The Family Arts Standards are helping families to find arts activities that are suitable for all ages; they cover the basic considerations for families visiting an arts experience.
All organisations that are signed up to the Family Arts Standards, whether they’re a theatre, an art gallery, an orchestra or a dance company, will provide some activities that all family members can enjoy together. They are welcoming to families, with helpful staff, good facilities and considered pricing. They give clear information to help families decide what is or isn’t suitable for them and their children.
Not every show or activity they offer will be suitable for families so organisations with the Family Arts Standards will provide clear information so you can decide what is or isn’t suitable for your family.
You can check their websites or contact them for more information. They may also use the Fantastic for Families badge to highlight family activities in their programme listings or online:
An organisation that displays the Family Arts Standards Badge will:
- Offer programming and activities for a range of ages.
- Take practical steps to make performances /activities accessible to as wide an age range as possible: so appropriate events can be enjoyed and appreciated by all members of the family group taking part.
- Provide clear guidance on age appropriateness and sensitive issues so families can decide if an activity is suitable for them.
- Consider the needs of families and take into account transport issues when planning dates of activities, start and finish times, length of performance/activity, length of intervals or breaks.
- Have clear pricing and take into account the diversity of families when considering
pricing and ‘family offers’.
- Ask families about their experiences and views. Highlight changes that have been made and any barriers to achieving other suggestions.
- Have a clear public policy for addressing complaints.
- Reach out to and welcome all families to enjoy the arts and try new experiences.
- Understand the needs of families of different ages and from different communities and remain flexible and responsive to them.
- Ensure staff are trained to be aware of the barriers that may exist for families that
include disabled adults and children, including those with complex needs and/ or
- Have helpful staff who can respond to families’ questions and needs.
- Provide clear & honest information in print and on the internet about the facilities they have available, whilst ensuring they provide:
- Clean and safe facilities
- Suitable access for wheelchair users and buggies
- Advice if spaces for wheelchair users and buggies are limited and/or advance booking is required
- Appropriate seating for children and those with limited mobility
- Accessible toilet and baby changing facilities that both men and women can access
- Free drinking water
- Healthy food and drink options suitable for families (if refreshments are available)
- Comfortable seating for feeding babies, including breastfeeding
- Clear signage and easily identifiable staff/personnel
- Clear travel information
In exceptional circumstances, standards holders may not be able to provide all of the facilities included in this list. If this occurs it will be clearly advertised so families are aware of limitations when planning their visit.
What to do if your visit or experience does not meet the Family Arts Standards?
Is the organisation signed up to the Standards?
All organisations that are signed up are listed below. You can also check for Standards holders when browsing the Festival website - if an organisation is signed up, the logo will be displayed on their event listings.
Yes, they are:
Give your feedback to the organisation, so they can learn from your experience. They should offer a variety of feedback options so you could talk to a staff member, or use the suggestions box etc.
No, they are not:
Why not suggest they use the Standards to improve the experience they offer to families?
Organisations with the Family Arts Standards
Eastern Angles & Sir John Mills Theatre
Harlow Museum and Walled Gardens
New International Encounter
Mercury Theatre, Colchester
The Time Machine
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds
Lakeside Arts Centre
Mansfield Palace Theatre
New Art Exchange
Royal and Derngate
The Core at Corby Cube
The Family Album
Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall Nottingham
Wriggle Dance Theatre
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Artstrust Productions UK
Battersea Arts Centre
BBC Concert Orchestra
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Big Fish Little Fish Events
Big Mouth Piano Tales
Cecil Sharp House & English Folk Dance and Song Society
Ealing Autumn Festival
English National Ballet
Half Moon Young People's Theatre
London A Cappella Festival
London Mozart Players
London Symphony Orchestra
London Children's Ballet
Mousetrap Theatre Projects
National Youth Music Theatre
Royal College of Music
Royal Court Theatre
Scribble & Smudge
Waltham Forest Libraries
White Door Yellow Wall
Arbeia Roman Fort & Museum
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Centre for Life
Great North Museum: Hancock
Laing Art Gallery
Live Theatre Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Segedunum Roman Fort
Shipley Art Gallery
South Shields Museum & Art Gallery
Stephenson Railway Museum
Theatre by the Lake
Tyne & Wear Archives
Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums
Action Transport Theatre & Whitby Hall
Brewery Arts Centre
Burnley Youth Theatre
Green Close Studios
Just So Festival
Lancaster District Libraries
New Fylde Folk n Roots Festival
Razzamataz Manchester South Theatre School
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Science from the Start
The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre
The Kirkgate Centre
Waterside Arts Centre
Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
Bentlif Art Gallery
Ideas Test - Swale & Medway CPP
Medway Fine Printmakers
Middleton Cheney Library
Norden Farm Centre for the Arts
The Beacon, Wantage
The Diving Museum
The Electric Theatre
The Mill Arts Centre
Theatre Royal Brighton
White Rock Theatre
Egg, Theatre Royal Bath
North Devon Theatres’ Trust
Thelma Hulbert Gallery
Abertawe Festival for Young Musicians
Art Across the City
Birmingham Museums Trust
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Burslem School of Art
Compton Verney Art Gallery
New Alexandra Theatre
Newhampton Arts Centre
Orchestra of the Swan
Ray Langton Music
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Telford & Wrekin Libraries
The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum
Theatre for Young Audiences
Town Hall Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Warwick Arts Centre
Yorkshire & the Humber
20-21 Visual Arts Centre
Abbey House Museum
Adult Education Service, East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Fingertips Art Studio
Leeds Art Gallery
Leeds City Museum
Leeds Industrial Museum (Armley Mills)
Leeds Museum Discovery Centre
Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery
Stephen Joseph Theatre
Tell Tale Hearts
The Point (darts)
West Yorkshire Playhouse
York Theatre Royal
Click here for an A-Z list of Standards Holders.
Join the debate on what makes arts organisations family friendly:
Family and Childcare Trust