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.

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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FULLY BOOKED

9 September 2022 - 14 October 2022

Drawing Into Life – 6 Week Creative Course

Six week art course designed for adults interested in art and archaeology. This new course is an exciting opportunity to get up close with some extraordinary artefacts in the collection at Dorset Museum. You will be drawing inspiration from prehistoric art including Neolithic flint tools, Anglo Saxon gold, precious burial goods, Roman mosaics, decorative textiles and archaeological maps amongst others, and have the chance to work directly from the Elisabeth Frink collection.

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Community Exhibition

3 October 2022 - 8 February 2023

Unmasked

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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Poetry Evening

CANCELLED

Who’s in the Next Room?

Poems by Thomas Hardy with new writing from Paul Hyland, Kate Scott, Catherine Simmonds & Pam Zinnemann-Hope

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Big Draw 2022

9 October 2022, 10:30am - 12noon

The Big Draw at Dorset Museum

Come and take part in our Big Draw event at Dorset Museum. Inspired by the natural world around us, colour and natural forms, help us create a giant collage in the style of Henri Rousseau to display in one of our galleries.

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Tours

11 October 2022, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Archaeology Highlights Tour

Explore archaeological treasures held by Dorset Museum – from Bronze Age gold to medieval silver -  in this volunteer-led tour.

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13 October 2022, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Museum after hours

Join us for an opportunity to explore the Museum at this free late opening

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Talk

13 October 2022, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

A persistent place: a new chronology for Neolithic Dorchester

The area underneath and around the town of Dorchester was an important place for Neolithic people, who built a variety of monuments here over a period of 2000 years. In this talk, Dr Susan Greaney discusses the research project that has obtained radiocarbon dates from samples of antler picks, charcoal and human remains held in the Dorset Museum collection and has been able to build a brand new chronology for the monuments.

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Concert

21 October 2022, 7:00pm - 9:30pm

Strings Forever!

Join baroque violinist Emma-Marie Kabanova on a musical journey back in time exploring the dance tunes and folk music beloved by Thomas Hardy and his family.  Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson contribute the traditional dance tunes and folksongs of Dorset on violin, concertina and melodeon.

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