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Check out our programme dates for 2020 here.

Family Friendly Museum Award

Our Family Friendly Museum Award celebrates museums, galleries and heritage attractions that go the extra mile to provide an excellent family friendly experience.

We award the prize annually to one museum, gallery, historic home or heritage site that has made outstanding efforts to welcome children and families and respond to their feedback.

Launched back in 2004, the award gives a voice to young and family visitors and is the only museum award in Britain to be judged by families.

The winner of the Family Friendly Museum Award 2019 was announced on 14 October as the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum. The Museum of Liverpool and Great North Museum: Hancock won the Large and Medium Museum categories respectively.

How do we nominate our museum for the award?

Nominations for the Family Friendly Museum Award can be made by anyone – children, parents, carers, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins – or museums themselves.

We welcome nominations for museums of all sizes, from national museums with teams of curators, to tiny local galleries run by volunteers.

If you are a museum, please take a look at our award guidance for full Terms and Conditions before you apply. (Please note that updated guidance for 2020 will be published by the end of the year.) We also have a range of nomination materials to help you promote nominations from your visitors.

Nominations for the Family Friendly Museum Award 2020 open on Tuesday 24 March 2020.

What are the award categories?

In 2019 we introduced three award categories for Small, Medium and Large Museums. The categories remain the same for 2020, though there has been a slight change in the category boundaries:

  • Small Museum: up to 100k visits
  • Medium Museum: 100-400k visits
  • Large Museum: 400k+ visits

Don’t worry if you’re not sure about the category when you’re nominating – we’ll check all museums are in the right one before shortlisting.

How is my application judged?

Our expert panel of museum professionals whittles our nominations down to a shortlist. Last year we received over 860 nominations from both families and museums.

Undercover family judges then visit each shortlisted museum during July and August and assess them on how well they meet our Kids in Museums Manifesto. Their experiences will decide the winner for each category.

Our expert panel will then pick an overall winner.

Key dates

Nominations for the Family Friendly Museum Award 2020 will open on Tuesday 24 March 2020 and close at 5pm on Friday 29 May 2020.

Our expert panel will meet in early June with the shortlist announced w/c 15 June 2020.

The Family Friendly Museum Award winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London in October.

Find out more

Read more about the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum and other previous winners of the Family Friendly Museum Award.

If you’d like to find out more about the award, sign up to our newsletter below or contact us on: getintouch@kidsinmuseums.org.uk.

The Family Friendly Museum Award is kindly supported by Edwardian Hotels London.

We’re also hugely grateful to Best Years Ltd, which donated these beautiful knitted mammoth toys to our amazing team of Undercover Family Judges.