Milton Keynes Museum review
Visiting Milton Keynes Museum is a no-brainer – you pay once to get in and then you can go free for the rest of the year. Under fives are free. It’s a great option particularly when you don’t want to travel far and want to go somewhere indoors. We’ve been visiting since 2016 when my eldest son was three and my youngest was only one. Watch my video below to see some of the best bits and then scroll down for more info.
Where is Milton Keynes Museum and how much does it cost?
The address for Milton Keynes Museum is McConnell Dr, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5EL. At the time of writing in October 2019, it was £10 adult, £7 child and under 5s were free – they also do a family ticket for £30 which admits up to four children. Keep hold of your ticket – you can use it to get in free for the rest of the year including special events. You do pay extra to see Santa. In terms of opening hours – it does vary, essentially in the winter it’s 11am – 4.30pm weekends only, in the summer it’s Wednesday-Sunday and they do tend to open at half term. But I would urge you to check they’re open and their opening hours before travelling either by calling ahead or checking their website
What are the best things about Milton Keynes Museum?
Well for a start it’s almost all inside – so great for dreary weather days and most of it is hands-on. Unlike other museums where exhibits are behind glass, this is a place where children can really get a feel for most of the stuff in there which is so much more fun than simply looking at things you can’t touch. The volunteers really make this place. The museum has a handful of paid staff – the rest of the people you see there are volunteers who are giving up their free time. They’re extremely informative about everything that’s in the room that they are in showing children what things are and how they work. We’ve been to other museums where you easily walk past exhibits because you don’t know what they are – here it’s a different story and the children can learn so much. The biggest highlight for my children at Milton Keynes Museum is generally the telephone room. There are loads of phones which they get to use including some retro character ones from the eighties, a Dr Who Tardis and then can learn how to use a telephone exchange. I generally have to drag them away. The other thing is unlike a lot of places – this will appeal to all generations – so it’s a good place whatever your age, but it’s fairly compact in its design so you don’t have to walk very far to see the next thing.
What else is there to enjoy at Milton Keynes Museum?
There are several buildings to enjoy. Most people start by walking through the main house where there’s a living room and a music room, followed by an old school room and toy room. Some of the toys ARE behind glass – but you can play with quite a few of them and there’s a switch on the wall that turns on the miniature displays. What I would say though is on a really busy day these rooms can get quite crowded and you may end up walking around them – if that’s the case go back again on a quieter day – there’s always something new to find out. From there you go through to the kitchen where children can cook toast on a fire then on to the Victorian high street. On event days and other selected days they open up some of the little shops and you may be able to buy some old-fashioned sweets. There’s also a farm machinery area which I’d say is the bit where we spend the least amount of time and then on to the telephone gallery mentioned above. You then go outside and can cross the courtyard to the tea room which does sandwiches, drinks and cakes – it’s lovely. For my son’s 3rd birthday the cook made him a cake in an empty tuna tin! Or instead of going into the tea room you can head to the transport gallery. That’s fun – there’s various vehicles the children can climb on to including a canal boat, wagon and bus so we do spend some time in there. Another gallery has been built but it was being used for temporary events at the time we visited.
Any tips for going to Milton Keynes Museum?
Yes. There are a few things to see outside including the famous Milton Keynes concrete cows. There’a also an air raid shelter at the bottom of the Victorian garden – press the button to the noises. My sons weren’t that keen on it when they were younger so maybe have a look yourselves first if you have toddlers. There’s also a little room with old toilets in near it. It terms of when to go – it’s up to you really but I’d say definitely go when they have their ‘Victorian Christmas’ event on as it sometimes snows in the indoor high street, they often have carol singers or bell ringers, and you get free mulled wine and chestnuts. They also have themed events on throughout the year like an organ festival and 1940s weekend so look out for those. Or if you prefer it quieter pick a low key day outside of the school holidays. If you want to save money you can take a picnic although if the weather’s dreary then there isn’t an indoor picnic area. It’s free to park and you can pay for your entry by card.
Anything I’d improve about Milton Keynes Museum?
My children aged six and four love it – and we’ve been a lot. Some of the information on their website is quite outdated now and there are a lot of old photos – it could do with a revamp – but I wouldn’t let that phase you in terms of deciding whether to go – you just need to take my word for it. Although it’s not modern like some museums and doesn’t use computers or interactive displays to illustrate displays – it’s a really charming place and the volunteers who speak to the children are the best thing about it. I would say that sometimes I think there is a lack of consistency with what we might experience going – and what you might experience – so it’s worth managing your expectations. For example the last time my children went they spent loads of time with the cobbler – but that’s the first time they’ve seen him since we’ve been going. In 2018 we went at Christmas and there was snow in the indoor high street which was brilliant – but other people went another day and said it wasn’t on – I imagine it’s down to who’s volunteering on the day. Anyway it’s definitely worth going because it’s such good value for money. I’d say children aged three up will get the most out of it.
I'm Laura, mum of a 6 year old and a 4 year old. I've spent the last year on maternity leave creating this blog. It's a hobby and I do it all late at night once the little boys are sleeping. I hope you find it useful. Do drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to contact me. Don't forget to follow all of our latest adventures on facebook, instagram and twitter and have a look at all of the videos of the places we visit on my Milton Keynes Kids YouTube Channel - subscribe to it for notifications every time I add a new place.