Did you know how amazing Weston Park Museum is for a free day out with young children?
Weston Park Museum costs absolutely nothing to visit and is a fantastic hands on, interactive museum. There’s so much to discover, play with and do; from interactive galleries, free under 5’s sessions and story time to wonderful annual fayres, discovery days and play areas.
All About Weston Park Museum, Sheffield For Kids
Weston Park Museum is one of THE best free days out for families in Sheffield and perfect for a rainy day. Weston Park Museum is easy to find with a great location, has a park and a playground (in Crookes Valley Park) just next to it.
What’s more, inside the museum you’ll find a lovely cafe, indoor picnic room upstairs which is perfect for colder months, free children’s activity sessions and festivals
Weston Park Museum is situated within Weston Park, a lovely green space just 1 mile from the city centre. The park is good size for little feet because it’s not too big and is home to a duck pond, alongside a little bridge which we always play “find the trolls”!
Squirrels love Weston Park and they’re roaming all around, whatever the season so do look out for the friendly creatures. It’s lovely for a picnic and has some beautiful flowers in Spring/Summer and awesome crunchy leaves in autumn.
The park is all accessible with lovely landscaped paths and in Spring is home to the wonderful Weston Park Fayre; always popular with live music, stalls, entertainment, shows, vintage cars, food and drink and lots more.
Entry to the museum is always free. There is no excuse not to visit, especially if you have children. I don’t know anyone with children who doesn’t love this place, it’s a perfect space for little ones to explore on their own and you can be reassured it’s safe and clean.
Find the museum at: Weston Park Museum, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TP
All of the galleries are interactive and throughout the museum children can find little areas to learn and play with. We particularly love the woolly mammoth, animals in the What On Earth! gallery, cave tunnels, bug kitchens, igloo, Park Hill display, dress up, picnic set and the pirate boat.
The best thing about Weston Park Museum is how all the galleries are on the same floor so little children can explore on their own, going to and from different displays and rooms easily without having to go far. This keeps them going for longer and makes it way more interactive for them to just roam on their own.
What else can I do there with kids?
Friday Under 5’s Get Stuck In is a weekly session in term time followed by story time in the afternoon, especially for 0-5’s and completely free. Each week has a different theme and could be things like messy play, crafts, exploring objects or building.
The museum run many special events throughout the year, including discovery days which allow families to get involved in sessions run especially to encourage little ones to get up close to objects and specimens. Special school holiday activities are always available and usually at no extra charge so do check the website to find out more.
10 Things To Do & Find At Weston Park Museum:
- Find the Bollywood Cow
- Build an Igloo
- Come face to face with a dinosaur
- Sneak through the tunnel and find an animal
- Enjoy a picnic
- Stroke the big Wooly Mammoth!
- Dress up
- Listen to a story
- Pretend to sail a pirate ship
- Visit the current special exhibition
Bonus… why not stroke an alligator? 😉
The permanent displays at Weston Park Museum are:
Before Weston Park closed for restoration, visitors were asked to vote for their favourite object. Snowy the polar bear won. Children from local schools helped design a special place in the new museum for Snowy. Arctic World is a result of their ideas. It answers the questions the children asked about life in the North American Arctic. Say hello to Snowy, meet the polar bear cubs, and have a go at building your own mini igloo.
Sheffield Through The Ages
Joe Scarborough’s ambitious city panorama chronicles some of Sheffield’s iconic landmarks throughout the decades. Spanning an incredible 30 feet, the work took six years to complete and celebrates many familiar city sites, from the Tinsley Towers to the Town Hall.
The gallery illustrates the diversity of Sheffield’s cultural heritage, showcasing objects that have travelled many thousands of miles to the region. The exhibits on display have been developed by a group of young people who, along with local communities, have worked with Museums Sheffield to share the stories of these objects and look at how they found their way into the city’s collections.
Sheffield Life & Times
You’ll discover a true Sheffield icon, the original 1960s Cole Brothers sign, which finds a new home in the gallery as part of our focus on shopping in the city. New displays opening soon explore Sheffield’s sporting history, from cricket in the 1800s through to the Sheffield Roller Girls competing in the city today. We also fly the flag for protest in Sheffield with a display of 20th century posters representing causes from CND to Anti-Apartheid.
Beneath Your Feet
In Beneath Your Feet you can dig deep into 50,000 years of Sheffield history through over 500 objects. You’ll discover fearsome Anglo-Saxon weapons and hidden Roman treasure, and find out more about the incredible archaeological finds made in the region through a series of films and interactives.
What On Earth!
Explore the brand new additions joining Spike the Woolly Rhino and co. in the museum’s natural science showcase.
Spy birds and insects in their natural habitat from the comfort of the museum with our bird feeder telescope andfind out more about the plight of endangered species in our Going, going, gone display.
Picturing Sheffield is a real celebration of the city, featuring over 60 works presented in the immersive style of a traditional Victorian gallery. The new displays reflect the changing face of Sheffield, from its industrial origins and lost landmarks right through to the familiar views we recognise today.
I asked parents and carers what they loved about Weston Park Museum and this is what they had to say!…
Sharon… “My kids are weird and love the kitchen with all the bugs and pests to find in the household cupboards and spaces”
Tammy… “I like the Friday toddler morning sessions, the picnic room upstairs and the child friendly exhibits. We been many times but my 5 year old always enjoys it, the dressing up, the polar bear and the gift shop!”
Betty… “My daughter loves the hairy rhino, we just have to mention going to see him and shes getting her shoes on! She runs straight to find him every time we visit (well after a detour through the lovely shop that is!)”
Gemma… “Dropping the coins in the collection tubs to make the bell ring”
Natalie… “There’s an amazing exhibition about Sheffield history of protest on at the moment. Even in the more adult exhibitions there’s always something child friendly – they have a map made of badges and some inflatable dinos on display. And they have a suffragette snakes and ladders type board game as a rig with a huge dice”
Carole… “Having the picnic room upstairs makes it a great rainy day option. My daughter particularly loves the multicoloured cow and building the igloo”
Jenni.. “The dressing up clothes (esp the bumble bee!) and windows to the bird feeders over the park. Western Park Museum cafe was the first place I ventured out to with my newborn to meet my antenatal friends for much needed cake and chat and I love it now even more with my two year old.”
Rebecca… “My daughter likes all the interactive little play areas like the picnic basket & dressing up. She also likes that there’s paper & pencils in many areas so she can draw.”
Aalya… “The bollywood cow. Also the hairy rhino. My daughter loves it.”
Sarah… “Easy to let toddlers just roam (no breakables out). The giant bee is my little girls favourite model”
Terri… “Belle loves the iron age hut thing and the story boat bit, and snowy the polar bear. She also loves looking through the telescope at the bird feeders outside.”
Naomi… “We love the tunnel where you can peep at the animals.”
Angela… “We love the polar bears, building the igloo, posing with the elephant and the shop. We also love the picnic room especially because it’s got highchairs.”
Kirsty… “Finlay loves exploring and discovering. He notices something new everytime we go. It’s great that there are active things but also that he likes to just stand and stare at different pieces and ask questions.”
Cait… “It’s such a safe place to let my toddler roam free so I usually follow his lead as he runs from room to room. No steps or other places to particularly worry about so it’s a really enjoyable space whatever the weather. The park outside is lovely too & the cafe is very child friendly with plenty of high chairs”
Katy… “Lots of space for smalls to run about, and the animal area has so much at heights that toddlers can see. My son is also obsessed with the woolly rhino. The cafe is also reasonably priced with lots of high chairs and snack options for little people.”
Thank you to everyone in my community group who submitted their comments for this post and some wonderful photos to be added with it. 🙂
Weston Park Museum is open daily, entry is free but please donate!
Monday-Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday 11am – 4pm
Bank Holidays 10am – 5pm
Parking Tip (Thanks Laura!):
Qpark on Durham Rd: ask for a 25% discount voucher at the reception desk.