Melt a heart from glass at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, join an archaeology club at Wrexham Museum, learn to mummify at the Egypt Centre in Swansea, get ready for a regatta at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames, bed down below decks at a sleepover or take a behind the scenes store tour at the Novium Museum in Chichester, bring a baby to the tiny tots art sessions amongst the masterpieces at Manchester Art Gallery. These are just some of the fabulous family friendly activities visitors praised at the ten museums shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award 2016. It’s the biggest museum award in Britain and the only one where children and families pick the winner.

The shortlist for the 2016 Family Friendly Museum Award is:

  • Egypt Centre Museum of Egyptian Antiquities (Swansea)
  • Hampton Court Palace (Greater London)
  • Manchester Art Gallery
  • National Glass Centre (Sunderland)
  • The Novium Museum (Chichester)
  • River & Rowing Museum (Henley-on-Thames)
  • Towner Art Gallery (Eastbourne)
  • Weald & Downland Open Air Museum (West Sussex)
  • Wrexham County Borough Museum
  • York Art Gallery

Dan Snow, historian, broadcaster and Kids in Museums Patron, says: “Great to see so many museums, big and small, contemporary galleries and collections of Iron Age artefacts, making a huge effort to welcome and include children and families. Museums celebrate what we have in common, and help us understand our differences. It couldn’t be more important for young people and communities to be able to access the shared stories and dreams that our best family friendly museums can help tell. When museums get it right for future generations, they get it right for all of us. This award celebrates that.”

Dea Birkett, Creative Director of charity Kids in Museums who run the Award, says: “The shortlist shows how dedicated, passionate, imaginative museums can crack it for families and kids. However small a museum, it can still put on a big welcome for families of all shapes and sizes. They prove that the best museums don’t have to be massive; they just have to open up their fabulous collections to everyone.

“These shortlisted museums will be road-tested anonymously by families over the summer, using the Kids in Museums Manifesto as a guide to their family and child friendliness.”

The Family Friendly Museum Award is kindly supported by Philip Mould Gallery and Association of Leading Visitor Attractions. It wouldn’t happen without them!