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Kids in Museums announces The Family Friendly Museum Awards shortlist for 2022

The Discovery Museum in Newcastle is one of the nominees

The Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award 2022 is announced today, shining a light on 16 venues around the country whose frontline museum staff have demonstrated excellence. The award, which is the only one of its kind to be judged by families, also celebrates the imagination and innovation demonstrated by a sector that is doing more to drive engagement, interaction and inclusivity than ever before.

Voting for the 2022 Awards took place throughout April and May, as families across the country voted for their favourite heritage attraction on the Kids in Museums website. From that initial longlist, a panel of museum experts, children and young people then whittled down nominations to the final shortlist of 16 venues across five categories.

The next stage of the Awards process will now see undercover family judges visit the shortlisted museums over the summer holidays, appraising the qualities of each institution against the Kids in Museums Manifesto. The Best Family Engagement Team category will be judged entirely by an expert panel.

Once judging is complete, a winner for each category will be selected and an overall winner chosen – with winners to be announced at an awards ceremony in London in October.

Upon the announcement of this year’s shortlist, Kids in Museums President, Philip Mould OBE, said:

“We all know our wonderful museums here in the UK provide memorable and immersive learning experiences and time for connection with family members. Here at Kids in Museums we think it has never been more important to celebrate this. More than just dynamic learning, this shortlist demonstrates the unbridled delight and joy that our museums can unlock in children and families. They can be the foundations for families to connect to the world around them.”

A young visitor explores a loom on display in The-Gateway at the Museum of Making / Chris Seddon Photography / Derby Museums

Philip added: “We also want to offer a platform to the museums who are working so hard to make their buildings truly accessible and feel inclusive to everyone. These museums are always here for us to help entertain and inspire children and families. With the long summer holidays just around the corner, our museum sector could really could be a priceless asset for parents right around the country.”

Meet the 16 museums bringing joy back into children’s lives around the UK

Best Large Museum

  • National Maritime Museum, London
  • Riverside Museum, Glasgow

Best Medium Museum

  • Discovery Museum, Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • Museum of London Docklands
  • Museum of Making, Derby
  • The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent

Best Small Museum

  • The Egypt Centre, Swansea
  • Ely Museum
  • London Museum of Water and Steam
  • National Emergency Services Museum, Sheffield
  • The Story Museum, Oxford

Best Accessible Museum

  • Colchester Castle
  • Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre
  • National Maritime Museum, London

Best Family Engagement Team

  • Culture Coventry
  • PK Porthcurno
  • University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge

Follow the Family Friendly Museum Award on social media by using the hashtag #FamilyFriendlyMuseum.

The Family Friendly Museum Award has been made possible by funding from Arts Council England.

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