Special Events and Activities

Museum from Home Activities

As the museum is currently closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak we will be using this page to highlight activities that we would love you to get involved with from home.

Word Search

See if you can find the exhibits hidden in the museum word search.

Download and print it  here Whitby Museum Word Search.


Our art collection contains many stunning images of Whitby and the surrounding area.

unknown artist; Whitby from Larpool

Landscape Blank FrameWe’d love to see your pictures of Whitby. You could use pencils, paints or even collage.

Send us a picture of your creations to manager@whitbymuseum.org.uk

Lego Ships and Sea Creatures

Do you remember when we held our Lego Day last year? It was part of the Fish & Ships Festival.

The Festival was due to take place this coming weekend and our friends at Pannett Art Gallery were going to host the Lego event this time. They were going to ask you to create ships or sea creatures from Lego.Flotilla of Lego

So we’d like you to get creative at home instead and make a ship or a sea creature from your own Lego collection. We’d love to see your creations, you can send them to us manager@whitbymuseum.org.uk and we will publish them on our website.

Get building!

Paper Planes

This week marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day when hostilities in Europe ended during WW2.6

WW2 marked the first time that entire battles had been fought in the air.

As a family activity this week have a go at making paper planes; download our fact sheet for making a very simple paper plane here. Google ‘simple paper planes’, there are lots of different designs and ideas. Make some different designs and decorate them then have a family challenge to see which design can fly the furthest. Send us pictures of your completed planes to manager@whitbymuseum.org.uk.

Collecting Activity

People have always enjoyed collecting things. At Whitby Museum we have a cabinet of curiosities which was owned by Dr Ripley. He used the cabinet to keep his collection of objects in. He collected things like fossils, pieces of jet and other small objects.Ripley Drawer 1

Why don’t you make your own collection of curiosities? You don’t need to have a cabinet, you could use an old shoe box. Decorate it and use it to collect things that will remind you of this strange time in years to come. You could include a picture of a rainbow; something that you have made; a daisy that you have picked on your walk and pressed or a diary of what you have been doing.

Send us a picture of your box and the things you have collected manager@whitbymuseum.org.uk.

Fossil Activities

Whitby Museum is famous for it’s collection of fossils which were all found very close to Whitby.

Why not have a go at our fossil activities. There are sheets to colour and details of how you can make your own fossils from Playdoh and salt dough.salt dough 1 (2)

Download the activity sheets by clicking on the link and why not send us pictures of the things you’ve made to manager@whitbymuseum.org.uk.

Ammonite Colouring

Teleosaur colouring

Make your own Fossil

Art Activity

As well as our wonderful collection of objects we also have a large art collection at Whitby Museum. Many of our paintings are portraits like this one of Rev George Young.George Young (003)

Reverend Young was a minister, author and also, in 1823, one of the founding members of Whitby Literary and Philosphical Society who own and run Whitby Museum to this day.

For this week’s activity we would love to see your self portraits. You could use paints, crayons, felt tips or even collage. A great art activity if you are home schooling or just for a bit of fun. Click here to print an empty frame to fill with your portrait

Please send your portraits to manager@whitbymuseum.org.uk.

Poetry Competition

We were delighted to receive a fantastic poem about The Hand of Glory from a lady who was lucky enough to visit us a few weeks ago. We’d love you to send us poems inspired by objects in the museum too and thought we would run a competition.

Please send us your entries to manager@whitbymuseum.org.uk we’ll choose a winner and offer a prize once we reopen; a prize for adults and a prize for children. A great English activity if you’re homeschooling at the moment.

For inspiration take a look through the website.

To take a look at some of the entries we have received so far, click on the links. Children – competition entries. Adult – competition entries.

Other Cultures Activity: Totem Poles

Whitby Museum has a varied collection of items from other cultures. The collection reflects the worldwide travels of local people especially during the era of sailing ships.

The largest item among this collection is our magnificent totem pole. Totem poles were built by Native American tribes living along the Northwest Pacific coast of North America. They could measure up to 12 metres in height and were carved with images of animals and symbols showing a family’s status within the tribe. Common carvings were ravens, eagles, bears and wolves.Totem 2 (2)Totem (2)

Our totem pole comes from Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The area was discovered by Captain James Cook. Although our totem pole does not originate from Captain Cook he is known to have seen some when he was there.

Download the activity sheets and have a go at designing your own totem pole, colour in our totem pole or make your own model using a cardboard tube and sticking objects to it, you could use symbols that are relevant to your own family. Click here for totem colouring sheet. Click here for totem design sheet.

Remember to send your finished designs, colourings and models to manager@whitbymuseum.org.uk.

Recycle Your Rubbish and Get Creative

We would love you to get creative with your recycling rubbish!Recycled Model

Use empty boxes, egg cartons etc and lots of imagination to create a model of something you might see in a museum. It could be a dinosaur, a ship or even a doll’s house!

Send a picture of your creation to manager@whitbymuseum.org.uk and we will share it.

We can’t wait to see your creations!


Chronicle of Curiosities

13 February – 3 July

It is such a shame that you are currently unable to see this exhibition in person. To see the exhibits in more detail visit our exhibition blog post.We hope you enjoy this online version of the exhibition and hope that you are able to see it in person soon.

Lit Candles on Wall 2North Yorkshire artist Layla Khoo has created an exhibition of works during her time as Artist in Residence here at Whitby Museum. The exhibition comprises museum artefacts as they’ve never been seen before, alongside new artworks made in response to these artefacts. The artworks consist of two different aspects, one to embody the artist’s own reflections on the collection, and the other to represent the people of Whitby and the ever evolving nature of collecting.

Within our notable collection of objects, is the Ripley Cabinet of Curiosities Cast Cabinet– a collection within a collection. As a key element to this exhibition, the Ripley Cabinet and it’s contents are now available to view – alongside an all new cabinet made by the people of Whitby. Members of the public were invited to take part in a public workshop, taking casts and stories from people connected with Whitby, and the curious objects which they hold dear. This object was then moulded, a replica made, and are now featured in an all new Cabinet of Curiosities.

Set for Dinner 2A table is laid for dinner, the guests all significant figures inspired by the museum collection and the history of Whitby. Each dinner guest has their own bespoke place setting inspired by themes within the museum, side plates link to these themes with verses inspired by the “Sunderland-ware” ceramics in the collection. The walls are adorned with ink illustrations on antiquated encyclopaedia pages, inspired by the extensive library collection, and the “Hand of Glory” has been liberated from it’s dark, mythic origins in the form of ceramic candle holders to light the table.

Layla Khoo is a North Yorkshire installation artist specialising in ceramics. Layla studied 3D Contemporary Crafts at York College, and gained her Masters Degree in Glass and Ceramics at the University of Sunderland. Layla is interested in historical collections, and finding new ways to bring objects and places to life. Her work focuses on creating site-specific, responsive works with elements of public participation. Recent works include the “Change In Attitudes” exhibition at National Trust property, Nunnington Hall.


Pannett Art Gallery Exhibitions 2020

The Pannett Art Gallery is managed by Whitby Town Council . The programme for forthcoming exhibitions at the Art Gallery is given below. Admission is free. Information courtesy of the Art Gallery Curator, Ms. Helen Berry.

Please note, all information is correct at the time of writing but may be subject to change. Please phone before making a special journey to visit any exhibition. Tel. (01947) 600933. If no answer from this number, please try Whitby Town Council on (01947) 820227 or Email: pannett.gallery@whitbytowncouncil.gov.uk.

The Pannett Art Gallery website is at http://www.pannettartgallery.org

The Kindness of Strangers and Friends – paintings from the Pannett Collection Cancelled
The Four Seasons – Whitby Art Society Cancelled
Caedmon College Student’s Display Cancelled
Smell the Sea, Feel the Sky – Postcard Exhibition 26 May – 5 July
Paintings of the Staithes Group of Artists 10 July – 26 July
Celebrating Pannett 28 July – 30 August
Fylingdales Group of Artists 1 September – 4 October
Captain Cook Museum, Botanical Prints 6 October – 13 December

Pannett Park Events 2020

Whitby Museum is situated in the wonderful surroundings of Pannett Park.

To find out more about the Park and also about the work done by the Friends of Pannett Park take a look at their website https://www.pannettpark.co.uk/home

Easter in the Park Cancelled 11 am – 1pm
Pannett Day Cancelled 11 am – 3 pm
Halloween Wednesday 28 October 11am – 1pm