Compton Verney has beaten off stiff competition from over 800 nominations across the UK to secure a place on the Kids In Museums Family Friendly Award 2015 long-list.
Volunteers from Kids in Museums, the organisers of The Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award, have sifted through thousands of comments from members of the public and long-listed 20 museums from across the UK that they feel offer an outstanding welcome to families.
Dr Steven Parissien, Director of Compton Verney commented: “The staff and volunteers at Compton Verney have been welcoming families to the gallery and park since we opened in 2004. From the outset we have integrated families into our plans and work hard to ensure that their visit is inspiring, enjoyable and interactive from the moment they set foot on site.
We believe that the whole gallery and park experience needs to be family friendly which we achieve by providing a continuous programme of activities, backpacks and trails for the park, collections and exhibitions to help families explore and learn together. We also provide children’s menus, lunchboxes and high chairs in our restaurant and café. In the park families will find a playground, art, Forest School activities and willow tunnels to explore. Every year we add something new and exciting for families both inside and out. For our 2015 programme we have completely re-displayed our Chinese collection to make more accessible to all our visitors and have included elements to animate it for our family visitors. We have also introduced tweenie weenie Wednesdays soft play and Forest Schools for under 5s to encourage more families with younger children to come and visit.
Families are often surprised to find that they can enjoy so much for just £3.00 per child and that under 5s are free. Our Family Season Pass has also proved particularly popular since its launch in 2010, enabling local families to return to the gallery and grounds as many times as they want during our open season.”
Dea Birkett, Director, Kids in Museums said: “It’s great that Compton Verney has made it to the longlist for the Family Friendly Museum Award – the biggest museum award in Britain and the only one judged by families, so it’s a very special endorsement. There were over 800 nominations this year, so the competition was very tough. Compton Verney stood out as a gallery that made high art accessible to all. Families pointed out that the whole experience - from entering, visiting the adventure playground, visiting the galleries and using the activity bags, the family learning room and even the toilets (with sinks at small child height) - made every visit a pleasure, even with very tiny children. Compton Verney is an excellent example of museum making a big impact.”
Other museums on the long-list include Beamish, Black Country Living Museum, Cutty Sark, The Geffrye, Hampton Court Palace, Milton Keynes Museum, River and Rowing Museum, and the Science Museum.