22 mesmerising child-friendly museums around the UK

The whole country is your oyster!


by Emma Dodds |
Published on

If you're brainstorming for activities to do with your kids this February half term, look no further.

Museums are, of course, an excellent way to teach your kids new things, but they're also a good way to have fun with your family. And most of them are either free to get into or VERY affordable.

Yes, your kids may not be enthralled at the idea of going to a "boring", "old" museum, but they'll look back when they're older with fond memories.

AND they'll be grateful to you for exposing them to such rich culture. There are a lot of negative things going on in the country at the moment, but we still have a lot to be proud of.

You also owe it to your kids to try and teach them about the history of our country. And rest assured – the ones we've picked out are all super fun and interesting.

Who knows – you may find a brand new hobbie or interest for your kids that they wouldn't have otherwise realised! The possibilities are endless!


Natural History Museum

Dippy the Diplodocus at the Natural History Museum in London (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) ©Wikimedia Commons

If they haven't already been to the Natural History Museum on a school trip, it is well worth taking your children this half-term. It's totally free to get in, but you are encouraged to make a donation to keep the museum going. It's a huge building jam-packed with historical bits and bobs, and there are loads of different topics to choose from. Is your little one into dinosaurs? Take them to the dinosaur section. Does your darling LOVE creepy crawlies? Visit the insects section. Fun for all the family...!

Click here to visit the website.

Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum in London (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) ©Wikimedia Commons

This museum is a must to make sure your little ones know the basics about the World Wars and other major conflicts. Again, this one is totally free and is in South East London.

Click here to visit the website.

HMS Belfast

The HMS Belfast is a “floating museum” – it is docked on the River Thames! (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) ©Wikimedia Commons

You can look round the World War 2 ship that has been preserved just as it was when sailors were living on it 70 years ago. There is also the option to actually STAY OVER on the boat in the bunk beds. VERY atmospheric. Your kids will love the chance to immerse themselves and actually touch history, rather than looking at it from a distance.

Click here to visit the website.

London Transport Museum

Buses inside the London Transport Museum (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) ©Wikimedia Commons

Based in the heart of London in Covent Garden, the London Transport Museum documents the last 200 years of advancements in transport in the capital. Going back to Victorian times and even detailing London’s first ever tube line!

Click here to visit the website.

Science Museum

BERTI the robot at London's Science Museum (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

Based in South Kensington, London’s Science Museum is full of weird and wonderful things – from the inside of Tim Peake’s Spacecraft to actual robots, we can’t imagine your kids won’t be in total awe the whole way round!

Click here to visit the website.

British Museum

Inside the British Museum in London (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) ©Wikimedia Commons

Although this is called the “British” museum, it actually contains artefacts from all over the world. Open your children’s eyes to the past of the world – and it’s free too.

Click here to visit the website.

Royal Air Force Museum London

A full-scale model of a World War Two Spitfire plane at the London Royal Air Force Museum (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

This museum offers the chance to see over 100 aircraft that the Royal Air Force have used throughout their history, and also to hear the stories of normal men and women who risked their lives to save the rest of the country.

Click here to visit the website.


Thinktank Science Museum

(Credit: Wikimedia Commons) ©Wikimedia Commons

If you live in Birmingham or the Midlands, we’re SURE you’ve at least heard of Thinktank, if not been to it a million times already. But in case you haven’t, it’s an interactive science museum in the centre of Birmingham. It’s AMAZING. What more do you need to know? Having visited this museum and a child and LOVED it, I can almost guarantee that your kids will love it too.

Click here to visit the website.

Black Country Living Museum

The Black Country Living Museum in Dudley (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) ©Wikimedia Commons

Another interactive museum in the Midlands, the Black Country Living Museum is completely unlike anything else. The people who work there are totally in character at all times, and they talk about life as it was back in industrial days. You can even go and see the School Headmaster – but a warning: you’ll be told if you are wearing nail varnish and branded a “Jezebel”. Totally not speaking from personal experience.

Click here to visit the website.

Coventry Transport Museum

Monty’s Staff Humber car at the Coventry Transport Museum (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) ©Wikimedia Commons

If your kids aren’t massively into automobiles of any kind, it’s still worth taking a trip to the Transport Museum in Coventry. You’ll be able to show them the entire history of cars and there are a few personal flourishes that will make your kids light up.

Click here to visit the website.

Royal Air Force Museum Cosford

The inside of a restored German Bomber plane from World War 2 at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

The Midlands' RAF museum offering – with over 70 special aircrafts in the museum and plenty of other memorabilia, your kids will be swept up into history.

Click here to visit the website.



The Eureka! Science Museum in Halifax (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

The Eureka! Science Museum in Halifax, West Yorkshire, is another interactive science museum – but this time in Yorkshire. It’s a fantastic place to bring the family and has loads of hands-on stuff for your kids to get involved in.

Click here to visit the website.

Leeds Discovery Centre

The statue of St. George in Leeds city centre (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

Based in the centre of Leeds, there’s plenty to do to keep your kids entertained for a day!

Click here to visit the website.

Bradford Industrial Museum

(Credit: Wikimedia Commons) ©Wikimedia Commons

It’s always interesting to see artefacts from the country’s industrial era. This museum in Bradford is home to a whole TRUCK load of memorabilia – and for free. Like what we did there?

Click here to visit the website.

South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum

A Halifax Bomber at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum in Doncaster (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) ©Wikimedia Commons

If your kids are really into planes, wartime stories and soldiers, but you’re just a bit too far away to get to either of the RAF Museums, the Aircraft Museum in Doncaster may be the one for you. You’ll get a family of four in for less than £15 – bargain!

Click here to visit the website.

Jorvik Viking Centre

Re-enactors at the Jorvik Viking Centre in York (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

This is another interactive museum but in a totally different way. You can wander round the museum, situated in the centre of York, and it’s very interesting with lots of waxworks so you can immerse your imagination into the Viking times. BUT the best bit about this museum is that every so often, they put on re-enactments of Viking battles. With swords. It’s AMAZING.

Click here to visit the website.

National Railway Museum

Trains of days gone by in the National Railway Museum in York (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) ©![(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)*](http://media.lifestyle.one/jpg/70/0/0/640/480/0/0/0/1/0/North/0/0/0/0/0/c/family_money/589c992c34cdbb8d2dd19bb1/black-country-living-museum-dudley2.jpg)

This museum will totally immerse your kids in history. Even if they’ve never shown interest in trains at all before, they’ll love being able to look round how they would have travelled back in the day. They occasionally put on shows here too – it’s brilliant.

Click here to visit the website.


Merseyside Maritime Museum

The Merseyside Maritime Museum in Albert Docks, Liverpool (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) ©![(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)*](http://media.lifestyle.one/jpg/70/0/0/640/480/0/0/0/1/0/North/0/0/0/0/0/c/family_money/589c992c34cdbb8d2dd19bb1/black-country-living-museum-dudley2.jpg)

Totally free entry to one of the most fascinating museums in Liverpool? We’ll take that, please! It’s super easy to find as well – on the Albert Docks. Well, where else would it be?

Click here to visit the website.


Imperial War Museum North

The Imperial War Museum in Manchester (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) ©![(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)*](http://media.lifestyle.one/jpg/70/0/0/640/480/0/0/0/1/0/North/0/0/0/0/0/c/family_money/589c992c34cdbb8d2dd19bb1/black-country-living-museum-dudley2.jpg)

If you like the sound of the Imperial War Museum described above but you don’t fancy trekking down to London for it – you’re in luck. Head over to Manchester to see similar things but a little closer to home.

Click here to visit the website.


National Museum of Ireland

The National Museum of Ireland (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) ©![(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)*](http://media.lifestyle.one/jpg/70/0/0/640/480/0/0/0/1/0/North/0/0/0/0/0/c/family_money/589c992c34cdbb8d2dd19bb1/black-country-living-museum-dudley2.jpg)

There are actually four sites for the National Museum of Ireland – three are in Dublin and one is in Mayo. The museums have loads of different exhibitions and information on the entire history of Ireland – definitely one not to miss if you want to educate your kids on that.

Click here to visit the website.


South Wales Miners' Museum

The South Wales Miners’ Museum in the Afan Valley (Credit: South Wales Miners' Museum) ©South Wales Miners' Museum

The Miners’ Museum is in the Afan Valley, not too far away from Neath. According to the website, the museum “portrays the working life of a miner and the hardship adults and children had to endure.” Show your kids how good they’ve got it!

Click here to visit the website.


The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses

See stunning views at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses (Credit: Geograph) ©Geograph

The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses is in Fraserburgh, Scotland, and is right on the coastline. It may be a way to travel, but it's definitely worth a visit – you won’t see anything like it anywhere else in the UK.

Click here to visit the website.

Will you be visiting any of these museums over half-term? Have you been to any before? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

Like this? Now read these:

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