Families and accessibility
We want to help all our visitors to have an easy and enjoyable visit.
You can find out more about what we have available for families, and people with access needs below.
Visit the Family Explorers website [external link].
Access and parking
- there are accessible parking bays near the museum entrance
- there is ramped access from these to the front door
- there is level access all round the museum for wheelchairs and buggies
- we have hearing loops at Reception and assistance dogs are welcome in the museum
- there are accessible toilet facilities with the main toilets and also near our meeting room
- Head of Steam access statement [pdf document]
- Head of Steam accessibility guide [external website]
Buggies and bags
We have limited space to store buggies and bags, please ask our friendly staff and they will try to help.
Baby changing and feeding
We have a separate baby changing room in our toilets.
Mums are welcome to breastfeed in the museum, wherever they are comfortable.
If you would like somewhere more private, there is a baby changing room.
Please let a member of staff know if you would like a glass of water or if there is anything we can do to help make you more comfortable.
We have a baby food warmer at reception.
Toilet facilities for younger visitors
We have step stools and potty training seats on our accessible toilets to help younger visitors be more independent.
Visitors who use British Sign Language
We have some videos about our star objects with BSL interpretation and subtitles.
Visitors on the autistic spectrum
The Museum has prepared a visual guide for visitors on the autistic spectrum
Visual visitor guide [pdf document].
We also have a sensory kit available from reception if you or someone you are visiting with needs a little quiet time.
We have a relaxed opening on the first Sunday of each month.
From the time we open until 12 noon, we will:
- not have the sound effects on
- not turn on the aroma machines
- turn up the lights in the Booking Office and the Pease Room.
We have lots of extra things to help you to explore the museum!
We have museum trails for a range of ages, and explorer bags available at Reception. The explorer bags contains:
- coloured acetates
- different materials
- ideas of things to do to help to explore the museum and our objects
Look out for our family art and craft activities in school holidays and on event days.
Here are some of your favourite trails to download and print at home and bring with you when you come and explore the museum.
- Animal Trail [pdf document]
- Family Fun Sheet 7 plus [pdf document]
- Family Fun sheet under 7s [pdf document]
- Posters Trail [pdf document]
- Round things Trail [pdf document]
- Stockton & Darlington Railway Trail [pdf document]
- Shapes Trail [pdf document]
- Station Clock Trail [pdf document]
Food and drink
Refreshments are available from the museum reception throughout the year.
Hot and cold drinks and a variety of crisps and biscuits are available with a comfortable seating area nearby, on the museum platform, during museum opening times.
The museum café is open on event days and during the school holidays when the museum has activities on.
The museum café serves a range of sandwiches including:
- hot and cold drinks
Sample menu [jpg image]
If you want to bring your own food we have an outdoor picnic areas with tables at the front of the museum, in the field and on the back platform.
Please don’t eat or drink in the museum.
Our shop has a wide range of souvenirs, toys and books to suit all ages and pockets.
First aid and lost children
Please contact the staff at reception who will be able to help.
Responsibility for younger visitors
Children are the responsibility of parents and carers at all times.
Please be aware that the museum is in an old railway station which includes platforms and a footbridge.
There are lot of things we encourage you to touch, or go into, but if there is something that is too old and fragile it will either have a sign on it or will be behind a barrier – this is for its safety and yours.
Manual wheelchair and walker
We have a manual wheelchair and a walker available to borrow, please ask staff if you would like to use them.