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15 free family-friendly things to do at V&A Dundee this summer

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If you’re looking for activities to keep everyone entertained during the summer school holidays without breaking the bank, then V&A Dundee has it covered. Find out what you can get up to during a FREE day out at Scotland’s design museum in Dundee….

Visit the Creature Collective display

Scottish textile designer Donna Wilson created V&A Dundee’s loveable museum mascot, Selkie the Seal. This summer you can visit Donna’s Creature Collective display wall and see over 100 of her folklore-inspired soft characters, including Wilfred Wolf, Joey Giraffe, and many more.

Visit POP Playground!

Running throughout the summer holidays, from Saturday 6 July to Sunday 4 August, POP Playground! is a free indoor playground for families inspired by new exhibition Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk, as well as contemporary pop culture. The themed studio is packed with cool comics, Japanese-designed videogames as well as retro toys. Try designing comics, kimonos or some pattern-tastic folded origami.

Design a Kimono

Did you know the word kimono translates from Japanese as “the thing to wear”? The Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition follows the kimono’s journey from 17th century Japan to present-day fashion, where you can design a unique on-screen outfit in the exhibition. Under 18s go free.

Find the map

Take a look at Sohei Nishino’s giant photographic ‘Diorama Map, Dundee’ to spot your favourite sights. Made up of thousands of black and white photographs of Dundee, have fun looking at all of the details – from people in the streets to planes and even seagulls.

Discover Streets Ahead

V&A Dundee asked young people to reimagine and redesign their high street. How might these public shared spaces be more inclusive and sustainable? Come see the visions shared by pupils from across Scotland – and have a go yourself!

Play Gimbal City

Videogame Gimbal City is located on the upper floor of the museum. Designed by architecture studio iheartblob, it is part of the free Photo City exhibition. You can create a cool interactive world with other players and become architects of your own imagined cities.

Follow the Selkie Trail

Explore the museum's architecture with museum-mascot Selkie the Seal. You can find out all about V&A Dundee, which was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and opened to the public in 2018. After you’ve finished, pick up your Official Explorer Stamp!

Twist and Shape

You can have endless fun in the Twist and Shape design zone creating new structures and forms to play with. There are giant foam Imagination Playground shapes as well as KAPLA planks and architect Kengo Kuma's TSUMIKI stackable triangles. Once you’re done, knock it all down and start again.

Don’t be board

Grab a seat and enjoy the views of the River Tay and a board game by the picture window on the ground floor. Who will win at chess? It’s a perfect place to rest a while – you might even spot a seal in the water or on the sandbanks!

Be a Design Buster

Pick up a Design Busters activity sheet then draw, colour and solve a design challenge together. Even if you’re small, you can have big ideas and designers have the power to change the world. Get creative and design a patch, logo or symbol for new Design Busters everywhere to wear.

Explore the Scottish Design Galleries

Featuring over 300 objects, many of which are from the V&A’s world-famous collections of art, design and performance, there are so many stories to discover. And be sure not to miss Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s beautifully conserved Oak Room.

Book Wee Design + Play: Cities

This free workshop is suitable for under 5s and their grown-ups. Join V&A Dundee's friendly designers to explore different materials and create designs inspired by the museum’s exhibitions and collections. The sessions take place on Monday 29 July.

Enjoy the Story Space

Take a break, find a picture book and enjoy a comfy chair in the family-friendly Story Space. With lots of titles from which to choose, relax for a while in this lovely space. It’s also a great place to watch as the museum bustles with visitors.

Build with Blockitecture

Young visitors inspired by Kengo Kuma’s magnificent museum design can try building their own towns and cities using the fun and colourful wooden Blockitecture playblocks. Let your imagination flow!

Take a peek outside

Pick up a seek + peek trail map from the welcome desk, then head outside for a playful waterfront trail. This activity is designed to take families on a wander round V&A Dundee, as well as the urban beach and nearby Slessor Gardens. What will you discover and do today? (Doughnuts and ice cream from the street food van optional!) for further information.

V&A Dundee, 1 Riverside Esplanade, Dundee DD1 4EZ. Open daily from 10.00 – 17.00

Free admission, and free wi-fi available throughout the building. There is an unattended buggy park on the ground floor and baby changing facilities on Level 0 and Level 2. Breastfeeding is welcome anywhere around the museum.

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