Imperial War Museums lines up Easter holiday family activities


04-02-2020

Imperial War Museums (IWM) has announced its schedule of family activities for the Easter holiday. Families can discover the science behind keeping HMS Belfast shipshape, learn how to build the perfect cockpit at IWM Duxford, and speak to eyewitnesses to conflict at IWM North and IWM London.

Across IWM branches

We Were There: Meet Veterans and Eyewitnesses
IWM North Tuesdays & Thursdays (7 to 16 April), 11am–3pm
IWM London Tuesdays & Thursdays (7 to 16 April), 11am–1pm
HMS Belfast Wednesdays (8 & 15 April), 11am–3pm
IWM Duxford Thursdays (9 & 16 April), 11am–3pm

Free (included in price of admission at HMS Belfast and IWM Duxford), drop-in
This Easter holiday, visitors will have a very special opportunity to meet war veterans and eyewitnesses, including those who lived through the Second World War, the Cold War and the Korean and Falkland Wars, to hear their personal stories of conflict. On selected days in April, veterans will recount tales of their wartime life, giving visitors first-hand insights into the impact of war on people’s lives. Please note that due to the unique nature of this event, eyewitness availability may vary.

Documentary Challenge
IWM London, IWM North, IWM Duxford
Daily

Free, (included in price of admission at IWM Duxford), drop-in                           
Visitors can make and feature in their own mini-documentary, choosing which stories are too important to be kept inside the museum. This hands-on activity gives visitors the chance to have their say and share stories ranging from spies to bomb shelters and from refugees to ration books. Documentary filmmakers at SMASH TV will guide families in creating their documentary which will be available to download afterwards. No booking is necessary. Last start time 4.30pm at IWM London and IWM North, 4pm at IWM Duxford.  Created by Non Zero One for Imperial War Museums.

IWM Duxford

Cockpit Control
Friday to Sundays (3 to 19 April), 11am–3pm

Free (included in price of admission), drop-in
Visitors to IWM Duxford this Easter can find out how to solve one of the greatest aviation problems: how to build a cockpit fit for a pilot. Following in the footsteps of pioneering US Air Forces engineers after the Second World War, families will find out through experiments and investigations whether the perfect cockpit exists.

Family Mission: D-Day Edition
Daily (2 to 19 April), 10am–2pm

Free (included in price of admission at IWM Duxford), drop-in
Families are invited to pick up a Jump Bag at IWM Duxford and learn more about the paratroopers who served on D-Day back in 1944. Teams will work together to spot a Spitfire from just its sound, and perfect how to land safely. Created in partnership with KIT Theatre and Kirsty Harris, this interactive storytelling experience is based on personal stories from those took part in the biggest invasion in history.

Aeroplane Investigators
Tuesdays (7 & 14 April), 11am–3pm

Free (included in price of admission), drop-in
IWM Duxford is offering aeroplane fanatics the chance to assist in keeping its iconic aircraft in tip-top condition. Families are invited to get hands-on this Easter holiday, and learn how IWM Duxford conservators look after aeroplanes, from famous Second World War classics to IWM Duxford’s one-of-a-kind Cold War aircraft: the Victor. Visitors can get up close and search for the microscopic forces burrowing into pilot seats, use specialist tools to care for original objects, and see how the museum conserves its historic aircraft.

Flight Academy
Mondays & Wednesdays (6-15 April), 11am–3pm

Free (included in price of admission), drop-in
Families are invited to join IWM Duxford’s Flight Academy and earn their wings this Easter holiday. Dressed up in flight jackets and goggles like real pilots, participants will receive a unique ‘call sign,’ a log book and a pedometer to track their progress across the site as they experience new pilot reflex challenges and games. Visitors can design their own perfect paper plane and parachute, learning the principles of flight while putting their creations to the test.


HMS Belfast

Sea Legs
Sunday to Tuesdays (5 to 14 April), 11am–3pm

Free (included in price of admission), drop-in
This new interactive family activity will explore the science and ingenuity needed to keep HMS Belfast and her crew afloat. Families will be taken back to 1942, three years after HMS Belfast hit a magnetic mine. To earn their sea legs, they must solve a series of nautical puzzles around the ship to set HMS Belfast on the right course for her next voyage.

Family Mission: D-Day Edition
Daily (4 to 19 April), 10am–2pm

Free (included in price of admission at HMS Belfast), drop-in
Families are invited to pick up a Kit Bag and learn more about the crew who served on board HMS Belfast during Operation Neptune in 1944. Teams will work together to find hidden messages, predict the weather for sailing, discover ship life and crack Morse code. Created in partnership with KIT Theatre and Kirsty Harris, this interactive storytelling experience is based on personal stories from those who took part in the biggest invasion in history.

Ship Shape
Saturdays throughout Easter holiday (4, 11 & 18 April), 11am–1pm, 1.30pm–3.30pm

Free (included in price of admission), drop-in
The whole family is invited to help keep the iconic warship, HMS Belfast, in tip-top condition. Visitors to Ship Shape Saturdays can drop in and learn about what it takes to conserve HMS Belfast, the largest object in IWM’s collection. Alongside expert conservators, visitors will put their learning into practice as they work through specially assigned tasks searching for hungry insect pests and caring for fabrics with specialised tools.

IWM North and IWM London

Spies and Disguise
IWM North Friday 17 & Saturday 18 April, 11am–4pm
IWM London Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 April, 11am–4pm

Free, drop-in
Coinciding with the release of the latest Bond film No Time to Die, Spies and Disguise will put families through their paces in a crash course spy school inspired by real life spies from the Second World War to the present day. Created in partnership with Puffin and their new children’s book Find The Spy, this secret mission involves dressing up to look the part, an assault course with Commando Joes, object-handling, immersive theatre elements and gallery activities.

 Story Seekers
IWM North Selected days in April (4 to 6, 8, 10 to 13, 15, 19 April)
IWM London Selected days in April (6, 8, 10 to 13, 15, 17 to 19 April)

Free, drop in
This Easter holiday, families can learn about the global impact of conflict, from the First World War and Second World War to today. They can get hands-on with real artefacts and explore some of the most interesting and unusual stories of conflict, from people who braved shark-infested waters to ingenious nurses and those who built new machines for conflict.

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IWM Duxford

IWM Duxford is Britain’s best-preserved Second World War airfield, with a fascinating history that dates back to the First World War. Historic aircraft can regularly be seen taking to the skies from Duxford’s wartime airfield. Duxford has been a witness to world-changing events over the past 100 years where ordinary people have had extraordinary experiences.  Exploring state of the art exhibition halls and historic buildings, visitors walk in the footsteps of the men and women who served at RAF Duxford. Through the powerful stories of the men and women involved and the rich displays of aircraft we tell the story of the impact of aviation on the nature of war and on people’s lives. 

Open daily: Last entry an hour before closing. (Closed 24 – 26 December)

Winter hours: 10am – 5pm (27 October 2019 – 13 March 2020) – please note, from 4 – 5pm only AirSpace and the Visitor Centre will be open. All other hangars will close from 4pm.

Summer hours: 10am – 6pm (14 March to 25 October 2020)

Admission: £21 Adults; £16.80 Concessions (Senior, Student, Disabled); £10.50 Child (5-16); Free Child (under 5); Family tickets available; Special rates for groups of 15 plus. Free for members.

A 10% discount will be offered for advanced tickets booked online.

To read more information, click here.

IWM Duxford offers a unique and remarkable range of conferencing and events facilities, including the contemporary AirSpace Conference Centre.

IWM Duxford