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Look out for the family fun at People’s History Museum this autumn

28 September 2020

Opening hours Tuesday to Sunday, 10.00am to 5.00pm

Mr Ordinary's Prize bedtime story, My First Protest Song and Where's Wally at People's History Museum

Families visiting People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester this autumn will need to be eagle-eyed with a whole host of new activities to discover.  A new self-guided I Spy quiz and Where’s Wally? to spot are just some of the activities taking place in the museum, with lots also to do for for those who want to enjoy a virtual experience.

Launching for October half term, I Spy is a new self-guided quiz; a fun way for first time visitors to explore the galleries, or for those that have visited before to experience their visit differently. There are 16 treasures to find; some are artefacts and, for the really sharp-sighted, some are interesting details or parts of an artifact.  You could bring your binoculars or a magnifying glass for some close ups!  There are two galleries to explore full of a collection that represent the ideas of those that have fought for representation and rights over the last 200 years; from the Peterloo Massacre to events in recent weeks.

Visitors will need to be even more vigilant, with the launch of Where’s Wally? Spooky Museum Search! From Friday 9 October (until Sunday 1 November) to celebrate the release of the new Where’s Wally? book, Spooky Spotlight Search, visitors are being challenged to find illusive children’s character Wally.  Infamous for his red and white striped attire and glasses, Wally will be hiding somewhere in the main galleries.  This amusing half term activity is organised by Kids in Museums and Walker Books, with copies of the new book available to purchase in the museum shop.  Find out more about the event.

The museum shop is packed full of creative products inspired by PHM’s collection, including pocket money friendly fun ideas, books, art and gifts.  In recognition of the inclusive approach taken towards children’s products, People’s History Museum has once again been awarded the Let Toys Be Toys “Toymark” Good Practice Award for 2020.

Liz Thorpe, Learning Officer at People’s History Museum, says, “Whilst we have had to change some of the experiences that we offer at the museum, families will find their time with us just as engaging and fun as ever before. New activities in the main galleries have been added to encourage our young visitors to use their imaginations, to move and shake around whilst learning about the people who have shaped our democracy.”

For those looking for an interactive experience they can enjoy from home, the team at this award winning, Family Friendly museum have created imaginative ways to involve younger visitors.

The creative focus of October’s Doodle Den – online is the Dagenham Ford sewing machinists strike and Equal Pay Act commemorative plate (around 1984).  It is timely that this piece has been chosen to inspire families in their scribbling and sketching because 1 October will be the 10th anniversary of the Equality Act 2010.

Doodle Den is all about creating your own den, whether from a pile of cushions or by repurposing the kitchen table, and with pencil in hand taking part in some doodle challenges.  You can find all the Doodle Challenges via the museum’s website, other topics featured include the environment, Peterloo and the Grunwick strike.

My First Protest Song takes place at 11.00am to 11.40am on Thursday 8 October, Saturday 7 November and Thursday 3 December live streamed on Facebook.  This has become one of PHM’s most popular online features.  Designed to entertain under 3s and their families, My First Protest Song is a light-hearted introduction to toe tapping tunes from times of change, which are sung by singer-songwriter Matt Hill.  Accompany Matt on his guitar with a shake, drum or whatever you can find or invent.  Find out how to take part.

Taking place for the first time as an online bedtime activity is Bedtime story: Mr Ordinary’s Prize, with under 5s and their adults invited to join in this multi-sensory story session.  Mr Ordinary’s Prize is an illustrated book published by People’s History Museum that tells of the rather extraordinary adventure that Mr Ordinary goes on and the lessons he learns about Manchester’s Coat of Arms.  The session will be live-streamed on Facebook on Thursday 19 November from 6.00pm to 6.30pm, giving children the chance to get ready for bed first.  Find out how to join in.

People’s History Museum’s opening hours are currently Tuesday to Sunday, 10.00am to 5.00pm.  You can register to visit via the museum’s website, with free entry and a suggested donation of £5, or register when you arrive.  Donations are also welcome towards all of the online activities PHM is offering.  For further information visit and to keep in touch you can sign up to the e-newsletter, subscribe to the blog, or follow the museum on social media on Twitter @PHMMcr, Facebook @PHMMcr, and Instagram @phmmcr.


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A selection of images can be found here:


About People’s History Museum (PHM)

People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester is the national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future.  The museum provides opportunities for all people to learn about, be inspired by and get involved in ideas worth fighting for; ideas such as equality, social justice, co-operation, and a fair world for all.  PHM offers a powerful programme with annual themes; 2018 looked at representation and commemorated 100 years since the first women and all men won the right to vote in Britain, in 2019 the focus was on protest to mark the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, the extended programme for 2020/2021 is on the theme of migration and 2022 will explore disabled people’s rights and activism.  Previous winner of Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award.

We are hugely grateful for the generosity of our funders who have supported PHM during our period of closure and to reopen safely:

Arts Council England, Granada Foundation, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Manchester City Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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 body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives.  ACE support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.  Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us.  In short, it makes life better.  Between 2018 and 2022, ACE will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from The National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.


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