Festival of Museums wants legions of visitors to join in

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Think you know museums? Think again! Forget all the cliches of dusty glass cases and think whisky tasting, silent discos, dancing and cocktails, not to mention meeting Romans, Vikings, Picts or maybe even a few Victorians.

Because all this and more is on offer across Scotland during the Festival of Museums, a three-day event celebrating the variety and excellence of our museums.

Now in its 11th year, the annual celebration of the magic of heritage, science and history, runs from Friday, May 19, until Sunday, May 21.

Its aim is to get people into museums, so the packed programme hopes to spark imaginations and inspire visitors to find out more about their heritage.

This year it’s bigger than ever before, with 25 per cent more events in comparison to last year.

Joanne Orr, chief executive Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “We want to give museums and galleries, big and small alike, the opportunity to do something special – to showcase their collections in unique and creative ways.

“This year is no exception. The action-packed weekend will give visitors an opportunity to celebrate culture, discover history and learn something new, as well as have some fun!

“We want to ignite imaginations and encourage people to explore Scotland’s incredible museums and galleries.”

Here in Falkirk, there are a number of special events being staged.

As reported last week, Callendar House has a new summer exhibition focusing on the Romans.

And during the festival there is a chance for younger members of the family to toddle along to find out more.

Roaming in the gloaming – Toddling o’clock, will be held at Callendar House education suite on Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21, from 11 am to 11.30am.

The session will use sensory, drama, music and play to allow two to five year olds and their adult helpers to discover the adventures of the Romans in a fun, interactive workshop.

It costs £3.50 per youngster with accompanying adult. Call 01324 506850 to book.

Older children won’t miss out on the fun as they will be given an insight into the lives of Roman soldiers and how they used to live in a fun, interactive workshop too.

Romans Rule will also be held in Callendar House’s education suite.

The young recruits will be ordered by a Roman centurion to join the Roman army and march to the Antonine Wall while fending off the Caledonians.

They will investigate replica armour and weaponry to discover what life on the Antonine Wall was really like for the soldiers.

The cost is £5.50 per youngster with accompanying adult. Call 01324 506850 to book.

The Festival of Museums will launch the Roman Frontiers exhibition but there will be plenty of daily Roman activities taking place in historic Callendar House right through until September.

Also in the district, Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway will transport visitors back to the past with its event, Victorians at the Railway.

Starting at Bo’ness station, visitors will be taken on a steam train and guided through a bygone era in the company of a charismatic storytelling Victorian station master.

Visitors can try the best in Victorian fashion in the dressing up area and pose for a Victorian selfie.

A little further afield is the Cadet Takeover Day at Stirling Castle.

On Saturday, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Museum will be taken over by the Army Cadet Force for an action-packed day of discovery.

Visitors will get up close to hidden treasures from the museum stores and will also enjoy special tours of the military museum.