Visiting the British Museum as a family
Families with children of all ages can enjoy a range of activities during their visit to the British Museum. From learning to count on an Explorer trail to discovering the Egyptian afterlife on a Museum Mission, there’s something for everyone.
We’ve rounded up the top activities on offer at the Museum – helping you to decide how best to explore the world-famous collection and learn together as a family. All activities are completely free and available on our website.
For families who can’t visit us in person, we have lots of fun at-home activities – suitable for all energy levels, so you can burn off excitement as you bake ancient bread, or relax together and ponder over a puzzle sheet.
The Museum is accessible for parents bringing prams and buggies but these will need to remain with you during your visit, and baby changing facilities are available.
These free gallery activities will take your family on an adventure through human history. Use a phone or tablet to scan QR codes in select galleries and you’ll be able to take part in five different kinds of challenge:
- Find a variety of objects within the gallery
- Perform for a video, or use your phone or tablet to record your family
- Discuss an object, use your imagination and spark a lively debate
- Look closely at collection highlights to discover fascinating features
- Pose for a photo shoot alongside captivating objects
Choose from a range of missions – whizz through one or spend the day completing them all as you roam the Museum. It’s up to you.
Sponsored by Samsung
Museum explorer trails
With our Journey across Japan trail for ages 6+ you’ll discover both ancient and modern objects from a fascinating nation. Younger visitors can have fun with colours, shapes and patterns with our Colour and shape trail for 3–5 year-olds.
We’re not currently distributing paper copies of the trails in the Museum, so don’t forget to download and print them at home ahead of your visit.
While some of our galleries remain closed and the one-way route is in place, you can still have your pick of what part of human history to explore with a virtual trail.
Journey down the Nile in the Ancient Egypt trail and find out why this amazing river was so important to the Egyptians, or take a trip through thousands of years of British history with Ancient Britain. The Africa around the world trail will help you to discover how this vast continent has shaped the world, while budding classicists can find out how Greek life and art changed across thousands of years with the Ancient Greece trail.
Supported by the Helen Hamlyn Trust
12 objects to see with children
See highlights from the collection as you embark on a whistle-stop tour of the galleries. This fun and inspiring trail will take you on a journey through a host of incredible objects such as the Rosetta Stone, Japanese Samurai armour and the Sutton Hoo ship burial – perfect for families who want to get a taste of all the Museum has to offer.
Available for free on our website, just open the trail on your phone or tablet, and find the objects as you follow the one-way route around the Museum. Once you’ve completed this adventure, why not come back and try another of our object trails? There are options for all lengths of visit – ideal for attention spans short and long!
Roar like a lion in the Great Court or pose like a statue in the Greek and Roman sculpture gallery with our gallery activity sheets. These free sheets are full of fun tasks and activities to do as you explore the Museum.
The sheets can be accessed via a mobile device during your visit or, if you prefer paper copies, please print them at home ahead of your trip to the Museum.
Don’t forget to book
The Museum is free to enter, but you must book your visit in advance. Or check out our current special exhibitions – under-16s go free!
Can’t visit us in person?
There are plenty of ways to experience the Museum from home. Whether it be crafts, cooking, board games or books, why not try out some of these activities with your family?
Check out our list of recipes from ancient Greece and Rome. Prepare a hearty Sunday meal by trying out the delicious roast lamb, or more adventurous eaters can give honey-glazed prawns a go. For dessert, take your pick of Roman cheesecake – inspired by Cato – or sweets from the Greek island of Delos.
Those of you who have been perfecting your sourdough starter over the past year can expand your bakery skills with our 2,000-year-old bread recipe. Not to blow our own trumpet, but a Michelin-starred chef has verified it makes a ‘fantastic’ loaf.
Indulge your competitive streak as you try out weird and wonderful boardgames from history. Race around the track in the Royal Game of Ur (available from the Museum shop) – the oldest playable boardgame in the world – or be inspired by the beauty of mahjong tiles in this Chinese strategy-based game. (Hint: it’s not all that different to the card game rummy.)
Alternatively, why not stick to the traditional with a nice game of chess? The Museum shop also offers an incredible Lewis Chessmen replica set for anyone looking to upgrade their games cupboard.
For those seeking accessible at-home fun, or anyone who fancies a more relaxed rainy-day activity, we offer a range of resources on our website.
Get creative with a Nereid colouring sheet, test your thinking skills with a puzzle sheet, or even build your own sensory bin – a great way to learn and explore while engaging the senses. Fans of mythology can build their own Trojan horse or settle in to listen to the story of Odysseus.
Books, toys and games
Check out our online shop and discover games, toys, stationery and clothing all inspired by the collection. We also offer a broad variety of books for children – perfect for inspiring young minds and encouraging budding historians. Why not get crafty as you make your own Viking ship, or cuddle up with a British Museum bear?
Stay in touch
Keep up to date with family news and activities with our families newsletter.
The Museum welcomes home educators. For resources and information on school sessions and how to book, please see our website.