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Join in with fun family events with The Wild Escape, a nationwide celebration of UK nature inspired by the wildlife found in museums.
This Easter school holidays, and throughout April 2023, The Wild Escape invites 7-11 year olds to discover animals and nature in UK cultural venues to inspire them to create art.
The Wild Escape events are taking place at over 500 museums, galleries and historic houses all over the country. Activities range from comic making workshops to nature-themed storytelling or even a birds of prey show. Many of these special events are free, whilst others have a nominal charge.
Make your own nature-inspired art to contribute to a collective digital artwork full of your amazing creatures roaming free. This artwork will be launched on Earth Day 2023, 22 April 2023.
In this post I’ll share more about The Wild Escape and its special events in London, where we live. I’ll also let you know where to find The Wild Escape events near you or how to join in from home.
What is The Wild Escape?
The Wild Escape is a major new project led by Art Fund uniting hundreds of museums with children and young people in a celebration of UK wildlife and creativity.
Find a favourite animal in your local museum and create an artwork imagining its journey to a natural habitat. Explore the big subjects of biodiversity and the environment through family-friendly events and activities.
The pictures and stories you create will be brought together in a collective work of art that imagines a better future for the wildlife on our doorstep, launched online and in venues across the UK on Earth Day 2023, 22 April 2023.
The Wild Escape is inspired by Wild Isles, the landmark BBC series presented by Sir David Attenborough exploring the flora and fauna of the UK. It is led by the leading arts charity, the Art Fund alongside hundreds of museums, artists and environmentalists, in partnership with WWF, the RSPB, National Trust and English Heritage.
The Wild Escape: Events
Hundreds of museums, galleries, and heritage places all over the country are taking part with The Wild Escape. Search for events near you at The Wild Escape.
We first joined in with The Wild Escape by taking the biomimicry trail at RAF Museum London. It’s all about how the aviation industry has looked to nature for solutions. Museum Girl loved searching through the giant hangars to find the featured aircraft. She learnt how helicopters are inspired by hummingbirds, which flap their wings in a figure of eight movement to hover.
Myself and Museum Boy took The Wild Escape Art Highlights Tour at the Natural History Museum. Although aimed at ages 11+, it was perfect for him. The guide was incredibly enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and pitched the information at just the right level for us. In our 25 minute walk through the Art in Nature gallery we found out what scientists can learn from art that they can’t from historic preserved specimens, how complicated colours in nature are to reproduce and how artists can be inspired by natural history specimens.
And a few Sundays ago, the whole family made a visit to one of The Wild Escape partner sites, Watts Gallery just outside Guildford. Here the kids took a family trail around the gallery, saw the magnificent chapel, and made these adorable felt birds in one of their craft sessions. They chose their own colour materials and threads, and sewed them by hand.
Want to join in? Here’s a quick summary of The Wild Escape events taking place in London. Find more details at The Wild Escape:
- Learn how the famous engineer Marc Brunel was inspired by the humble shipworm in Tales of Teredo Navalis at Brunel Museum (1-16 2023, paid)
- Enjoy Mischievous Mice sensory storytelling and learn about Tibs the Post Office cat in at The Postal Museum (1, 2, 5, 6, 12 & 13 April 2023, paid)
- Take The Wild Escape activity sheet trails through Tate Britain or Tate Modern (1-30 April 2023, FREE)
- Enjoy stories and games in Family Art Activity Tour at Natural History Museum (2, 4-5, 9-13, 15 and 22 April 2023, FREE)
- Free family activities at four sites across the City of London in Wild Escape in the City – Family Festival (5 April 2023, FREE)
- Create 2-D creatures out of paper inspired by Who lives at the bottom of the garden? at Garden Museum (6 April 2023, paid).
- Make origami birds for a Wild Escape Artwork at Royal Air Force Museum London (14 April 2023, FREE)
Earth Day 2023 events
- Interactive robot creatures, animal encounters, live illustrating, dance workshops, pond dipping and under 5’s sensory play at Family Day: Animal Adventures at British Library (22 April 2023, FREE)
- Create suncatchers or bookmarks with pressed flowers or take mini beast hunts in the community garden at Growing Futures Earth Day Celebrations at Studio Voltaire (22 April 2023, FREE)
- Discover the animals hidden in the Roman site and create a colourful bird feeder in Animals of Londinium and beyond! The Wild Escape for Earth Day at London Mithraeum: Bloomberg Space (22 April 2023, FREE)
- See a live shipworm demonstration at the Brunel Museum (22 April 2023, paid)
- Make a wildlife comic at Horniman Museum and Gardens (22 April 2023, paid)
- Print creative creatures at Gunnersbury Park Museum (22 April 2023, donation welcome)
- Craft, painting and writing activities, along with poetry readings and an appearance by Mr Keats himself at The Wild Escape – Family event at Keats House (22 April 2023, FREE)
- Visit World Earth Day at Valence House (22 April 2023, FREE)
- Print with leaves and take an activity trail with Earth Day at Waterlow Park (22 April 2023, FREE)
- Take garden trails through South London Gallery or Bethlem Gallery (22 April 2023, FREE)
- Build your own beaver dam at Open Sunday: The Wild Escape Earth at Pitzhanger Gallery & Manor (23 April 2023, FREE)
And here’s some other The Wild Escape events across the UK which caught my eye.
- Learn about Britain’s rarest bee, the six-banded nomad bee at The Box, Plymouth (1-22 April 2023, FREE)
- Get hands on with Zoolab at Museum of Oxford (3 April 2023, paid)
- Habitation Animation with Splodge Design at Cumberland House Natural History Museum, Southsea (5 April 2023, FREE)
- Make a play in a day at Minack Theatre, Penzance (12 April 2023, FREE)
- Create origami curious creatures at Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon (13 April 2023, FREE)
- Plant a tree at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse (14 April 2023, paid)
- Watch a falconry show at Nature in Art, Gloucester (22 April 2023, paid
- Wild Escape family day at Compton Verney, Warwickshire (22 April 2023, FREE)
- Create a giant land art installation at The Barn Theatre and Museum, Hastings (22 April 2023, FREE)
The Wild Escape: from home
Have you searched for The Wild Escape events and can’t find one near you? You can still join in.
Use this audio introduction to inspire a visit to your local museum or gallery to find one of the many animals or artworks there. Then create your own animal artwork, inspired by The Wild Escape – it can be drawn, painted, sculpted, or made in any way you like.
Upload your creation at https://www.artfund.org/explore/creatures and it will become part of the collective digital artwork launching on Earth Day 22 April 2023.
I hope this guide to The Wild Escape helps you find new ways to enjoy your Easter and April 2023.
Please take a second to share this post. It helps parents find fun The Wild Escape events, grows my community, and encourages more visits to cultural attractions. All mentions and shares make a difference, be that on Facebook, WhatsApp or in person.
If you do something I mention, I’d love to hear about it. Comment below, or tag me @museummum on Instagram or @museum_mum on Twitter. Follow me on Instagram to see which The Wild Escape events the Museum Family get up to.
Disclosure: I was paid to write this blog post for The Wild Escape.