Museum of Childhood Closed from 18 March 2020 Menu

Many of the Museum’s major exhibitions tour to venues both nationally and internationally.

View a map showing our touring exhibitions past, present and future.

A Pirate’s Life for Me

This is the V&A Museum of Childhood’s first major exhibition to focus on fictional pirates and their influence in popular culture.

Developed in collaboration with children, the exhibition’s immersive and playful set design takes its young visitors into an imaginary swashbuckling world of adventure and exploration where they will travel from a moody coastal inn to a tropical treasure island in search of sparkling riches. At its heart a large-scale pirate ship inspires learning through active play.

On display key loans and objects from the V&A’s collections, including toys, games, books, illustrations and comics, spanning over 300 years, chart the reimagination of pirates in popular children’s culture from Victorian Britain to the present day. Real pirate coins and treasures bring visitors into contact with a more authentic world, allowing them to see what influenced their favourite pirate characters.

Highlights include the first painting of Captain Pugwash, an original illustrated costume design for Captain Hook for the first production of Peter Pan in 1904, Lego’s iconic Black Seas Barracuda ship and real eighteenth century Spanish doubloons

Tour venues 

25 May 2019 – 8 September 2019                          Historic Dockyard, Chatham
5 October 2019 – 26 April 2020                              Rozelle House, Ayr, Scotland
26 September 2020 – 3 January 2021                    Northampton Museum
13 February 2021 – 16 May 2021                               Poole Museum, Dorset
29 May 2021 – 29 August 2021                           Cartwright Hall, Bradford
11 September 2021 – 28 November 2021          Dunfermline Library & Gallery, Fife, Scotland
11 December 2021 – 6 March 2022                     Doncaster Museum & Gallery
19 March 2022 – 18 September 2022                 Time & Tide, Great Yarmouth

chess set

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered

Are you a Scrabble Champion? A wannabee Chess grandmaster? Or a Monopoly megalomaniac? Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered will celebrate the joy, excitement and occasional frustration of playing board games. This will exhibition include some of the most iconic, enthralling and visually striking games from the V&A’s outstanding national collection of board games. Alongside current family favourites such as Cluedo and Trivial Pursuit, and traditional games like chess, the exhibition will look at historical board games including The Game of the Goose and other beautifully designed games from the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Tour venues 

13 April 2019 – 23 June 2019                                    The Ark, Dublin
20 July 2019 – 27 October 2019                               Hall Place, Bexley, London                              13 June 2020 – 4 October 2020                               The Corn Exchange, Newbury
17 October 2020 – 17 January 2021                         Epping Forest Museum, Waltham Abbey


V&A Museum of Childhood
Bethnal Green

The museum is currently closed

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Exhibition - Jan von Holleben – Picture This!

Jan von Holleben – Picture This!

17 January until 10 May 2020

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Activity - Daily activities (term-time)

daily acitivites

Details of free drop-in activities taking place during term time, including arts and crafts, tours, trails and storytelling.

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V&A Museum of Childhood collections

Discover the national collection of Childhood related objects, from ideas to design, toys to schoolbooks. All Museum of Childhood Objects

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