If you hear shouts of ‘house’, catch sight of a placard marching by or spot someone with binoculars around their neck, then you must have found yourself at People’s History Museum (PHM). This February half term (Saturday 10 February to Sunday 25 February), whether you fancy a game of Banner Bingo, following the Little suffragette trail or becoming a museum Twitcher, PHM is the place to be for Family Friendly fun.
Banner Bingo is a brilliant way to experience the new 2024 Banner Exhibition at PHM in all its colourful glory. There are 26 banners in all to take in, each hanging within the main galleries of the museum to share stories of inspiring changemakers, international causes and community collaboration. Chosen from the largest collection of political and trade union banners in the world, visitors will find out about significant historical anniversaries including 40 years since the 1984 to 1985 Miners’ Strike and the centenary of the first Labour Party government taking office, and issues including the environment, migration and workers’ rights. To participate, all you need to do is pick up a Banner Bingo playing card from the Info Desk, where a small prize will be waiting when you’ve finished the search.
Another activity flying in for February half term, that’s also designed for eagle-eyed visitors, is The Twitchers Museum Adventure. Organised by Kids in Museums and Walker Books, this Family Friendly activity celebrates the release of Feather, the latest book in the Twitchers Series from bestselling children’s author M G Leonard. Just as in the book, visitors will need to be on the lookout for some feathered friends around the galleries. These will appear on specially produced postcards perched around the galleries, but keep looking and you’ll also see birds on coins, badges and cartoons that are all part of the collection on display. There is a free Kids in Museums activity sheet to complete and a free Twitchers sticker for every young visitor.
Visitors are invited to take a walk through history by following the Little suffragettes trail, or for those over 12, the Radical women trail. The latter introduces history makers such as Mary Fildes, who was one of the speakers at Peterloo, Annie Beasant, a campaigner who wrote about the Match Girls’ Strike of 1888, and Jayaben Desai, who led the 1976 to 1978 Grunwick factory strike which became a key moment for anti-racism within the trade union movement. As part of the trails there are interactive exhibits and the chance to dress up as a suffragette for a suffragette selfie, complete with ‘votes for women!’ placard. Both trails are available from the Info Desk, priced £1.50 for the Radical women trail and £2.50 for the Little suffragettes trail, which includes a badge making kit.
Make Your Mark X Amnesty International
Wednesday 21 February
11.00am – 12.00pm; 1.00pm – 2.00pm; 2.00pm – 3.00pm
The team from Amnesty International will be running a block printing workshop at PHM throughout Wednesday 21 February, giving visitors the opportunity to design a t-shirt using block printing stamps designed by Extinction Rebellion to carry environmental messages. Pre-loved t-shirts will be available to print on, or you can bring along your own clothes or bags. This is a great way to creatively share a message and is a Family Friendly activity designed for children aged 5 to 12.
Tickets are free, but donations to the museum are encouraged. It is recommended to book in advance and all the booking details are here.
If you’ve worked up an appetite after all the exploring then a visit to Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar at PHM is the perfect accompaniment to your day. Not only is the menu Family Friendly – with choices including sandwiches, pasta and pizza priced from £3.50 – it is also ethically and locally sourced. For those who want to bring their own lunch there is a dedicated picnic space inside the museum.
February half term visitors will be the first to experience the museum following work that has taken place to improve accessibility, which includes a new Changing Places toilet, entrance way and digital signage. All of the work has been carried out following an access audit that was carried out by Manchester Disabled People’s Access Group.
From Thursday 1 February 2024 People’s History Museum’s opening hours are 10.00am to 5.00pm, every day except Tuesdays. Museum entry is free, with most visitors donating £10. To find out about visiting PHM, its full exhibitions and events programme visit phm.org.uk and you can keep up to date with the latest news by signing up to receive PHM’s e-newsletter.
A selection of images is available here:
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About People’s History Museum (PHM)
People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester is the UK’s national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future. Through an eclectic and colourful mix of historic and contemporary collections, featuring banners, badges, posters, photography and more, the museum celebrates the radical stories of people coming together to champion ideas worth fighting for.
Offering an engaging programme of exhibitions and events, collaborating with communities to create authentic content, the museum is Family Friendly throughout – inspiring the next generation to be active citizens.
People’s History Museum encourages visitors to be empowered by the past to make a change for the future. We are all together in the fight for a fairer world.
About Arts Council England (ACE)
PHM is an Arts Council England (ACE) National Portfolio Organisation (NPO). The work of PHM is supported using public funding by ACE, the national development agency for creativity and culture. ACE have set out their strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 they want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where every one of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. From 2023 to 2026 they will invest over £467million of public money from government and an estimated £250million from The National Lottery each year to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.