Housed in a converted warehouse at Liverpool’s Albert Dock, Tate Liverpool is one of the galleries housing artwork from the comprehensive Tate Collection (there’s also Tate Britain, Tate Modern and Tate St Ives). The Liverpool museum has an impressive collection of national British art from 1500 to present day, as well as international modern works. It’s one of the best Liverpool museums for kids with plenty of family-orientated activities and events. Here’s all you need to know for a great day at the Tate.
For an artistic day out in Liverpool that the kids will never forget!
Planning your visit
The Tate Liverpool is located right on the water at Albert Dock. The nearest train station is James Street Station and there is parking available in the nearby Liverpool ONE. The museum is open every day from 10am to 5:50pm, and admission is completely free, except for special exhibitions. If you’re looking for hotels near Tate Liverpool, there’s the family-friendly Novotel Liverpool Centre, a stylish 4-star hotel that’s less than a 10-minute walk from Albert Dock.
Tate for kids
The museum is a great day out for the whole family – there are baby changing facilities available inside, as well as cloakrooms and buggy parking. For little ones, there’s a dedicated family space in the Clore Learning Centre on the first floor where you can take some time out from the art and relax, play and take in the beautiful views across the River Mersey. Under 12s also receive free entry to special exhibitions if accompanied by a paying adult.
One of the best things about the Tate Liverpool is that its exhibitions are always changing, meaning you won’t see the same thing twice. Currently, the Tate is showing Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms, a UK retrospective on Maria Lassnig, and Everybody Razzle Dazzle, a working Mersey Ferry that has been given a colourful makeover by artist Sir Peter Blake. It’s free to come on-board and learn all about the history of ‘dazzle’, a painting technique used to camouflage British ships during WWI.
Play with clay
In conjunction with the Francis Bacon exhibition, families are invited to get their hands dirty and create their own masterpieces with clay, wire and other materials in the style of Bacon. The Clay Worlds workshop is available every Wednesday to Saturday in August. Another family-friendly event is the Liverpool Biennial 2016 Sunday Comedy Club – a free monthly drop-in workshop where you can put together your own family comedy act. Educators and comedians will be available to lend a hand and give advice, and then at the end of the day, you’ll have the opportunity to perform your act in front of the gallery crowd. Throughout summer, there are lots of other events, including live music shows, guided tours and artist talks. Check the website to see what’s on when.
If all that walking around has got you feeling hungry, stop by the Tate’s café. There’s a special children’s menu with spaghetti and meatballs, fish and chips and homemade brownies, and kids under 12 eat for free in the café when an accompanying adult buys a main course. The café itself is worth having a look at – Sir Peter Blake (designer of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover) was specially commissioned to decorate the café in his signature bright colours and pop motifs.
To top off your visit to Tate Liverpool, visit the Tate kids website (http://kids.tate.org.uk/). Even if you’ve left Liverpool, you can still get in on the arty action – upload your own artwork and rate other kids’ entries, play interactive online games, learn how to be a street artist, designer, illustrator and more with their educational videos, and download craft templates and ideas.