The Vale & Downland Museum in Wantage was voted one of the top ten family museums in the country and I’m not surprised. I visited with my 5 and 7 year old for the first time on a cold and very wet day in February half term and we all had a fantastic time.
The museum was running a special event all around the Tudors and they did it incredibly well with a trail, demonstrations, arts and crafts and live music. We’ll definitely be back to try out another family friendly event.
The Vale & Downland museum tells the story of the Vale of White Horse, through fascinating rooms, set up to inspire and interest kids and grown ups too. Each themed room has hands on experiences as well as amazing artifacts behind glass.
The Saxon skeleton stopped us in our track and my kids were amazed by it. We read the information on the board and matched up the artifacts found with the skeleton.
It’s not just hands on experiences but smells too! Lift the flap and smell boxes brought to life what it would have smelt like in ‘Black Wantage’ with dirty laundry, wood smoke, urine and more (yes the wee wee smell did get a big laugh from my boys).
Each room is set up to inspire and bring the collections to life. Wander through market town, rest a while in a tram carriage, try out some brass rubbings or get up close to the fossils through the museum’s new macroscope.
From fossils to Formula One, the museum has it all!
Entry to the museum is free with donations gratefully received.
If you have time, you must make a stop at the cafe. With homemade cakes and some toys for the kids, it’s a great family friendly stop. Check out my review here.