Travel Tips | Britain for kids & family | Top 10 interactive museums

Top 10 interactive museums

Get involved

From hands-on science experiments to living history, our top 10 interactive museums are places where you can really get stuck in. Learn how to navigate a plane, become a Victorian doctor or make your own pop record at museums where getting involved is all part of the fun.

London Science Museum

London , England
The Science Museum shakes off any preconceptions you might have of a museum as dusty and didactic. Yes, you’ll learn but in a wonderfully involving way. And from the IMAX cinema to the mind-boggling live demonstrations of everything from fireworks to physical forces it’s hands-on all the way. Kids love the Launch Pad where scientific principles are taught through engaging experiments.

British Music Experience

London, England
Britain’s first interactive history of British popular music is an all singing all dancing journey through UK pop. Step into interactive audio visual spaces that explore great British music moments throughout history, witness one-off interviews from the biggest stars, flick through a virtual vinyl box, record yourself singing, mixing, playing guitar, keyboard or drums and bust your moves as you Dance the Decades and feel the adrenaline rush of performing to a massive crowd.

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester , England
Manchester’s museum of fine art, decorative art and costume has a whole gallery devoted to the hands-on exploration of making, appreciating and thinking about art. The Clore Interactive Gallery gives you the opportunity to explore real works of art using (nearly) all your senses. Kids love creating their own ‘junk’ art, dressing up as historical characters and playing with the interactive computer exhibits.

Highland Folk Museum

Kingussie, Scotland
Surrounded by mountains, this excellent open-air museum explores the Highland way of life through living history. Take a journey through 200 years of Highland history and see how Scottish Highlanders lived, how they built their homes, how they worked the land and how they dressed. You’ll also have a chance to travel in period vehicles and try traditional crafts.

National Museum of Flight

East Lothian, Scotland
As well as exploring the history of flight through fascinating exhibits and actual aircraft, the National Flight Museum has an interactive experience called ‘Fantastic Flight’. Here kids can see how planes are built and why they fly, experience navigation through hands-on games and experiences and buckle up for fantastic flight simulations.

Thackray Museum

Leeds, England
The Thackray Museum tells the story of medicine through the ages with interactive exhibits that are fascinating, educational and occasionally a little hard to stomach! Wear an ‘empathy belly’ to see what it’s like to be pregnant, step back in time to Victorian Leeds to help cure patients and see how gruesome 19th-century surgery was performed.


Cardiff , Wales
Science doesn’t get much more fun than Techniquest , the hands-on discovery centre where kids can launch a rocket, sink an oil rig, move half a ton of granite and study a colony of ants. And when the kids have exhausted themselves on the puzzles and games the planetarium will keep them occupied for a bit. There’s also a changing programme of presentations, shows and workshops for schools during term time and for families at weekends and in school holidays.

Big Pit Museum National Coal Museum

Blaenafon, Wales
Venture down a real coalmine at this award-wining museum dedicated to one of Wales’ most famous industries. Enjoy a multi-media tour of a modern coal mine with a virtual miner in the Mining Galleries, then head underground for a real-life mining experience guided by an ex-miner.

W5 Interactive Discovery Centre

Belfast , Northern Ireland
Aimed squarely at the kids, the W5 centre has nearly 200 interactive exhibits which are housed in five action packed exhibition areas - WOW, START, GO, SEE & DO. Attractions include a lie detector, laser harp, building bridges, a giant racetrack, robot building plus lots more. W5 also offers an ever changing programme of special events, shows and temporary exhibitions.

St Fagans: National History Museum

Cardiff, Wales
This ‘walk around Wales’ from Celtic times to the present day is Wales’ top heritage attraction where history is brought to life in a series of interactive exhibits . Visit historic buildings, see real craftsmen practise traditional skills and check out their regular programme of tours, talks and classes.

  • Culture
    • Writers and Poets

      Britain has produced some of the world's greatest writers and the British landscape has inspired some of the world’s most famous stories,...

    • Glasgow Riverside Museum Copyright:Karen V Bryan
      Free museums

      History, design, science, nature, football, giant stuffed walruses – whatever your passion, you’ll find a museum to match it in...

    • Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
      Film locations UK

      Setjetters rejoice - Britain is one glorious, gorgeous movie set. Don't just take our word for it: filmmakers, cast and crew have filmed some...

    • Yorkshire Sculpture Park Source:socialBedia
      Free art galleries

      World-famous masterpieces by the legends of the art world and controversial installations and creations by modern-day geniuses. See them all at...

    • Oda Mae Brown, Ghost the Musical Source:Sean Ebsworth Barnes
      British theatre, opera and dance

      Britain is a nation of drama lovers and in the land that brought you Shakespeare, you'll never be far from some of the best and most varied...

  • Heritage
    • Stonehenge Source:matt crawford
      World Heritage Sites

      Did you know that Britain has 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites? These range from sites of natural beauty like the Dorset and East Devon Coast to...

    • Eilean Donan Castle at night Source:Allan Gourlay
      Britain's castles

      Want to know a secret about British castles? They really are the stuff of your wildest dreams. Dramatically situated, packed with history and...

    • View towards Steel Rigg from Hadrian's Wall in Northumbria, Hadrian's Wall, near Haltwhistle, Northumberland, England © / Rod Edwards
      Stately homes

      Once upon a time, stately homes were the exclusive privilege of royalty and landed gentry. Today, these spectacular country pads make for a...

    • The Pineapple, Dunmore Source:Taffy van Doorn
      Historic houses

      Why stay in a nondescript hotel when you can play Lord of the Manor at some of the oldest and most interesting buildings in Britain? Discover...

    • Buckingham Palace
      Top 10 royal attractions

      Get closer to the scandal, glamour and history of the British royal family with a look around our top 10 royal attractions.

  • Outdoors
    • The Deep Aquarium, Hull Source:© VisitBritain / Pawel Libera
      Britain’s wildlife

      Britain has a startling variety of natural habitats crawling with animals of every kind. You can also visit world-class zoos, gardens and parks...

    • Lily pads at the National Botanic Garden of Wales Source:Steve James
      Great British Gardens

      Britain is a nation of green-fingered garden lovers and we have some of the most famous green spaces in the world. From a whole rainforest...

    • Walking in the mountains
      Walking and hiking

      Experience the best of the great British outdoors on foot with thousands of miles of walking and hiking routes all over Britain. Wherever you...

    • Autumnal Punting in Cambridge Source:tad2106
      The 10 best ways to enjoy Britain's...

      From lakes, lochs and the sun-baked South Coast to wild Welsh waterfalls, we’ve toured Britain to bring you the best watery activities.