Family events

Our Country Lives logoHalf term family fun!

MERL is poised to begin work on Our Country Lives, an exciting Heritage Lottery funded redevelopment project. To allow work to begin, the Museum will close on October 31st for up to a year. Find out more in the Getting closer to closing blog post

This half term holiday will be the last chance to visit the Museum before it closes and our activities and workshops are all related to the redevelopment project (well, apart from the Pumpkin hunt!!).

If you have any questions, please visit the FAQs page, call us on 0118 378 8660 or email


OCL extensionOur Country Lives - MERL is changing

Saturday 25th to Friday 31st October (Closed Monday 27th)
Usual opening times
Location: Museum

Don't miss the last chance to visit MERL before we close for redevelopment! See a display of plans and pictures of our new galleries, tell us what you'd like to see in the new Museum and garden and try our image key words activity. You'll also be able to find out about how you can get involved with the project by joining our new Family Forum.

Pumpkin hunt!

Follow a free pumpkin hunt and receive a chocolate prize!

'Chocolate box' make and take

Make and decorate a chocolate box in our free make and take activity.


big draw blue smallThe Our Country Lives Big Draw

Thursday 30th October

  • 10.00am-11.00am, 11.30am-12.30pm, 1.30pm-2.30pm and 3.00pm-4.00pm
  • Location*: The Print Studio and room G10, Art Building L04 on the London Road Campus.
    *Park and meet at MERL reception and we will walk to The Print Studio together.
  • £3 per child
  • Booking required
  • Suitable for children aged 7+.

Work with University of Reading art students to help make beautiful artwork to decorate hoardings which will be used whilst MERL is closed redevelopment work to take place. During this session, attendees will design large format art inspired by the MERL's collections using mixed media and the Print studio's fantastic printing presses.


MERL Families Jethro rat logoImportant note:

There is no need to book for our drop-in events. Activities take between 10 and 30 minutes. Come along at any time during the session. Timed tickets may be issued at busy times as space is limited, and you may need to wait for the next available session. Once you have a ticket, you don't need to queue. There is plenty to see and do in the Museum while you wait, and a member of staff will call you when you session is starting. On very busy days, sessions may fill up completely and though we do our best to accommodate everyone, we can not guarantee a space.

MERL welcomes children of all ages but they must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Our fun events and activities are designed so that the whole family can enjoy interesting and informative new experiences together. In order for everyone to get the most out of the workshop activities, we ask that there are no more than two children (of the appropriate age for the activity) per adult in your group, and thank you for your cooperation in this.

Please see our  Terms and conditions for bookable events


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