Visiting as a Childminding Group

Looking for activities as a childminding group? The National Maritime Museum has something for everyone, no matter the ages or size of your group.

There's plenty to do at the National Maritime Museum, every day of the week, during term-time or the school holidays, if you are bringing a childminding group for a day out.

Children's Galleries

The National Maritime Museum has two children's galleries.

Ahoy! children's gallery is suitable for under 7s and is open daily. Polar exploration, pirates and a host of other maritime themes are brought to life in this playful and immersive gallery. Stoke the boiler of a steamship, buy and sell fish in the marketplace, and make new friends in the interactive boatyard. AHOY! Children’s Gallery is ticketed during weekends and school holidays to improve the visitor experience of this extremely popular gallery. Entry is free with no ticketed entry during weekdays in term-time.

The All Hands children's gallery ois suitable for aged 6-12 and is free to attend daily. Explore maritime skills and technologies past and present in our hands-on gallery for older children. Fire a cannon and shoot down a dastardly pirate ship in our brilliant interactive game. Load cargo in the port and explore our ship Seahorse. Help prepare food in the ship’s galley and find out about the strange meals sailors ate on board.

We also recommed a visit to the Sea Things gallery. This gallery is a hands-on space where your group can encounter personal stories of maritime, world and social histories through surprising objects and interactive exhibits.

Self-led resources

Childminding groups are encouraged to make use of the trails and backpacks available from the Play and Explore trolley on the Great Map.

Trails are available daily and there is something for everyone! We have a number trails that explore different galleries, encouraging curiosity in all ages and abilities.

Groups can also borrow a backpack during their visit. There are two backpack types available from the Play and Explore trolley on the Great Map. Pick up Nautical Navigators, suitable for ages 7+, and discover how people have navigated their way through precarious waters across time and different cultures. Altneratively, make use of the Sensory Explorer backpack, suited to those with special educational needs and disabilities and for under 5s. Explore the galleries using touch, smell, sight and your hearing to experience a new Museum journey.

Find out more about trails

The Great Map

Discover the Great Map at the centre of the National Maritime Museum, a giant atlas from which you can explore the world and our collections and play interactive games - no matter what age you are. And it's all free!

  • Walk across the map’s surface and use a touch-screen tablet to uncover stories of female pirates, Scott’s Antarctic expedition and more.
  • Understand from live data the currents and winds that drive vessels and people across the world’s oceans and seas.
  • Become the Great Map’s Greatest Explorer. Take one of our tablets, name your ship and set sail for distant lands.
  • Catch one of the modern ship models as they voyage across the Great Map.

Find out more

Childminding groups should note that due to adult:child ratios, the National Maritime Museum is unable to accomodate groups in family workshops at weekends and school holidays.