Press release

21 July 2016

21 July 2016

Historic Royal Palaces is delighted to announce that Hampton Court Palace has been shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award. One of the biggest museum awards in Britain, the Family Friendly Museum Award is also the only one where families pick the winner!

2016 is the first time Hampton Court Palace has appeared on the final shortlist for the prestigious award, reflecting a remarkable year for the palace’s offer for families. Highlights included the palace’s innovative ‘Movie Maker Mission’ programme throughout 2015, which saw over 11,000 young visitors contribute to ‘Royals, Rascals and Us’ – a film by Aardman Animations celebrating Hampton Court’s 500th birthday, and an interactive ‘Time Quake’ event for families led by a team of young actors.

The fun for families has continued into 2016 with the opening of the palace’s celebrated ‘Magic Garden’ – a dedicated space for families within the walls of King Henry VIII’s former Tiltyard. An imaginative play garden packed with adventures for families, the Magic Garden is inspired by the palace’s history and architecture. It features towers to besiege, battlements to storm, and even a 25ft long smoke breathing dragon!

Plans are afoot for even more fun for families at the palace this summer, with a huge range of exciting events and activities in store. This week, 15 colourful gnomes will be popping up in hidden spots throughout the Hampton Court’s gardens, revealing secret tales of the palace’s past. From interactive ‘digital missions’ around the Tudor palace, to encounters with costume characters from the palace’s past in the ‘Great Garden Game’, there’ll be something to suit everyone!

Elizabeth McKay, Chief Learning and Engagement Officer, Historic Royal Palaces, said,

‘We are absolutely thrilled to have been included on the Family Friendly Awards shortlist. We welcome tens of thousands of families to Hampton Court Palace every year, and we’re always trying to find creative new ways to go the extra mile for them and get young people excited about the palace’s past. This summer, we’ll welcoming many more families to the palace and we hope that the undercover judges are impressed by the huge array of family activities we’ll have on offer!’

Hampton Court was nominated for the Family Friendly Museum award by families, long listed for the award by Kids in Museums volunteers, and then finally shortlisted for the award by a panel of industry experts. Kids in Museums will now send families to the palace throughout the summer to road test the family experience.


‘It’s great to see Hampton Court Palace on the shortlist for the first time and so praised and supported by families and children. It’s a very special place that is committed to putting young people and families at its heart and encouraging new visitors. It could just sit on its laurels as a major visitor attraction, but instead it tries to do things better and differently, with huge imagination and innovation, to ensure all families are welcome. We wish Hampton Court best of luck when the undercover family judges arrive!

Dea Birkett, Creative Director of Kids in Museums

Notes for editors

For further information and images please contact Laura Hutchinson in the Historic Royal Palaces Press Office: [email protected] / 0203 166 6338.