10 free kids’ museum events and activities this summer

Imperial War Museum

Imperial War MuseumEveryone loves the summer sun but for days when the weather just isn’t co-operating, consider a visit to one of the UK’s 2,500 museums and galleries, many of which are completely free to enter. We’ve picked out ten imaginative and free kids’ museum events to inspire you for your family fun days out this summer.

Free kids’ museum events: North

Things are distinctly prehistoric this summer at Belfast’s Ulster Museum. Amongst the free events are Dinosaurs Live On, run by the RSPB every weekend from 10am-5pm  (028 9044 0000).

Learn about your Scottish ancestors at the award-winning Highland Folk Museum at Newtonmore. Special events during the holidays include butter making and sculpting. Open daily 10.30am-5.50pm and 11.00am-4.30pm from 1 September (01540 673551).

Better be on your best behaviour at the Greater Manchester Police Museum, where the subjects in their free summer activities line-up include a talk from the Northern Quarter team about being on the beat from 10.30am – 3.30pm (0161 856 3287).

Quentin Blake’s illustrations are a firm favourite with kids so visit the Laing Gallery in Newcastle Upon Tyne where the Quentin Blake: as Large as Life exhibition runs until 31 August. Additional themed events are being held on 1 and 15 August  (0191 2327734).

Free kids’ museum events: Central

Meet the Romans in residence at the National Roman Legion Museum in Carleon from 1-27 August. The kids can train with the soldiers and even try some Roman fast food, too. 11am-4pm and 2-4pm on Sundays (01633 423134).

creative workshopsThere’s a whole summer programme of free events at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry from 31 July. Children can enjoy make-and-take creative workshops on Wednesdays and Thursdays plus fun history talks and trails on Fridays (024 7683 2386).

Design a medal, draw with minerals and study the beauty of crystals at the Minerals, Metals and Medals event at the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Science in Cambridge. (01223 333456).

Free kids’ museum events: South

At Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery there are several free drop-in events on Tuesdays to Thursdays. These creative and storytelling sessions are themed to tie in with the ‘surfing’ and ‘Beetlemania’ exhibitions there this summer. 10.30am-1pm (01752 304774).

There’s plenty to see and do at London’s Imperial War Museum Wartime gallery and from 4-12 August, the family can also brush up on their sewing skills by helping to create a ‘Make Do and Mend’ quilt. Sessions run 11am-1pm and 2-4pm (020 7416 5320).

Reptiles and Amphibians DayThe Portsmouth Reptile and Amphibian Society will be bringing some live specimens along to the Reptiles and Amphibians Day at Portsmouth’s Natural History Museum on 25 and 26 August. 10am-5pm (023 9282 7261).

Pre-booking is advised for some of these activities so do check details ahead of your visit to avoid disappointment.

Know of any fun events in your area? Please share details of any free family events at a museum or gallery near you, by adding your comments below.