Family Friendly Museum Award winners announced in special lockdown edition

Image: Andy Warhol Museum virtual summer workshop © Sean Carroll

Kids in Museums has revealed the 2020 Family Friendly Museum Award winners, with this year’s successful institutions receiving commendations for their work to connect with audiences virtually during coronavirus lockdown.

The Family Friendly Museum Award From Home winners have been announced this afternoon in a virtual awards ceremony hosted by TV personalities Philip Mould and Professor Kate Williams.

Across the four major categories it was National Museum Wales, Sheffield’s National Videogame Museum, Cooper Gallery in Barnsley, and The Glucksman in Ireland that scooped the top prizes. The Whitworth in Manchester also received the Going the Extra Mile award for its art workshops supporting families that have experienced baby loss.

In addition, six organisations have been highly commended by the judging panel for their work in engaging young audiences throughout the pandemic.

Pandemic pioneers

The full list of Family Friendly Museum Award From Home results are:

Best Film

Cooper Gallery, Barnsley – Wow Wednesdays

Highly Commended
University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge – Zoology Live! Online Festival

Best Social Media Activity

National Museum Wales – Minecraft your Museum

Highly Commended
Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft – Virtual Museum Club

Best Website Activity

National Videogame Museum, Sheffield – Create Your Own Pixel Art Character

Highly Commended
National Galleries Scotland – Home is Where the Art is

Best International Digital Activity

The Glucksman, Republic of Ireland – Creativity at Home

Highly Commended
Andy Warhol Museum, USA – Warhol Making It Videos

Going the Extra Mile

The Whitworth, Manchester – Still Parents

Highly Commended
Colchester and Ipswich Museums – Museum From Home Activity Packs
Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books, Newcastle Upon Tyne – Something to Smile About: Supporting Families in East Newcastle

Kids in Museums has held the Family Friendly Museum Award in each of the past 15 years, recognising the most family friendly heritage sites in the UK. Given the extraordinary nature of the year so far, the charity decided to create a special awards event to celebrate the huge effort museums made to adapt to lockdown and support families.

More than 400 nominations were sent in from all over the world, with an expert panel having whittled this number down to a shortlist of 26 museums. From July onwards families tested out the activities and their feedback, along with the opinions of the expert panel, decided the winners of each category.

“It is a pleasure to today celebrate how museums and heritage sites have sprung into action and brought culture to families during this challenging time,” states Philip Mould, art dealer, broadcaster and Kids in Museums president.

“Our winning museums have not only helped families with home schooling, but also supported their wellbeing and helped them have fun together. Once again we’ve been shown just how valuable the museum sector is to us all. Many congratulations to all our worthy winners.”