A staple for tourists and Londoners alike, the BM is a magnificent resource filled with treasures from all over the world and several points in history but it can also be overwhelming and crowded. Whether you want to navigate the crowds efficiently, learn more about displayed artefacts or be directed straight to the highlights to maximise your time, a tour with one of our British Museum Experts is for you.
The RiddleboxTM Tour
(The Great British Museum Adventure)
How do you navigate the British Museum’s crowds with ease, keep children interested and learn new things yourselves?
Families, prepare for a swashbuckling expedition in one of the world’s greatest museums. Children will be presented with a multi-layered RiddleboxTM.
Legend has it that the box has been passed down from Sir Hans Sloane, the 18th century founder of the British Museum (and inventor of Hot Chocolate!). It is the family’s job to unlock the secrets of this cryptic object by solving its riddles as the tour unfolds, in search of Sir Hans Sloane’s hidden reward. Equipped with the RiddleboxTM and an explorer’s toolkit provided by your Arts Unlocked Expert, the family will embark on a mission to extract crucial information from the artefacts on display like archaeologists at an exciting dig, unlocking the museum’s ancient worlds. Once the mission is completed, children and parents will have gained further knowledge of ancient history and the particulars of the British Museum’s collection.
(Areas covered: Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome and Ancient Britain. Price: £250 per group, Duration: 2hrs - 2hrs 30mins, recommended age range for children: 6-16 years)
Victoria and Albert Museum
Arguably the most famous decorative arts museum in the world, the V&A boasts 6 miles of gallery space with art and design from all continents and many periods of history. The common mistake of the first time tourist is to miss the V&A because of its focus on designed objects rather than painting, but to London culture enthusiasts it is a staple. Commissioned as a labour of love by Queen Victoria herself, the very building is a work of art worth seeing on any trip to London. Our V&A experts have studied and worked within the museum, most often on its joint Design History MA and PhD programmes with the Royal College of Art.
Down the Rabbit Hole at the V&A
The Victoria & Albert Museum is a treasure trove of objects to ignite the young imagination. We love this museum because children are invited to touch and play - to try costumes, to make rubbings of old coins: to learn about times gone by through immersion. This family tour of the V&A is a Wonderland-type experience. First you will be taken to the farthest reaches of the museum. Then, with a map and a series of cryptic riddles, you will try to find the way out of the maze that is the V&A; with a knowledgeable and child-focused Arts Unlocked Expert to guide the way. Step through the looking glass as your children are led through each of the museum’s many worlds. Watch them learn about art, design and history through active play, and play along yourself.
(Price: £250 per group, Duration: 2.5hrs, recommended age range: 4-13yrs)
Mini Masters' Learning and Drawing Tour
How better to teach young ones about art than to have them draw in the National Gallery with a professional artist? The Mini Masters' Tour gets families delving beyond the frames of the Gallery's most beautiful paintings, telling the stories of their creation and ensuring that children never forget the masterpieces they have seen. They will be inspired to draw like Da Vinci, see the world through the eyes of Renoir and think like Holbein for a day. Bringing history and art to life is the aim, and this tour gets the whole family involved in the wonders of the National Gallery.
(Price 270 per group, Duration 3 hours)
National Portrait Gallery
The favourite gallery of Princess Katherine Duchess of Cambridge, this gem is often mistaken for the National Gallery or overlooked. It is, however, the only London gallery in which works of art have been chosen not for the fame of the artist, but rather for the importance of the sitter. As such, the NPG is a place of stories, from the lives of Henry VIII to Sir Paul McCartney. An Arts Unlocked tour also yields less well-known stories about the paintings themselves and their interesting histories. Many of our Experts have worked, and still work at the NPG, so there is nobody better to show you around!
A Right Royal History Hunt
For children who love stories, the characters in the portraits are brought to life by our family Experts, this hunt for the mystery king or queen. Each painting’s sitter leads the family to the next through a series of ‘who am I?’ questions. There is a character to inspire every child; a walk through the National Portrait Gallery is one of the best ways for the whole family to learn about important characters from history and their sometimes forgotten histories. The History Hunt is a game, leading to a right royal prize at the end.
(Price £250 per group, Duration: 2.5hrs Age range)