You can find full details of all our forthcoming events and activities in our What’s On and MERL Families guides, which are now available from the Museum or to download from our website You can also see all events on our online calendar
Wednesdays, Saturdays & Sundays, 3-3.45pm (Please note that we are closed on Thurs 17th April and over the Easter weekend)
Free, booking advisable
Let our fully trained tour guides tell you the stories behind the objects on display and visit the object store to see MERL’s hidden treasures.
Family fun in the Easter holidays!
For details of our family workshops throughout the holiday, visit our family events page
5-16th April, normal opening times (NB. Closed Mondays & Thurs 17th and all Easter weekend. We reopen on Tues 22nd)
£2 per child, drop-in, suitable for families with children of all ages
Follow the Easter trail and locate the Easter eggs in the Museum and garden. Prizes for all!!
Tues 8th April, 11am & 2.30pm
Join members of our team of family tour guides for a fun, interactive 30-minute tour of the museum and hear stories about what it was once like to live and work in the countryside.
Decoupage egg cups
Weds 9th April, 10-11.30am, 11.30-1pm, 2-3.30pm
£3 per child, booking required, suitable for families with children aged 4+
Be inspired by the Museum’s intriguing egg-related artefacts this Easter and decorate your very own egg cup using decoupage techniques.
Rag Easter basket weaving
Thurs 10th April, 10-11.30am, 11.30-1pm, 2-3.30pm
£3 per child, booking required, suitable for families with children aged 3+
Explore some of the beautiful baskets in the Museum’s collection and weave your own from material.
Bird’s nest making
Friday 11th April, 110am-12.30pm & 1.30-4pm
£2 per child, drop-in, For early years and above
Come and get messy making a nest from tissue paper, yarn and glue. Use your imagination to create a fantastic colourful home that any bird would be proud of!
Reading University College: WW1 and beyond
Tuesday 1st April to 31 August, 2014
Staircase hall, MERL
Free, drop-in, normal museum opening times
Funded by Arts Council England as part of the Reading Connections project, and inspired by the University of Reading Memorial Book and Clock Tower memorial, this exhibition reveals the stories of the men and women with connections to the then Reading University College, who fell during the First World War. The exhibition also looks at the theme of War in a broader sense with interesting items from MERL and the Special Collections relating to other conflicts.
Part of our WW1 programme
Collecting the countryside: 20th century rural cultures
Until Autumn 2014
Temporary exhibition space
Free, drop in, normal museum opening times
Since 2008 the Museum of English Rural Life has been adding even more objects to its collection, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Collecting Cultures programme, in order to represent each decade of the last century. (Find out more in Curator, Isabel Hughes’ blog post) This exhibition gives a taste of what has been acquired and challenges visitors to suggest the modern-day objects that the Museum needs to collect for the future. The exhibition will help the Museum to explore how to incorporate more recent histories and representations of the English countryside into its displays as part of the new Our Country Lives project.