The whole country is your oyster!
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!
MUSEUMS IN LONDON
Natural History Museum
Dippy the Diplodocus at the Natural History Museum in London (Credit: 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...!
Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museum in London (Credit: 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.
The HMS Belfast is a “floating museum” – it is docked on the River Thames! (Credit: 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.
London Transport Museum
Buses inside the London Transport Museum (Credit: 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!
BERTI the robot at London's Science Museum (Credit: 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!
Inside the British Museum in London (Credit: 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.
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)
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.
MUSEUMS IN BIRMINGHAM & THE MIDLANDS
Thinktank Science Museum
(Credit: 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.
Black Country Living Museum
The Black Country Living Museum in Dudley (Credit: 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.
Coventry Transport Museum
Monty’s Staff Humber car at the Coventry Transport Museum (Credit: 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.
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)*
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.
MUSEUMS IN YORKSHIRE
The Eureka! Science Museum in Halifax (Credit: 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.
Leeds Discovery Centre
The statue of St. George in Leeds city centre (Credit: Getty Images)
Based in the centre of Leeds, there’s plenty to do to keep your kids entertained for a day!
Bradford Industrial Museum
(Credit: 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?
South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum
A Halifax Bomber at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum in Doncaster (Credit: 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!
Jorvik Viking Centre
Re-enactors at the Jorvik Viking Centre in York (Credit: 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.
National Railway Museum
Trains of days gone by in the National Railway Museum in York (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
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.
MUSEUMS IN LIVERPOOL
Merseyside Maritime Museum
The Merseyside Maritime Museum in Albert Docks, Liverpool (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
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?
MUSEUMS IN MANCHESTER
Imperial War Museum North
The Imperial War Museum in Manchester (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
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.
MUSEUMS IN IRELAND
National Museum of Ireland
The National Museum of Ireland (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
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.
MUSEUMS IN WALES
South Wales Miners' Museum
The South Wales Miners’ Museum in the Afan Valley (Credit: 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!
MUSEUMS IN SCOTLAND
The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses
See stunning views at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses (Credit: 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.
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