The Culture24/7 Summertime Special: Art Galleries to take your kids to this summer

By Richard Moss | 27 July 2011
a photo of two young children making shapes out of paper
Art fun at Wolverhampton Art Gallery© Courtesy Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Want to get your kids into an art gallery this summer? Here’s a Culture24 selection of seven galleries where kids are welcomed with open arms and there’s plenty to keep them occupied and engaged...

Manchester: Manchester Art Gallery

How about this for doing it for the kids? Manchester Art Gallery is giving over its top two exhibition spaces (6,288 square feet) for a summer of family activities based on the Pre-Raphaelites. Artists are hand on to encourage kids aged 11 and under with story workshops, sensory play activities, drama and performance workshops and much more. Far, Far Away: August 2 – 28 2011, Tuesdays–Sundays 1–3pm.

Coventry: The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

A Guardian Family Friendly Award winner in 2010, the Herbert prides itself on its family activities and positively welcomes inquisitive kids. This year they have a summer installation specially designed for the under-eights together with a range of free workshops, treasure trails and drop in sessions. See their 2011 summer family leaflet for what’s on offer.
London, Liverpool and St Ives: Tate

Tate have certainly got their act together for kids online with Tate Kids but the real world visits are pretty good too. At Tate Britain events range from multimedia guides to the weekend art trolley;  Tate Modern has an under five’s play space based on Cubism; Tate Liverpool has a family room and free sketchbooks and at Tate St Ives activity packs allow families to explore the artwork together.

Liverpool, The Walker Art Gallery

Another art gallery with an impressive kids’ online space, the Walker has a real world gallery full of big art for little kids. If you want to tempt your little ones into exploring the rest of the amazing Walker collection then grab a copy of their Something Wild book and activity sacks.

Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton Art Gallery

A young visitors guide steers kids around this adventurous gallery and their summer family workshops and ‘Family Saturdays’ range from Family Discovery Days led by art interpreters to Art 4 kids - a free drop in for kids aged 11 and under. Part of a range of workshops responding to the artworks on show in the galleries.

Bath, The Victoria Art Gallery

The Victoria Art Gallery in Bath takes the needs of its young visitors seriously by providing them with access to art trolleys packed with art materials, worksheets to scribble on and an activity club. At the time of writing the Young@Art club has bookable sessions for 3-11 year-olds which reference their excellent temporary exhibition programme.

Preston, The Harris Art Gallery and Museum

At the Harris they welcome kids and families with a slew of activities ranging from pre-booked sessions to drop-ins. Check out Arty Explorers, treasure hunts and their Wonderful Wednesdays where kids do everything from dressing up and role play to object handling and adventure trails.

Also worth a mention:

If you’re heading to London then the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, The Serpentine, The V&A, The Wallace Collection, PM Gallery, Orleans House Gallery, Design Museum and South London Gallery are all good for visits with children.

Elsewhere IKON in Birmingham, Falmouth Art Gallery, Bilston Craft Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Potteries Museum, Rugby Art Gallery, The Burrell Collection in Glasgow and the Lightbox in Woking have adventurous attitudes towards kids and their engagement with art. 
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