• Parents hit in the pocket as 41% of museums now charge entrance fees
• Family of four trips to cinema, play centres and zoos can all be cheaper
• Manchester and Glasgow have largest number of free-to-enter family venues
A family of four will cough up almost as much as the cost of a weekly food shop1 to visit some of the country’s leading museums, according to new research.
Ahead of International Museum Day – which takes place on 18th May – a study from Voucherbox revealed parents with two children will pay more to take them on an educational day out than a visit to a cinema, a play centre or even a local zoo.
The data – which researched over 60 different venues across the UK – discovered 41% of the most popular family museums in the UK2 now charge an entrance fee. Last year, government cutbacks forced many museums to introduce or raise entry charges in a bid to remain open3.
Before even shelling out for travel, food and drinks, an average family of four will likely spend the same as the £56.80 cost of an average weekly grocery shop.
In the New Forest, the National Motor Museum charge a whopping £64 for a family ticket. And the news isn’t much better in London, as parents with two kids wanting to learn about the wonders of World War II and the life of Winston Churchill will shell out £44.05 for a family ticket.
However, there are still some museums which offer free entry and a great experience for families. The British Museum provides two million years of human history and the Museum of London documents the capital’s rich and varied past.
Elsewhere in the UK, Manchester and Glasgow also offer fantastic free-to-enter options, with attractions including the Museum of Science and Industry, Greater Manchester Police Museum and the National Football Museum.
Marco Piu, Voucherbox General Manager said: “Museums provide a great form of reference, a wealth of education and a great deal of fun so it is shocking to see that families are getting ripped off when it comes to days out.
“We would recommend you plan your trip ahead and take advantage of your day and be sure to check out deals online, as purchasing tickets before you arrive often means you can take advantage of cost savings.”
For those looking to enjoy International Museum Day for themselves then here are our top five FREE museums to enjoy on 18th May:
1. British Museum, London
2. Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester
3. Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel, Glasgow
4. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham
5. Egypt Centre, Swansea
For those looking for something different, these are the top five weird and wonderful museums to enjoy:
1. Dog Collar Museum, Leeds, £21.90 per adult, £16.90 per child
2. British Lawnmower Museum, Cornwall £3 per adult, £1 per child
3. Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, Cornwall £5 per adult, £4 per child
4. Marks & Spencer: Marks in Time, Leeds, free entry
5. National Motor Museum, New Forest, £24.75 per adult, £12.50 per child
1 National Office of Statistics states that in 2016 the average family food shop costs £56.80
2 Top five museums according to TripAdvisor in the following cities (and county): Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow, London, Birmingham, Belfast, Newcastle, Bristol, Swansea, Plymouth (and Cornwall).