Christmas cockpits and festive sea legs: Imperial War Museums lines up end-of-year family activities


07-10-2019

Imperial War Museums (IWM) has announced its schedule of family activities for the Christmas holidays, including two brand new activities at IWM Duxford and HMS Belfast.

Cockpit Control, new to IWM Duxford, lets families work together on one of the most important and most problematic aviation design questions – how to build a cockpit. While over at HMS Belfast, the most significant surviving Second World War Royal Navy warship, the new Sea Legs programme will challenge families to explore the science and ingenuity needed to keep this extraordinary ship afloat.

The very popular Family Mission: D-Day Edition also returns to both IWM Duxford and HMS Belfast, giving families the opportunity to discover the roles navy crews and paratroopers both played on D-Day 75 years ago through interactive missions.

Activities will be on offer across other IWM sites over the Christmas break, including IWM London and IWM North, where the Wartime Meals activity explores how food was central to the wartime experience – with first-hand accounts of rationing from veterans and eyewitnesses of war, and hands-on activities making grub with your rations.

The IWM Christmas family activity schedule

Sea Legs

HMS Belfast

Monday 23 and Monday 30 December, 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 mine – and will have to inspect the ship and find out if everything is shipshape and ready to go.

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Cockpit Control

IWM Duxford

Friday 20 December, Friday 27 December, Friday 3 January, 11am – 1pm, 2pm – 4pm

Free (included in price of admission), drop-in

Find out how to solve one of the greatest aviation problems: how to build a cockpit. Families will find out through experiments and investigations whether the perfect cockpit exists.

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Family Mission: D-Day Edition

HMS Belfast

Friday 27 December, and Tuesday 31 December to Friday 3 January, 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 75 years ago on D-Day. 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.

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Family Mission: D-Day Edition

IWM Duxford

Friday 27 December, and Tuesday 31 December to Friday 3 January, 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 75 years ago on D-Day. 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.

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Ship Shape Saturdays
HMS Belfast

Saturday 28 December and Saturday 4 January, 11am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm

Free (included in price of admission), drop-in
All hands on deck! 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.

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Aeroplane Investigators
IWM Duxford

Tuesday 31 December, 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 Christmas, 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.

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Flight Academy
IWM Duxford

Monday 23 December, Monday 30 December, and Wednesday 1 January, 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 Christmas. 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.

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Wartime Meals

IWM London Saturday 7 – Sunday 8 December, 11am – 4pm

IWM North Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 December, 11am – 4pm

Free, drop in

This Christmas, find out how war can have an impact on something that is essential to all of us: food. Look back at recipes from the Ministry of Food, and get hands on to see what you can make with your rations. Hear stories about food in short supply from eyewitnesses and veterans of war, and explore the importance of nutrition by looking at military rations across the ages. You can also see what people ate as sweets during wartime, and find out how much you could get with your rations.

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Story Seekers

IWM North, IWM London Saturday 28 December, Monday 30 December, Wednesday 1 Jan and Saturday 4 Jan.

Free, drop in
This Christmas, 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 who built new machines for conflict.

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Documentary Challenge
IWM London, IWM North, IWM Duxford

Daily throughout Christmas holidays

£10 per family (in addition to 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.
C
reated by Non Zero One for Imperial War Museums.

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IWM

IWM (Imperial War Museums) tells the story of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the First World War.

Our unique collections, made up of the everyday and the exceptional, reveal stories of people, places, ideas and events. Using these, we tell vivid personal stories and create powerful physical experiences across our five museums that reflect the realities of war as both a destructive and creative force. We challenge people to look at conflict from different perspectives, enriching their understanding of the causes, course and consequences of war and its impact on people’s lives.

IWM’s five branches which attract over 2.5 million visitors each year are IWM London, IWM’s flagship branch that recently transformed with new, permanent and free First World War Galleries alongside new displays across the iconic Atrium to mark the Centenary of the First World War; IWM North, housed in an iconic award-winning building designed by Daniel Libeskind; IWM Duxford, a world renowned aviation museum and Britain's best preserved wartime airfield; Churchill War Rooms, housed in Churchill’s secret headquarters below Whitehall; and the Second World War cruiser HMS Belfast.

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 (16 March to 26 October 2019)

Admission: £18.15 Adults; £14.50 Concessions (Senior, Student, Disabled); £9.05 Child (5-16); Free Child (under 5); Family tickets available; Special rates for groups of ten plus. Free for members.

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

HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast is the most significant surviving Second World War Royal Navy warship, with a history that extends to the Arctic Convoys, D-Day, the Cold War, Korea and beyond. Moored on the River Thames between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast tells the story of life on board and explores how war affects and impacts on the morale, resilience and determination of a ship’s community. We take visitors on a journey though the ship’s nine decks and show them what life was like for the 950-strong company, through the real life stories of the people who served on her.

Open Daily: Last entry an hour before closing. (Closed 24 – 26 December)
Winter Hours: 10am – 5pm (
1 November 2019 – 29 February 2020)

Summer Hours: 10am – 6pm (1 March – 31 October 2019)

Admission: £18 Adults; £12.95 Concessions (Senior, Student, Disabled); £8.10 Child (5-16); Free Child (under 5); Family tickets available; Special rates for groups of ten plus. Free for members.

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

HMS Belfast, The Queen’s Walk, London, SE1 2JH

T: 020 7416 5000

iwm.org.uk / @I_W_M / www.facebook.com/hmsbelfast

IWM London

IWM London tells the stories of those whose lives have been shaped by war through the depth, breadth and impact of our Galleries, displays and events. Explore the First World War Galleries and iconic Atrium; visit our Holocaust Exhibition; discover stories of bravery in The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes or take in our latest major temporary exhibitions.

Open Daily: 10am – 6pm. Last entry 30 minutes before closing. (Closed 24 - 26 December). Free Admission

IWM London, Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6HZ

T: 020 7416 5000

iwm.org.uk / @I_W_M / www.facebook.com/iwm.london

IWM North

The multi award winning IWM North brings Imperial War Museums’ national collection to northern audiences. Designed by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind to represent a globe shattered by conflict, the iconic building, innovative and dynamic exhibitions, use of digital media through hourly Big Picture Shows and public events explore how war shapes lives and inspires and encourages debate.

Open Daily: 10am – 5pm. Last entry 30 minutes before closing. (Closed 24 – 26 December). Free Admission.

IWM North, The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester M17 1TZ (close to MediaCityUK Metrolink and Junction 9 of the M60)

T: 020 7416 5000

iwm.org.uk  / @IWMNorth / www.facebook.com/iwm.north

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