For parents planning activities for their children during the summer holiday activities, little can be more exciting than the new £13m redevelopment of the V&A Museum of Childhood (now called the Young V&A), which will open on Saturday 1st July, 2023. Hot off the heels of the National Portrait Gallery redevelopment, this promises to provide no end of entertainment and inspiration for kids from toddlers up to age 14. Like a new Pixar film, this is one activity “for the kids” that adults will be looking forward to almost as much themselves.
What Is The Young V&A?
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Co-designed with children and young people, the Young V&A is a free, national museum designed to showcase the power of creativity in children’s lives as they build new skills and develop creativity. Formerly called The Museum of Childhood, the rebranding and redevelopment coincides with its 150th anniversary, which it celebrated in 2022.
The new museum will be focusing on bringing children an interactive experience. Audiences can look forward to sensory playscapes, a finger skateboard park, an ‘Imagination Playground’ construction zone, a performance and story-telling stage, and an open design studio for children and young people.
What Can Visitors Expect From The Transformation?
The museum’s three permanent galleries – Imagine, Play and Design – will showcase around 2,000 objects from across the V&A’s vast collection of art, design and performance in surprising and inspiring ways. Highlights include a sensory environment for pre-walkers in the Play Gallery, alongside a range of new commissions, co-designed and co-curated projects and live programming.
More new features include an interactive Minecraft installation in the Play Gallery’s game design space ‘The Arcade’, new murals by street artist Mark Malarko, and innovative creations by young people made for Raspberry Pi’s Coolest Projects competition. Young voices are also featured in This is Me, a co-curated display within the Imagine Gallery. Here, Rehan Jamil’s portraits of local young people captured at Oxford House community arts centre during the Reinvent Festival are set alongside self-portraits by leading creatives from Chila Kumari Singh Burman to Quentin Blake, Kenneth Branagh, Dapo Adeola, and Linda McCartney.
If there wasn’t already enough reason to go to the Young V&A this summer, the museum is also hosting a summer festival on the 8th and 9th of July, bringing together local artists, designers and performers for a weekend of family-friendly creative activity.
How: Entry is free from Saturday, July 1st, 2023
Where: Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green
Website: Young V&A