story
Cumberland House Natural History Museum, Southsea
Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon
Wolverhampton Art Gallery
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives
Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Cumbria
For images of the longlisted museums just email [email protected] or phone 020 7250 8338.
What Happens Next?
A distinguished panel of judges, chaired by Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, pick a shortlist.The shortlisted museums are road-tested anonymously by families who pick the winner.