Families

From superb stories to terrific trails, there’s so much for families to enjoy at Dorset Museum.

Find out how to get involved now, and what’s coming up when we open.

Our new John White Learning Centre is the ideal place for all kinds of messy craft activities. The fun spills out into the galleries too, with tours, trails, object handling and special booked events. We want to make sure you have everything you need for a fun and friendly visit.

The information below will help you plan ahead.

Ooser Craft

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

The Victorian Hall will be hosting a private event on Friday 10th June 2022, all day and Saturday 11th June 2022, 12 noon to 5:00 pm, and therefore will be closed to visitors.

  • 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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Useful Information

Getting here

Accessibility

Coming Up at the Museum

An exciting programme of family activities means there’s always something new to do at Dorset Museum. Look out for special events all year round, including fun for under-fives – a great way for grown-ups to enjoy the collections while keeping little explorers engaged. And our fascinating themed activities for school holidays will bring Dorset’s stories alive for everyone.

Activities

Making Family Visits Accessible

Everyone is welcome at Dorset Museum. Our Welcome Team is here to offer support and resources and help you make the most of your visit. Find them at the Welcome Desk on the Ground Floor.

Disabled Toilets
Changing Spaces Toilets

Facilities

Calm Space

If your family needs some quiet time, just ask at the Welcome Desk about using our Calm Space on the Second Floor.

Baby Care

Baby changing facilities are on the Ground Floor. Breastfeeding is welcome in the museum. If you’d like to use our Calm Space, just ask at the Welcome Desk.

Toilets

Accessible toilets are on the Ground, First and Second Floors. There’s a Changing Places Toilet on the Ground Floor.

Bags and Buggies

You are welcome to take buggies around the Museum. There is also a small buggy park behind the Welcome area, along with lockers. We cannot take any responsibility for the security of items left with us.

Hungry or Thirsty?

Our café has a great selection of fresh snacks, lunches and drinks for all ages. High chairs are available and our team there can heat bottles for little ones too. To protect our collections, we don’t allow food or drink in the galleries.

Additional Resources

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.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

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

Find out more

TASTE Café

Open daily 9.00am - 4.30pm | Sunday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cafe

Hungry or Thirsty?

TASTE café at Dorset Museum has a great selection of fresh snacks, lunches, and drinks for all ages. High chairs are available and our team there can heat bottles for little ones too.

To protect our collections, we don’t allow food or drink in the galleries.

Shop

Dorset Museum Toys

Gifts and Souvenirs

Remember your visit with a little something from our wonderful selection of pocket money goodies for all ages.