Roald Dahl is one of the worlds most popular, well-loved and perhaps most importantly, widely read children's author in the world.
He lived most of his adult life in Buckinghamshire, and so in 1996 the county proudly created the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery in an 18th Century coach house next to Buckinghamshire County Museum.
The exhibition is most specifically hands on! Everything is there to be touched, tried, played with or climbed on. The subjects of history (especially Buckinghamshire’s), natural history, science and technology are taught by linking them to the appropriate Dahl story. For example, a Giant Peach houses an exhibit about mini-beasts which allows you to look at them under a microscope, while Fantastic Mr Fox’s Tunnel lets you see about life underground. The Twit’s upside-down house leads you to an exhibition of ways that they eye can be tricked.
The gallery is aimed at 7 to 11 year olds, but younger children can get plenty of enjoyment out of it, whether they enjoy just crawling through the tunnel or playing with the beach ball (it’s actually demonstrating the Bernoulli Effect – why aeroplanes stay in the air).
You may only get one hour in the gallery but it is one hour that is crammed with enjoyment and activity. If it all gets too much it even has its own chill-out zone – Matilda’s Library where you can learn about Roald Dahl’s life or just relax with one of his books. You will all leave charmed and delighted by this lovely exhibition. When we visited our party ranged from 2 to 6 years old and every child had a great time and is begging to go back again!
While you are there you can visit the main Buckinghamshire County Museum which is free and also includes lots of hands-on exhibits that children will enjoy. It has regular special exhibitions and events and focuses on the natural and cultural heritage of Buckinghamshire.
To ensure that everyone gets a chance to try everything the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery is restricted to 85 people at any one time, so it is important to book if you want to visit at busy times. Opening times vary so it is best to check with the museum before travelling.
For more information on admission contact:-
The Roald Dahl Children's Gallery
Buckinghamshire County Museum
Church Street, Aylesbury, HP20 2QP
Tel: 01296 331441
Or visit the Roald Dahl Children's Gallery Website
About the Author: Jacqui O'Brien is the Editor of eParenting.