Penguins and The Muffin Man at Cheltenham Museum

Tucked away inside The Wilson Cheltenham Museum and Art Gallery is a little round tour of local history, quirky objects and a children’s activity area. What a way to spend an hour on a rainy (or sunny!) day with your little ones!

Ed and I went one Wednesday morning. The museum has a modern bit and an old bit. The bit we go to is on the 2nd floor and you have to go through a part with furniture exhibits (not so interesting for the kids!) Once in, it’s always so quiet..if not a little eerie but that adds to the effect somehow. There are lots of weird and wonderful things to see including a small (see pic) figure of Cheltenham’s famous ‘Muffin Man’. You can put a coin in him and his mouth drops open to say thank you. (Ed was sacred/excited) It is a bit freaky..reminds me of the ‘Zoltar’ machine from the film Big..maybe.

There are other interesting things for kids: a big fish, “Can we put money in it?” and a great little display about Edward Wilson, one of the Polar explorers who died alongside Scott. It has all the interesting history about him (the museum is named after him) and the expedition but also some figures of penguins and a big fur suit which is quite fun to look at/try to explain to a 3-year-old. I also told Ed about Edward Wilson and I think he got a bit confused, “Is Edward dead?”
“Yes, this Edward but he’s a different Edward to you. You’re not dead yet.”

The area also has a little activity stop for kids where they can colour in, play with a dolls house, do jigsaws etc. If you go with more than one adult, you can take it in turns to go around and actually read some of the interesting stuff around the displays. The museum also has a café and it runs workshops and fun activities in the holidays. Highly recommended!



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