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.

Techniquest

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.


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