Disclosure: This post is a review in collaboration with Salford Museum & Art Gallery, our visit was complimentary, please see our disclosure policy for more information.
As a family, we love discovering new places to visit, especially if they are local to us. Salford Museum & Art Gallery recently invited us to review everything they had to offer, we love museums and galleries and find them a great way for the kids to learn about the world so we accepted their invitation.
Salford Museum & Art Gallery opened it’s doors to the public in 1850, it proudly offers a unique cultural experience with its Victorian gallery, social history collections and the re-creation of a typical northern Victorian street, Lark Hill PLace. There’s something for the whole family, from the amazing collection of art to the real sweetie shop at Lark Hill Place. There are also plenty of interactive activities throughout the museum to keep even the youngest of visitors interested.
On Sunday morning we set off for our visit, arriving at the museum for opening time. We parked right in front of the museum, there is a charge for parking but it’s quite reasonably priced for Manchester in my opinion.
Stepping inside we were impressed with how bright, open and welcoming the museum was. There was a friendly lady on reception who explained the layout of the museum, gave the kids a discovery trail to follow, she also told us the sweet shop at Lark Hill Place was open today much to the delight of the kids.
We started our adventure in the Victorian Gallery where we found the walls covered in beautiful paintings and the room full of sculptures, decorative art, and objects. The kids spotted a fun activity straight away, they could try on different hats and then try to spot people in the paintings sporting the same headwear. One of the friendly museum staff helped the kids to spot the hats in the paintings as well as sharing some fun facts about the paintings themselves.
Chris helped the kids fill in their discovery trails, he talked to them about the painting they had to find. We always try to complete the trails when we visit places like this as I think they are a really valuable learning tool for the kids. Us grown ups always learn so much from them too.
As we moved on to the next exhibition we noticed that the corridors were full of interesting things to look at too, we spotted some armor and some local artwork that was for sale. The museum has made brilliant use of all the available space I think.
We were able to see lots more local artists work in the North Gallery, the kids liked the mix of paintings, ceramics, and visual displays.
Next, we moved onto the very fun A-Z of Salford’s collection, the room was packed with such an eclectic mix of objects and art. The kids spotted the huge dolls house first, every room inside was intricately detailed they had never seen anything like that before. The kids were kept occupied by a fully packed activity station while Chris and I took some time exploring each section, we spotted some incredibly odd things like the dummy pictured below.
We moved on to Lark Hall Place next with much excitement, Daisy tried on some Victorian school dressing up costumes before we went in. Stepping into Lark Hill Place we were amazed, it felt like we had stepped back in time. The experience was so atmospheric, there were flickering gas lamps and the sound of children playing in the streets. The attention to detail was amazing, the shop windows displayed an array of authentic olde worlde items for sale. The street is cobbled and there are even horse-drawn carriages on display.
Of course, the kids loved the sweet shop where for a donation you can take away some old fashioned sweeties, what a treat. There were two lovely ladies inside who helped the kids choose, they even used scales to weigh out the goodies. Outside the sweet shop, the kids could have a go at measuring and wrapping some fruits and veggies themselves too.
After spending a couple of hours exploring the museum and galleries our tummies were rumbling. We headed to the cafe for lunch, we ordered delicious cheese and ham toasties and enjoyed them in the lovely relaxed atmosphere of the clean and bright surroundings. We chatted with the lovely lady running the cafe and she told us about the music exhibition that would soon be reopened, the kids would love it so we will definitely have to visit again soon.
Salford Museum & Art Gallery is free to visit but donations are always welcome. You can find out more information including opening times and how to get there on the museum’s website.
We had a great time and learned so many interesting things. I especially love that the museum is full of local history about Manchester’s people, industry and heritage. If you are local to Manchester and are looking for somewhere to visit I definitely recommend you give it a go.
What We Loved About Salford Museum & Art Gallery
- How family friendly the exhibition and galleries are.
- The interactive activities that are available for the kids.
- The discovery trail for kids.
- How friendly all the staff at the museum are.
- Lark Hill Place, it’s truly unique.
- The reasonable parking costs, currently £2.50 for 3 hours which is more than enough time to explore.
- The beautiful interiors, the ceilings in the galleries are amazing, don’t forget to look up.