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During the school holidays the Museum of Richmond runs hands on workshops for families. Using a mix of real and replica historical objects from the Museum’s handling collection, our workshops provide families with a hands on experience where they learn more about the history of the local area and develop new skills by having a go at arts and craft activities.

Below you will find summaries of workshops we have done since October 2016, along with some feedback from parents who were there.

Visit our Families page to find more about upcoming family workshops and events


Easter 2022 - Awesome Origami

In these workshops we explored how the OT create sets for their plays, by using model boxes. We then created our own Origami models, inspired by their recent production of Pinocchio and set about creating model boxes for our own plays and stories.

‘We enjoyed every bit of it. Vicky was amazing with her energy. Thanks.’

Easter 2022 - Marvellous Mask Making

In these workshops we looked at how theatres have used masks to help tell stories since the times of the Ancient Greeks. We then explored the stories of the Br’er Rabbit, a mask that was used in the OT production of An Octoroon and Cthulhu from Pomona. We then had a go at making our own masks of our favourite characters from our favourite stories.

‘My children had a great time and learned something new. Very happy overall.’

February Half Term 2022 - Perfect Patchwork

In February Half Term, we explored the story of Dorothea Jordan, a celebrated Georgian era actress. She was the girlfriend of the Duke of Clarence, who became King William IV. They made their home at Bushey House and had 10 children together! We then had a go at making our own patchwork bags, inspired by the popular pastime of the day.

“The workshop gives me a clearer picture of what life at Georgian period looks like. I am new to the UK. After the workshop I understand how architectural works in Richmond Borough link with history. It makes me like living in Richmond more.”

October Half Term 2021 - The Ghosts of Richmond Palace

In these workshops, we explored the ghostly goings on in the remains of Richmond Palace, including the heart-breaking story of the early death of Anne of Bohemia, beloved wife of Richard II, how Henry VII hid in Richmond Palace when being King turned out not to be all it was cracked up to be, and the secret connection to her mother that Elizabeth I kept with her until the day she died.

During the workshops at the Museum we went and explored the actual places we talked about, whilst in the online version, we look at lots of modern and historical pictures.

Once we had been inspired by these creepy tales, we created our own haunted Richmond Palace’s to help get out homes ready for Halloween!

“Vicky was a fantastic guide, very knowledgeable and great fun for the kids!”

Summer 2021 - Art Summer School

During this week long course where students had a go at several arts and crafts, learnt more about the history of Richmond and earned a Bronze Arts Award  – a Level 1 qualification (equivalent to a GCSE – grades 3, 2, 1 or grades D, E, F, G) from Trinity College, London

Activities included:

  • Visiting and reviewing the King’s Observatory exhibition at the Museum
  • Having a go at arts and crafts linked to the science and stories the King’s Observatory and Georgian Richmond
  • Curating an exhibition of their work which will remain on display at the Museum for the duration of King’s Observatory Exhibition


Summer 2021 - A Georgian Summer

In these final workshops of the summer, we found out why George III made his summer home in Kew, and had a go at some of the games and crafts his children would have enjoyed, including making paying cards, jigsaw puzzles, patchwork and embroidery!

“Vicky is a lovely lady who introduced us to the lives of the Georgians – very informative and fun for the both of us.”



Summer 2021 - Wild Weather

In these workshops at the Museum and online, we learnt about then history of the MET Office and how weather used to be recorded at the King’s Observatory. we then made our own mini ‘weather station’ to carry out your own observations.

“I LOVE these family workshops – they are so fun and enjoyed by all members of the family of different ages.”

Summer 2021 - A Palace called home

In these workshops – both online and at the Museum – we discovered why George III loved staying at Kew with his family and the plans he had to build a palace fit for a King. We then create your own palace models, inspired by George III and his family’s buildings, some of which are still standing in Richmond and Kew Gardens.

“Vicky is a lovely lady who introduced us to the lives of the Georgians – very informative and fun for the both of us”

May Half Term 2021 - Here comes the Sun

In these online workshops we explored how the King’s Observatory has helped us learn more about the Sun and celebrated the summer solstice by creating a special sun decoration for our homes.

“Wonderful workshop Vicky, many thanks for making it so interesting and engaging for us all.”

Easter 2021 - Earth Day

In this online workshop we discovered how work at the King’s Observatory helped map the Earth’s magnetic field, and why
it is important, followed by a craft creating our own reusable bags decorated with recycled materials.

“It was a great workshop and I appreciated that Vicky catered to all ages as my daughter was younger but has a keen interest in science/history so she thoroughly enjoyed this.”

Easter 2021 - The Planets

In these online workshops, we discovered why George III built the King’s Observatory and how it has helped us understand the
Universe, then created our own solar system mobiles. 

“Great for my son to interact online as unable to come to sessions at the moment, which is what we would normally do in the holidays”

February 2021 - Starry, Starry Night

In the Museum’s first ever online workshop for families, we discovered The King’s Observatory has helped us explore the
universe around us and created or own constellation cube!

“It was really fun and the delivery of materials in advance has kept [my child] excited since the envelope arrived!”

October Half Term 2019 - Grave Yard Explorers!

During October half term we explored the stories of the people buried in St Mary Magdalene’s and designed our own creepy headstones!

“Hugely informative and enjoyable. Vicky pitches information just right and put the children at ease and makes it fun.”

Summer Schools 2019

During this  week long course, we looked at arts and crafts used to decorate places of worship. Students developed new skills, learned more about the history of Richmond, and earned a Bronze Arts Award  – a Level 1 qualification (equivalent to a GCSE – grades 3, 2, 1 or grades D, E, F, G) from Trinity College, London

Activities will included:

  • Visiting and reviewing the St Mary Magdalene’s exhibition at both the Church and the Museum
  • Look at the similarities and differences in how different faiths decorate their places of worship, with a visit to Richmond Synagogue and St Elizabeth’s Roman Catholic Church.
  • Having a go at arts and crafts associated with places of workshop including stained ‘glass’, geometric patterns and stylised flora and fauna.
  • Curating an exhibition of their work which will remain on display at the Museum for the duration of the St Mary Magdalene’s Exhibition.


Many thanks to The Art Society, Richmond for providing funding to support the summer school.


Summer 2019 - St Mary Magdalene's Church

Throughout the summer we explored the arts and crafts of St Mary Magdalene’s church, looking at embroidery, stained glass and coats of arms. We visited the church first to get inspiration for the things we made back at the Museum.

“I think my daughter always gets a lot out of these workshops. It is pitched well as school age children. Very educational and good for learning new skills …  a great fun morning with lots of historical learning.”

May 2019: Printing in Richmond: Dimbleby and Sons

In May half term, we explore the history of printing in Richmond looking at the story of the Richmond and Twickenham Times. We then had a go at making our own printing ‘stamps’ to use.

“Loved this workshop. Good mix of learning and activity.”

Easter 2019: Dig for Victory - Richmond during World War Two

During these workshops, families found out how and why the people of Richmond would ‘Dig for Victory’ during World War Two and created their your own cress head to take home.

“I think my kids have learnt about WWII and local history. They enjoyed handling and thinking about the items. from previous sessions I know that this will be talked about over the next few weeks/months.”

Easter 2019: Make Do and Mend - Richmond during World War Two

During these workshops families discovered what life was like growing up in Richmond during World War Two. They found out how people would ‘make do and mend’ and after being inspired by a WWII patchwork dress in the collection, they made their own patchwork bags. some used sticky back felt, whereas others had a go at English Paper Piecing patchwork!

“The workshops are a fantastic way to entertain the children during the school holidays and combine historical learning with hands on activities and crafts. Vicky is always great.”


February Half Term 2019 - Victorian Toys and Games

In this workshop we will be looked at how life was different in Victorian times using photos, maps and toys from the Museum’s handling collection. Children will then made their own replica Victorian toys to take home, including some optical illusions, a kaleidoscope and a spinning top!

“The children had two hours of wonderful screen free, interactive activity. They were engaged, asked questions, showed their own interpretations. Win – win!”

October 2018: Ghosts of Richmond Palace

During the half term week, participants were taken on a guided tour around the remains of the palace and told the stories about the lives and deaths of Anne of Bohemia, Henry VII and Elizabeth I. Once we returned to the Museum, we made our own haunted palaces!

“Vicky is fantastic. Loads of knowledge and the activities are always beautifully thought out and prepped. Thank you.”

Summer 2018: Viking Runes

In this workshop we looked at how the Viking raids and later settlements changed, and didn’t change, life in Anglo Saxon Richmond, looking at objects the Anglo Saxons have left behind.

We then looked at how the Vikings and Anglo Saxons used runes and had a go at writing in runes and creating a piece of Viking inspired art. 

“The workshop was very well designed. Victoria broke down the facts very well for the children. The facts shared were all connected so will be remembered. The session was interactive, involving and good fun. The two hours flew by!”

Summer 2018: Ancient Art and Archaeology Summer School

During this week long course looking at art and craft in Britain before the Norman conquest of 1066, students developed new skills, learnt more about the history of Richmond, and eartn a Bronze Arts Award  – a Level 1 qualification (equivalent to a GCSE – grades 3, 2, 1 or grades D, E, F, G) from Trinity College, London

Activities included:

  • Looking at how archaeologists work and how archaeology helps us piece together the stories of the past
  • Looking at pre-historical crafts including Stone Age Jewellery, Bronze Age Beakers, Roman Mosaics, Anglo Saxon braiding and embroidery and Viking Runes.
  • Curating an exhibition of their work which will remain on display at the Museum for the duration of the Archaeology exhibition.

“I have enjoyed learning about the history of Richmond. i find it very interesting to learn about where I live.”

Summer Holidays 2018: Anglo Saxon Braiding and Weaving

This week we looked at the Anglo Saxon origins of Richmond, how we know what life was like back then thanks to written sources as well as objects they left behind. we also explored how the Anglo Saxons became famous for their textiles, and had a go at making an Anglo Saxon braid and weaving a piece of fabric using ribbons and wool.

“Enjoyable learning experience with my daughter. Great to learn some new historical information that we can talk about together and make things to take home to show others”

Summer Holidays 2018: Roman Mosaics

For the first week of workshops of the summer holidays, we looked at what life was like in Roman times. we looked at what they ate, how they washed and how they decorated their homes.

The children then got to design and make their own mosaics, using real stone tiles and grout.

“Fun activity with my daughter during the school holidays, great to have an opportunity to learn in a fun, interactive way and do something creative that can be taken home.”

May Half Term 2018: Archaeology - A Murder Mystery!

During these workshops, children and adults took part in an archaeological murder mystery with Vicky, our Learning Officer. They excavated objects, recorded their finds and pieced together clues which helped us to work out the story of the ‘newly discovered skeleton’.

These additional family workshops were made possible thanks to the legacy left by Vivien van Straubenzee.

“[my children now have] a greater understanding of archaeology, its terms and techniques. Very good it was connected to the local area – excellent!”

Easter 2018: Bronze Age Beakers

Continuing on from the Stone Age,  children and adults learnt about how technology advanced in the Bronze Age and made their own Bronze Age Beakers, based on replicas which were purchased by the Museum thanks to the legacy left by Vivien van Straubenzee.

“The kids have had an educational and fun morning learning about the Bronze Age as well as enjoying the craft activity.”

Easter 2018: Stone Age Jewellery

During this week of workshops, children and adults discovered how Stone Age man was resourceful and creative, and made beautiful jewellery from natural resources.

These workshops were made possible thanks to the legacy left by Museum Friend, Vivien van Straubenzee, which enabled us to invest in Stone Age objects for the handling collection. 

“My daughter has learnt about the stone age and how they made tools and jewellery – and so have I!”

February Half Term 2018: Victorian Decoupage

During the half term break, families discovered how Richmond has changed since Victorian times by comparing Victorian photos with how the town looks today on a short walking tour.

Back at the Museum, they made their own origami boxes with lids, and decorated them with decoupage, a new hobby in Victorian times which made the most of the new developments in colour printing.

“We (I and my child) learnt about the history, traditions of Victorian Richmond. The workshop was very educational – we learnt how the area looked in Victorian times and the buildings and architecture. Thank you!!!”

Christmas 2017: Victorian Christmas

During this week, families discovered how the  Victorians re-invented the festive season, had a go at playing Victorian parlour games and made some delightful Victorian Christmas Crafts, including paper decorations, cracker gift boxes, cards and horn of plenty decorations for sweets!

“My children learned about where our Christmas traditions come from. Good mix of well presented information and fun activities.”


October Half Term 2017: Poverty in Victorian Richmond

During October Half Term, families discovered what life was like for the poor of Richmond in Victorian times, using objects from the handling collection, period photographs and of course, the Poverty exhibition. They also learnt a new skill and created their own hessian rag rugs to take home.

“My granddaughter has gained more insight into Victorian times and what poverty really means. Excellent presentation – well suited to age group. Handling artefacts great for making children realise how times have changed!”

Summer 2017: Arts Award Summer School

For the first time this summer, the Museum ran summer schools for teenagers aged 11 to 16. Over four days, 6 students explored the Old Palace Lane exhibition at the Museum and discovered more about medieval arts and crafts. Their work was displayed at the Museum as a mini exhibition which they will curated, until the close of the Old Palace Lane exhibition on 16 September 2017. Their work throughout the week has earned them Bronze Arts Award which is equivalent to a GCSE!

Activities included:

  • Discovering what the arts are and what an artist is
  • Visiting Old Palace Lane exhibition and the remains of Richmond Palace
  • Looking at medieval crafts, including stained and painted glass windows, the King’s Beasts, Blackwork sewing patterns
  • Creating unique art works inspired by what they have learnt for the exhibition

“I thoroughly enjoyed the course. We were sent off to do our own thing which completely separated it from school. Vicky was lovely and so was the atmosphere and people. I would recommend this for anyone with even the smallest creative streak”

Summer Holidays 2017: Old Palace Lane - The Victorians

Over the summer holidays we ran three weeks of workshops which help families to explore the Old Palace Lane exhibition, each week focusing on a different time period.

In the final week, we looked at the Victorian residents of the Lane, using the census returns to discover the names and professions of those living in the lane in 1851. Inspired by Sarah Hart, the straw bonnet maker who lived at 14 Old Palace Lane (formerly 12 Bath Buildings) we had a go at straw plaiting and making corn dollies using paper straws.

“Vicky is very good at what she does! Her knowledge is vast. My daughters…are very impressed with Vicky’s knowledge of history. Please keep these workshops going.”

Summer Holidays 2017: Old Palace Lane - The Georgians

Over the summer holidays we ran three weeks of workshops which help families to explore the Old Palace Lane exhibition, each week focusing on a different time period.

In the second week, we looked at how the Lane was developed by the Georgians, with the building of Asgill House, the Bath Cottages and the Theatre. When we got back to the Museum, we made our own mini puppet theatres and puppets inspired by the stories of Edmund Kean and Dorothy Jordan.

“Very interesting to learn about local history and boys enjoyed making puppets etc.”

Summer Holidays 2017: Old Palace Lane - The Tudors

Over the summer holidays we ran three weeks of workshops which help families to explore the Old Palace Lane exhibition, each week focusing on a different time period.

In the first week, we explored the Tudor period, and had a walking tour of the remains of Palace built by Henry VII, followed by making medieval braids from around the world back at the Museum.

“Very good workshop – lovely walk around the Old Palace, lots of interesting information and the braiding was great fun! Thank you.”

May Half Term 2017: Henry VII’s Richmond

During May half term, families discovered what life was like in Henry VII’s new Richmond Palace by interacting with objects from the Museum’s handling collection and displays.

Using the stained and painted glass window from the Palace on display at the Museum as inspiration, they then made their own ‘stained glass’ window decorations to brighten up their windows at home.

“Very interesting and engaging talk about Henry VII. It was great that the children got to hold all the objects. The ‘stained glass’ windows are beautiful!”

Easter 2017: Royal Star and Garter Crafts

In the second week of the Easter holidays families then explored the arts and crafts done by the residents of the Royal Star & Garter. 

Adults and children alike had a go at basket weaving, feather flower making and creating their own embroidery designs.

“We had a fantastic time. Loved the arts and crafts and learnt about our local area.”

Easter 2017: Easter Eggs

During the first week of the Easter holidays, families explored why we decorate eggs at Easter.

Using some of the beautifully decorated eggs from the Museum’s collections as inspiration, they then created their own unique Easter decorations to take home.

“Really enjoy the balance of learning and practical – the children seem to enjoy it too! Vicky is great – knowledgeable, fun and encouraging.”

February 2017: The Royal Star and Garter

As part of the Royal Star & Garter exhibition, we ran a week of workshops looking at the lives of the residents and their stories. In this workshop, we looked at Private Joseph W. Richards.

Richards was a particular example of how residents could overcome their disabilities, after being paralysed at the Battle of the Somme in 1916 he used to paint by holding the paint brush between his teeth. In an interview reprinted in the Star and Garter Magazine Richards was quoted saying; “I thought I might be able to paint, and I practised. But I didn’t half use a lot of brushes. I kept biting them in two.”

We all had a go at painting like Richards did, by holding the paintbrushes in our mouths! As inspiration, we used Richard’s illustration “The Mad Hatter” as an outline.

Christmas 2016: Princess Mary Gift Boxes

Did you know that during the First World War, Princess Mary organised a massive collection to ensure that every soldier at the front and sailor at sea, was given a present from the Nation to say thank you for their service and having to spent Christmas away from their families?

In this workshop we explored Princess Mary’s story and what gifts were contained in the tins. We then made and decorated our own origami gift boxes. 

‘A super workshop this morning. Much enjoyed by all of us. Thanks so much Vicky.’

October 2016: Ghosts of Richmond Palace

In these workshops we explored the ghost stories behind the royal occupants of Richmond Palace.

We then made our own haunted palaces to take home, with ghosts and ghouls lurking behind many doors and windows!

“My daughter loves arts and crafts…linking in with the historical aspect of the theme and respective areas of the museum is also useful and engaging.” 


Usual opening hours:

Tuesday to Fridays, 11am to 5pm
Saturdays, 10am to 4pm.


We are closed on Sundays and Mondays, including Bank Holidays

We will open at:
– 2pm pm on Friday 17 May
– 1pm on Saturday 18 May
– apologies for any inconvenience!

We will be closed:
– from 2pm on 23 May 2024, as we will be hosting a private event


Using  objects from the Museum’s handling collection, learn more about the history of the local area and have a go at arts and craft activities!


Find us
2nd Floor, Old Town Hall, Whittaker
Avenue, Richmond, TW9 1TP