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The UK’s First Museum Designed by and for Kids

The Summer Holidays Gods have come up trumps, with the forthcoming Young V&A opening on 1 July, just in time for the long school break.

The former Museum of Childhood has had a three-year transformation - the biggest in its 150-year history - into the UK’s first museum designed by and for 0-14 year olds.

The Bethnal Green cultural destination will be FREE (woo) and packed with interactive and hands-on activities for kids and families.

Highlights of the £13m revamp will include colourful, sensory playscapes, including a finger skateboard park, an ‘Imagination Playground’ construction zone, a performance and storytelling stage and sandpit.

With a mission to inspire the next generation of creatives, there will also be an open design studio, where children can learn from leading designers, as well as contemporary displays and a games design space for teens.

The museum has been shaped around childrens' interests to encourage playful learning and spark their imaginations. Three galleries, Play, Imagine and Design, will help children build the skills and creative confidence they need to thrive.

Inspiring, global stories of children’s creativity feature alongside 2,000 highlights from the V&A’s art, design and performance collections, from Hokusai to Keith Haring, Micro Scooter to Minecraft, Superheroes and the Surrealists

There will be additional, non-permanent exhibitions opening at a later date, which will be ticketed – the first being Japan: Myths to Manga, opening 14 October, and featuring Studio Ghibli, Pokémon and manga-inspired fashion.

Dr Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A, said: "Children and young people have been disproportionally affected by the pandemic and its aftermath, alongside the dramatic fall in creative education in schools. Young V&A is our response: a flagship project investing in creativity with and for young people and their futures... Our plan is to foster Britain's next generation of artists, thinkers, makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs.”

A free children’s museum where the rule is “DO touch”… count us massively in.

Young V&A opens Saturday 1 July 2023. Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PA. General Museum Access: FREE

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