The Box has been shortlisted for the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award, it was announced today.
Charity Kids in Museums has run a prestigious annual award for the past 15 years, recognising the most family-friendly heritage sites in the UK. It’s the only museum award to be judged by families.
From April to June, families across the UK voted for their favourite heritage attraction on the Kids in Museums website. A panel of museum experts then whittled down hundreds of nominations to a shortlist of 20 heritage attractions. The Box is up against the London Transport Museum, ThinkTank, Birmingham and the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge in the ‘Best Medium Museum’ category.
Councillor Mark Deacon, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Culture, Leisure and Sport said: “We’re really proud to have been shortlisted for this award and our keeping all our fingers crossed! The Box is a wonderful place for families to visit and has been able to offer some great family-friendly facilities and activities since it opened despite the restrictions that have been imposed by the pandemic. A win later this year when the final results are announced would be thoroughly deserved.”
The Box offers a range of facilities for families including buggy parking and baby changing, a variety of children’s products, games and books in its shop, and high chairs and a tasty children’s menu in its Kitchen & Bar.
It’s developed a series of brightly designed themed trails to help families explore its galleries together and launched a programme of ‘I Wonder’ sessions for pre-school children. It regularly offers arts and crafts activities for families during the school holidays while special seasonal events held at Halloween and Christmas in late 2020 proved really popular.
The Box’s natural history gallery with its woolly mammoth is always a hit with children and families too, as are its display of giant ship’s figureheads and many of the interactive elements in its other galleries.
The Box will now be visited by undercover family judges who will assess all the shortlisted museums against the Kids in Museums Manifesto. Their experiences will decide a winner for each category and an overall winner of the Family Friendly Museum Award 2021. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in October.
The Family Friendly Museum Award has been made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England. You can follow it on Twitter by following @kidsinmuseums and #FamilyFriendlyMuseum.