Autism-friendly learning sessions
We welcome children and adults with autism in our museums and galleries. Our learning sessions are accessible for schools, educational and community groups during. We are also piloting a series of sessions which are aimed at supporting the needs of people with autism, run at quieter times, in less crowded spaces at our venues.
We are currently working with Autism Together to develop skills to make our venues more autism-friendly. We have quiet areas in each venue. We will evaluate our events and we welcome feedback from visitors who attend so that we can develop and improve this service. Feedback forms will be available.
The offer is free but a session or event needs to be booked in advance so that we can make sure that we can accommodate you and avoid activities becoming crowded.
Please be aware that for everyone’s safety we have a fire alarm system in place in all our museums and galleries. In the event of the alarm going off there will unavoidably be a loud noise. Staff will let you know where to go to feel safe.
How to book
To reserve a place on any of the sessions listed below please complete a booking enquiry form. We will confirm whether there is a place for you or let you know if all places are booked.
Be an archaeologist / Let’s Dig, Museum of Liverpool
- Tuesday 13 September, 10.15am - 11.15am
- Museum of Liverpool
- For children aged 7-11 years (Key Stage 2)
- Most of the session takes place in an education room in a quieter area of the Museum.
- There are spaces for 12 children and their accompanying adults
Carry out your own archaeological excavations, uncover lost objects from Roman, Viking, Tudor and Victorian sites in and around Liverpool and learn about the importance of evidence. Participants choose to record their findings by drawing, measuring or talking about them.
Welcome Sunday morning, Merseyside Maritime Museum
- Sunday 9 October 10.30am-12.00pm
An autism-friendly morning for any visitors who would like to experience a more relaxed museum experience. Merseyside Maritime Museum is quieter on Sunday mornings than at other times. Between 10.30am and 12 noon we have the following activities tailored to accommodate people who find this quiet period more comfortable.
Carnival Craft session
- 3rd Floor – International Slavery Museum (located within the Merseyside Maritime Museum)
- Use craft materials to create your own carnival-inspired crown to take home. Toddler play area situated in the craft room.
- 2nd Floor
- The Seized! team invite you to ‘Smugglebuster Playday’, a room where the young and the young-at-heart can play games, do jigsaws, dress up and colour in.
- There is also a reading corner and toddler play area. The session is based on Seized! Border Force National Museum which has displays in the basement.
All Hands on Deck
- 1st Floor
- Handle interesting objects and learn more from our expert staff about maritime history.
- Friendly staff will accompany you on a tour of the dark streets of old Liverpool, and you can put yourself in the place of emigrants to the New World. Staff will give visitors a detailed description of the gallery before entering.
Some galleries will have reduced noise levels for this event. All galleries and exhibitions are open for you to browse, with printed trails available for you to use on some of the galleries. There is a picnic area by the colonnades at the back of the museum providing a lovely area to eat at our café or to eat your picnic lunch.
Big Art for Little Artists, Walker Art Gallery
- Tuesday 22 November 9.30am - 10.30am. (This session starts before the Gallery opens at 10am.)
- Big Art gallery, Walker Art Gallery
- One hour session for early years and children under five
- The session has space for 15 children and 15 adults
Join us for interactive story telling and rhymes, craft activity and a fun interactive exploration in Big Art gallery.
Javanese Shadow Puppets, World Museum
- Wednesday 14 December 10.15am - 11am, 11.15am - 12pm and 1.15pm - 2pm
- Weston Discovery Centre, World Museum
- For children aged 7- 11 years (Key Stage 2)
- The session takes place in a quieter separate room. You can also explore the World Cultures Gallery close by and see more shadow puppets in the Asia displays.
In our workshop you can find out about shadow puppets, how they work and make your own to own to take home. You can sit quietly and listen to instructions in the session which involves cutting, sticking and colouring. Find out more about our Javanese shadow puppets learning session.
Visiting us at other times
Visitors with autism are welcome in our museums and galleries at all times but sometimes the museums and galleries can be noisy. Quieter times include:
- 2.30pm - 5pm on weekdays during school term times. This is because the venues become quieter after school groups have left.
- 10am - 11.30am on Sunday mornings.
You may wish to avoid times when museums and galleries can be particularly crowded and noisy. These times include:
- school holidays
- bank holidays
- when big events are happening in the city centre or at a particular museum or gallery.