News

Dorset Museum shortlisted for national Family Friendly Museum Award

July 6, 2021

It’s been announced that Dorset Museum has been shortlisted for a Kids in Museums Family Friendly Award, 2021.

School Children learn about the Pliosaur

The charity ‘Kids in Museums’ has run a prestigious annual award for the past 15 years, recognising the most family-friendly heritage sites in the UK. It is the only museum award to be judged by families.

From April to June, families across the UK voted for their favourite heritage attraction on the Kids in Museums website. A panel of Museum experts then whittled down hundreds of nominations to a shortlist of 20 heritage attractions with Dorset Museum shortlisted alongside 4 other small Museums from across the country in the Best Small Museum category.

Dorset Museum Executive Director, Dr Jon Murden Said:

“Making families welcome and giving them an excellent experience has been at the heart of the project to reimagine Dorset Museum. Our team has been working in consultation with our local community to bring an exciting and engaging programme of activities for families to enjoy. Our galleries have also been designed with a range of needs in mind offering tactile and interactive displays that engage, inspire, and bring our collection to life.

We’re so proud to be shortlisted in the Kids in Museum Best Small Museum category so soon after opening our doors.”

Dorset Museum tells the story of 250 million years of the county’s past; from its origins as shown in the rocks and fossils of Mary Anning’s Jurassic Coast, through tales of Roman and Viking invaders, to the Wessex of Thomas Hardy’s imagination.

Stories are presented across 4 new permanent and accessible galleries, together with a programme of special exhibitions and a range of activities and events for families.

Enabling families to enjoy the Museum has been at the heart of the recent transformation of the building, galleries, and engagement programme. Family trails, sensory backpacks, a Calm Space, buggy park, and Changing Places toilets help to ensure a family visit is as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.

The Museum will now be visited by undercover family judges who will assess the Museums against the Kids in Museums Manifesto. Their experiences will decide a winner for each award category and an overall winner of the Family Friendly Museum Award 2021. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in October.

Follow the Family Friendly Museum Award on Twitter by following @kidsinmuseums and #FamilyFriendly-Museum.

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

About Kids in Museums

We are a charity dedicated to making museums open and welcoming to all children, young people, and families. We support and champion family-friendly organisations through wide-ranging initiatives, including the Family Friendly Museum Award and Takeover Day. We invite heritage organisations to sign up to our Manifesto, which sets out simple guidelines for making museums easy to reach for all ages.

Find out more at: www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk

About the Family Friendly Museum Award

Kids in Museums began the Family Friendly Museum Award in 2004 and the prize is now in its 15th year. The award champions museums that place families’ voices at the heart of their organisations.

Previous winners of the Family Friendly Museum Award include the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum (2019), Leeds City Museum (2018), the People’s History Museum in Manchester (2017), and York Art Gallery (2016).

In 2020, Kids in Museums held the Family Friendly Museum Award From Home, a special one-off award celebrating how museums and heritage sites supported families through the lockdown.

Exhibition

14 March to 12 June 2022

A Virus a Day Textile Art by Antje Rook

Antje Rook created the A Virus a Day quilt created in response to Covid-19. The Portland artist embroidered one virus for every day of the first 2020 UK lockdown while she was isolating with her partner.

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Special Exhibition

28 May – 30 October 2022

Take a fresh look at the Victorian novelist and poet, Thomas Hardy, in the stunning Wessex landscapes that shaped his view of the world. His story will be retold in exciting new ways by our museum collections, from period costumes to personal letters, art to archaeology.

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Family Activity

31 May 2022, 10:00am - 12noon

Half Term ArtyFacts

Model theatre-making based on Hardy's novels and the model by Thomas Tilley for the Hardy Players in the Hardy's Dorset Gallery.

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Family Activity

2 June 2022, 10:00am - 12noon

Half Term ArtyFacts

Create your own wooden Victorian decoupage box using Victorian images and decoration in association with the Thomas Hardy exhibition and the Hardy's Dorset gallery. Younger children will be able to create simple Victorian collages.

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Tours

11 June 2022, 10:30am - 12:00noon

Roman Town House Tours

A guided tour of one of the best examples of a Roman Town House in England.

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Workshop

17 June - 11 July 2022, 10:00am - 1:00pm

Hardy’s Wessex: Drawing on the ancient past

This six-week course led by artist Helen Garrett will take you on a creative journey through Thomas Hardy’s work, inspirations and Dorset Museum’s collections.

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Workshop

18 June 2022, 11:30am - 4:00pm

Dorset Button making day

Join Dorset button maker and artist Anna McDowell to explore the history of Dorset button-making and take part in a workshop to make your own buttons.

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Family Activity

19 June 2022, 10:30am – 12:30pm

Sunday ArtyFacts

Create colourful wax resist and collaged patchwork patterns and shapes inspired by Valentine Ackland's jacket from our Dorset Artists gallery. Make your own cards and bookmarks with colourful designs to take home.

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Concert

22 June 2022, 7:30pm

Connaught Brass

Connaught Brass are quickly making a name for themselves as a fresh talent in the chamber music world

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