Children in Museums Award 2023

Hands On! International & European Museum Academy are looking for exceptional and excellent children’s exhibition programmes for the Children in Museums Award 2023.



Applications are welcomed from children’s museums; from education, children’s and youth departments in museums; science centres; and from other cultural institutions with a particular emphasis on children’s programming. Museums may be long-established or recently opened. However, priority is given to programmes which display recent innovation. Candidates can compete as such or apply with a special (temporary) programme or exhibition. The project entered for the Award, however, must be current and open for viewing in the judging year, i.e. between 15 March and 30 June 2023.



Applications will be assessed against these criteria:


For instance, showing new pathways to enlarge subject matters, new ideas for using collections in children’s programmes, new ways of using technologies to interact with the content, new forms of actively engaging young visitors, etc.


For instance, creating an overall environment and atmosphere which are conducive to learning, using interactivity to favour understanding, involving children in the conception and design, testing and evaluation of programmes and exhibitions, etc.


For instance, showing evidence of programmes or initiatives that have a social impact and focus on inclusion and diversity, outreach activities, etc.


For instance, having an informative website, learning printed and/or digital materials for schools, teachers, parents, etc.


For instance, showing good management and well-trained and experienced staff.



Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia

ZOOM Children’s Museum, Vienna, Austria

MAS Museum aan de Stroom, Antwerp, Belgium

Science Museums, University of Aarhus, Denmark 

West Zealand Museum, Holbæk, Denmark

Alice – Museum for Children at FEZ-Berlin, Germany

MUBA Children’s Museum of Milan, Italy

Tokyo Toy Museum, Japan

National Museum of Natural History of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Institute for Sound and Vision, Hilversum, The Netherlands

Discover Children’s Story Centre, London, United Kingdom

Children’s Museum Houston, United States



The winner of our travelling Miffy trophy and a 5000€ cash prize sponsored by Mercis B.V. will be announced in the course of a festive evening event. Nominees will be named honorary ambassadors of the 21st Century Children Project co-funded by the European Union, as the represent best practice examples of future-oriented museum spaces for children.



The Award is judged by a panel of experts experienced in many disciplines within the museum field who all contribute their time as volunteers. The judges are looking especially for museums, exhibitions, programmes and museum environments that show:

  • a commitment to children, to encourage children’s curiosity and to stimulate their imagination
  • creativity and innovation
  • quality learning experiences

The judges will be looking for what is understood as ‘public quality’. In this specific case, the museum’s commitment to improving children’s experiences, growth, learning, well-being through the museum environment, atmosphere and programming.