Now don’t get confused (like me). The Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery is housed in a former coach house next to the Discover Bucks museum in Aylesbury (reviewed separately HERE) while the Roald Dahl Museum is in Great Missenden. Both are based on the works of the author Roald Dahl, but Roald Dahl Museum is bigger and aimed at children aged 6+ I hear while Roald Dahl Gallery is oriented towards younger children. I have not been to the museum in Great Missenden yet but this one is very interactive and hands-on and easily, one of the best children oriented museums I have ever been to. It is not huge, and everything is touch friendly, so, it is just perfect for little ones. HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!
The Gallery is on two floors. From the entrance foyer you can either go directly into the Discover Gallery or take the stairs up to the Imagination Gallery on the first floor. You can also, like Charlie and Willy Wonka, travel through space in the Great Glass Elevator between the two floors. No matter which route you take, you will be struck by the bright and vivid colours of the gallery. It is very inviting for children and adults alike.
Downstairs is the discover gallery, which is divided into different themed areas, each inspired by one of Roald Dahl’s books. Fantastic Mr Fox’s Burrow comest first. You can get inside the tunnel and crawl along to discover things hidden underground (foxes hole, some Roman pottery, mole etc). Adults can fit in the tunnel but there is also a CCTV camera so you can see children from the outside if you don’t want to crawl in. The tunnel is not huge, and there is zero chance they can get lost, so don’t worry at all!
The outside of the tunnel has a wall showing Miss Trunchbull’s punishment tools and Willy Wonkers inventions. Ay spent ages balancing the globe (aka magic floating ball) on the jet of air and trying to make tunes (or at least attempt to do so) with pipes and a connecting foot pump.
Move over to BFG’s World. You can change the sound of your voice in the microphone or listen with the extraordinary BFG Super Hearing Machine. James and the Giant Peach will take you into the world of the minibeasts. You can zoom and focus on various bugs and butterflies in the different microscopes and magnifying glasses provided.
Throughout the gallery, there are small exhibits in glass display cabinets, inviting you to guess the book. You can also sit on the beanbags in Matilda’s Library and look at some of Roald Dahl’s books. There is also a timeline of Roald Dahl’s life on the wall, as well as quotes from his books, which we found interesting too.
Next we took the glass elevator to travel from earth to the moon with Willie Wonka and Charlie. Upstairs, the Imagination Gallery, is a bit like a world of illusion. You can grow big or small in the funky mirrors
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I think children will enjoy the gallery more if they are familiar with the books (or the movies for that matter), but they will still have an absolutely brilliant time even if they don’t. There may be a couple of displays that they won’t understand (like the chokies from Matilda) but it will not reduce the fun. In fact, the galleries can be a great way to introduce your children to the fun, imaginative world of Roald Dahl’ books. We have already ordered a couple we hadn’t read and are planning to watch Willy Wonka next weekend.
Discover Bucks Museum is a local cultural heritage venue, located just next door, but separate charges apply. I have reviewed it separately HERE
The Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery in Aylesbury is awesome and makes for a fun half day out. The place is small but we spent 1 and a half hours here, which included visiting the museum, and loved it. We will definitely be going again!
Although the Museum shares space with the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery, separate admission prices apply. The pricing structure is a bit complicated but I will try to simplify it. Discover Bucks museum is FREE for children but Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery costs 8.50£ for children aged 4 – 15. Children of any age can enter for free if they have Blue Peter Badge holders. ADULT ticket costs £5.50 which covers both the Museum + Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery for the day. You can use the same ticket to visit the museum (only) for free for 12 months, but you will still have to pay 5.50£ to get into the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery, unless you buy one of the passes, which in retrospect I should have 🙁
The Discover Bucks museum is open Tuesday to Saturday but Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery is open only on Saturdays and during Bucks school holidays, so please check before going.
Address: Church St, Aylesbury HP20 2QP, United Kingdom
Although the Museum shares space with the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery, separate admission prices apply. Please see updated prices HERE. The pricing structure is a bit complicated but here is the simplified version:
Discover Bucks museum is FREE for children but Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery costs 8.50£ for children aged 4 – 15, though is free for Blue Peter Badge holders. ADULT ticket costs £5.50 which covers both the Museum + Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery for the day. You can use the same ticket to visit the museum (only) for free for 12 months, but you will still have to pay 5.50£ to get into the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery (which I did not like).
There is no available parking outside the Museum but you can park in either the Exchange Street car park (HP20 1QY) or Friarscroft Car park (HP20 2TE). I think it was 1.20£/h
Toilets and baby facilities on site
Small café on site but many options in the nearby town centre
The garden is open with outdoor seating available
Buggy friendly. There is an accessible entrance on the corner of St Aldates, opposite the Sainsburys. Press the door buzzer and someone will let you in. You are welcome to leave prams while you browse our museum, but they are left at the owner’s risk.
Assistance Dogs are welcome in all areas of the museum, unlike other dogs, but they must be kept on a short lead.