The Most Family Friendly Museums in the UK – Chosen by Parents!

Jill Holtz

October 20, 2022

Family Friendly Museums UK

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At MyKidsTime we’re big fans of museums – they are great places to take children to engage them, educate them, and just generally have fun, and they are perfect for rainy days too!

Find out which museum was recently voted the UK’s most Family Friendly Museum, as well as winners in a variety of different categories that will give you lots of great ideas for future family days out.

Family-Friendly Museums in the UK

The Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum annual award is given to one museum, gallery, historic home or heritage site in the UK that goes the extra mile to provide a great experience for families.

Each year they receive hundreds of public nominations, which are whittled down to a shortlist by an expert panel. The final say goes to families, who go undercover and visit the shortlisted museums over the summer holidays, with their experiences deciding the winner.

And the Winner of Most Family Friendly Museum in the UK is…

Congratulations to the National Emergency Services Museum in Sheffield!

This independent museum, dedicated to celebrating the heroic history of the emergency services, was named the UK’s best for families in an awards ceremony in London.

Family judges were impressed by the hands-on nature of the museum, encouraging young people to learn through play – with fire engine rides, driving simulators, dressing up, climbing walls, climb-on vehicles and interactive galleries, covering topics from the Great Fire of London to modern fire safety and staying safe in the water.

They also praised the friendly staff, great facilities, year-long tickets and relaxed atmosphere, meaning they felt free to have fun and “be very silly!”

One family judge said:

“I thought the museum was incredible and we really enjoyed our visit. It was so well set up for children to interact with, and interesting for adults. Staff were friendly and the facilities were perfect… We will be going back and I’ve already recommended it to numerous other families!!”

The 5 Winners

The full list of Winners for the Family Friendly Museum Award 2022:

Overall Winner & Best Small Museum
National Emergency Services Museum, Sheffield

Best Medium Museum
Museum of Making, Derby

Best Large Museum
National Maritime Museum, London

Best Accessible Museum
Experience Barnsley

Best Family Engagement Team
PK Porthcurno, Cornwall

The National Emergency Services Museum succeeds last year’s winner, Bailiffgate Museum & Gallery in Alnwick, Northumberland.

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Family Friendly Museum Award 2022

Throughout April and May, families across UK voted for their favourite family-friendly museum with a panel of museum experts, children and young people choosing the final shortlist.

The venues on the shortlist not only created an excellent visitor experience for families, but also showed a great commitment behind the scenes to respond to family feedback and improve access, especially for those who are not regular visitors.

The shortlist was announced in June 2022. Families went undercover and visited the shortlisted museums over the summer holidays, with their experiences deciding the winner.

Shortlist for the Family Friendly Museum Award 2022

Family Friendly Museums UK

The shortlist for the Family Friendly Museum Award 2022 included these wonderful venues:

Best Large Museum

  • National Maritime Museum, London
  • Riverside Museum, Glasgow

Best Medium Museum

  • Discovery Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Museum of London Docklands
  • Museum of Making, Derby
  • The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent

Best Small Museum

  • The Egypt Centre, Swansea
  • Ely Museum
  • London Museum of Water and Steam
  • National Emergency Services Museum, Sheffield
  • The Story Museum, Oxford

Best Accessible Museum

  • Colchester Castle
  • Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre
  • National Maritime Museum, London

Best Family Engagement Team

  • Culture Coventry
  • PK Porthcurno
  • University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge

Don’t Miss…

From the infamous to the insane and quirky to cool, fun is guaranteed with these unusual places to visit in the UK – perfect for a memorable family day out!

Unusual places UK container

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Published On: October 20th, 2022 / Categories: Travel / Last Updated: November 20th, 2022 / Tags: , , /

About the Author: Jill Holtz

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Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls

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