Wakefield Museums & Castles, a part of Wakefield Council, has been nominated for the prestigious Kids in Museums Family Friendly Award. The award, now in its eighteenth year, seeks to recognise museums, galleries, and heritage sites that go the extra mile to provide an exceptional experience for children, young people, and families.

Cllr Michelle Collins, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, expressed her excitement about the nomination, stating, “Our museums & castles have a fantastic family-friendly offer, and families and children can always expect a warm welcome at our sites. Being nominated for this award would be great recognition for everything the museum service offers, so we encourage anyone who has enjoyed a visit to our museums and castles to nominate us for this award.”

Wakefield Museums & Castles operates three museums located in Castleford, Pontefract, and Wakefield, as well as Sandal and Pontefract Castles. These sites offer a range of engaging events and activities designed to cater to families and children. Weekly drop-in Family Fun activities take place on Saturdays, while under 5s can enjoy specially curated Toddler Tuesdays. Additionally, during each school holiday, both drop-in and bookable workshops are available, providing children with opportunities for hands-on learning experiences. Annual family events, such as the popular Easter Dragon Egg event at Pontefract Castle, further contribute to the exciting array of offerings.

Visitors to Wakefield Museums & Castles can expect interactive and immersive experiences throughout the museums. From engaging trails and dressing-up opportunities to games and even a fully equipped 1950s kitchen for families to enjoy, there is no shortage of entertainment. Even after leaving the sites, families can continue their exploration through the online Activities at Home page, offering insights into the collections, sites, and captivating stories from the comfort of their own homes.

To support Wakefield Museums & Castles and nominate them for the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Award, individuals are encouraged to fill in the online form on the Kids in Museums website at www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk/awards. Feedback can also be provided through forms available at Castleford, Pontefract, and Wakefield Museums, as well as at Pontefract Castle. The deadline for nominations is 5 pm on June 5, 2023.

In June, an expert panel will review the nominations and create a shortlist. Subsequently, undercover family judges will visit each shortlisted museum, evaluating them based on how well they meet the Kids in Museums Manifesto. These experiences will ultimately determine the winners of the award, with the announcement set to take place at an awards ceremony in October 2023.

For more information on the Family Friendly Museum Award and to stay updated, please visit the Kids in Museums website at www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk/awards.