VISITORS CAN’T DECIDE WHAT’S THE MOST FAMILY FRIENDLY MUSEUM IN BRITAIN, 2013!
With over 140 nominated museums for this year’s Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award – the biggest museum award in Britain– our undercover family judges were so impressed with the six-strong shortlist that they couldn’t decide, so they chose joint winners! Tiny Brixham Heritage Museum in Devon, housed in a former police station and big national Horniman Museum and Gardens share the title of being Britain’s most family friendly museum 2013.
Kids in Museums Patron and bestselling children’s author Damian Dibben says, ‘That families and kids couldn’t decide who won outright this year – awarding joint winners – is a clear signal that museums are increasingly welcoming everybody. That two such different museums in every way – Brixham Heritage and the Horniman – have been chosen as offering the very best welcome just shows how any museum can do it. It doesn’t matter how little or large you are, how important or wonderfully eclectic your collection, how close you are to the capital. It’s about how you greet, meet and involve families and children. And any museum can do that well.’
It was a tough path to the winning post. Six shortlisted museums were visited secretly by our undercover family judges. The families measured the museum against the Kids in Museums Manifesto – 20 ways to make a museum family friendly – compiled entirely from visitors’ comments. After sneaking around and reporting back their findings, they picked Brixham Heritage and the Horniman. The museums received the award at a star-studded ceremony at the Telegraph.
What our family judges said about the Horniman:
‘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.’
What our family judges said about Brixham Heritage:
‘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.’
Have a look which museums made it on to our shortlist in 2013
It’s not all about winning – why entering the Award is important for every museum.
Here’s one museum’s story of how simply going through the process of making a nomination is making a difference
Previous winners of the Family Friendly Museum Award are:
2004 Award winner, Killhope Mining Museum
2005 Award winner, Oxford Museums
2006 Award winner, Falmouth Art Gallery
2008 Award winner, Weston Park Museum, Sheffield
2010 Award winner, The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum
2011 Award winner, Mansfield Museum
2012 Award winners, Haslemere Educational Museum