Museums, History & Science
There are several museums, places of historical interest and science centres in and around Brighton that are ideal for young enquiring minds including: natural history, vintage transport, a castle, an ancient palace, two toy museums and of course the famous Royal Pavilion. They are both educational and fun with most offering interactive and 'hands on' activities, special events and additional attractions.
There are often special events on at Brighton and Hove's museums for children of all ages, which you can find in our What's On section.
Anne of Cleves House
A 15th century house with displays of Sussex past. The bedroom and kitchen are furnished to typically represent how they would have been at that time. Plus there is Sussex pottery and an ironwork gallery. Special events are held for children.
52 Southover High Street, Lewes, BN7 1JA
Booth Museum of Natural History
British birds, butterflies, skeletons, dinosaur bones and a whale are housed here. More than half a million specimens from the past three centuries can be found in this museum. Interactive displays and hands on activities.
Brighton Museum and Art Gallery
Situated next to the Royal Pavilion in the heart of Brighton this museum is well worth a look. In 2002 it benefitted from £10 million investment. Rich and diverse local and national collections can be viewed for free. Shop and café. Disabled access. Look out for special activities for children.
Fishbourne Roman Palace
Only discovered in 1960 the remains of this palace are an archaeological delight. Thought to have been built AD 75 visitors can see the 20 spectacular mosaic floors and learn the history of the palace from models, photographs and items found by archeologists. There is also an education department, shop, café, and good access for the disabled.
Foredown Tower Countryside Centre
As well as providing great views across the downs this early 20th century Edwardian tower is appealing to those interested in science, nature and the environment. It has exhibitions and is home to an operational camera obscura.
Gift shop, refreshments.
Foredown Road, Portslade, BN41 2EW
Hove Museum and Art Gallery
As well as a local history gallery, Hove museum is home to a wonderful collection of toys dating back to the 1700s. You can see dolls, teddies, soldiers, trains, mechanical toys, soft toys and construction toys from the past to the present day. Some of the gallery is interactive. There is a gift shop, and tea rooms and full disabled access.
Take a walk to the top of the castle, dress up in medieval costume, enjoy interactives, such as firing a crossbow, and learn about the history of the castle in the Barbican House Museum (next to the castle). During the summer events are staged which the whole family can enjoy.
This is an award winning fort with exhibitions, audio-visual presentations and hands-on learning for kids. The museum informs us of what the Fort was used for during the two World Wars. Children can explore the echoing tunnels and sit in a recreated street shelter to experience what it would have been like to be in a real street shelter during the war. Look out for special events.
Visit the Museum of Life for fossils, crystals and minerals. Planet Earth for an interesting story of the world. Venture into the dinosaur park with life size model dinosaurs. There is an adventure play area and fun trail, plus a crazy golf course. Look out for special events for children.
Visit this spectacular Edwardian home which contains many original exhibits and features and is decorated in the style of the early 20th century. Learn about the Edwardian living of the Stanford family whose home this was for over 130 years.
Free entrance for local residents (with proof of address)
One of Brighton's best known landmarks, the Royal Pavilion is well worth a visit. Families are well catered for with the provision of audio tours families, which take children back to the time of the Regency to meet Prince Regent, his footman and chef! And guided tours aimed specifically for children. A gift shop, baby changing facilities and child friendly tea room.
Free entrance for children living in Brighton and Hove, adults half price (proof of address must be supplied)
The South Downs Planetarium
Both educational and entertaining the planetarium can offer you sights that you may not see for real. This artificial sky enables you to view a comet much like the real thing, or a meteor, an eclipse of the moon.