If you’re looking for an educational day out this summer for the family, look no further than this guide. We have listed our favourite museums and galleries to keep the kids learning. Look out for their special events and exhibitions exclusive to this summer.
Worthing Theatres and Museum
Until Sun 27 August, Helen Hancocks has an exhibition showing off her latest original artwork. This bestselling author-illustrator published the book Why Do We Wear Clothes? in 2020 with Puffin. She bought clothes from designers and cultures around the world to seven- to nine-year-old readers via the illustrations. Also this summer is film screenings, workshops and concerts at Worthing Theatres and Museums. Including, on Sun 9 July, West Sussex Summer Concerts, Rainbow Shakespeare’s production of The Tempest on Tues 11 July and The Comedy of Errors on Tues 18 July. Plus, don’t miss the Comedy Club 4 Kids on Sun 23 July. Discover what else is on at wtm.uk/whatson/
Imagine travelling through 11 miles of glorious Sussex scenery behind a steam engine. Bluebell Railway offers that and so much more for the whole family. Bluebell Railway was one of the first preserved heritage lines in the country, resulting in one of the finest collections of vintage steam locomotives and carriages – many of which were preserved straight out of service from British Railways. During your visit, learn about the history and science of the industrial age, experience the thrill of getting up close to a working steam locomotive and luxuriate in the comfort and style of a bygone era. Families can enjoy getting hands-on in our interactive exhibitions, and children can play in our play and picnic areas while parents relax with a cuppa.
On Sat 5 – Sun 6 August, at the Sheffield Park station, attend a Teddy Bears Picnic along the river so that you and the little ones can absorb the scenery with your favourite snacks and soft toys. A lovely day out to look forward to in the summer holidays. Other Bluebell Railway stations include Horsted Keynes, East Grinstead, and Kingscote. www.bluebell-railway.com/
Brighton & Hove Museums
Brighton & Hove Museums consists of the Royal Pavilion and Garden, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Booth Museum of Natural History, Preston Manor & Gardens, and Hove Museum of Creativity, providing five alternative venues to choose from for your family days out this summer. They each provide a unique experience, with their very own character plus events and exhibitions to suit all sorts of interests. From Origami Workshops, to Basement and Tunnels Tours, gorgeous gardens, and kids art clubs, visitors can not just witness art, but create it themselves, as well as delving into usual, memorable experiences. The history embedded into these county locations are not worth missing; the art and activity brings every story to life.
Bexhill Museum opened in 1914 with one gallery, and has grown its collection to match its style ever since. Now, there are four galleries and unique artefacts are maintained by Bexhill Museum Ltd, a UK registered charity. Bexhill is a one hour drive from Brighton, so you could make a day of your trip by having a pub lunch and trip to the beach too.
The primary purpose of Bexhill Museum is to collect, conserve, display and interpret objects and information related to the history and natural environment of our surrounding area. They put emphasis on education through displays and exhibitions giving the kids plenty to observe. This work is undertaken for the benefit of the public and, in particular, the residents of Bexhill and district, local schools & colleges and visitors to the 1066 Country area. Their collections include a WWII Gallery, Costume, Technology and The Sargent Collection, keeping your little ones interested in learning and education, even when they are not in school. (Egerton Road, Bexhill TN39 3HL)
It is no secret that we are big fans of Towner Gallery in Eastbourne and that’s because they have been exhibiting contemporary art for 100 years, knowing how to display the most exciting and creative works. Admission to the gallery is free, though some events may cost. The exterior walls of the gallery, a large-scale, colourful geometric artwork, Dance Diagonal (2019) created by German artist Lothar Götz is bold enough alone to fascinate visitors of all ages. For extra young visitors, Wriggle Room is open 10am – 12pm on Tues 4 July and Tues 18 July. It is a free drop-in workshop for under-5s and their carers, developed by Katy Beinart and Lydia Hunt. They use their backgrounds in performance and visual art to design and lead creative sessions every Tuesday during term time.
On Duke Street in Brighton is the gorgeous church converted art gallery. At Fabrica, visitors can experience culture and creativity in unexpected ways: through our ever-changing calendar of talks, group discussions, film screenings, performances and community-led events. In July and August, the Messy Play workshops delivered in partnership with Little Learners, and the Summer Art Club would be perfect for kids. The latter is a fun, three-day club for 8-12 year olds to spend time together in creative exploration, led by experienced artist facilitators. Taking place Mon 31 July to Wed 2 August, 10am – 4pm, you can book your child’s place at fabrica.org.uk/.
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