We award the prize annually to one museum, gallery, historic home or heritage site in the UK that goes the extra mile to provide a great experience for families.
We created the award in 2004 to give family visitors a voice and show that any museum, regardless of size or budget, can create a brilliant experience for families. It is the only museum award in the UK to be judged by families.
Dan Snow, historian, broadcaster and Kids in Museums Ambassador, said: “I’m delighted to declare the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award now open! From visiting museums as a child to now visiting as a parent, I know they can be joyful and inspiring places for all ages. I also understand the challenges of visiting with young children and how small things, like friendly staff and a great family trail, can make a big difference. It’s great that this award gives families like mine a powerful voice to say what they want from a museum visit. Let’s get nominating!”
Last year saw Leeds City Museum crowned our Family Friendly Museum of the Year 2018. The museum won praise for its helpful staff and great activity programme, including baby-friendly curator talks and ‘Dadstastic’ Days.
Nominations for the Family Friendly Museum Award can be made by anyone – children, parents, carers, grandparents – or by museums themselves. And we welcome application from museums of all sizes, from tiny one-roomed galleries to huge national museums. What matters most is that the museum provides an excellent experience for families!
Nominations close at noon on 31 May 2019. To make a nomination, head over to our Family Friendly Museum Award page and fill in the online form at the bottom of the page.
For the first time this year, in addition to one overall winner, we have introduced award categories based on museums’ visit numbers: Small, Medium and Large Museum.
In June an expert panel will whittle down the nominations to a shortlist. Undercover family judges will then visit each shortlisted museum and assess them on how well they meet the new Kids in Museums Manifesto. The family judges’ experiences will decide the winner for each category. An expert panel will then pick an overall winner to be announced at an awards ceremony in October 2019.
More details for museums
New Kids in Museums Manifesto
Today we are also launching an updated version of our Kids in Museums Manifesto, following consultation with children, young people and families.
This new condensed version of the Manifesto is designed to help museums better welcome visitors of all ages and help our family judges to rate our Family Friendly Museum Award shortlist.
We have also produced new promotional materials to help museums encourage nominations from their visitors, including a press release template, feedback form and poster.
For full details about the Family Friendly Museum Award, take a look at our online guidance pack.