• arts & culture

5 December 2016

A new state-of-the-art children's gallery has opened at Melbourne Museum, providing a wonder-filled creative space for young Victorians to learn through play.

The Pauline Gandel Children's Gallery at Melbourne Museum

The Pauline Gandel Children's Gallery at Melbourne Museum

A new state-of-the-art children's gallery opened today at Melbourne Museum, providing a wonder-filled creative space for young Victorians to learn through play.

The much-anticipated Pauline Gandel Children's Gallery was opened at the weekend, welcoming a host of tiny Museum enthusiasts through its door. To celebrate the occasion, Museums Victoria also announced 'The Museum Generation', an initiative that will provide a free six-month Museums Victoria household membership to every Victorian child born, adopted or fostered in 2017.

The gallery, created by Museums Victoria with significant support from the Victorian Government and Gandel Philanthropy, is a major investment in early learning and childhood development.   

Focused on those aged from zero to five years, the new permanent gallery will change the way children and their families learn, play and grow together, and provides a major new attraction for Melbourne Museum.

At over 2000 square metres, including inside and outside play spaces, the new gallery uses cutting-edge design and colour, and draws on objects and stories from Museums Victoria's natural and cultural history collection.

The gallery was developed by and for children over a two-year period. More than 500 children were involved in the process, alongside 100 early childhood experts and educators, landscape designers and playground creators. The result is a truly immersive learning and play environment.

Among the features are a miniature train with a special child-size tunnel entrance, an installation by Melbourne street artist Ghost Patrol, and a dinosaur dig surrounded by a native garden.

The 'Museum Generation' initiative will be delivered in partnership with the Victorian Maternal and Child Health Service.

Gift memberships, which include free entry to Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks, IMAX Melbourne and the Immigration Museum, will be presented to babies at their eight week check-up. Carers or parents of a fostered or adopted child will be invited to contact Museums Victoria directly.

Visit the Children's Gallery website