Nominations open for the Family Friendly Museum Award 2022

Which museum is families’ favourite in the UK? It’s time to decide! Kids in Museums launches the Family Friendly Museum Award 2022 and publishes an updated Kids in Museums Manifesto.

Kids in Museums launched the Family Friendly Museum Award in 2004 to recognise the venues that are most welcoming, fun, and accessible for families. Each year it is down to families to decide the winners.

The categories of the Family Friendly Museum Award 2022 are:

  • Best Small Museum
  • Best Medium Museum
  • Best Large Museum
  • Best Accessible Museum
  • Best Family Engagement Team

A new category, Best Family Engagement Team, will recognise the dedication and innovation of museum staff and volunteers that go the extra mile to create an excellent family experience. It will be open to museum applications only and judged entirely by an expert panel.

Museums can find full Award Guidance and Terms & Conditions on the Kids in Museums website, as well as materials to help them promote nominations from family visitors.

Nominations are open to everyone and can be submitted through an online form on the Kids in Museums website: Nominations will close at 5pm on 6 June 2022.

Alison Bowyer, Executive Director of Kids in Museums, said: “Two years after the pandemic brought life to a halt, it is wonderful to launch the Family Friendly Museum Award 2022 with museums across the UK back open and full of families! This year a new category celebrates the special contributions of staff and volunteers who we know have showed great commitment and resilience in bringing enjoyable experiences to families. We encourage families and museums to put their museum’s name forward – you’ve got to be in it to win it!”

In June, an expert panel will whittle down the nominations to a shortlist. Undercover family judges will visit each shortlisted museum during the summer holidays and assess them on how well they meet a newly updated Kids in Museums Manifesto.

The Manifesto, which underpins all of Kids in Museums’ work, is a set of guidelines created with children, young people and families on what makes a great museum visit. First published in 2003, now over 1,000 museums, heritage sites and cultural organisations have signed up to show their commitment to following the guidelines and welcoming visitors of all ages.

Following consultation with families and museum professionals, an updated Manifesto has been published on the Kids in Museums website. The new Manifesto:

  • encourages museums to consider and reflect the diversity of families across their work
  • emphasises museums as spaces for play
  • highlights the importance of accessible online information and Changing Places toilets for family visitors with additional needs
  • promotes the role of museums as active members of their communities, following on from many museums’ work over the pandemic.

Families’ experiences will decide the winner for all four museum categories. An expert panel will then pick an overall winner of the Family Friendly Museum Award from the family judged categories to be announced in October 2022.

Last year Bailiffgate Museum & Gallery in Alnwick was named winner of the Family Friendly Museum Award 2021, with Horniman Museums and Gardens, London Transport Museum and The Postal Museum also recognised for their work.

Over the last year the museums shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award have been showcased on the Kids in Museums website and social media channels, as well as featured by O2 on its Priority app and website.

Follow the competition on social media by following @kidsinmuseums and #FamilyFriendlyMuseum.

The Family Friendly Museum Award has been made possible by funding from Arts Council England.