On Thursday we had a family trip to the National Rails Museum, York. They had a wizzarding event on for the half term holiday's including trips on the Hogwarts Express! There was lot to do, but also a lot of people there! Never the less the kids loved our little adventure, possibly the journey more than the museum but I guess that happens sometimes.
Today was a much more sedate, we went to The Lowry and I have to say that I had a great time. I wasn't convinced I would enjoy it as Lowry isn't one of my favourite artists, but hey there is a shopping outlet right next door so if things really went wrong!!!!! We arrived and got a pack of activities for the kids to do and went straight to the family area to start exploring. Once in the gallery I was amazed by the diverse nature of Lowry's work, there were some pieces that made me stop and stare and others that were a little freaky. It was so refreshing that they catered so well for families there was the art, craft and play area but mainly kids wandering round and talking about the art was encouraged. No tuts or exasperated expressions from staff or visitors in it's self made the trip so easy to enjoy.
After lunch we weren't ready to leave so took the short walk over the bridge to visit the Imperial War museum. Now this has to be near the top of my list of museum's I never wanted to visit. Again I was pleasantly surprised! Their Once Upon a Time exhibition was right up my street. It was also another museum that seemed to be just on the kids wavelength, they used books based on wartime events to make them think about key issues facing wartime kids. It was great to see my eldest especially pick up on the issues sparking lots of great conversations. Not to mention the craft activities that are always a winner!
All in all a great few days and the best of it all not one of these museums charge an entrance fee. It is wonderful that such great institutions open their doors to everyone, allowing even the poorest access to these invaluable educational experiences. However it is a shame that more don't take the opportunity to show their children more of the world and our cultural heritage and I do worry that in the current financial climate that free access to museums will be one thing that will fall by the wayside, I do however hope not!
Source of Lowry picture http://www.toms-travels.net/?p=8958