- Discover Liverpool's fascinating history as a 19th century port city.
- Kids can get involved hands-on at the interactive 'Little Liverpool' area.
- Check out galleries that are home to priceless artefacts and relics from the past.
- Try a traditional Scouse lunch at the Museum of Liverpool café.
If you're looking for the best free things to do in Liverpool with kids, a visit to the Museum of Liverpool has it all. Located at Pier Head Liverpool, close to the historic Albert Dock, the Museum of Liverpool and its distinctive architecture has become a fixture of the local area.
With three different floors filled with galleries, artefacts and exhibitions, there is something to entertain every member of the family on your visit. Starting on the ground floor, you can explore some of Liverpool's fascinating transport history, and learn about its part in the global trade industry. At The Great Port, on the right, as you enter the Museum of Liverpool, you'll find a gallery explaining how the dock system developed, complete with displays of the Liverpool Docks and explanations of Liverpool's role in the Industrial Revolution. At the beginning of the 19th century, up to 40% of global trade passed through the docks of Liverpool. Although it may not seem like it now, Liverpool was once one of the busiest ports in the world, a legacy that still exists at the World Heritage Grade I listed buildings at the nearby Albert Docks.
Next to the Great Port area in the Museum of Liverpool, you'll find 'Little Liverpool', a special hands-on experience created just for children and families. One of our favourite areas of the museum, Little Liverpool is the perfect place for kids under six to get to grips with the history of this amazing city. With 'Liverpuddles', a miniature river that children can splash in, drive boats down and fish, as well as the 'Liver bird's nest', a soft play area for parents and babies, this is the perfect place to take younger kids on your trip to the Museum.
On the other side of the ground floor, you can find the Theatre, where you can experience fascinating historical films on your trip. Next door, the Global City area explores the origin of this museum in Liverpool and its connection to the outside world. In particular, you can learn about the origin of Liverpool's Chinatown district dating back to the 19th century, and the unique connection between Liverpool and Shanghai. There are also lots of international artefacts here, to help kids and grown-ups learn about Liverpool's significance as an international city.
The first floor of this Liverpool Museum is home to a variety of galleries to visit. The Liverpool Overhead Railway gallery is a brilliant way to learn about the Overhead Railway, which served a crucial role in transporting people and goods around Liverpool's congested Docks in the 19th century when they were at their busiest. Also on the first floor, you can delve deeper into Liverpool's archaeological and geographical past at the History Detectives gallery, with a timeline that dates back 10,000 years, and a fun interactive map that will help kids learn about how Liverpool became the city we see today. While you're on the first floor, make sure to visit the City Soldiers gallery, which is home to soldiers uniforms from throughout the years. Here you can learn all about the King's Regiment, which is one of Britain's oldest at almost 400 years old.
When you get to the second floor, make sure to check out the famous spiral staircase, unique to this Liverpool Museum, and explore The People's Republic gallery. This is a fantastic way to learn about the history of what it means to be Liverpudlian, and how daily life has changed for people living in Liverpool over the past 200 years. From historical clothing to toys and personal stories, this gallery is the perfect way to put your trip into context. There are also educational areas on each floor, with changing exhibitions which have in the past explored topics such as the Blitz on Liverpool during the war, and the history of Liverpool's last tram.
If you've been wondering about what to do in Liverpool with kids, the Museum of Liverpool is one of the most comprehensive museums you can find near the city centre, and it has a great location right next to the water and the nearby Albert Dock. If you're looking for something to eat after exploring the museum, there is a café that serves coffee, cake, salad and hot food (including a 'Traditional Scouse' lunch!). You can also head over to Albert Dock just a couple of minutes walk away, where you'll find a selection of local eateries that are open from lunchtime till late. Alternatively, Liverpool ONE shopping centre is just a 15-minute walk away and perfect if you fancy a Nando's or Pizza Express. You can also bring your own food and enjoy with a view of the water, as there is a designated picnic room on the fourth floor of the museum.
If you and your family enjoyed your day out at the Museum of Liverpool, why not plan a trip to The Beatles Story at the nearby Albert Dock, where you can see genuine Beatles memorabilia and enjoy a blast from the past?
What to know before you go
- Museum of Liverpool opening times is from 10am-5pm from Wednesday-Sunday.
- Baby changing facilities are available on all floors except the fourth. There is a children's menu at the café, and the staff can warm bottles and provide high chairs if needed. The museum is a breastfeeding-friendly space.
- There are toilets, including accessible toilets, available on every floor. There is also a Changing Places facility on the first floor.
- There are lifts to all areas of the museum, and the whole museum is accessible for wheelchairs and buggies. Wheelchairs are available to borrow, and many of the exhibits include tactile displays, as well as Braille labels. There are resources available for those with additional needs, including access to a quiet space if needed, and Quiet Mornings take place on Sundays from 10am-12pm.
- You can find a prayer room on the first floor of the building.
- Little Liverpool sessions last approximately 30 minutes, and there are normally seven sessions a day, with the first at 10:15am and the last at 3:45pm.
- If travelling by car, it is easy to get to the Museum of Liverpool via the M6. From here, follow the M56 or M62 to Liverpool and follow signs for the waterfront. There is pay and display parking available nearby, and on the Britannia side of Albert Dock.
- The nearest train station to the museum is Liverpool Lime Street, which is just a 20-minute walk away through the Liverpool ONE shopping centre. From here regular trains are running to the rest of the North West and the UK.
- You can also catch lots of bus services from the centre of town and the local areas, which will bring you right to the Museum of Liverpool.