Museums in Somerset offer summer activities for families

Museums in Somerset offer summer activities for families

The South West Heritage Trust runs The Museum of Somerset in Taunton, Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury, Somerset Brick and Tile Museum in Bridgwater, and recently opened Avalon Archaeology on the Somerset Levels.

During the summer holidays, a host of great value-for-money events and activities are taking place at venues across the county.

The Museum of Somerset in Taunton

A new family-friendly exhibition opens at the Museum of Somerset from 15 July displaying artworks by Axel Scheffler – the UK’s number one bestselling illustrator.

Axel is the creative force behind some of the most instantly recognisable characters in children’s books – from The Gruffalo to Stick Man and beyond.

The exhibition displays work from throughout his career and gives an insight into Axel’s creative process.

Visitors will see original illustrations from The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Stick Man, the Pip and Posy series, and many more.

Each week of the holiday, themed activities will bring a different book to life.

Fire breathers will be at the museum for Zog the Dragon, farm animals will make an appearance for A Squash and a Squeeze, and experimental archaeologists will be demonstrating wood whittling for Stick Man.

Zog and The Gruffalo will also be making special appearances.

The Museum of Somerset is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm. Admission to the Museum and exhibition is FREE, with donations welcome. Drop-in activities are £2.00.

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Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury

At Somerset Rural Life Museum families pay once and can come back as many times as they like.

All the daily summer holiday activities are included, alongside a new exhibition by artists, titled ‘FLOW’.

There’s plenty to keep the family occupied all summer long, with the great value Museum Unlimited Annual Pass.

There will be a menagerie of animals to meet including donkeys, ponies, shire horses and birds of prey.

Artists will be delivering imaginative art workshops that explore Somerset’s coastal habitats and sea creatures.

There will also be play days exploring what life was like at the Victorian Abbey Farm.

Somerset Rural Life Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm. With Museum Unlimited visitors pay once and then visit for a whole year free of charge.

Adults £8.50/concessions £6.95/children £4.00/Under 5s FREE.

Somerset Brick and Tile Museum in Bridgwater

At Somerset Brick and Tile Museum there are lots of chances for young creatives to ‘play with clay’.

On select days potter Ella Phillips will be at the museum to give expert tuition to those wanting to try their hand at throwing a pot.

There will be a chance to model animals from clay, paint plant pots, and house tiles, learn different decorating techniques, and try clay and glass melt modelling. There’s also a special Lego® brick day.

Opening days vary – see website for details. Admission to the museum is FREE, activities range from £2.50 to £7.50 (booking required).

Avalon Archaeology at The Avalon Marshes Centre At the recently opened Avalon Archaeology visitors can explore replica historic buildings including a Saxon longhall and a Roman villa.

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Filled with handcrafted furniture and art, visitors can immerse themselves in thousands of years of local history.

A Viking trading vessel and the world’s oldest archaeological excavation hut can also be seen.

The site has been built by a dedicated group of volunteers and visitors can see the next reconstruction take shape as they build an Iron Age roundhouse.

There are some special family days planned for the summer holiday. On ‘Roman Day’ children can meet Marcus the Medicus and learn more about Roman health care.

At ‘Blast from the Past’ visitors can hear the sounds of the past recreated with replica instruments, with performances of the carnyx, cornice, and lyre.

Avalon Archaeology is open Sunday and Monday 10am to 4pm and Tuesdays 1pm to 4pm.

Admission entitles visitors to free re-entry until the end of the year. Adults £5.00/concessions £3.00/children £3.00/under 5s FREE.

For more information about all the sites run by the South West Heritage Trust and summer events visit

  • June 24, 2023