Top 8 Kids Museums to Explore

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Entertaining young children can be quite a task, but sparking their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning about the world can be even more challenging. Below, you’ll find a curated selection of top-notch museums in the UK that cater specifically to kids, ensuring an engaging experience that blends education with excitement. 

Whether your little ones are fascinated by history, art, science, sports, or simply the wonders of the world, trips to these family-friendly museums are guaranteed to captivate their attention and nurture their curiosity.

Disclaimer: The information shared in this post was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change. The below list has been prepared according to the number of ratings in combination with the review score from higher to lower.

1. National Space Centre

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Location: Exploration Dr, Leicester LE4 5NS.

Website: https://www.spacecentre.co.uk/ 

Contact Number: (0)116 261 0261

Email: info@spacecentre.co.uk 

Opening Hours: Term Time: Monday to Friday 10:00 – 16:00; Saturday to Sunday 10:00 – 17:00; School Holidays: Monday to Sunday 10:00 – 17:00.

Museum updates: News 

At the National Space Centre, visitors can explore a wide range of activities tailored to all interests, from Space Lates to Film Clubs, Astronaut visits, Cosmic Valentine’s, and Science Fiction weekends. Whether families seek a holiday outing or individuals crave talks on space innovations, there’s something for everyone. With six galleries to explore, including the iconic Rocket Tower and the UK’s largest domed planetarium, visitors can immerse themselves in space exploration with exhibits showcasing space suits, rockets, satellites, and meteorites.

Pricing & Ticket Fees: Adult (16+): £19.95 online, £20.95 on the door; Child (5-16): £17.95 online, £18.95 on the door; Concession: £17.95 online, £18.95 on the door; Parking: Pay and Display £4 (09:00-17:00).

Ratings & Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars with 10,200 reviews on Google.

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2. Horniman Museum and Gardens, London

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Location: 100 London Rd, London SE23 3PQ. 

Website: https://www.horniman.ac.uk/   

Contact Number: +442086991872

Email: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk   

Opening Hours: The Museum is open daily, from 10 am – 5.30 pm The Butterfly House is open from 10.30 am – 4 pm (last entry 3.30 pm). The Gardens are open daily, from 7.15 am (or 8 am Sunday and Bank Holidays) until 6.30 pm.

Museum updates: Press

Visit the Horniman Museum and Gardens to embark on an enthralling journey and immerse yourself in the natural world’s marvels. Start with a stroll through the lovely gardens, a serene haven with colourful flowers and luscious greenery. Hundreds of butterflies perform a breathtaking dance in the tropical indoor garden, where guests can observe these delicate insects flying around and get a fascinating look at their behaviour and life cycle. Moving down to the ocean floor, the Horniman’s well-known Aquarium is enticed with its fascinating displays that highlight various aquatic habitats from throughout the world.

Pricing & Ticket Fees: The Horniman Museum and Gardens are free to enter. There is a charge to visit the Aquarium, the Butterfly House, and the Dinosaur Revolution.

Ratings & Reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars with 8,211 reviews on Google.

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3. Imperial War Museum North, Manchester

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Location: Trafford Wharf Rd, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M17 1TZ. 

Website: https://www.iwm.org.uk/  

Contact Number: +441618364000

Email: iwmnorth@iwm.org.uk  

Opening Hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily. Open every day except 24 to 26 December.

Museum updates: Press

IWM stands as a global authority on conflict, dedicated to illuminating its profound impact on human lives. Through the meticulous collection and preservation of both ordinary and extraordinary objects and narratives, spanning from the First World War to contemporary conflicts, IWM offers unparalleled insights into the causes, course, and consequences of war. With a family of five museums, IWM’s curatorial and collections management teams tirelessly champion their holdings, ensuring these artefacts serve as enduring testaments to Britain’s role in conflict since 1914.

Pricing & Ticket Fees: Free

Ratings & Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars with 6,753 reviews on Google.

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4. The Postal Museum

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Location: 15-20 Phoenix Pl, London WC1X 0DA

Website: https://www.postalmuseum.org/     

Contact Number: +443000300700

Email: bookings@postalmuseum.org    

Opening Hours: Open Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 – 17:00. 

Museum updates: News

The Postal Museum, located in Farringdon, London, offers an immersive journey through the 500-year-old story of British postal communication. With hands-on exhibitions, modern research facilities, and attractions like the hidden underground railway Mail Rail, visitors of all ages can explore the fascinating world of postal history. Housing hundreds of thousands of objects and stories, the museum showcases everything from vehicles and uniforms to stamps and a century-old postal railway, illustrating the innovation, engineering, design, and social history behind the postal service. Since its opening in 2017, the museum, operated by the Postal Heritage Trust, has welcomed over 130,000 visitors annually, sharing the enduring impact of postal communication on life worldwide.

Pricing & Ticket Fees: Adults aged 25 and above can enter for £17.60, while young people aged 16 to 24 have a ticket price of £12.20. Children between the ages of 3 and 15 can enter for £12. Disabled adults and their companions can access the museum for £10, while disabled young people and children with their companions have reduced rates of £15.40, respectively. Visitors with reduced access requirements and their companions can obtain tickets for £4.40. Holders of the Adult National Art Pass can enter for £8.80, and children with this pass can enter for £5. An audio guide is available for download in English, French, Spanish, Italian, and German for £2.99, requiring visitors to use their smartphones.

Ratings & Reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars with 4,310 reviews on Google.

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5. Locomotionlocomotion.

Location: Dale Road Industrial Estate, Shildon DL4 2RE. 

Website: https://www.locomotion.org.uk/       

Contact Number: +443300580058

Email: info@ScienceMuseumGroup.ac.uk      

Opening Hours: Their standard opening hours are Wednesday through Sunday, from 10:00 to 16:00 during winter, and from 10:00 to 17:00 throughout summer.

Museum updates: News

Locomotion offers visitors a glimpse into the national collection of railway vehicles, set amidst the historic backdrop of Shildon, the world’s inaugural railway town. Shildon’s profound railway legacy makes it an ideal destination to delve into the local rail history and understand its transformative impact on society. The museum envisions an exciting future, with ongoing developments shaping its trajectory. The Friends of Locomotion play a pivotal role, generously supporting restoration projects and facilitating engaging talks, enriching visitors with captivating tales from railway lore.

Pricing & Ticket Fees: Free

Ratings & Reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars with 3,561 reviews on Google.

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6. The MAD Museum

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Location: 4-5, Henley St, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6PT. 

Website: https://themadmuseum.co.uk/      

Contact Number: +441789269356

Email: info@themadmuseum.co.uk     

Opening Hours: The venue is typically open seven days a week from Monday to Sunday, with operating hours from 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM on weekdays and from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM on weekends. Please note that the venue is closed on Wednesdays, as indicated on the calendar.

Museum updates: News

The MAD Museum, which stands for Mechanical Art and Design, offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of mechanical art, where visitors can marvel at beautifully crafted, moving sculptures reminiscent of those seen in beloved films and TV shows like Wallace and Gromit, Scrapheap Challenge, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Typically characterised by exaggerated purposes or simply created for sheer enjoyment, mechanical art captivates audiences with its creativity and ingenuity. Situated in Warwickshire, the museum is managed by a local family from Kenilworth. 

Pricing & Ticket Fees: Adults can enter for £8.80, while concessions are available for £7.00. Children aged 6 to 15 can attend for £6.00, with those 5 years and under admitted free of charge. Families comprising 2 adults and 2 children can purchase tickets for a total of £25.00, with additional children costing £4.00 each.

Ratings & Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars with 2,275 reviews on Google.

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7. Life Science Centre, Newcastle

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Location: Life Science Centre International Centre for Life Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4EP. 

Website: https://www.life.org.uk/        

Contact Number: +441912438210

Email: info@life.org.uk      

Opening Hours: The museum operates from Monday to Friday, welcoming visitors from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, with the last recommended entry at 1:00 pm. On weekends, Saturday and Sunday, the museum extends its hours from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, with the last recommended entry at 3:00 pm. During school holidays, daily opening hours are extended until 5:00 pm. 

Museum updates: News

For over two decades, Life has stood as a beacon of scientific exploration, offering individuals of all ages the opportunity to delve into the marvels of science. Whether it’s a young child beholding the vastness of space or a dedicated researcher striving for medical breakthroughs, Life serves as a nexus where educators, researchers, clinicians, and businesses collaborate harmoniously. This unique synergy fosters innovation and progress, touching countless lives in profound ways. From pioneering fertility treatments welcoming a new life into the world to enlightening experiences for children at the science centre, Life makes a tangible difference, enriching lives and shaping a brighter future for all.

Pricing & Ticket Fees: The admission fee for adults aged 18 or over is £14.25 with a donation or £12.95 without. Adult concessions, available for individuals aged 65 or over, students, or the unemployed, are priced at £13.25 with a donation or £12.00 without. Children aged 3 or over can enter for £10.50 with a donation or £9.50 without.

Ratings & Reviews: 4.4 out of 5 stars with 3,886 reviews on Google.

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8. The Cartoon Museum, London

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Location: 63 Wells St, London W1A 3AE. 

Website: https://www.cartoonmuseum.org/    

Contact Number: +442075808155

Email: hello@cartoonmuseum.org    

Opening Hours: The museum operates from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm daily, except on Sundays when it opens from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. It remains closed on Mondays. Additionally, on the last Thursday of every month, the museum extends its hours from 10:30 am to 8:00 pm.

Museum updates: Learn

The Cartoon Museum is dedicated to fostering a world where creativity flourishes through cartoon and comic art. With over 6000 original cartoons and comics, and an extensive library, it celebrates British comic history from the 18th century to today. Through exhibitions, events, and educational programs, the museum promotes participation, awareness, and support for the vibrant cartoon and comic communities in Britain.

Pricing & Ticket Fees: The admission prices for the museum are as follows: adults pay £9.50, concessions for individuals over 60 years old are priced at £6, students can enter for £4, Universal Credit recipients are charged £2, while those under 18 years old, ArtFund members, London Pass holders, and museum members can enter for free.

Ratings & Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars with 1,043 reviews on Google.

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In conclusion, the United Kingdom boasts an impressive array of museums specifically tailored to engage and educate young minds. From the wonders of space exploration at the National Space Centre to the captivating history of conflict showcased at the Imperial War Museum North, each institution offers a unique and enriching experience for families and children alike. 

Whether delving into the natural world at the Horniman Museum and Gardens, marvelling at mechanical art at The MAD Museum, or exploring the rich railway heritage at Locomotion, there’s something to ignite curiosity in every child. With diverse offerings spanning science, history, art, and more, these top-rated museums provide invaluable opportunities for learning, discovery, and fun.

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Manuela Willbold
Manuela WillboldEditor in Chief
Blogger and Educator by Passion | Senior Online Media & PR Strategist at ClickDo Ltd. | Contributor to many Education, Business & Lifestyle Blogs in the United Kingdom & Germany | Summer Course Student at the London School of Journalism and Course Instructor at the SeekaHost University.

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