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Free activities to enjoy at Scotland's museums and galleries

By Kirsty Brown

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During lockdown many people are missing trips to their favourite museum and gallery, along with the hours of entertainment, time for reflection, and slices of cake these visits bring.

Whilst we may not be able to attend in person, many museum and gallery collections can be explored online through a wide range of free activities and events.

CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland Lucy Casot said: “Once again museums and galleries across Scotland have fallen silent without their visitors, community groups, volunteers, and school trips.

"Whilst their doors may be closed many of Scotland’s much-loved sites have created tours, events, and activities online, so that they can continue to welcome people remotely to enjoy their collections.

"With home learning a reality for many again we are proud that museums and galleries are playing an active part to support parents, teachers and carers with home schooling activities and learning.”

Take a look at what museums and galleries are providing online to entertain kids, support home learning, and brighten grey January days:

Explore Dundee’s History On Foot, Phone, And More: University of Dundee’s Museums and Galleries

Still keen to share their collections and activities but in other ways, the University of Dundee’s Museums and Galleries have pulled together a wide range of exciting resources to allow visitors to still enjoy what they have to offer.

This includes, self-guided walking tours of Dundee, live online events and videos, public art virtual tours (using Google Streetview), virtual exhibitions, colouring sheets for kids, art online, 3D online tour of the Zoology Museum, as well as access to blogs, talks and publications.

Interview Your Grandparents (or any other VIP): Shetland Museum and Archives

A fun way for children to learn about history first-hand thanks to Shetland Museum and Archives.

Call or video message grandparents, or a special person, and find out what life was like when they were young.

Answers can be recorded with an activity sheet available from Shetland Museum and Archives website.

Unlock Jacobite Secrets And Much More With Culture Perth and Kinross

Take the Jacobite Flexagon Challenge or let your imagination run wild and get creative with activities inspired by local heritage and culture.

Activities for kids of all ages can be found on the Culture Perth and Kinross Play website that explores their museum, archive and library collections through play, activities and challenges.

Delve Deep Into Scotland’s Past With Gairloch Museum’s Online Talks

Gairloch Museum are offering a series of online winter talks, starting off with Revealing Tantallon Castle – which will take place on Wednesday January 20 at 7.30pm.

Aberdeen Art Gallery
Aberdeen Art Gallery

Turner in January

Only ever exhibited in the month of January each year, National Galleries Scotland invites visitors to explore their collection of works by JMW Turner online, where you can also find out more about this great artist.

Get Creative With The Gallery of Modern Art

The Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) have collated lots of fun activities for the whole family on their blog, including art activity packs, online talks and collection musings – focusing on an individual work.

Take A Virtual Walk Through The Wonderful World of the Ladybird Book Artists: South Ayrshire Council's Museums and Galleries

South Ayrshire Council’s Museum and Gallery staff are sharing information and stories inspired by the South Ayrshire collections online and via social media, including a 360 degree video tour of the fascinating Ladybird Book Artist exhibition at Rozelle House, which is sure to bring back some childhood memories! Treasures from the South Ayrshire Council collection can also be explored on their website through videos and blogs.

Bake Roman Army Bread: Trimontium Museum

Trimontium Museum have put together Roman inspired activities suitable for P3-P7, including a fun and easy bread to make with kids and a Roman ‘marching’ sandal craft activity.

Museum At Home With Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum

Explore the wonderful collection at Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum with a wide range of activities and events for kids and adults.

These include audio descriptions of key artworks from the collection for those with a visual impairment, or anyone wanting a ‘closer look’, they contain detailed visual descriptions, historic references and background information.

Inspire kids with the BP Portrait Award 2020 and use the activity sheet to draw portraits.

Wee Wardlaws: Museums of the University of St Andrews

Wee Wardlaws Online helps your little one explore the world around them through museum objects, stories, songs, crafts and things to do and spot.

Join Caitlin as each week she helps you add something to your own personal Wee Wardlaw Museum at home and discover what it tells us about the world.

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