Plenty to Do at Woburn Heritage Centre

Woburn Heritage Centre

Armed with your new Museum Explorer passport, are you looking for a place to visit, now that the summer holidays are here? Why not give Woburn Heritage Centre museum a go? Don’t be fooled by our size! We may be a small museum, tucked away in the quiet picturesque village of Woburn, but we have plenty to entertain, educate and enlighten our visitors – of all ages!

Housed in Old St Mary’s church on Woburn’s main street, Bedford Street, Woburn Heritage Centre makes the most of its rich surroundings. The museum, full of fascinating displays and artefacts, the mapped graveyard with well over a thousand graves, and even the village itself, are all used in the quizzes, trails and worksheets on offer in the museum.

“The Woburn Backpack Trail” is an opportunity to find out more about the Georgian village of Woburn. For a £5 refundable deposit, our younger visitors can take out a backpack full of useful detective equipment, such as binoculars and a magnifying glass, and use them to discover fascinating facts about the village. (Perhaps accompanying adults might like to take a “Woburn Village Trail” leaflet and discover a few things for themselves.)

The recently mapped graveyard is a fascinating resource for children and adults alike. Our “Graveyard Detective” worksheet helps to focus children’s attention as they wander around the graves, some of which are hundreds of years old.

In the museum itself, there’s plenty to keep children amused. Our “Mouse Trail”, now in its second year, is very popular. Many adult visitors also enjoy taking part – even insisting on getting their certificates when they have successfully completed the trail! In addition, we have on offer quizzes called “Find the Face” and  “Museum I-Spy”, plus word searches, crosswords and colouring activities.

So – a trip to Woburn Heritage Centre is about as far removed from the image of stuffy, boring museums as you can get. It is a fun day out for all, with plenty to keep children of all ages interested, amused and occupied. And best of all – it is free!

Why not grab your Museum Explorer passport and come and find us at Old St. Mary’s Church, Bedford Street, Woburn? We have our passport stamp all ready.

Open April-October. Weekdays 2pm-4pm. Weekends and Bank Holidays 10am -5pm.

Summer Fun at Stotfold Watermill

Stotford Watermill

Now that Summer is really here, there is lots for young people to enjoy at Stotfold Watermill and Nature Reserve – from pond dipping to craft workshops, from grinding their own flour with a hand quern, to picnicking in the Nature Reserve and watching the creatures and plants that live there.  Young visitors can also follow the Milly Mouse Trail and discover the secrets of the Mill.  The season culminates in September with the Annual Haymaking Day, now in its third year.

One exciting new venture is the Mill’s participation in the Museum Passport scheme.  This aims to encourage visits to the Mill and to other museums in the area by showcasing the activities on offer.

Each child is given a passport at the first museum they visit, with a special stamp.  Every time they visit one of the museums on the list, or take part in one of the Children’s Challenges, they get another stamp. They can do as many challenges as they wish at each place!  And, once all the challenges have been completed, your child will get a special certificate recording the achievement.

So, come along with your children, to pick up a free passport and find out more about Summer fun for kids of all ages, in Stotfold and across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex.

Details of events at Stotfold Watermill and Nature Reserve:

  • Pond dipping in the Nature Reserve, Wednesday, 5th August, Session 1: 10-12 am; Session 2: 2-4 pm. 

Find out about the exciting creatures that live in our ponds.  All equipment provided.  Suitable for children over 5, who must be accompanied by an adult at all times.  FREE, but must be pre-booked. 

  • Arts and Crafts Day, Tuesday 18th August, 10-4 pm

Create beautiful and ingenious art and craft items under expert guidance. Session 1: 10-12 am; Session 2:  2-4 pm  Pre-booking essential.  Cost: £2 per child.

  • Make hay while the sun shines.Saturday 26th September, 1-4 pm

Enjoy the traditional country craft of hay raking and making haystacks in the Nature Reserve. Come along earlier and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy before you start.  Suitable for children over 7, who must be accompanied by an adult at all times.  Suitable clothing and footwear required and bring a rake, if possible.  Free admission.

***Book via or by telephoning 01462 734541 (answerphone).

Summer activities at the British Schools Museum, Hitchin

Victorians at the British Schools Museum

There is lots to see and do at the British Schools Museum this summer. In addition to our historic classrooms, late Victorian style Headmaster’s house, sampler collection and permanent exhibitions we have two new exhibitions, children’s discovery days and the chance to experience a Victorian lesson in the Gallery classroom.

  • Victorian lessons: First Sunday of the month 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Booking recommended.
  • Family Fun: Third Saturday of the month except August. Drop in during regular opening hours (10am – 1pm). 18th July 2015 – Toys and Games. 19th September 2015 – Teach your parents.
  • 100 years of Ladybird: 21st July – 24th November 2015.

We will be celebrating 100 years of Ladybird books with an exhibition about these colourful classics. With over 200 Ladybird books in the museum’s collection you can explore a range of titles including Bunnikin’s Picnic Party, What to Look for in Summer, and the iconic Key Words Reading Scheme.

  • Doctor Who at the Museum: 15th – 23rd August 2015

The Doctor and a DalekOur visitors are used to travelling back in time but, this year, time travel will know no bounds as Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels and more take over the Museum for a week. Special opening times and admission prices apply.

Monday to Saturday 10am to 2pm (Last entry 1.30pm), Sundays 2pm to 5pm (Last entry 4.30pm)

Entrance is just £2 for all ages that means toddlers, teens, parents and grandparents. Please note that the rest of the Museum will not be open during this exhibition and there is no parking available on site.


  • Children’s Discovery Days 2015

Family activities at the British Schools MuseumWe will be open every Wednesday during the school holidays except the 19th August for Children’s Discovery Days. Drop in between 11am and 3pm with last admission 2pm.

– Wednesday 22nd July – Ladybird Larks (100 years of Ladybird books)

– Wednesday 29th July – Paper Play

– Wednesday 5th August – Educating Teddy

– Wednesday 12th August – Crafty Capers

There is no Children’s Discovery Day on Wednesday 19th August but why not Visit our Dr Who exhibition?

– Wednesday 26th August – Be Creative with Science

Cost is £3.50 for children aged 4 and above. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult, but adult admission is free. Children’s Discovery Days take place in the Monitorial Schoolroom. Please note the museum is only open for the children’s activities on these days, not for regular museum visits.

The British Schools Museum is open Tuesday 10am – 4pm, Saturday 10am – 1pm and Sunday 2pm – 5pm except during the Dr Who exhibition. Please see website for additional information and entry process.

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Strike a Pose!

Essex Police Museum

Dressing-up at Essex Police Museum

At Museum Explorer, we love photographs. When you’re visiting museums over the summer they can capture the fun of family day out, show off your children’s artistic talent as they work on a masterpiece in a workshop or you can work together to recreate scenes in paintings or poses of statues*.

Photographs are a great way for families to be creative together. We would love to see any snaps, Vines or other images and films you take while visiting our museums over the summer, especially if you include your passport in the picture.

What will we do with your photos? We may share them here on our website, on Twitter, Facebook and in our future publicity. Full details are available here

Sharing your pictures with us is easy. Simply tweet them to @explorerpass, post them on our Facebook page or send them over in an email.

*Please be aware that some museums may not allow photography inside their galleries due to conservation or security issues. We ask you respect their rules during your visit.

Essex Museums

Nine Essex museums in five towns are taking part in Museum Explorer this summer. Their collections cover the Iron Age to the present day and are housed in a wide variety of buildings including a Norman castle, an Eighteenth Century  manor house and the county’s police headquarters.


Barleylands Farm ParkBarleylands is filled with fun things to see and do. The Discovery Barn offers an informative journey of your food from field to fork. It links the past and present, houses wonderful vintage machinery including a fabulous steam traction engine and fun interactive displays and period clothes in their dressing up area.

There’s also cute and friendly animals in the Farm Park, slightly less fluffy ones in the reptile house, indoor and outdoor adventure play areas to enjoy and a craft village to shop in.


Based in the former Manor Street School, Braintree Museum charts the history of the town from the prehistoric era up to the 21st century, including local archaeology, industry and craftsmanship. There is also a Victorian classroom, where you can experience what schooling was like in the past and the John Ray Gallery celebrating the work the “Father of Natural History”.


Chelmsford MuseumChelmsford Museum and The Essex Regiment Museum sit at the heart of Oaklands Park in Chelmsford. With a variety of events and activities taking place through-out the year, there is something for all the family to enjoy. You can explore the history of Chelmsford from the Ice Age to the present day, watch busy bees inside their hive and see pottery by local artists including Grayson Perry.


Recently re-opened after a major re-display project, Colchester Castle boasts a wide range of interactive exhibits including opportunities to steer a Roman chariot around a race track, building a Norman archway or watching the spectacular ‘sol et lumière’ projection on the east wall. The building itself is a fascinating time-capsule – take a tour down in to the Roman foundations of this Norman castle and discover graffiti from when it was used as a World War 2 air-raid shelter.



Colchester Natural History MuseumThe Natural History Museum is a fascinating chance to get closer to nature and find out about wildlife habitats, biodiversity and climate change.

Did you know that there was an earthquake in Colchester in 1884? Or that mammoths and hippos used to roam this area? Discover more about open salt marshes, beaches and the creatures that lurk beneath your feet. Crawl through the badger sett, stroke the friendly fox and enjoy many hands-on activities.


Telling the story of local policing, from Victorian times to the present day, Essex Police Museum is a great place to visit with your family. You can step inside a Victorian cell, try on real police uniform, take your fingerprints, look through a 1914 charge book and learn about local historic crimes such as the death of Camille Holland, who was murdered for her money in 1898.


Harlow MuseumHarlow Museum tells the story of Harlow from Roman times, through the Middle Ages, the Tudors, Stuarts and Victorians up to the present day. Their new Living History Gallery shows how museums explore and explain history through archaeology, conservation work, displays and exhibitions.

You can explore the museum and the 16th Century walled gardens with a family-friendly trail and they host regular event and activities for children.


Hollytrees MuseumFollow the story around this beautiful Georgian building taking in domestic life and childhood in Colchester over the past 300 years.

Meet many different characters from the past and experience Colchester’s fascinating history. Discover what family life was life for the rich and the poor. Then be transported back to the days before washing machines to try out a dolly peg and dress up as a servant.

Experience the miniature world of the Hollytrees dolls house and find out about the origin of the famous nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – which was written in Colchester!


Hylands HouseSet in Hylands Park (home of the V Festival), Hylands House is a stunning Grade II* listed property, originally built in the 1730s. Down the centuries, the different owners all left their own mark on the architecture and in 2007, after a long period of neglect, it was opened to the public having been spectacularly restored to its former glory. Situated in 574 acres of historic landscaped parkland, there’s a café, picnic benches, a children’s play area and regular events for families to enjoy.