Step back in time: Living history museums for fun family days out

A family with a Victorian school teacher inside the Schoolroom

Travel through time and immerse yourself in the past at these living history museums across the UK.

Looking for activities for kids over the Easter holidays? Living history museums make great family days out and offer lots of fun things to do with the kids – plus, they have the added benefit of teaching you a thing or two about history, too.

All of the museums on this list offer immersive and educational experiences for all ages, with many featuring actors in period costume to truly bring history to life.

Whether you want to learn about traditional skills and crafts, interact with historical characters or gush at cute farm animals, all of these museums promise entertaining days out jam-packed with engaging activities for families.

Psst… with a National Art Pass, you’ll get great offers at every venue on this list, so don’t forget to pack yours. Taking young ones? Make sure to add Plus Kids to your Art Fund membership so you can enjoy great savings together.

Find a living history museum near you to visit with a National Art Pass

St Fagans National Museum of History

St Fagans National Museum of History

Discover the stories of people's everyday lives through time at St Fagans, one of the most popular heritage attractions in Wales. Explore more than 40 original historic houses and buildings from different time periods, including a Tudor merchant's house, an 18th-century woollen mill, a 1920s tailor's shop, and much more. Watch traditional craftspeople demonstrate skills in their workshops, from clog makers to blacksmiths, or see the baby lambs in their lambing shed.

Milestones, Hampshire’s museum of living history

Milestones Museum

Stroll along the cobbled streets lined with historic buildings, pop into the 1940s sweet shop, marvel at vintage cars or try your luck in the amusement arcades on the boardwalk at Milestones, Hampshire's museum of living history. Immerse yourself in local history from the Victorian age onwards to get a proper taste of what life was like in Hampshire way back when.

Ulster American Folk Park, Ulster Street

Ulster American Folk Park

Learn about life in rural Ulster and discover how thousands of local people embarked on the dangerous journey to North America during the 18th and 19th centuries. Climb aboard a replica of the Brig Union ship that emigrants travelled on, hear stories from the costumed guides, watch demonstrations of traditional craft making or taste popular Irish foods of the time. There's also a working farm with an array of animals, preserving local agricultural traditions.

Family walking along Canal Street at Blists Hill Victorian Town, Ironbridge

Blists Hill Victorian Town

Walk like a Victorian at Blists Hill Victorian Town and discover what life was like at the start of the 20th century. Some highlights include perusing the weird and wonderful remedies for your ailments on offer at the chemist, climbing aboard a train down to the mine or riding on traditional fairground rides. On your journey back in time you'll meet the town's residents, who are dressed in accurate period costume, who'll guide you through and demonstrate their crafts.

Heatherslaw Mill, Mark the miller

Heatherslaw Corn Mill

Experience the sights, sounds and smells of a traditional corn mill at Heatherslaw, where a mill has been operating for over 700 years, powered by the River Till. Watch the milling process from start to finish, learn how flour is produced and take some home for yourself. There's also a miller's cottage where you can dress up in Victorian outfits and play make believe.

Leicester Guildhall

Leicester Guildhall

Marvel at this Grade I listed guildhall, which boasts over 600 years of history, making it one of the oldest civic buildings in the country. Walk through the Great Hall and trace the steps of Richard III and, allegedly, William Shakespeare. Peek through the prison cell bars where notorious local pickpockets Crankie Gemmie and Emma Smith were held. In the Medieval Galleries, visitors are encouraged to pick a character, get into costume, and strut through the medieval town's streets.

National Mining Museum Scotland

National Mining Museum Scotland

This award-winning visitor attraction tells the fascinating story of the mining industry and is home to one of the finest surviving collieries in Europe, where over 120 pit ponies helped to produce 40 million tons of coal. Take a guided tour by an ex-miner to get an authentic experience of the atmosphere of working in the noisy mines.

IndividualTiana Clarke Please note this is an example card and not a reflection of the final product

The more you see, the more we do.

The National Art Pass lets you enjoy free entry to hundreds of museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, while raising money to support them.

Are your sure you want to leave checkout?