2023 Awards

Celebrating the Fantastic for Families Awards with 24 stories

Now in its tenth year, the annual Fantastic For Families Awards celebrate the wealth of fantastic creative provision for families and older audiences across the UK.

On this page you’ll find the shortlist for the annual Fantastic For Families Awards, celebrating the nominees by sharing their 24 Stories. These uplifting stories represent outstanding opportunities created by the arts and culture sector for families and older audiences to access creative opportunities and enhance wellbeing.

Discover incredible arts providers as you explore the 24 nominees this year. You can also find more fantastic organisations near you in the Fantastic for Families Directory.

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Discover 24 stories of inspiring projects
from across the UK

Best Family Arts Activity Shortlist

This award celebrates creative activities and events that have been developed for families.


balletLORENT’s tour of Rapunzel, retold by Carol Ann Duffy, toured six venues in England in 2022-23, perfect for family audiences aged 5 years+.
Read more.


During the six days of Playcations, BarrowFull brought a free, family-friendly programme to areas of low arts engagement within Barrow.
Read more.

City Arts

City Arts worked with families, local service providers, and partner Small Steps Big Changes, to create a mini-festival for families.
Read more.


Little Curve Workshops
The Little Curve Workshops are weekly creative arts classes for children aged 18 months to 4 years, and their parents, carers and/or grandparents.
Read more.

Groundswell Arts

Dancing Together
Dancing Together focuses on the physical and mental wellbeing of babies/toddlers and their carers, supporting their emotional needs…
Read more.

Highly Sprung

Highly Sprung Play Day
Highly Sprung Play Day was one of the UK’s first Play Days. It provided a positive space for families to create, connect, play, and have fun.
Read more.

Maths on Toast

Fun Family Maths
Maths on Toast ran monthly events in libraries and community centres, inviting families to play with maths through creative activities.
Read more.


Starchitects: An adventure in space
Starchitects offers a fantastic opportunity to introduce children (3-10 years) to high quality dance-circus in an age-appropriate format.
Read more.

Northern Stage

Best Summer Ever
A month-long festival for young people aged 8-15 and their families, focusing on addressing holiday hunger and the lack of safe, local activity.
Read more.


Apple ‘N’ Spice
Apple ‘N’ Spice brings together two stepmothers, one from the Indian tale of Ramayana and the other from Snow White.
Read more.

Super Sparkle

Tick Tock and the Christmas Clock
Tick Tock and the Christmas Clock was a 30 minute performance with live and original music, puppetry, handmade sets and an original script.
Read more.

Wirral Unplugged

Positive Power: Environmental Chemistry
Events to engage under-served families with what environmental chemists do to protect the environment.
Read more.

Best Age-Friendly Outreach Shortlist

This category recognises age-friendly activities, events, projects and support for older people.

Aspex Portsmouth

Generate offers a vital lifeline for the local community. These workshops have been supporting people with dementia and their carers through weekly arts activities. Read more.


Weekly creative workshops delivered by professional practising artists, bringing together isolated, vulnerable older people to connect, build skills, and nurture wellbeing. Read more.


Singing for Memory
Weekly sessions delivered by professional musicians bring together people with dementia and their carers through music, memories, conversation and a cuppa! Read more.


History, Health and Happiness
A programme of community-based wellbeing activity. Activities take place within the most deprived communities in Doncaster, with the highest levels of poor health and isolation. Read more.

Halpern Charitable Foundation: Nucleus Arts

Chat Connect Create
A weekly arts/wellbeing group for particularly vulnerable older adults, working with professional artists to try out new creative activities and experiences. Read more.


The Dream Project
Older African and African Caribbean diaspora people worked together to create a storytelling performance called Dominoes and Dahlias (+Oware!).
Read more.

Audience Impact & Innovation Award Shortlist

This award recognises the achievements of creative organisations or cultural event organisers who have demonstrated innovation and adaptability to reach and make a difference to families in need.


Youth Collective
LEVEL created Youth Collective, a free pilot programme designed to provide  creative activities for young people aged 13 – 18 years who are autistic or neurodivergent. Read more.

Royal Shakespeare Company

Like I Care
The Royal Shakespeare Company have collaborated in workshops with Warwickshire Young Carers to transform their unique lived experiences into art. Read more.

Stand & Be Counted Theatre

Secret Summer
A co-created live-meets-digital immersive production made with Stand & Be Counted’s Youth Theatre of Sanctuary alongside acclaimed Syrian writer Anan Tello. Read more.

The Whitworth
& Afrocats

Afrocats x Whitworth
A partnership that launched in February 2022 to reimagine how the Whitworth connects with local families in a more accessible, inclusive and equitable way. Read more.


Warm and Toasty
Theatre Porto responded to the cost-of-living crisis by offering free accessible arts activity along with free food based around ‘hot toast’.
Read more.

Travelling Light
Theatre Company

Louder Than Words
A drama group for disabled young people aged 7 years and over, offering them a chance to have fun, make friends and learn new skills in drama, music and storytelling. Read more.


Fantastic for Families
From festivals and theatre companies to galleries and museums, in our directory you’ll find 1000+ organisations bringing eye-boggling creative events, activities and initiatives to life across the UK.

Sector Support

Family Arts Campaign
Work in the arts industry? Find out more about our work to support you. Dive into our resources library, commit to the Family Arts Standards or create a Family Arts Network in your area.

Image credits:
Header: Motionhouse, Starchitects. Photography by Dan Tucker
Banner: Stand & Be Counted Theatre, Secret Summer
Please click through to individual pages to see any image credits

2023 Fantastic for Families Award winners announced!