The Roald Dahl Children’s gallery in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire is on the same site at Bucks County Museum. You can read my review of the museum here. That’s free to visit so make sure you pop in when you’ve finished at the gallery. They are currently hosting their ROBOT exhibition over the summer holidays and you can buy combined tickets. Read my review of the exhibition here.
If you don’t already know, Roald Dahl is kind of a big deal around here; he used to live nearby. Many of his amazing books were written just down the road from Aylesbury and Danny the Champion of the World is set near Amersham. The Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery is an interactive museum all about his work. Unlike the nearby Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, which focuses on his life and creating stories, this focuses on the worlds he created.
The gallery is quite small and I don’t think it would be of much interest to adults visiting alone. It is called the “Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery” for a reason. Kids however LOVE it. Each section downstairs is based on one of his books. There’s the inventing bench, Fantastic Mr Fox’s tunnel, James’ giant peach, a giant BFG ear, dressing up and a cosy reading corner. Biggest child found the one Roald Dahl book he hadn’t read, so we lost him into that room for a while!
A particular favourite with the kids was the tunnel. Thankfully it’s big enough for adults to fit through too. If you don’t fancy scrambling around though there’s actually a CCTV camera set up in the tunnel to keep an eye on the kids. There are things hidden in the floor including the Fox’s den. The BFG bench is all about making and listening to sounds (aka it’s the noisy bit).
I really liked the James and the Giant peach section. When you walk into the peach there’s lots of bugs and things to explore. They have microscopes set up to get a closer look. We’ve been to a couple of places with these recently and they’re a real hit with my three. Check out the reviews of Oxford Natural History Museum and Wycombe Museum.
One thing to note; the museum is very bright, quite loud and there are lots of excitable kids running around. It’s a bit of a blast to the senses. I appreciate that for some children this might be a bit too much.
To get upstairs you can either climb the stairs (boring) or you can take the Great Glass Elevator. This is quite fun, they’ve set it up so you can change modes into space mode and as you go up the lift you zoom past planets.
Honestly I’m not entirely sure how this specifically relates to Roald Dahl, but upstairs the hands-on exhibits are more science based, but presented in a really fun way. Kids will have no idea they’re learning.
There’s a green screen TV set up so the kids can (literally) put themselves in the picture. Top tip – wrap the green sheets around their shoulders and they can be Harry Potter wearing the invisibility cloak!
There’s quite a cool bit where you can capture your shadow. Middle child thought this bit in particular was awesome. You can also see some really early (like Victorian early) examples of 3D imaging. Who knew it was around that early???
We were at the museum for about an hour. I actually think we could have stayed here a lot longer but the hangries set in. They’ve just introduced an annual pass and I think it’s excellent value. For £35 up to 8 people (minimum of 1 adult) can visit for free for a year. Given that a family ticket is £22 that’s a bloomin’ bargain. And 8 people!!!! Even the biggest and extended families will be covered by that.
Child (4-17yrs), concessions: £5.50, Under 4s: By Donation, Adult: £7.70, Family/group ticket: £22.00
***NEW ANNUAL PASS*** £35 for a family of up to 8 people.
None on site, use the town centre car parks
On site, including baby change
Cafe on site. You could have a picnic in the garden as well.
Our Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery REview
5 / 5. I think this place is brilliant and so did the kids. There’s so much to do and there’s nothing that they cannot touch. I’m not sure that you’ll be there for hours on end in a single visit, but I do think kids will quite happily go back time and time again. The annual pass makes it really good value.
We were very kindly invited to visit the gallery but they did not see my review prior to publication and all views are my own.
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with out three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook