Derby museum is ‘top of the tots’ for family-friendly visits

Derby’s award-winning Museum of Making has picked up another top honour, this time winning a Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award 2022.

The Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill has already picked-up six industry awards since opening in May 2021 – and was only recently a finalist for the prestigious Art Fund Museum of the Year Award 2022, the world’s largest museum prize.

Now the innovative museum at Derby’s Silk Mill, within the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site, has won Best Medium Museum in this year’s Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award.

Run by the charity Kids in Museums, the award celebrates museums, galleries, historic homes or heritage sites in the UK that go the extra mile to provide a great experience for families.

Housed in a historic mill said to be the world’s first factory, and now home to a contemporary space marking 300 years of creativity and innovation, Derby’s popular visitor attraction has established itself as an inspirational new gateway to the ‘city of making’, as well as to the World Heritage Site.

Revealing the whole building to the public for the very first time, it displays over 30,000 objects, including the Rolls-Royce Eagle engine which powered the first transatlantic flight more than 100 years ago.

The city’s connection to manufacturing is also celebrated with the display of a Toyota Corolla car – but emphasising the Museum’s innovation, the vehicle looks a little different, deconstructed and ‘floating’ above visitors’ heads as they enter the building.

For this latest award, it competed against three other museums and clinched the win with family judges impressed by how all generations could get hands on and make together. The museum was also praised for working closely with its local community and providing great facilities, including discounted parking and a family friendly café.

Admission to the museum is free, and families are encouraged to be curious, learn together and to try their hands at making, whatever their ability, inspired by the museum’s vast collection of objects and stories.

Among family attractions is a programme of hands-on making activities, inspired by STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths), while the museum also offers special sessions for babies and tots to explore their senses and develop creativity and confidence through play.

It also hosts family workshops, drop-in events, on-gallery makes and maker encounters, as well as themed exhibitions, trails and tours, all aimed at supporting young people in the development of 21st century skills, including creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.

To find out more about the Museum of Making, visit

For tourist information about Derby, see

Photo: young makers get hands-on at the Museum of Making. [c] Derby Museums – Kate Lowe Photography