There’s lots happening for families this summer at Nottingham Contemporary. Inside their iconic green and gold building embedded with lace, you’ll find eccentric artwork you can wear or sit on, lots of weird and wonderful family activities and crazy optical illusions. So what can you do that makes Nottingham Contemporary a perfect family day out…

1. Wear an artwork

Nottingham Contemporary | Visit Nottinghamshire
When you visit Nottingham Contemporary, you’ll find a giant curtain snaking through the galleries, made entirely from t-shirts sewn together. The artist, Pia Camil, uses cheap t-shirts sold at street markets in her native Mexico City, to look at global trade and consumerism. This is an interactive artwork, so visitors are encouraged to pop their head through the artwork to see things from a new angle. Go along and give it a try…

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2. Be dazzled by optical illusions

Nottingham Contemporary | Visit Nottinghamshire

Credit: Trix & Robert Haussmann: The Log-o-Rithmic Slide Rule, Nottingham Contemporary, 2018. Photo Sam Kirby.

Things are not what they seem in Nottingham Contemporary’s exhibition by Trix & Robert Haussmann. These Swiss architects and designers aim to playfully deceive the viewer through visual tricks using mirrored surfaces, perspective and unexpected materials. Take a look, but you might need to look again…

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3. Invent Weird and Wonderful Things

Nottingham Contemporary | Visit Notts

Credit: Marta Sanches Costa

All through the summer hols, families can take a trip to Weirderland and can get creative (and weird!) together. When you arrive, you can press a giant button to auto-generate a random thing for you to invent and make. Will you make a Cool Shaker, Shiny Shrinker, or how about a Fuzzy Relaxer?

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4. Lounge around in a hammock made of jeans

Nottingham Contemporary | Visit Nottinghamshire

Credit: Pia Camil: Split Wall, Nottingham Contemporary, 2018. Photo Sam Kirby.

Lie back and relax in Pia Camil’s interactive exhibition. You’ll find a hammock made from stuffed jeans, which is surprisingly comfy – a great place to take a moment to soak up the atmosphere and think about the art that is on show.

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5. Play with digital trickery

Nottingham Contemporary | Visit Nottinghamshire

Credit: Lewie Litchfield

Weirderland is a very strange place. As well as being able to invent your own art, you can also be part of some extraordinary illusions. See endless versions of yourself in our chamber of mirrors, experience the world upside-down, or see yourself flying and spinning through space using our green screen. Great for unusual family photos!

Plesae click here to read more.

6. Visit us at The Beach

Nottingham Contemporary | Visit Nottinghamshire
You might have seen Nottingham’s Old Market Square has turned into a beach, but did you know that Nottingham Contemporary hold activities there every Wednesday? Play in the sun, build sand sculptures and meet Mr. Zebra, the gallery’s very own mascot.

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7. Fun but functionless chairs

Nottingham Contemporary | Visit Nottinghamshire

Credit (left-right):
Trix & Robert Haussmann, Chair Fun: Choco-Chair, 1967/2012, Stahlrohr verchromt, Courtesy Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Museum für Gestaltung Zurich; Hintergrund
Trix & Robert Haussmann, Chair-Fun: Neon-Stuhl, 1967. Courtesy Trix and Robert Haussmann.
Trix & Robert Haussmann, Chair-Fun: Trio, 1967. Courtesy Trix and Robert Haussmann.

These playful chairs by Trix & Robert Haussmann are less about being functional, and more about being fun. We do not recommend taking a seat!

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8. Pick up an Explorer Bag

Visit Nottinghamshire | Visit Nottinghamshire

Explore Nottingham Contemporary’s exhibitions whilst taking part in activities as a family. Each of our Explorer Bags are filled with different activities, so you can search for artworks and create your own piece of art in response. The bag doubles up as a rug, so after you’ve explored you can get comfy and enjoy a story together. Available daily from reception.

9. Pocket Money Treats

Nottingham Contemporary | Visit nottinghamshire
Our shop sells a variety of pocket money souvenir from your trip with finger puppets, kaleidoscopes, fun badges, and branded merchandise, including Nottingham Contemporary’s famous zebra mascot.

10. Cake

Nottingham Contemporary | Visit Nottinghamshire
Need we say more? Nottingham Contemporary serve delicious cakes, including passion fruit meringue pie, lemon and white chocolate tart, blood orange and juniper frangipani, and a personal favourite- the salted caramel brownie.

Gallery and Shop Opening Times

Tue – Sat : 10am – 6pm | Sun : 11am – 5pm

Pia Camil and Trix & Robert Haussmann exhibitions run until Sun 7 Oct.

Weirderland Opening Times

Weirderland runs until Fri 31 Aug. Drop in Tuesdays to Sundays between 11am - 3pm.

Café Opening Times

Tue–Sat : 10am–5pm | Sun : 11am–4pm | Bank Hol : 10am–4pm.

This blog was written by Laura-Jade Vaughan, Marketing Manager at Nottingham Contemporary


Nottingham Contemporary
Nottingham Contemporary

Nottingham Contemporary is one of the largest contemporary art galleries in the UK, presenting free exhibitions, special events, and family activities.

Weirderland at Nottingham Contemporary
Participatory Event
Nottingham Contemporary | Visit Nottinghamshire

Things are about to get weird and wonderful this summer at Nottingham Contemporary as free fun family activities await you in Weirderland...

Pia Camil: Split Wall
Pia Camil Exhibition | Nottingham Contemporary

This summer, Nottingham Contemporary presents the first solo exhibition in the UK of Mexican artist Pia Camil

Trix & Robert Haussmann
Trix & Hausmann | Nottingham Contemporary

Nottingham Contemporary presents the first UK retrospective of Trix & Robert Haussmann – one of the most significant and intriguing Swiss architects and designers of the twentieth century.



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