Autism in Museums – events

When I am looking at museums I want to visit with my family, it is not always as easy as finding where they are and what time they open. My eldest daughter has Aspergers, a form of autism, so she struggles with busy places, loud noises and unfamiliar environments. Museums are slowly helping to break down the barriers, helping families to visit in a supportive environment. Sometimes they put on special events just for autism families, or they put up visual stories so you can prepare before your visit. It can be hard to find this information, it is often buried in websites, events can be one-off, once a month or one a year. I thought I would start to put down some events I know of on this page to help families find out about the great work museums are doing.

This list does not cover all the events out there. I will try to keep it up to date but please don’t rely on the information, always check with the museum first. This is not an endorsement of any of the events, if I have been to one I will say and sometimes there may be a blog about the event. If anything is incorrect please let me know. If you want to add an event drop me an email and if you make it to one of the museums I would love to know how you get on. or on Twitter @TinctureofMuse


Jewish Museum London – Curious Explorers 

A relaxed morning during the school holiday for children with autism or other social communication conditions, their siblings, parents and carers. Free admission.

Enjoy early opening and a dedicated space at the museum from 9am.

  • Benefit from reduced noise levels in the galleries
  • Relax in our Chill Out Zone

Our next Curious Explorer mornings take place on:

  • Wednesday 14 February 2018
  • Wednesday 11 April 2018

For further information about the next Curious Explorers morning and to register your interest, please email

London Transport Museum 

For family visitors with Special Educational Needs (SEN), including Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), we are opening early on two special days. Enjoy the Museum at a quieter time, free from the general public. Explore our All Aboard family spaces in peace, take part in our craft activities and make use of our new Sensory Bags to help you explore the collection. Many of the sounds in the Museum are switched off, making it a peaceful place to visit.

Dates Sat 7th April 2018

Price: Advanced booking is essential as places are limited. Please call 020 7565 7298 to book your place now. Children and young people under 18 go free; adults charged general admission rate.

There is a Social Story on their website along with other support documents, including one on travelling in London.

For more information please check the website –

Museum of London – Morning Explorers 

The Museum of London open early for families who have children with Autism. The museum opens at 8.30am (normal opening hours 10-6pm) giving access before the general public. Free but booking is required to keep numbers low. Suitable for families with children under 13, some galleries open and activities include storytelling, self-directed trails through the galleries and an arts and craft session.

Next session – Sat 3rd March 2018, Museum of London, London Wall.

For more info –

Natural History Museum – Dawnosaurs

The Natural History Museum will be running “Dawnosaurs” Early Mornings for families with members on the Autistic Spectrum. The next event is Sat 10th March 2018 booking opens 10th February 2018

Other dates – 20th May 2018

They have a short video on YouTube which shows the galleries, restaurants, cafe and shop.

My blog on the first Dawnosaurs can be read here –

Royal Academy of Arts

Family SEN event - July 2014
Family SEN event – July 2014 copyright Royal Academy

Run free creative workshops for children with special educational needs and their family and friends. Booking is essential and the event is suitable for all ages and abilities. Numbers are kept low, around 7 families with about 20 people in total. I have observed this event and staff are very supportive and welcoming. The session is not specifically for children with an Autistic Spectrum Condition, all children with special needs and their families are welcome. You can read my blog on the sessions here.

There is a contact list of people who are interested and those on the waiting list from previous sessions are contacted in advance of making bookings available to the wider pool of people, after that it is a first come first served basis. If you are interested it is well worth putting your name down. Each session has a different theme and is led by an artist who has experience of working with children and adults with special needs.

Capture the Flag 

Sunday 11th March 2018 – 11am-1pm FULLY BOOKED

Treasure Hunters – Join us for a free creative workshop inspired by the treasures in ‘Charles I: King and Collector’, for children with special educational needs and their family and friends.

What jewels would be in your dream treasure trove? Discover the most precious possessions of notorious ruler and art collector Charles I. Dream up your own royal riches and create a grand artwork that’s fit for a king or queen.This workshop will be tailored to meet the access requirements of those attending and led by experienced artist educator Cash Aspeek.
Royal Air Force Museum - London
Royal Air Force Museum – London

Royal Air Force Museum – North London

They have two documents to download from their website a guide for visitors with autism and an autism friendly aircraft trail with a good map to follow. Entry is free. In July 2014 they were the first museum to be awarded the National Autistic Society Autism Access Award. They have a quiet space and train all staff and volunteers in autism awareness. I have met staff and they take a museum wide approach to welcoming autistic visitors, if you have any specific queries or needs please get in touch with them. You can read my blog on their Autism Access Award here 

There is also ample parking on site. [The museum is currently being redeveloped and parking is restricted please check the website Feb 2017].

The Planetarium at the Royal Observatory - Greenwich
The Planetarium at the Royal Observatory – Greenwich

Royal Observatory, Greenwich

The Planetarium – Morning Stars – 17th February 2018, 10.00-10.30am. Planned in conjunction with the Royal Borough of Greenwich ASD Outreach Service and local parents from the Greenwich branch of the National Autistic Society. They have also received support from the Science Museum who run successful autism friendly events.

Tickets: Adult: £5, Child: £5,  Age range: recommended for 7+ (all ages welcome, under-3s free) two spaces for wheelchair users

An early morning Sky Tonight show for children and young people who have an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), and their families. Explore the night sky and find out from a Royal Observatory Astronomer what is visible on the day of your visit and during the month ahead; plus the chance to ask questions.

For more information or to book please visit the website:

Autism-Friendly Screenings – During Autism-Friendly Screenings, low lights are left on in the auditorium and the volume of the soundtrack is reduced. It is fine for visitors make noise or take a break during the film. 

Early Birds at the Science Museum
Early Birds at the Science Museum

Science Museum – Early Bird events

The museum opens at 8.30 on a Saturday morning exclusively for families with members who have an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC). The rest of the museum opens at 10am but some galleries remain open just for Early Birds till 10.50am. Families are welcome to stay on afterwards. Free and suitable for families with children under 15.

Dates for 2018 are:

Saturday 24 February 2018
Sunday 18 March 2018
Saturday 5 May 2018
Saturday 14 July 2018
Saturday 29 September 2018
Saturday 10 November 2018

Bookings can be made by calling 020 7942 4000 If you would like to receive a reminder that bookings are about to open, please email: and we’ll add you to our Early Birds mailing list.

I have been to this event many times and it is always well run and great fun. All the staff, including security, have had training and understand how autism impacts on visitors.  There is a great mix of events, craft, activity, chill out zone, sensory room or you can just wander around the galleries. I have written a blog about our visit here.

img_3573Night Owls

Night Owls enables young adults who have Autism to come along and enjoy the Museum free from the hustle and bustle of the general public.

On selected Saturdays across the year we open the Museum exclusively to pre-booked Night Owls guests from 18.45 until 21.30. As well as the chance to explore the galleries, there are lots of fun workshops and exciting demonstrations to enjoy.

All of these events are completely free and suitable for young adults between the ages of 16–25.

I visited the first one on Saturday 28th November 2015. You can see a Storify on events here –

The next one is planned for Saturday 2nd December 2017, booking opens Friday 3rd November 2017.

For further details and new dates please see the website

St. Paul’s Cathedral

For Disabled Access Day Saturday 10th March 2018 St. Paul’s Cathedral have a whole day of events – save the date more to follow.

Tower Bridge

We visited this event as a family and had a really good time a blog on our visit is here –

Autism Friendly Early Opening mornings  when Tower Bridge will be opening its doors early for children with autism and other needs, as well as their siblings, families and carers.

Families will be able to explore the Exhibition and Engine Rooms in a calm, relaxed atmosphere and also take part in a family craft activity if they wish. Also available will be our family trail, which visitors can complete at their own pace. Download our  visual story to help prepare for your visit.

Autism Friendly Early Opening will take place on the following dates:
Tickets are no longer on sale but new sessions are being developed. If you would like to be notified as soon as future dates go on sale please sign up for our newsletter below.

For any questions about the event please contact or 020 7940 8397.

Historic Royal Palaces – Tower of London, Hampton Court, Kensington Palace

No specific autism events but the Historic Royal Palaces have some access guides aimed at autistic visitors –

Tower of London has a great visual guide for parents and carers with children and people on the autistic spectrum –

Hampton Court also have autism accessibility guides on their website –

Kensington Palace – autism guide –

V&A Museum of Childhood

The museum runs special family events for children and their families involving art workshops and inclusive storytelling. There are none currently scheduled but check their autism page below. There is lots of support information on their website including a pre-visit visual booklet and a virtual tour of the museum. They have a quiet room and Sense backpacks which are available for free from the information desk and contain ear defenders as well as toys and maps.


East Midlands 

Lincoln Castle 

Early Morning Explorers Christmas Fun – Saturday 16th December 2017

Join us for our Early Morning Explorers Sessions, an exclusive hour before opening where young children with autism and their families can enjoy the Castle in a specially tailored environment.

The team at Lincoln Castle have undergone Autism Awareness training and worked alongside Lincoln’s Parent Support Group PAACT who is affiliated to the Lincolnshire Autistic Society.

Should you require any more information, please read our accessibility statement.  A brand new Easy Read Guide, which is specifically designed for young children and adults with Autism to take on their way around the Castle, can be downloaded and you can find out how to reserve your own temporary ear defenders whilst visiting us.

Please note that these changes to the Castle and its attractions will take place between 9.00am and 10.00am. From 10am the Castle’s audio and visual interpretation will restart. You are more than welcome to stay beyond 10am.

East of England 

Chelmsford Museum

Sunday 19th November 2017 10.30-12.30
Free admission but booking required call 01245 605 700

Chelmsford Museum have added a number of autism resources to their website including FAQs and a visual guide.

Chelmsford Museum have been awarded a National Autism Friendly Award from the National Autistic Society (May 2017)
For more info telephone 01245 605700 and ask for Amanda or Yvonne.

North East

Great North Museum – Newcastle Upon Tyne

Next date is Thursday 15th February 2018. Free but booking is essential, donations encouraged. SOLD OUT

The Great North Museum: Hancock will be hosting a relaxed animal handling sessions for people with autism, learning disabilities or sensory and communication disorders, along with their families and carers.

There will be the opportunity to handle some creepy crawlies (if you dare!) from Bugsnstuff between 10-11am. There will be timed slots of 15 minutes at;

  • 10-10.15am
  • 10.15-10.30am
  • 10.30-10.45am
  • 10.45-11am

At 11am the animal handling will open up to the general public until 3pm – Booking here

You can download a Visual Story for the museum which may help prepare those who have not attended before for their visit.

Manchester Museum

Autism friendly sessions second Saturday of every month. See, Make and Do. Drop in, free. Saturday 10th February 2018, early opening for children who have autism and other needs and their families, 9.15-10.30am.  Second Saturday of every month. Drop-in, free. Autism Friendly: for children and young people aged 5-16 with a parent or carer and siblings welcome.

In February our Fossils gallery where Stan the T-Rex lives will be open earlier

For more information contact Victoria Grant on 0161 306 1770 or see the website.

Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books – Newcastle Upon Tyne

Early Bird Opening the first Saturday of every month for visitors on the Autistic Spectrum and their families 9-10am

Saturday 3rd February – Winter Tales!

Saturday 3rd March – World Book Day!

Saturday 7th April – Time to Get Up!

9am-10am      Explore our exhibitions and café before we get busy

9:30am            Bookshop opens

10am               Relaxed story time.

We know that queues and hustle and bustle can be overwhelming for many families, so every first Saturday of the month we open our doors early to ease your arrival and ensure you have the best time with us.

Have a stress-free visit to all our current interactive exhibitions – plus the Attic, Studio and Story Station – with no music or noisy tannoy announcements and plenty of skilled staff on hand to help with anything you might need. Our sensory backpacks, available to borrow for a fully returnable £10 deposit, are a perfect way to explore together – each one containing a multisensory blanket and tactile props to bring a book from one of the galleries to life. You can also borrow a handy pair of ear defenders at Reception if you’d like to screen out background noise and focus on having fun.

Early Bird Opening also means you can have a quieter visit to our Café – enjoy a hot drink or homemade snack from 9am. Our Bookshop is open from 9:30, and our friendly booksellers can help you choose the right book for your family to carry on sharing stories at home.

Seven Stories wants to give you the best possible visitor experience.  If you have any queries about access, or would like to discuss any aspect of your visit before you arrive, please call our Access Champion Beth Coverdale on 0300 330 1095 ext. 220 or speak to any member of our staff team. You can find our Social Story and details about accessibility on our website here.

Free event. Admission required.

Woodhorn Museum

Pityard Skating Rink

Autism Friendly: Autism Friendly Skating Sessions available on Sunday 24th & 31st December and Sunday 7th January 10am – 10.30am. Advance booking essential to allow us to manage the number of skaters during these sessions (please ring 01670 624455 to book a session, 10am-4pm, Mon-Sun).

North West

Liverpool Museums – Liverpool – various venues 

International Slavery Museum – Autism Friendly Morning

5th November 2017 10am-12 noon Free, drop-in

Visit the International Slavery Museum for an autism-friendly quiet morning.

The museum will be open as usual to the public, but this is a quieter morning and the volume of interactives in the galleries will be reduced during this time.

Please see our autism-friendly gallery guide to the International Slavery Museum and Merseyside Maritime Museum (pdf) which has photos of spaces outside and inside the museum along with useful information.

Lady Lever Art Gallery – Autism Friendly Morning

10 December 2017 10am

Join the education team at the Lady Lever Art Gallery for a quiet morning with a festive theme.

In this autism-friendly session for visitors of all ages you’ll have the opportunity to make Christmas cards and explore sensory boxes.

These activities will take place in our activity rooms.

Merseyside Maritime Museum – Autism Friendly Morning

5th November 2017 10am-12 noon Free, drop-in

Visit the Merseyside Maritime Museum, including the ‘Seized! The Border and Customs uncovered’ gallery, for an autism-friendly quiet morning.

The museum will be open as usual to the public, but this is a quieter morning and the volume of interactives in the galleries will be reduced during this time.

Please see our autism-friendly gallery guide to Merseyside Maritime Museum (pdf) which has photos of spaces outside and inside the museum along with useful information.

Walker Art Gallery Autism Friendly Morning –

Sunday 28th January 2018

Sunday 25th February 2018

Free – drop-in

Between 10.00-12noon you can join us for fun interactive exploration of the Big Art for Little Artists gallery and a choice of craft activities will be available. This is also a chance to meet other parents for a cuppa and a chat.

What you can expect

  • Quiet morning sessions before crowds arrive
  • Choice of art and craft activities
  • Autism friendly signage to help navigate the space
  • Refreshments for participants and their families in a seperate quiet space (11.30am-12pm)

See access information for Walker Art Gallery.

World Museum – Autism Friendly Morning

Sunday 1st October 2017 10am-12 noon

See our autism-friendly guide to World Museum (pdf) which has photos of spaces inside and outside the Museum, along with useful information.

Tate – Liverpool

Tate Liverpool are offering an autism event in October. The Tate have been working in conjunction with Liverpool Autistic Children’s Alliance.

Complete with a quiet break-out space, this session is for children with autism, other social communication issues, their siblings, parents and carers.

Explore the work of Roy Lichtenstein through colour and pattern in a playful environment. Complete with a quiet break-out space, this artist-led session is for children with autism and other social communication issues, their siblings, parents and carers.

An accessible guide to the gallery is available from the front desk and is also available to download.

23rd October 2017 11am-12.30pm

23rd October 2017 1.30pm-3.00pm

Free, drop-in.

For more info please see the website

Great blog here on the event –

South East

Ashmolean Museum – Oxford

Join a relaxed and informal concert with the Orchestra of St John’s. Perfect for those on the autism spectrum or who have additional needs or learning disabilities.

Free, booking required.

01865 278015 /

Supported by Music for Autism.

Haslemere Educational Museum – Surrey

New #autism friendly events have started at this museum. Booking essential.

Next event Wednesday 14th February 2018 9am-10am Special opening for families with children who have an Autism Spectrum Condition to come along and enjoy the Museum free from the hustle and bustle of the general public. The galleries will be open and there will be an opportunity to handle special objects

Kids In Museums Family Friendly Museum of the Year 2012 winner.  Contact Kay Topping the Education Officer and she can send you pictures of the museum to prepare for your visit.  Telephone 01428 642 112

Website –

The National Museum of Computing

Sunday 18 February 2018 

Friday 6 April 2018
Friday 1 June 2018
Friday 27 July 2018
Friday 24 August 2018
Friday 2 November 2018
all at 10.30am – 12 noonRegistration RequiredVisit our museum before the usual general public opening times. Please check back for more details about each session as the date approaches.

Explore the museum and take part in drop-in activities. Especially suitable for visitors with autism or other special needs, and their siblings, parents and carers.

Enjoy Augmented Reality trails, family trails with hands-on activities, programming and a chill-out zone. All drop-in sessions, so stay for as long as you wish.

If a Bytes festival is running, you’ll be welcome to stay on after 12 noon to enjoy more hands-on activities for families.

Please visit our accessibility pages to view our visual story and sensory map, which can help people to prepare for their visit.

IMPORTANT NOTE – Please register by emailing Claire Marston, Head of Learning.

Registration is required to try to ensure that the event works to everyone’s benefit – if you have any questions, you can also email Claire.

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History now have a page on their website with information to support autistic visitors which can be found here. It includes a detailed visual guide which shows the galleries, displays, lifts and toilets etc. The guide is a new initiative for them (Jan 2015) and would really appreciate any feedback that visitors can give, you can contact them on this email –

The Story Museum – Oxford

The Story Museum have ‘relaxed visits’ for their new exhibitions. Next one is Sunday 4th February 2018  4-5pm. The visits are for those with autism, learning disabilities or sensory and communication difficulties. Sessions are Free and last an hour, ring to book a place on 01865 7900 050 or email Visual story is on the website.

South West

West Midlands

Birmingham Museums

If you’re an adult or child on the autistic spectrum or with other special needs and would prefer a quieter visit to our museums, join one of our Morning Explorers sessions!

Our museums will open early for you and your family to explore in a quiet and welcoming environment.

Half price admission, plus one free carer place at Thinktank, Blakesley Hall and Sarehole Mill.
Free admission at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.
Entry to Coffin Works normal admission with one free carer place.

Places must be pre-booked by calling 0121 348 8263 or booking online.

Morning Explorers dates for 2018 are:

  • Thinktank – Thurs 22nd February,  9-11am
  • Sarehole Mill –  Sat 19th May, 9-11am
  • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery – see Dippy the Dinosaur on tour! –  Fri 27th July, timed ticket entry at 9am or 10am
  • Blakesley Hall –  Thurs 19th July, 9-11am
  • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery – Dippy the Dinosaur – Thurs 9th August, timed ticket entry at 9am or 10am
  • Thinktank – Sat 10th November, 9-11am

On 9th August and 10th November, why not follow up your visit with an Autism Friendly Relaxed Tour at the Coffin Works at 11am.  The Coffin Works is just 5 minutes walk from Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, 15 minutes from Thinktank. Please phone 0121 233 4790 to book Coffin Works tours.

For more information, please contact Rosie Barker, Community Engagement Officer on

Coffin Works – Home of Newman Brothers Museum

Our visit relaxed tour of the year will be Saturday February 10th 2018. Full details and booking are online

The tour starts at 3.15pm. Please arrive 5 minutes early for your tour to pay and ‘clock in’. The tour lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

For other 2018 relaxed tour availability, please contact Josie on 233 4785.

It is essential that you pre-book your visit by contacting our front of house team on 0121 2334790 or by email:

Bookings will be taken up to 4pm the day before. Unfortunately as our Relaxed tours are led by specific team members, if we do not have any bookings in advance the session will be cancelled.

Our relaxed experience is a factory tour which has been designed specifically for people on the Autistic Spectrum and their families, and suitable also for people with a learning disability or sensory and communication disorder.

How have we adapted our usual factory tour?

We have adapted the environment by reducing noise levels and making some of our machinery demonstrations optional rather than standard. Group sizes are also smaller and we provide a quiet room (which includes a lava lamp, gentle lighting and cushions) for those who need some space during the tour. Our tour guide and front of house volunteers are trained in, or have experience of the Autistic Spectrum.

There will also be a special trail with Fred the factory cat for younger audiences, and we have put together some PECS (Picture Exchange Communication Systems) to help us communicate with everyone on the tour.

We’ve timed our Relaxed experience to be the last tour of the day so we can be more flexible with time to suit the needs of the group.

Most importantly, there will be a relaxed atmosphere where you can learn and enjoy discovering our wonderful ‘time capsule’ factory together as a family or with friends. All areas of the museum are wheelchair accessible.

Our Relaxed experience has been developed with one of our museum volunteers who is on the Autistic spectrum.

For full details, including pre-visit information films and downloads, please visit our Relaxed at Newman Bros. pages

The Herbert – Art Gallery and Museum – Coventry

Sensory Play Days

Thursdays & Fridays, 10.30am – 11.30am & 1.00pm – 2.00pm

Let imaginations soar as your child learns to play creatively in this interactive space. Explore and grow using inspiring sensory materials, the possibilities are endless!

Suitable for age 0 – 4

£2 | Drop in

9.15am – 10.00am

First session free!
£2 per child, per session.


For futher information, please download the information pack.

To book, email: or call 02476237542.
Places are limited to a first come, first served basis.

Market Hall Museum – Warwickshire

Monday 21st August 2017 2-4pm

Autism Friendly Family Activity at Market Hall Museum

Dress up as a Georgian aristocrat, have a chat to one of our collections team about the costume in our galleries and have a go at making your own Georgian accessories. Cost: £2.50, payable on the day. Spaces are limited so please book a space for every child you are bringing with you. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Eureka! The National Children’s Museum – Halifax, West Yorkshire

They offer an Extra Pair of Hands service for disabled children to guide and support your visit. Only available in term time and must be booked 2 weeks in advance. You can try this service for free once. They also run regular Saturday and holiday clubs, check events page for details. General admission costs to the museum and annual pass information can be found here. For more details ring 01422 330 069

The also have a visual story to help you prepare for your visit.

National Media Museum – Bradford

Early Birds is a special event for families with children who have an Autism Spectrum Condition, an anxiety disorder, or a Special Educational Need that means they would benefit from a quieter, more relaxed museum opening.

The museum will open early—at 08.30—and will be available exclusively for our Early Birds guests until 10.00, when we open our doors to the general public.

Entry and activities are free. Early Birds visitors can also enjoy a film screening at reduced ticket prices.


Early Birds is a great way to explore the museum at a quiet time, away from the hustle and bustle of crowds.

This time, we’ve been inspired by Early Man, the amazing new film from Aardman—creators of Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep. In Gallery One, you can join in cave painting and clay model-making, and in Makespace you’ll have the chance to engineer your own catapult!

Our newest gallery, Wonderlab, is full of amazing sights and sounds, and there will be a sensory play area in the Wonderlab Studio. Our other galleries, including the BFI Mediatheque, will be open for families to explore and play with interactive exhibits.

The Kodak Gallery will have screens and sounds turned off to ensure a quieter space.

The Media Café will be opening early to serve breakfast.

After 10.00, families are of course welcome to stay and continue to enjoy their visit to the museum.


As part of the event, there will be a special screening of Early Man at 09.45 in Cubby Broccoli Cinema. Join plucky caveman Dug as he unites his tribe against mighty enemy Lord Nooth!

During this Autism Friendly Screening, low lights will be left on in the auditorium and the volume of the soundtrack will be reduced. It’s fine for you to move around, make noise or take a break during the film. No advertisements or trailers will be shown before the film.

Tickets are available at the special reduced rate of £3. Buy your tickets at the box office on the day, or book online with Picturehouse.

Wheelchair users are asked to book in advance—call the Picturehouse box office on 0871 902 5756 or email


The museum staff working on the day have received training from Specialist Autism Services.

Our special access guide can help you prepare for your visit.

You can find more information about access and facilities at the museum on our accessibility page.

York Castle Museum

York Castle Museum are holding their second relaxed opening Sunday 18th February 2018. From 9.30-11.30am. We know that our museum can be loud and busy at times, so we will put our lights on full and turn off all the sound effects so it’s a less overwhelming environment for our visitors. You’ll still be able to visit all the galleries, but there will be no dark areas and no sudden sounds. We have worked with the National Autistic Society North Yorkshire Central branch on this event. No need to book for ticket prices please see the website.

There is seating provided around the museum, and a quiet space will be available should you need it.

Our Relaxed Openings are designed for visitors who would prefer a quieter visit to our museum.

We have visual stories available for visitors with autism and their carers – these can be found on our Access page here.

The event is free for visitors with autism, dementia, visual impairments or similar issues. Carers and children under 16 will also be admitted for free. Accompanying members of a group will be admitted for £5, and standard admission is £10. There is no need to book ahead.

If you require any further information about this event, please email or phone 01904 687687.


National Museum of Scotland 

Whole page of support including sensory backpacks, communication cards and visual story

Early Doors for Autism – Silver Shimmer

Exclusive access for autistic children to our Scotland’s Early Silver exhibition plus Christmas Crafts.

16th December 2017 9-10am places are limited so please book, free


Updated 9th January 2018


  1. Hello, I create autism visual communication tools for museums or cultural places. I’m also Mum of a 19 years old autistic working boy. For information, the “Patrimoines en famille” project is proposed in 6 cultural and historical places inFrance (2 already in the East of France, following sites in the South this month) to autistic children and teens without any limit of time. You can download the Visitor Guide to prepare your visit, the museums staff has been informed about autism to ensure a warm welcome without judgment, and a special game booklet is offered at the museum reception to all children of the family. Also, visit and tools are totally free for parents + 4 children including autistic children, thanks to corporate philanthropy. Please have a look at the link and feel free to contact me for any question. Regards and congrats for your interesting blog.

  2. Thank you for this information. As the mother of a young man on the spectrum, I am pleased to learn of the initiatives at cultural venues to welcome ALL visitors. I have recently started a blog which documents how museums in Paris and France are trying to be inclusive.

  3. Hi,

    Just read your blog – it’s fantastic with loads of great ideas/inspiration. Just wanted to let you know that we at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire run accessible/relaxed openings on the last Tuesday of every month, 3-5pm, where interactives/videos and sounds are turned off and lights are turned up to create a bright and quiet space for those with different needs. Whilst we can’t guarantee the museum will be quiet at that time, later on in the day is usually less busy in terms of visitor numbers. We are also in the process of developing autism friendly sessions and crafts… and we have an access statement/visual story for people wanting to plan their visit –


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