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Inflatable Museum

The Inflatable Museum is our immersive learning environment designed to bring the wonder and curiosity of Manchester Museum to communities across Greater Manchester.

The Inflatable Museum

The Inflatable Museum is our immersive learning environment designed to bring the wonder and curiosity of Manchester Museum to communities across Greater Manchester.

Incorporating a flexible activity area and high quality AV equipment, the Inflatable Museum is a vibrant, engaging space in which to explore real objects from our collection and create memorable and inspiring learning experiences.

What we offer

Archive Explorer: Ancient Egypt is an exciting, interactive workshop using real ancient Egyptian artefacts, giving your class the opportunity to develop and apply their historical enquiry skills and knowledge of ancient Egypt in this immersive environment.

Archive Explorer: What’s Found Under the Ground? explores the different scientific disciplines that investigate things found under the ground. Children will investigate stone age archaeology, dinosaur fossils, volcanic rocks, natural history and more.

Our Transition Experience is an opportunity for High Schools to support their feeder primaries by hosting the Inflatable Museum for 2 or more days, enabling a reduced cost ‘Archive Explorer’ workshop for local children. We can even build in the chance for your Key Stage 3 students to be expert learning mentors for the children.

Museum of Me is a fantastic Year 6 ‘leavers’ project package for the summer term, teaching pupils how to select and interpret objects to create their own ‘pop-up’ museum celebrating their time at primary school. [New for 2019-20: express your interest]

We are also developing Animal- and Dinosaur-themed Key Stage 1 experiences for the Inflatable Museum. Watch this space or sign up to our E-news to be first to hear! [New for 2019-20: express your interest]

For all visits to schools, there is the potential for us to stay behind after school and open up the Inflatable Museum to your families. Please note on your booking enquiry that you’re interested in this.

How it works

The Inflatable Museum can accommodate a full primary school class and their accompanying adult helpers; 36 people in total. We’ll arrive with you in the morning, ‘inflate’, and work with one or two classes (sometimes three) per day, before deflating to go back home.

Where we can ‘pop up’

The Inflatable Museum has been designed to fit in the average school hall. We’ll need a space of approximately 9.5m x 8.5m x 3.5m high to set up in, and level access from your car park. Due to the lightweight nature of the fabric used to construct it, the Inflatable can only be set up indoors.

Who we visit

We can visit schools within 30 minutes’ drive time from Manchester Museum. This is usually Greater Manchester schools inside (or just outside) the M60 motorway. Please get in touch if you’re unsure.

What it costs

We’ve simplified our pricing for 2019-20, with flat day rates as follows:

- For 1 class in a day: £250

- For 2 classes in a day: £380 total

- For 3 classes in a day: £500 total

If we need to ‘deflate’ at lunchtime to accommodate your lunch service, we will be able to fit 2 classes per day. If you can allow us to stay ‘inflated’ all day, we can work with 3 classes. For the vast majority of schools, an Inflatable Museum experience will work out significantly cheaper than a workshop in a museum plus your travel – and it’s easier, too!

You might like to invite neighbouring schools to join you for the day to keep your costs down.

Sign up to our Early Years & Primary E-News to be the first to hear about any special offers and discounts.

How to book

Please complete this short form to make your enquiry.

We always aim to get back to you within 5 working (term-time) days.



Can you accommodate our lunch service? Ideally, we stay ‘inflated’ throughout the day. However, if required, we can ‘deflate’ for a portion of the day to allow for your lunch service. This may impact on your before or after school clubs.

What if we have more than 2 classes? If we can retain access to your hall all day (e.g. if you can arrange for children to eat in classrooms), we can create a bespoke timetable allowing for three classes in a day. Otherwise, we’ll just come to you on than one day. The cost is the same per child.

Do you offer any other workshops? At the moment, we just offer the ancient Egypt-themed workshop because that is where most of the demand is from our school partners. If you’ve a suggestion for our future developments, please get in touch and we’ll bear it in mind. Sign up to our Early Years & Primary E-News to be first to hear about future developments.

What’s the risk? The Inflatable Museum has been fully tested and risk assessed and is extremely safe for you and your pupils. We will require some cooperation from yourselves to maintain that safe environment, for example in ensuring the hall is clear whilst we set up. A full risk assessment and safety briefing will be provided upon booking.

I’m a secondary school teacher – can the Inflatable Museum visit us? We are now 'popping up' in secondary schools with our new Transition Experience programme. See Transition Experience section above for details.


For any other queries about the Inflatable Museum:

Please contact Jenny Claydon on 0161 275 7357 or at jennifer.claydon@manchester.ac.uk