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The shortlist for the Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award is announced, and – with nominations from 92-year-old grandparents to two-year-old toddlers, there’s something for all the family. The shortlist was picked from the 20-strong longlist by a panel of expert judges, chaired by Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The distinguished judges included BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz, Telegraph Head of Arts and Entertainment Andrew Pettie and Director of Kids in Museums Dea Birkett.
Now it’s over to family visitors to pick the winner. Over the summer holidays, these shortlisted museums will be road-tested anonymously by families who act as undercover judges. The winner of the Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award – chosen by the family judges – will be announced in September.
The Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award Shortlist:
Brixham Heritage Museum, Devon
Families said: ‘I’d never been a passionate museum visitor but Brixham Museum totally changed my point of view! The children are always excited at the prospect of visiting. The latest addition of sand tables with hidden bones and dinosaurs is their new favourite.’
The judges said: ‘The line between visitors and staff seems wonderfully blurred.’
Horniman Museum and Gardens, London
Families said: ‘As a kid I spent my weekends in with the musical instruments and walrus. As a teenager we picnicked in the park. As a parent we investigated the bugs and searched for queen bees and now I’m coming back for more. Definitely my favourite place in London.”
The judges said: ‘It’s always been a big hitter in the family world.’
National Maritime Museum Cornwall
Families said: ‘My daughters no longer want to be fairies when they grow up, they now want to be rescue helicopter pilots!’
‘The Titanic exhibition was brilliant. The life raft that you could climb in was another favourite. The underwater observatory is great and crabbing from the pontoon fun.’
The judges said: ‘Just perfect when you’re on a family holiday in the rain, stuck in Cornwall, much more fun than taking the kids to the cinema or being stuck in doors.’
Nature in Art, Gloucester
Families said: ‘I’ve been a member for over 20 years. (I am 92.) The amount of solace in just touching and stroking Ring of Bright Water by Kent Ullberg in stainless steel – it’s still the first and last thing I do when I visit. The whole place makes you feel at home. In fact I call it my second home, so lucky to live so near.’
‘Fabulous, challenging, stimulating and child friendly art sessions. You even get a follow up email after the event with advice about displaying the art, and each piece is photographed and displayed on the website. Outside is a wonderful sculpture garden – super for picnics or running about, great little play area, plenty of parking. Handy cafe with parent-friendly prices.’
The judges said: ‘A local undiscovered gem.’
North Lincolnshire Museum
Families said: ‘I like the rucksack and the clues that you had to find around the place.’ Jack, aged nine
‘I like the dinosaur and there’s a boat with water upstairs near the Viking.’ Harry, aged four
The judges said: ‘It’s very nice to see a nomination from an area not blessed with attractions.’
Families said: ‘Dylan is very young but he really enjoys time at the gallery. He particularly liked the recent interactive artworks he could arrange. The gallery assistants were really helpful in explaining what could be touched and what couldn’t. I love sharing this passion with him.’
The judges said: ‘Contemporary art is a very difficult subject to get the whole family in on, but here they make their collection accessible.’
Find out more about the Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award at our website. Do you want to be an undercover judge for the Award? Send us an email ([email protected]) and find out how.
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