Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum

We’ve been to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum so many times in the past four and a half years that it feels a little bit like going home when I walk into that building.

We were back a few weeks ago and I realised that I’d never ever written about Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum on here. How that is possible, I do not know.

The kids both love it in Kelvingrove. It’s big enough that they have the freedom to explore for an hour without seeing the same things every time. (Though to be honest there are a few parts that we end up in every single time we visit.)

The Galleries

The galleries are huge with lots of space to explore. We have been round them all many times but there are a few that we always end up in, and that the kids like the best.

The animals are by far the biggest favourite. (I mean, what else would you expect?) Both of them love exploring in here. There is a little interactive room where they can open drawers and look at shells and fossils, watch the bees buzzing in their hive, look through a microscope and play in some big dinosaur eggs. There’s also a room with Scottish wildlife which has a couple of little tunnels the kids can clamber through.

We always need to go and see the faces. They’re across the opposite side of the galleries from the animals, hanging from the ceiling. They look different every time we see them.

Both the kids (and myself) are quite intrigued by them. They like to go upstairs so that they’re on the same level as them, and have a look at them from there.

Upstairs, theres a big walk through black box which is like an audio visual rainforest experience. When you walk in you are surrounded by rainforest sounds, there are pictures of rainforest animals lighting the floor, footage from a rainforest playing on screens and occasionally there is a thunderstorm.

There is something about this rainforest room that the kids absolutely adore. We always end up spending at least 20 minutes here while they crawl around the floor pretending to be a snake or frog or something. They just love playing in here.

There are some activities dotted around the museum. To be honest I do think that Kelvingrove could have more interactive stuff for kids, but there are a few things that mine like to play with.

Downstairs, in the ancient Egypt exhibit, there is a mummy that you can roll bandages all around. This was a big hit with the little lady the past few times we’ve visited. It seems to have fewer bandage for rolling every time we visit though.

The Food

There’s a cafe on the ground floor selling cakes, scones, hot and cold drinks and sandwiches. They also do lunch boxes for kids.

The restaurant is downstairs in the basement. They sell hot food down there as well as soups, sandwiches, panini etc. It’s big and spacious with plenty of room for several prams; an excellent place to meet up with friends!

The Extra Bits

There is a large car park outside. It costs £1 for 4 hours (I think – could be 3 hours). It can get pretty busy, but there’s also lots of (metered) on-street parking available on Kelvin Way, some on Sauchiehall Street and across the road in the Yorkhill area.

They have organists playing that magnificent organ most days at 1pm for about half an hour. It’s great to listen to. Or to have a dance to if, like the little lady, you are so inclined…

The Cost

It’s completely free. Just like all the ‘Glasgow Museums’ museums.

The Verdict

We love a little trip into Kelvingrove for a few hours. There are some activities for young kids (for such a huge museum there could be more if I’m honest, but I think that about many of Glasgow’s museums). It’s a huge space for the little ones to play in though, and a great place to meet up with a bunch of buggies. If you manage to read anything, that’s always a bonus!

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is located at Argyle St, Glasgow, G3 8AG.

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