This is a brilliant guest post from Jennifer of Jennifer’s Little World about the MAD Museum in Stratford-upon-Avon
The MAD (Mechanical Art and Design) Museum is located in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon. The museum collects together Kinetic Art and Automata from all over the world and is the only one of its kind in the UK. The museum was launched in March 2012, and it continues to change and develop with currently over 60 pieces of artwork on display.
It’s not a large museum, but it is packed full with different exhibits and fantastic moving machines. The best thing about the museum is that it is almost entirely interactive. There are plenty of buttons to press, which cause the machines to create different movements, colours, lights and all sorts of unexpected things to happen. There are several very large pieces of art with balls running along tracks, going on to press levers, drop through holes and even make perfectly timed bounces on small trampolines. There are also some tiny pieces of automated art, all beautifully hand-crafted and fascinating to watch.
We visited with a five year old and a three year old, and we were happily entertained for well over an hour. My younger daughter liked pressing the buttons to see what would happen, and my older son stood transfixed, trying to work out the machines and guess what would happen next. My daughter loved a typewriter with long strings attached from the keys to various objects which produced musical notes when you pressed them. My son liked a massive wooden marble run, and you could see his little mind working away as he planned how he could replicate it at home with his own set! I really liked the sand art pictures, shallow glass picture frames filled with coloured sand and glitter which can be flipped over to produce a new piece of art every time.
There is plenty there for children of all ages, even very little ones. It’s great for adults too, and there is plenty to see. The museum also has a lovely gift shop with some nice educational toys and gifts.
The MAD Museum is located in Henley Street in Stratford Upon Avon town centre, a few doors down from Shakespeare’s birthplace. An adult ticket is £6.80, a child ticket is £4.50, and children 5 and under are free. We visited using Tesco Clubcard vouchers.
You can find out more about the museum at http://themadmuseum.co.uk/