The Cooper Gallery’s ‘Wow Wednesdays’ named families’ favourite lockdown activity

The Cooper Gallery’s ‘Wow Wednesdays’ named families’ favourite lockdown activity

The Cooper Gallery, one of Barnsley Museums five free fantastic attractions, has been recognised for its fun family activities during lockdown in the Family Friendly Museum Award From Home.

The museum was one of five museums awarded top prizes in an online awards ceremony hosted by TV personalities, Philip Mould and Professor Kate Williams.

Charity Kids in Museums has held its annual Family Friendly Museum Award for the past 15 years, recognising the most family friendly heritage sites in the UK. This year the charity created a special award to celebrate the extraordinary effort museums made to adapt to lockdown and support families. They asked families and museums to share their favourite lockdown activities – whether it was a film, quiz, game, craft or something else!

Over 400 nominations for the award were sent in from all over the world. In July, an expert panel whittled down these nominations to a shortlist of 26 museums.

Over the summer, families tested out the activities and their feedback, along with an expert panel, decided the winners of each category.

The Cooper Gallery won the Best Film Category for their ‘Wow Wednesday’s’ series of stories and activities for under-fives and their families. Originally shared each Wednesday through social media channels, the content is still available for families to enjoy via the Barnsley Museums website and YouTube channel. They can share a story, get busy with some cooking or crafts, clear the room for some dance or explore the online film of the Wow Said the Owl exhibition, based on Tim Hopgood’s best-selling book exploring shape and colour.

Cllr Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place (Regeneration and Culture) said:

Barnsley Museums family activities are an important resource for thousands of people in the borough and beyond. Now more than ever it is important to offer families creative and interesting activities that they can enjoy from the comfort of their home. During these difficult months the Barnsley Museums Learning Team have quickly adapted physical activities into high quality online sessions that are not only educational but also fun and exciting.

Philip Mould, art dealer, broadcaster and Kids in Museums President, said:

It is a pleasure to today celebrate how museums and heritage sites have sprung into action and brought culture to families during this challenging time. What all our winners have in common is that they have managed to bring the best of museums to families at home. These projects not only helped them with home schooling, but also supported their wellbeing and helped them have fun together. Many congratulations to all our worthy winners.

Here is the full list of families’ favourite lockdown activities:

Best Film


Cooper Gallery, Barnsley - Wow Wednesdays
Highly Commended

University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge - Zoology Live! Online Festival
Best Social Media Activity

Highly Commended

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft – Virtual Museum Club

National Museum Wales – Minecraft your Museum
Best Website Activity

Highly Commended

National Galleries Scotland – Home is Where the Art is

National Videogame Museum, Sheffield – Create Your Own Pixel Art Character
Best International Digital Activity

Highly Commended

Andy Warhol Museum, USA – Warhol Making It Videos

The Glucksman, Republic of Ireland – Creativity at Home
Going the Extra Mile

Highly Commended

Colchester and Ipswich Museums – Museum From Home Activity Packs
Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books, Newcastle Upon Tyne – Something to Smile About: Supporting Families in East Newcastle

The Whitworth, Manchester – Still Parents
The Family Friendly Museum Award From Home has been made possible by funding from Arts Council England.

For more information about Barnsley Museums family activities visit