Small volunteer-run rural centres to a large London national museum, the longlist for the 2014 Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award proves that whatever your size, whatever your collection, whatever your budget, you can still successfully welcome families.
In Britain’s biggest museum award, and the only one judged by families, over 800 grandparents, aunties, uncles, parents and loads of kids shouted out for their favourite family friendly museum. Often it’s the small touches that make a big difference to a family visit.
At Compton Verney Art Gallery, there’s no problem if children run around the huge Henry Moore sculptures.
At Beamish’s pit village, chips are cooked in real old-fashioned dripping so even your taste buds are transported back in time.
At the Cardiff Story, families loved being welcomed with a ‘Hello!’ when they went in.
Tenby Museum and Art Gallery in Pembrokeshire was praised for its excellent family friendly loo.
Watts Gallery, Surrey, enthused one young person for life: ‘Before Watts Gallery I really hated art, I couldn’t stand drawing, writing, anything to do with art or history. History always seemed boring to me. However, once I got stuck in to the activities I got really interested in art and the history of the house, and the pictures and the way they used to live. I actually learnt how to draw, paint and even sculpt.’
Twenty museums shone out as offering a fantastic family visit.
The longlist for the 2014 Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award is
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Beamish Museum, Durham
Bodelwyddan Castle, Rhyl
The Cardiff Story
Charnwood Museum, Leicestershire
Compton Verney Art Gallery, Warwickshire
Elgin Museum, Moray
Experience Barnsley Museum & Discovery Centre, Yorkshire
.Geffrye Museum, London
Havering Museum, Essex
The Lightbox, Surrey
Lynn Museum, Norfolk
National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth
North Lincolnshire Museum, Scunthorpe
Royal Gunpowder Mills, Essex
Rural Life Centre, Surrey
Science Museum, London
Tenby Museum & Art Gallery, Pembrokeshire
Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Cumbria
Watts Gallery, Surrey
What Happens Next?
The 20-strong longlist is put before a panel of celebrities and experts, chaired by Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The panel whittles down the longlist to a shortlist of Britain’s most family friendly museums. The shortlist will be announced in July. This shortlist is then road-tested anonymously by families.
To find out more about the Award go to www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk/awards and www.telegraph.co.uk/museumawards
Want pictures of the longlist or quotes from Kids in Museums or visitors? Just email [email protected] or phone 020 7250 8338.