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.
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.
Come along to one of our special events for families, including themed make and take, arts and crafts, storytelling and more.
Our trails are designed to help families explore the collections together. Choose the Adventure Pack to discover amazing mosaics, go on our Nature Exploration in the Natural Dorset gallery or walk in Thomas Hardy’s Footsteps in the Hardy’s Dorset gallery.
Pick a trail up at the Welcome Desk when you get here.
Get hands-on with history as we bring real objects out of our stores and from behind glass. The trolley’s outings give you amazing opportunities to handle unique objects and look at them up close.
Throughout the new galleries, you can discover and explore our interactives designed for families to have fun and learn about the displays in a hands-on and memorable way.
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.
If your family needs some quiet time, just ask at the Welcome Desk about using our Calm Space on the Second Floor.
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.
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.
Designed to appeal to everyone, especially children who benefit from sensory activities. These backpacks come with fidget toys and resources to use in the galleries.
Ask at the Welcome Desk to borrow one when you get here, or email to book one ahead. There is a small refundable deposit of £5 to pay.
Borrow child or adult ear defenders at the Welcome Desk.
Accessible Gallery Resources
Large-print gallery text and braille guides are available at the Welcome Desk.
There are also audio points.
13 October 2021 - 9 January 2022
Elmer and Friends
Elmer and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee 13 October 2021 to 9 January 2022 An exhibition from Seven Stories: The National Centre for…Find out more
21 September 2021
Dementia Friends Sessions
21 September 2021 11.30am – 12.30pm Free Information Session. Join The Roman Town House Producer and Dementia Champion Megan Dunford to find…Find out more
22 September 2021
Drawing – Observation and intention
22 September 2021 1.30 pm to 3 pm. “To draw a line is to have an idea.” Richard Serra Join local artist…Find out more
The New Hardy Player’s The Mayor of Casterbridge
6 October 2021, 7 pm [FULLY BOOKED] The New Hardy Players bring their most ambitious production to date, combining live performance, film, and archive photography. …Find out more
11 October 2021
Who was the Waddon Man?
11 October 2021, 2 pm For almost 400 years the skull of an unknown person was kept at Waddon Manor. Local folklore said that an…Find out more
21 October 2021
Tracy Chevalier: The Importance of Place
21 October 2021, 7 pm Tracy Chevalier’s bestselling historical novels are set in various parts of the world: Holland, Ohio, California, southern France,…Find out more
27 October 2021
Antonina Suhanova, Pianist
27 October 2021, 7.30 pm After her early training in Latvia, Antonina moved to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where she…Find out more
17 November 2021
17 November 2021, 7.30 pm Acclaimed for their “gusto, comradeship and sharp attack” (The Times), the Barbican Quartet was formed at the Guildhall School…Find out more
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.
Gifts and Souvenirs
Remember your visit with a little something from our wonderful selection of pocket money goodies for all ages.