What’s On For Families at The Atkinson This Summer?

What’s On For Families at The Atkinson This Summer?

As the final school bell rings and marks the beginning of holidays, it’s time to kick off the summer with a splash of creativity and inspiration! Forget about the textbooks and exams, because The Atkinson is here to ensure that your summer is filled with unforgettable art experiences. Get ready to dive headfirst into a world of imagination, exploration, and artistic marvels as we embark on a summer adventure like no other!

What’s on?

Our museums and art galleries are free to enter and enjoy, just waiting to be explored by curious young minds! From colourful paintings to ancient artifacts, our museums and galleries let children’s imaginations soar as they discover new worlds and learn about different cultures.

Our stunning Egyptology Museum shows what life was like in ancient Egypt at the time of the Pharaohs whilst our local history museum tells the stories of the people who have lived and worked along Sefton’s coast.

In our galleries, we have the following displays:

The Story So Far
Until Saturday 2 March 2024

Looking at the theme of storytelling, this exhibition includes highlights from The Atkinson’s collection and the Harris Art Gallery in Preston.

The exhibition looks at differing kinds of storytelling, from the illustration of literary and historical texts to coastal and rural genre as well as classical and domestic scenes. The exhibition also includes post-war and contemporary works of art, illustrating the galleries’ strategies for developing the narrative theme.


Gordon Cheung: The Garden of Perfect Brightness
Until Saturday 9 September 2023

A poetic exploration of the relationship between nature, culture, and power in the digital age. Through a series of paintings and sculptures, viewers are invited to contemplate the rise and fall of civilisations in the age of globalisation. The show is constructed around the concept of a Chinese garden with sculptures created from Financial Times newspapers which draw inspiration from traditional Chinese ‘scholar’s rocks’ or ‘spirit stones’. Embodying microcosms of landscapes they are meditative focal points between nature and civilisation.


Herbert Ponting: Explorer and Photographer
Until Saturday 2 September 2023
After years of taking photographs in America, Japan, other parts of Asia and in Europe, Herbert Ponting (1870-1935) became and remains best-known for his work on Captain Scott’s Terra Nova expedition (1910-3). This exhibition looks at his life and work with photographs from Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, alongside artefacts and research carried out by biographer Anne Strathie.


Blue and White Pottery
Until Saturday 28 October 2023

The Willow Pattern has long been a stock pattern of nearly every British Pottery manufacturer. Here we showcase some of The Atkinson’s historic blue and white pottery collection and look at the ongoing fascination modern ceramicists have with The Willow Pattern and blue and white decoration.

Other activities:

Story & Rhyme Time
Story & Rhyme Time sessions take place once a week on a Wednesday at 11:30am.

  • Admission is free.
  • Ages 0-4. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • Approximately 45 minutes.
  • Places are limited. Pre-booking is required on on a first come, first served basis.
  • To book please visit Southport Library in person or call 0151 934 2118.


Make It! Craft Workshops

  • Summer Make It! sessions: Thursdays – 27 July, 3 Aug, 10 Aug, 17 Aug, 24 Aug, 31 Aug.
  • Drop-in any time between 11am – 3pm and get creative.
  • Children under 12 must be supervised by an adult.
  • First come first served. You may be expected to wait until a space at a craft table becomes available.


Construction Club

  • Construction Club takes place on the last Saturday of the month.
  • Admission is free.
  • Please note last entry is at 12pm.
  • Ages 5+. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Spaces limited. First come first served basis. You may be expected to wait until a space at a table becomes available.


Young Curators Summer Sessions

Friday 4, Tuesday 8, Friday 11, Tuesday 15 August 2023, 11am – 3pm.
Age 14 – 18.
Free, lunch included. Booking required.

  • Friday 4th August: What does ‘museum’ mean?
  • Tuesday 8th August: Curators of the Future!
  • Friday 11th August: Getting Creative – Heritage Open Days Event
  • Tuesday 15th August: Finishing touches – Heritage Open Days Event

We welcome you to enjoy our Children’s Library, home to thousands of books where young minds can embark on captivating journeys through the power of imagination. Within our walls, you can be transported to far-off lands, meet extraordinary characters, and explore new ideas.

Join us for the Summer Reading Challenge 2023. This year’s theme is Ready, Set Read! Celebrating sports and games in literature. Take part in our library or online. Set a reading goal and log your books to let the adventure begin!

Set in the middle of The Atkinson’s galleries The Art Box is an interactive space where everyone can explore and experiment with materials and ideas. Drop in any time to get hands on and creative!

The Art Box is regularly updated to reflect our changing exhibitions. Keep checking the events listings for family workshops at weekends and during school holidays.

A great place for families to get creative together.

In The Theatre

You are invited to the big top birthday!
In 2023 we mark the 10th Anniversary of Sarah and Duck, but it is also someone else’s special day.

Join Sarah and her best friend Duck as they plan the ultimate circus soiree to help Scarf Lady celebrate her birthday. With entertainment lined up from a whole host of your favourite friends, including The Ribbon Sisters, The Shallots, Flamingo & John and Umbrella, the party is ready to go! Let’s just hope the weather holds out…

Bursting with all the charm from the BAFTA award-winning CBeebies show, Sarah and Duck’s enchanting world is brought to life by the team behind The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show and Twirlywoos Live.  Packed full of puppetry, storytelling and music, Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday promises to be a celebration for the whole family!

Get tickets online: https://www.theatkinson.co.uk/events/sarah-and-duck/

Or via the Box Office: 01704 533 333

Whether you are immersing yourself in thought-provoking exhibitions, participating in hands-on workshops, or simply strolling through the galleries, The Atkinson offer endless opportunities for exploration and self-expression. So, as the sun shines bright (hopefully!) and the days stretch long, make the most of your summer break by venturing into the vibrant world of The Atkinson.

Let your imagination soar, discover new perspectives, and create beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. Embrace the artistic journey that awaits you and allow the transformative power of art to make your summer holidays truly unforgettable!

Posted on 17 July 2023 under General news

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