'Tis the season for adventure - Christmas family fun
Looking for things to do with kids during the Christmas holidays?
- December Family Fun Weekend: I Saw Three Ships (Cutty Sark, 6-7 Dec) - create a Christmas harbour scene
- Woolly Jumpers (Cutty Sark, 29-30 Dec) - boing and bounce a fluffy woollen sheep
- Bath-Toy Buoys* (FREE - National Maritime Museum, 22, 23, 27-30 Dec, 1 Jan) - create a colourful bath-toy to take home
- The Lighthouse Keeper* (FREE - National Maritime Museum, 22, 23, 27-30 Dec, 1 Jan) - what would you need to live on a lighthouse at this festive time of year?
*accessible for children or adult carers who are blind or partially sighted.
Family-friendly events throughout the year
Our regular events for families include Explore Saturdays, Discover Sundays and Play Tuesdays at the National Maritime Museum and Cutty Sark Family Fun weekends the first weekend of every month (admission charges to the ship apply).
We also put on special events to celebrate Diwali, Chinese New Year and Halloween, as well as our annual Pirate Party.
The Children's Gallery and Ship Simulator
Come aboard and visit the newly refurbished Children’s Gallery at the National Maritime Museum. Load cargo in the port and explore our ship Seahorse. You can help prepare food in the ship’s galley and find out about the strange meals sailors ate on board. Fire a cannon and shoot down a dastardly pirate ship in our new interactive game.
Step aboard the Ship Simulator and discover the art of navigation and communication at sea. Become the captain of a ship and try your hand at manoeuvring into port using the state-of-the-art bridge simulator – but remember to bring your sea legs as it can get choppy!
Location: National Maritime Museum floor two.
Opening times: The Ship Simulator is open to families every weekend, on Tuesdays and during school holidays. The Children's gallery is temporarily closed 10.00–14.00 on weekdays (except Tuesdays) for pre-booked school group sessions.
Come aboard and explore the world's most famous sailing ship! Step into the shoes of Cutty Sark’s crew on the Main Deck where you can take the wheel and become the ship’s captain, climb into the bunks where sailors slept and try on a sou’wester to stay dry in storm. Don’t forget to look out for the pigs and chickens (sailor’s supper) too!
Below decks, you can try out some stinky sailor jobs, discover what the crew ate for dinner, and have a go at beating the Captain's fastest voyage from Australia in our popular steering game. Use your senses to find out about the cargoes Cutty Sark carried and learn how to safely load the ship with tea – if you look carefully, you might find some creatures hiding in the tea chests!
Underneath the ship, see if you can reach to touch the hull, look out for some colourful figureheads, or sit and relax in the Even Keel Café.
Come aboard for family fun the first weekend of each month and during school holidays.
Explore the ship with our free family trails which are available every day from the Welcome Desk. Why not use our Ship shapes trail to find the biggest circle on the ship? Or you may find some interesting creatures hiding on board with our Animal hunt trail.
Free entry for under-5s and Members
Members get free entry to all charged areas and exhibitions as well as to planetarium shows, plus discounts in our shops and cafés. Family Membership (2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult + 3 children) costs £75.00 annually. An additional Child with Family Membership is £10.00.
Our cafés have high chairs and will heat up baby milk, and both the National Maritime Museum and Cutty Sark have separate changing spaces and buggy parks. The National Maritime Museum also has separate feeding areas for mums with babies.
Park at the Museum - a number of spaces are available in our car park on Park Row at weekends and bank holidays. Charges apply. See full details
We're signed up to Kids in Museums, the voice for family museum visitors across Britain.
The Great Map
The Great Map brings the National Maritime Museum’s largest open space to life with a huge interactive world map. Walk across the map’s surface and use a touch-screen tablet to discover more about some of the most famous, infamous and exciting events in Britain’s maritime history. This multi-sensory, digital experience is especially suitable for families.