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Museums and Galleries

When the weather's a little chilly or you just fancy an indoor activity, why not head to a museum or gallery?
Nottingham has a fantastic selection to suit all ages and  interests, and most have child friendly exhibitions and activities. 

Canalside Heritage Centre

Beeston Rylands NG9 1LZ

Entry Fee: Free

Children's Activities: Yes

Car Park: No but free roadside parking available nearby 

Café: Yes

Historic cottages at Beeston Lock renovated for use as a heritage, education and arts centre. Lovely teashop with children's activities available. There is also a walled garden area with toys and activities for children to play. Perfect combined with a walk along the marina.

Creswell Crags

Worksop S80 3LH

Entry Fee: Museum - Adults £3 children free. Cave tours - £10 pp

Children's Activities: Yes

Car Park: Yes - £4 for 3 hours, £6 all day​

Café: Yes

An archaeological park where you can explore caves, gorge, and a museum. Walk in the footsteps of early humans and woolly mammoths through the gorge. You can also explore outdoors at the woodland, meadow, and reflective lake. 

Framework Knitters Museum

Ruddington NG11 6HE

Entry Fee: Adults £8, Children Free (Check opening days)

Children's Activities: Yes

Car Park: No 

Café: Yes

Learn all about lives and work of framework knitters and their families. You can try out framework knitting for yourself and even knit your own souvenir on a vintage Griswold circular knitting machine! Also has a gallery, shop and café with a community garden.

Green's Windmill and Science Centre

Sneinton NG2 4QB

Entry Fee: Free

Children's Activities: Yes

Car Park: Yes 

Café: ?

Restored working windmill, built in the 1800s with museum and science centre. Green's Windmill also hold children's activities every school holiday including crafts, science and baking.  Outdoor area with community garden and playground nearby and sculptures to spot.

Mansfield Museum

Mansfield NG18 1NG

Entry Fee: Free

Children's Activities: Yes

Car Park: No 

Café: No but there is an area for picnics

A family friendly museum with a variety of historical artefacts and exhibitions related to the history of Mansfield. All galleries have child friendly areas. The XPLORACTIVE gallery has children's activities related to the environment and Mansfield's heritage.

UoN Museum of Archaeology

University Campus NG7 2RD

Entry Fee: Free

Children's Activities: No but they sometimes hold family events

Car Park: Yes Free at Lakeside 

Café: Yes

A small but award-winning museum that holds a collection of mainly regional archaeology covering a 250,000 year period. More suited to older children but good to pop into while at Lakeside and Highfields Park.  

National Civil War Centre

Newark NG24 1JY

Entry Fee: £8 (£4 Newark and Sherwood Residents)

Children's Activities: Yes

Car Park: No 

Café: Yes

Explore one of the most fascinating times in UK history and see the realities of 17th century life through the eyes of people who lived it. A range of interactive activities and objects as well as dressing up! They also hold regular family friendly events.

National Justice Museum 

Nottingham City Centre NG1 1HN

Entry Fee: Adults: £12.05 Children: £8.75 Under 5s free

Children's Activities: Suitable for older children

Car Park: No - discounted parking available at NCP Stoney St

Café: Yes

Learn all about the history of the legal and justice system, as well as exploring the exhibitions and meeting some historical characters!

Nottingham Caves 

Nottingham City Centre NG1 1HF

Entry Fee: Adults: £9.63 Children: £8.40 Under 5s free

Children's Activities: Suitable for older children

Car Park: No - discounted parking available at NCP Stoney St 

Café: No (Also no toilets)

Did you know that Nottingham has the UK's largest network of caves? More suited to older children as it is very important to be safe and careful. Take a jumper! No pram or wheelchair access. Definitely worth visiting at least once - I still remember my visit as a teen 20+ years ago!

Nottingham Heritage Vehicles 

Hucknall NG15 7SF

Entry Fee: Free (open days held regularly)

Children's Activities: Yes

Car Park: Yes 

Café: Yes

Heritage open days are an opportunity to see some amazing vehicles and learn about the history of transport in the local area - you can even take a ride on a vintage bus! There are also displays, stalls and activities as well as a café and shop.

Nottingham Industrial Museum

Wollaton Hall NG8 2AE

Entry Fee: £4 adults, children free (open weekends only)

Children's Activities: Yes

Car Park: Yes £3 for 2 hours, £5 all day at Wollaton Hall

Café: Yes

Celebrating the history of industry in Nottingham and the local area. See the transport gallery, textile room and steam hall. On certain days you may even get to see some steam powered machinery live and working! A great way to extend your visit to Wollaton Hall. 

Nottingham Natural History Museum

Wollaton Hall NG8 2AE

Entry Fee: Most Galleries are currently free

Children's Activities: Yes

Car Park: Yes - £3 for 2 hours £5 all day 

Café: Yes

Located in the beautiful Wollaton Hall, the Natural History Museum hosts a collection of 750,000 objects, ranging from fossils, minerals, plants and eggs to invertebrates, vertebrates, shells (molluscs) and taxidermy, as well as preserved ‘spirit’ animals and rare specimens from across the globe.

The Robin Hood Experience

Nottingham City Centre NG1 6EB

Entry Fee: Adults £7.95 Children 3+ £5.95 Under 3 free

Children's Activities: Family Friendly

Car Park: No 

Café: No

The Robin Hood Experience is an interactive journey back through time to the world of Robin Hood. 

A family-friendly attraction located a stone's throw from Nottingham Castle and comprises an interactive, story-based tour over three floors (not pushchair or wheelchair friendly).

Ruddington Village Museum

Ruddington NG11 6HD

Entry Fee: £2.50 adults, children free (only open on Thursdays)

Children's Activities: Yes

Car Park: No 

Café: No

The museum explores retail life in late Victorian and early Edwardian Ruddington through a series of displays which recreate Ruddington’s shops of yesteryear. Lots of permanent exhibitions and activities for children - including vintage toys to explore and a Mole Hunt!

ART GALLERIES

In Nottingham

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City Arts

Nottingham City Centre NG1 1FH

Entry Fee: Free to view window gallery

Children's Activities: Some family friendly exhibitions and workshops

Car Park: No 

Café: No

A charity art organisation that collaborates with communities and artists to create and explore art of all kinds. They hold art workshops, performances, events and exhibitions - including some for children and families. 

Lakeside Arts

University Campus NG7 2RD

Entry Fee: Mostly Free (some exhibitions and shows are paid events)

Children's Activities: Yes

Car Park: Yes 

Café: Yes

Lakeside Arts is the University of Nottingham’s public arts programme. Situated at Highfields Park, Lakeside is a great indoor stop off after visiting the park or going for a walk round the lake. They host a variety of family friendly exhibitions and events, including children's shows and workshops.

New Art Exchange

Hyson Green NG7 6BE

Entry Fee: Free

Children's Activities: Some family friendly exhibitions and events

Car Park: No - some on street 

Café: Yes

New Art Exchange (NAE) is an award-winning creative space in the heart of Hyson Green with a focus on promoting excellence in culturally diverse contemporary arts. They have a changing programme of exhibitions, public programme, creative activities for families and young people, film screenings, festival days, and live performances. 

Nottingham Contemporary 

Nottingham City Centre NG1 2GB

Entry Fee: Free

Children's Activities: Yes

Car Park: No 

Café: Yes

One of the largest contemporary art galleries in the UK.  Very child friendly with learning packs located at the front entrance, activity sheets, baby changing facilities and lifts to all floors.  Family activities every school holiday. Lovely café also. Great to pop in to while you're out in the city!

Patchings Art Centre

Calverton NG14 6NU

Entry Fee: Free

Children's Activities: Sometimes hold workshops

Car Park: Yes

Café: Yes

Small art gallery with café, shop and beautiful woodland where there is an artist trail. They sometimes hold workshops and classes suitable for children. 

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Information correct as of February 2023. If you've spotted some incorrect or out of date information, let us know below:

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