Join in the animal fun at Museums in Ipswich this summer

Published26th July 2023

Families can enjoy a variety of animal themed experiences and activities for families in the school summer holidays at Christchurch Mansion and Ipswich Museum. 

Free Family Fun sessions will take place at Christchurch Mansion on 27 July and 2 August. Come and meet experts and enthusiasts to learn more about the Anglo-Saxons and local geology. These sessions also offer activities that explore nature and the world around as well as animal themed stories.

Animals in the Art Gallery is a free family-friendly exhibition for animal lovers at Christchurch Mansion until April 2024. It features items from the Ipswich Museum collection, a creative studio for youngsters to make their own animal art plus many different animals in artworks. No booking is required, simply visit, and enjoy!

Why not ‘Get Crafty’, with free animal-themed paper and card activity drop-in sessions at Christchurch Mansion?  Or enter the Children’s Animal Art competition? There are three categories for different age groups – entrants must create a 2-D A4 drawing or painting inspired by the Animals in the Art Gallery exhibition. The closing date for entries is 8 October, with the three winning pieces to be displayed at Christchurch Mansion during half-term week!

For the under 5s there’s Animal Magic offering free storytelling, sand and water play along with dress-up activities at Christchurch Mansion for drop-in sessions at the end of August.

Paid for activities include the Where’s Woolly or Harry the Hedgehog trails at Christchurch Mansion. For £5 per child, per trail (age 3+) complete the trail and receive a prize at the end! Visitors to the Mansion can get trail information from the shop and there is no need to pre-book.

Creative Creatures sessions in August at Christchurch Mansion offer the chance to create a four-legged animal at a 3D workshop, and Animal Automata workshops later in the month see art and science sessions to create a funky levered animal. Pre-booking is recommended for both.

Finally, Amazing Animals experiences at Ipswich Museum allow those age 3 or above to meet live animals and learn more about them. These sessions must be pre-booked and cost £5 per person.

Councillor Carole Jones, Ipswich Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Planning and Museums, says:

“There are so many wonderful activities on offer this summer at Christchurch Mansion for young people and their families to enjoy.

Animals in the Art gallery is an inspiring selection of artwork featuring animals over time with lots of different animals on show to inspire competition entries.

There Where’s Woolly trail is popular with youngsters needing a challenge and Amazing Animals sessions see the space at Ipswich Museum used, even though the museum being closed for refurbishment.”

Christchurch Mansion is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 11am to 5pm.

To find out more and book activities visit:

Ipswich Museum will only be open for the Amazing Animal Activity events. It’s not possible to visit the rest of the museum, due to the ongoing redevelopment project. Find out more about this project at:

Image credit – Colchester + Ipswich Museums