What is it?
A museum detailing some of the history of cartoons and illustrations. Find it near the British Museum, accessible from Tottenham Court Road and Holborn tube stations.
Babies / Toddlers & Preschool
5 – 8
£. The admission fee is completely reasonable and keeps the museum afloat. They charge £7 per adult and free for under 18’s.
What’s on offer
This small museum has three main permanent galleries and one temporary exhibition per every few months. Past, present and future exhibitions are extensive collections of cartoon illustrations from exotic places and forgotten time periods, such as alternative Japanese manga, cartoons in the First World War, comic books, toy drawings and the collective works of individual cartoonists. Please check the website to see what’s currently showing.
School holiday workshops for children and young people occasionally happen at the Cartoon Museum, with weekend events less common, but featuring guest artists throughout the year. Family cartooning activities are on every second Saturday of the month. Visit the website for the full, comprehensive list of summer workshops you and your child can get involved in.
There’s a gift shop, library and wheelchair accessible toilet on the ground floor.
It’s a nice little nostalgia tour for mums, dad and grandparents and since it doesn’t take long to get round, young children shouldn’t lose interest. It’s definitely worth waiting to visit until a child-friendly event is on so they can fall in love with the magic of modern and vintage cartoons.
What to watch out for
– The cartoons are usually from the 20th century or earlier and therefore, not modern and will not be of interest to all children
– The museum is not very interactive. Management wrote on TripAdvisor that this is due to their small budget.
– Despite the specific events, the textual nature of the displays, lack of interactive elements and older cartoon displays mean that museum is geared more towards cartoon enthusiasts and curious adults rather than youngsters
– There are little steps everywhere – keep a look out!
– There’s no lift and seventeen steps to reach the first floor, so if you’re using a buggy. So, you either fold and carry it upstairs or stick to the galleries on the ground floor.
– This isn’t a full day out on it’s own, but combined with a nice lunch, a shopping trip to nearby Oxford Street and a couple hours in the British Museum, you can definitely make a trip out of it.
What the owners say
“In 1988 a group of cartoonists, collectors and lovers of the art form came together as The Cartoon Art Trust with the aim of founding a museum dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, promoting and preserving the best of British cartoon art. After a decade of exhibiting in smaller venues, in February 2006 the Cartoon Museum opened to the public at its current home in central London, very near the British Museum.
The museum has three main galleries displaying original artwork from British cartoons and comics, past and present.”