Special Exhibition

Elmer and Friends

13 October 2021 - 9 January 2022

The Colourful World of David McKee

An exhibition from Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books.

13 October 2021 to 9 January 2022

Elmer the Elephant

For the first time ever, families from across the region will be able to step into David McKee’s colourful world in this characteristically playful Seven Stories exhibition as it celebrates over 30 years of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.

First stop will be Elmer’s world, where visitors will be greeted by a giant Elmer jigsaw and enjoy the ultimate Instagram moment. The adventure continues as guests walk through Elmer’s jungle, encountering characters and stories along the way.

As well as illustrations from the Elmer series there will be original artwork from Not Now Bernard, Mr Benn and King Rollo as well as the opportunity to dress up in fancy dress from the costume shop featured in Mr Benn.

Visitors will be able to explore David McKee’s vibrant illustrations in great depth through the use of many multi-sensory elements including colour, texture and sound plus visualise McKee’s use of perspective through an interactive mirrored walkway.

Copyright David McKee, 2021. Licensed by Andersen Press Ltd.

Christmas & New Year Opening Times 

Sat 24 December | CLOSED
Sun 25 December | CLOSED
Mon 26 December | CLOSED
Tues 27 Dec | OPEN, Bank Holiday hours
Wed 28 Dec | OPEN, normal hours
Thurs 29 Dec | OPEN, normal hours
Fri 30 Dec | OPEN, normal hours
Sat 31 Dec | OPEN – 9am to 3pm (early closing)
Sun 1 Jan 2023 | CLOSED
Mon 2 Jan | OPEN, Bank Holiday hours
Tues 3 Jan | OPEN, normal hours

  • Opening hours:

    Daily: 9.00am - 4.30pm
    Sunday: 10.00am - 4.00pm
    Bank Holidays: 10.00am - 4.00pm

  • Admissions:

    Annual Pass or Day Entry available

    Book now
  • Dorset Museum

    High West Street
    Dorchester DT1 1XA

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Exhibition Information

Location: Special Exhibitions

Museum Map

This exhibition is included as a part of your entrance timed ticket.




Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, works with children’s books to create meaningful experiences for children and young people, in order to fire their imagination and creativity and deepen their understanding of themselves and the world.

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Family Activities

Elmer on Tour

Elmer will be travelling around Dorset, visiting Libraries on the way. Join in the fun with activities and storytelling at each location.

Inspired by the illustrations in the Elmer books, Elmer the elephant has been decorated by pupils from Wyke Regis Infant School with the help of artist Caroline Parrott and the Dorset Museum.

  • Dorchester Library:  Tuesday 12th October until Thursday 28th October
  • Weymouth Library:  Saturday 30th October until Thursday 18th November
  • Portland Library:  Saturday 20th November – Thursday 9th December
  • Gillingham Library:  Saturday 11th December – Tuesday 28th December
  • Bridport Library:  Thursday 30th December – Saturday 8th January.


Available from 13th October 2021 until 9th January 2022

Early Years and Key Stage 1 pupils take part in our immersive and interactive workshops inspired by the works of David McKee. Themes of compassion, sharing, inclusivity are all explored during these fun workshops. Based in the Elmer and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee Special Exhibition and our John White’s Learning Centre at Dorset Museum children will have fun exploring and discovering Elmer’s colourful world!

How To Book

For booking your visit and lunch space or an unguided visit.

Call: 01305 262735

Contact us

Elmer and Friends Workshops

We’re Good To Go


We have gained the Visit England ‘We’re Good To Go’ kitemark confirming we’re following national COVID 19 guidelines for managing visits to our site.

✔ Face masks must still be worn to keep you, our staff and our volunteers safe unless you are exempt!

✔ You must still check-in via the Track and Trace app.

✔ Sanitisation stations will still be in place and we encourage you to use them.

✔ Social distancing will remain.

✔ Regular cleaning of our interactive exhibits will still take place.

This guidance will stay in place until further notice.


Community Exhibition

3 October 2022 - 8 February 2023


Unmasked is a local, voluntary project that began in the dark days of March 2020, when a new disease called COVID-19 literally stopped the world as we knew it.

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Special Exhibition

3 December 2022 - 26 February 2023

I Grew Up 80s

This winter visitors to Dorset Museum are invited to take a trip back in time with the nostalgia-filled exhibition I Grew Up 80s.

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Family Activity

3 December, 2:00pm - 4:00pm

I Grew Up 80s | Opening Disco

Travel back in time and celebrate the opening of our new exhibition- I Grew up 80s with a family-themed disco and family craft activities.

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Christmas Cracker

11 December 2022, 11:00am to 4:00pm

Meet the Superheros

Once again by popular demand, everyone’s favourite Science Fiction and Fantasy Movie and TV characters will be back at the Museum.

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12 December 2022, 10:30am - 11:30am

Collections Discovery Centre Tour

Join our Collections Team for an opportunity to explore behind the scenes in the Museum’s Collections Discovery Centre.

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ArtyFacts Workshop

20 December 2022, 10:00am-12:00pm

Christmas ArtyFacts

Create your own Victorian Christmas inspired crafts and cards.

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ArtyFacts Workshop

22 December 2022, 10:00am-12:00pm

Christmas ArtyFacts

Make Victorian decoupage gift boxes, tags and tree decorations for your friends and family.

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ArtyFacts Workshop

27 December 2022, 10:00am-12:00pm

Christmas ArtyFacts

Create your own Victorian Christmas inspired crafts and cards.

Find out more

ArtyFacts Workshop

29 December 2022, 10:00am - 12:00pm

I Grew Up 80s | ArtyFacts

Make your own 1980s style glasses and guitars, inspired by our I Grew Up 80s exhibition.

Find out more