Keep an eye out for major exhibitions, especially those that might tie in with the National Curriculum and your child’s learning – and that might even influence your holiday plans!
Make a beeline for the big-hitters – the Rosetta Stone (which helped decipher Eyptian hieroglyphics), the mummies, Lindow Man (a peat-preserved body), the Lewis Chessmen, and Koz the two-headed dog are some of the crowd-pleasers. Do call ahead if you’re coming to see something specific, as exhibits are sometimes removed for cleaning or lending, and try to arrive early to ogle the most popular objects – or wait until the last hour before closing, when the crowds will have thinned out.
See the museum’s website for a guide to family visits, including recommendations for amazing objects to look out for, free family events each weekend, handling sessions and even a free app you can download for the kids.
Borrow crayons, pencils and pads from the Paul Hamlyn Library within the museum, and encourage kids to get draw and write about what interests them. The Library also gives out free family trails, free themed activity packs and even a children’s hand-held multimedia guide (available to book online in advance), and also has its own children’s library with books for all ages and regular storytelling sessions.
And if you are visiting with the younger guests, under fives enjoy sessions for exploring, making and playing, interactive trails and backpacks.