A day out at the National Media Museum.

Posted by

I remember when I was a young lad and we were taken on a school trip into Bradford and our destination was the National Media Museum.
We would all pull up in the coach and see this big, impressive building and we knew we were in for a fun-filled day!
I also know The Mrs had the same experience when she was a child. We both grew up in Leeds but the National Media Museum was a common place for a school trip, probably down to the fact it was fun and free. (We’re from Yorkshire after all.)

The National Media Museum, then called ‘The National Museum of Photography, Film & Television’, opened its doors in 1983. It’s aim was to explore the art and science of the image and image-making. It included the first ever IMAX screen in the UK. In 2017 it’s crazy to think that with all the IMAX screens around the country, the first was just down the road.

Through the years, the National Media Museum has grown, installing galleries where visitors can experience for themselves the inner workings of a TV broadcast, even allowing them to be able to operate cameras and production equipment. There was also a live studio which was used by companies such as TV AM and Nickelodeon.
I can remember that it was here that I first realised as a kid that weather presenters stood in front of a green screen and pointed at thin air. I always thought it was a massive TV screen they could see!!

The National Media Museum has gone through many facelifts (Including being reopened in 1999 by Pierce Brosnan) and then holding an exhibition that celebrated 40 years of the world’s best-known movie phenomenon – James Bond. The exhibition included stunning concept drawings, storyboards, costume designs and original props.

You can find more about the history on the official website.

Now its 2017 and we are taking our children. The NMM was a place we intended to go for ages. After all its interesting and free, always a good combination when trying to find somewhere to take the kids.

The National Media Museum hasn’t lost any of its magic. It still amazed us and the kids seeing all the props and equipment that is held within its walls.
In the ‘Magic Factory’, you can explore the way lenses work by zooming in and out using a camera pointed out into the city skyline. You can see how light is reflected and how it can be changed. They have this really cool little wall where you stand flat against the wall and once the light has flashed, you can move away and see your shadow still stood there!!

In the animation gallery you can explore the journey from still photos spinning around to make moving pictures to stop motion photography that was made famous by characters like Wallace and Gromit. In fact the museum hosts the oldest set from the Wallace and Gromit movies.

The National Media Museum is full of stuff to look at and interact with including a games area full of retro games from manic miner to Pacman to the latest console games. It’s great entertainment for adults and kids of all ages of about 4 and over. There is nothing unsuitable for kids any younger than this, but most of the exhibits could be a little advanced for them. 

We went at the beginning of half term, where they currently have a promotion with a ‘Yo-kai’ from Nintendo.
The promotion runs during half term Saturday 18 – Sunday 26 February 2017.


Experience the mysterious world of Nintendo’s YO-KAI WATCH at the National Media Museum this February Half Term! Play the game, befriend Yo-kai, and take part in creative activities the whole family can enjoy together – all absolutely free.

Yo-kai wander around our world, invisible to most. Usually, they have no bad intentions, but they have a mind of their own paired with a unique talent for mischief! With the power of the Yo-kai Watch, you can find these hidden Yo-kai, befriend them, and call upon their powers when you need their help.

If you live anywhere near Bradford and you think you and your family would find this place of interest (You probably will), then definitely plan a visit to the National Media Museum.


  1. I too spnt many a childhood hour at the (then) museum of photography, film and television – and my kids in turn have put plenty of time into the Media museum. It’s a great resource we are lucky to have – especially for free!

  2. How cool you get to take your kids on a day out you once loved. We love a day at the National Media Museum! Sadly we can’t fit in a visit this half term as our half terms clash!

  3. This is a destination I’ve always wanted to visit. I’d never have thought of taking the kids. A bit far for us unless we happened to be in the area, but I wouldn’t rule it out at some point! Thanks for the inspiration Lewis.

    1. If anything it’s more child orientated in some ways. If your ever in the area I’ll buy you a coffee.
      Thanks for the comment.

  4. Look very interesting! These pictures it remind my best childhood , it that time I was happy and a lot of good memory !
    All I want to say really appreciate thanks for sharing this !!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.