I have memories of being a small child and being dragged around endless museums – some more fun than others. I remember the Salford Art and History museum – not sure if that’s what it was even called – and looking at the LS Lowry paintings and there was an old street – victorian I think – that you could walk through.
We have not visited any with our kids until recently and in the last couple of weeks, thanks to a school project and this blog we have visited two.
Firstly we visited the Lowry art gallery whilst staying with my Dad over Easter. Rachel came home from school on the day before the holidays, homework book clutched in hand, with a super exciting project to do. Well, having grown up where I did, a project on LS Lowry seemed exciting to me. I rang Dad immediately and said whatever plans you have we need to change as we need to take Rachel to the Lowry!
So on the Saturday afternoon we popped over to the Lowry art gallery. We took them around the gallery and Rachel sat and copied one of the pictures. It was less interesting for Jack but outside the gallery there is a small children’s area with crayons and pictures to colour, soft play blocks and toys for the little ones and still life models to copy. Rachel did some more drawings and it provided us with some great content for a little scrapbook she made for her school homework.
The second was the Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry. Rachel has been there twice with school and I think my mum took her there a couple of times when she was a baby, so when we were at a loss for something to do with the kids one afternoon, I suggested we go and take a look. As with most museums, it is free to enter – they ask for donations for support – so I figured if it wasn’t that great then we had lost nothing.
We were very pleasantly surprised. It is right in the centre of Coventry and is a little gem. There are a number of different galleries and so much there tailored towards the younger guest.
In the history room there were displays of old toys, clothes, an air raid shelter to sit in and a whole host of interactive activities – including plate rubbings, jigsaws, medieval knights attire to try on and if you are brave enough a whole you can expose to sniff what a medieval toilet smelled like!!
Upstairs there is a sculpture section with some soft building blocks so the little ones can build there own sculpture, and an array of other galleries including one with old masters paintings, one all about animals, birds, shells and rocks.
Pretty much every gallery contains, somewhere, a box full of bits to entertain kids – so soft toys, dressing up clothes etc – and then a lot of the displays are made interactive so they can touch and get involved and to top it off there are interactive sheets for them to follow or collect stickers.
It is lovely and clean and has a lovely cafe. Even the loos were great!!
A lovely afternoon!