The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, ALVA, is highlighting some of the innovative ways that top UK attractions are engaging with guests virtually over the May Bank Holiday.
ALVA is pleased to present some of the virtual activities that visitors can enjoy from some of the UK’s leading attractions over the May Bank Holiday and half-term week. For example, a Festival of Mischief, a virtual Beefeater Tour and the chance to create a pop-up museum.
To prevent boredom while kids are at home during the half-term break, Titanic Belfast has made its multimedia audio tour available online, free of charge. Visitors can enjoy a virtual tour of the Titanic Experience, filled with interesting facts and insights.
Meanwhile, the National Galleries of Scotland is offering a virtual tour with Dr Anna Groundwater and the Royal Albert Hall is streaming concerts by leading artists for free, including Imogen Heap and the Kaiser Chiefs.
The V&A Dundee is encouraging people to make their own pop-up museums, using free materials from its website and the Museum of London is introducing the Museum of Fundon. This is a whole range of fun family activities, including crafts, quizzes and facts.
Fans of the Royal Air Force Museum will be able to design a poster showing which parts of the museum they love the most, with prizes up for grabs and the winning entries being used for its reopening adverts.
On May 27 at 2 pm, CBBC presenter Ben Shires will be live on the Imperial War Museums’ website and its YouTube channel for ‘Adventures in History: Life Under the Sea’, where he will meet Ed – a Submariner in the Royal Navy.
Crafts, facts, quizzes and more
In addition to this, the Historic Royal Palaces have a virtual Beefeater tour and The Science and Industry Museum will be hosting # MakefestAtHome with family-friendly crafts. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Harewood has created a ‘Top Trumps’ style game featuring the 56 different species of birds in its Harewood Bird Garden.
The V&A will be running an art challenge on its social media channels for fans of Animal Crossing, with the chance to find and import new designs into their game. It has also announced the launch of its new #LetsMakeWednesdays design and craft sessions.
There will also be several family activities on the Royal Museums Greenwich Facebook page, including pop up theatre craft and Royal Observatory craft. Meanwhile, The National Portrait Gallery is launching Hold Still, aiming to create a unique photographic portrait of the nation.
The Royal Collection Trust is offering fun half-term activities such as calligraphy and making your own crown. Fitzwilliam has announced its #LookThinkDo family activity series which gives virtual visitors the chance to make their own copy of Bridget Riley’s Shadowplay at home.
The Roman Baths is looking at secret codes while the London Transport Museum explores its favourite songs, stories and games. The Horniman Museum and Gardens will be encouraging people to get outside with ‘Trash or Treasure’ crafting fun and nature challenges. The RHS Campaign for School Gardening team is also sharing activities for families and schools.
Festival of Mischief
The National Trust has announced a new Festival of Mischief that can be accessed through its website, inspired by the original mischief-makers at Seaton Delaval Hall, a Grade I listed country house in Northumberland. The ‘Gay Delavals’ family were known for their practical jokes, theatrical performances and comical parties – they would turn whole rooms upside down while their guests slept and set up secret trap doors to surprise their visitors.
As part of the Festival of Mischief, visitors to the website can work on their stage confidence, develop a stand-up routine or create a theatrical performance, thanks to tips from comedy experts at The Stand Comedy Club. They can even share their performances on the National Trust’s Facebook page.
During the half-term week, audiences can learn riddles and jokes from free Nosy Crow book excerpts and explore the charity’s collections to find illusion paintings and funny objects from history. They can find out about animal and plant pranksters, create a funny face pizza recipe and enjoy more quizzes, images and challenges.
Much-loved attractions across the UK are stepping up to the challenge of engaging with visitors in new ways during the lockdown and previously ran creative events and projects to celebrate VE Day.