UK mu­se­ums that are great for kids

The Guardian - Travel - - Half-term -

Win­ning tip Thack­ray Med­i­cal Mu­seum, Leeds

This mu­seum does an in­cred­i­ble job of help­ing kids to un­der­stand things like vac­ci­na­tions, an­tibi­otics and ba­sics such as clean wa­ter. It has a Vic­to­rian street com­plete with smells and high­lights the hor­rors of cholera. You can pick a char­ac­ter and see whether you sur­vived or not.

• Adult £8, 5-16 years £5, fam­ily £24.50, thack­raymed­i­cal­mu­


Peo­ple’s His­tory Mu­seum, Manch­ester

There’s a very thin line be­tween “hands-on” and “dumbed-down” but at PHM there’s a per­fect bal­ance be­tween fun and in­for­ma­tive. The al­ready en­gag­ing ex­hibits are sup­ported by the in­ter­ac­tive fea­tures. As well as touch­screens, you can try on cos­tumes, role-play in a pe­riod Co-op or play the Pank-a-Squith, a board game sold to raise funds for suf­fragettes.

• Free,

Davey Tay

Ripon Work­house, North York­shire

Half-term is pun­ish­ment week at the Ripon Work­house mu­seum – with fin­ger stocks, back straight­en­ers and a pun­ish­ment trail, there’s plenty to keep the fam­ily “en­ter­tained”. This small friendly mu­seum does a great job of pro­vid­ing an in­sight into what life would have been like at the work­house. On a re­cent visit we had a les­son from the scary head­mas­ter in the school room.

• Adult £6.50, 6-15 years £5, ripon­mu­se­

Joanna Swiers

Hartle­pool Mar­itime Ex­pe­ri­ence

Dur­ing my visit with my hus­band and nine-year-old son, vol­un­teers were dressed in pe­riod cos­tume and ex­uded knowl­edge and en­thu­si­asm, clearly proud to show off the fan­tas­tic HMS Trin­co­ma­lee, the old­est war­ship still float­ing in the UK.

• Adult £9.25, 5-15 years £7, fam­ily ticket from £19 hartle­pools­mar­itime­ex­pe­ri­

Sue Cur­ran

Tech­niquest Science Dis­cov­ery Cen­tre, Cardiff

This place aims to “in­spire and in­form sci­en­tists of the fu­ture”. But all chil­dren, no mat­ter their ca­reer as­pi­ra­tions, will love it. My three-yearold grand­son’s favourite is the floor pi­ano (and all the wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties). His el­der sib­lings are spoilt for choice. Work­ing a ro­bot arm? Touch­ing elec­tric­ity? We’re all en­thralled by the amaz­ing plan­e­tar­ium. It’s open daily dur­ing school hol­i­days, and there are loads of spe­cial events and ac­tiv­i­ties.

• Adult £8, 4-15 years £6.50 tech­


See the full list of tips on fam­ily-friendly mu­se­ums at the­

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