- Visit Warwickshire’s much-loved Mechanical Art & Design (MAD) Museum with your family and explore mind-boggling kinetic art and automata.
- The UK’s only permanent attraction for mechanical art, the MAD Museum has an awesome collection of weird and wonderful contraptions that little innovators will love.
- Discover your inner inventor and uncover over 65 quirky machines including giant clapping hands, laser lights, marble machines, water clocks, 3D faces and much more.
- See the mechanical masterpiece, a moving sculpture inside a refurbished red telephone box, designed by resident artist Pascal Bettex as a tribute to William Shakespeare inside the museum.
- Explore the beautiful medieval market town of Stratford-upon-Avon, which has an abundance of must-see attractions including Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Stratford Butterfly Farm.
If you love art, design, science and engineering, treat your family to a day out at the brilliant MAD Museum located in Warwickshire, central England. Launched in March 2012, the Stratford-upon-Avon museum displays the world’s finest pieces of kinetic art and automata from artists all around the world. Only 18 months after its launch, the MAD mechanical art venue upgraded to a 3,000sq. ft building situated in the heart of Stratford’s tourist trail in Henley Street, just a few doors down from Shakespeare’s Birthplace. The MAD Museum showcases pieces from brilliant minds across the world. Resident artists include Robert Moore from the United Kingdom, Helmut Baur from Germany, Lukas Kuka from Slovakia and Dug North from USA.
The MAD Museum allows little masterminds to experience and interact with exquisite pieces and eye-opening machines – just think Scrapheap Challenge, Wallis and Gromit and Chitty Chitty Bang. The MAD Museum’s aim is to promote science, technology, engineering, maths, art and design to kids of all ages and allow them to be more hands-on with STEM subjects. From handles to turn and buttons to press, moving sculptures, mesmerising high-tech robots and gizmos and astonishing moving contraptions, the design museum exhibits some of the most innovative creations from the craziest and cleverest inventors in the world. This art and design museum is a spectacular attraction for adults and the ideal treasure-trove for little explorers. With a whole variety of interactive automata and kinetic art, some of the highlights include marble runs, 3D faces, sand pictures and the flying mechanical birds.
The Mad Museum is suitable for children of all ages. Younger kids can experience a complete sensory experience – with flashing lights, myriad of colours, unusual sounds and movement. For older children, the imaginative museum makes learning fun with the use of interactive displays, whilst subtly teaching them about design, physics and maths. The unconventional and imaginative machines also challenge teens to think about what they do and how they are designed – perhaps even influencing an artist in the making.
A much-loved destination with Kidadlers, Aviva says: "The MAD museum was great. Not sure who had more fun the kids or us! Thought it would kill an hour but we could have stayed half a day, we only left because it was closing. It's tiny, but fascinating!" And Kidadler Ziv says: "The MAD museum is mad and three generations enjoyed the time there."
Warwickshire has countless amazing attractions for families to enjoy, including visiting the Royal Shakespeare Company theatres to seeing the English poet’s birthplace. There is also loads to explore nearby, including Warwick Castle and Anker Wood & Mazeworld.
What to know before you go
- The opening times for the MAD Museum, Stratford-upon-Avon are April until September: Monday to Friday 10am - 5pm and Saturday, Sunday and school holidays 10am - 5.30pm. From October until March opening times are: Monday to Friday, 10.30am - 4.30pm and Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10am - 5.30pm. The last admission to the museum is 45 minutes prior to closing.
- Expect to spend approximately one to two hours at the MAD Museum.
- There are public toilets and disabled toilets situated at the rear of the museum.
- Baby-changing facilities can be found in the disabled toilets.
- The MAD Museum has wheelchair access throughout.
- Guide dogs are welcome into the MAD Museum.
- You can bring your buggy into the museum on quiet days. During busier periods including weekends, holiday periods and wet-weather days, please leave your buggy at the museum's entrance where there is buggy storage available.
- There is no on-site café but there are loads of places to eat in Stratford-upon-Avon. Boston Tea Party has a great menu for adults and children as well as highchairs and baby-changing facilities. If you fancy some pub grub, the Red Lion has an extensive kids' menu, including pizza, oven-baked fish bites and chips and mac 'n' cheese. There are even fun activity sheets to keep children entertained. The Planetarium Cafe is a vegan café with the best selection of vegan cakes that you will find.
- Please don't bring food and drink into the museum.
- You're welcome to take as many photos and videos as you like.
- Download a free fun family activity pack before your visit.
- Kids under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
- The museum offers educational tours for school s with Key Stage 1 - 4 packs.
- The museum is situated above Lakeland and between the Cornish Bakery and Toni & Guy. It is on the opposite end of Henley Street from Shakespeare's Birthplace and Windsor Street car park.
- Stratford-upon-Avon train station is an 11-minute walk from the museum. There are direct trains from London Marylebone and Birmingham Moor Street to Stratford-upon-Avon.
- There are direct National Express buses from London Victoria to Stratford-upon-Avon.
- If you are driving, the closest parking to the museum is Windsor Street multi-storey car park, which is a two-minute walk to the museum. There is also a convenient NCP car park in Rother Street in the town centre.