90s exhibition at banbury museum

I wannabe in the 90s exhibition at Banbury Museum and Gallery

As children of the 70s-90s, we all gasp with shock and can’t believe that those years are so long ago now.  The olden days as our children might suggest. But a bit of nostalgia for those years is great to reminisce. And I was able to do that with the current temporary I Wannabe in the 90s exhibition at Banbury Museum and Gallery.

I went along at the start of the Easter holidays to check it out and reminisce on the 90s nostalgia. Sadly while leaving N at The Light to enjoy some climbing with a friend.  I think he’d have quite enjoyed it, but maybe not enough for me to warrant paying the entrance fee.

90s exhibition at banbury museum

I wannabe in the 90s exhibition 

The exhibition is only small, in one gallery, although there’s quite a bit to see and read in all the cabinets. 

First up is the toys. Yes, there’s Toy Story characters, Spice Girl dolls, Teletubbies and more to spot and remember. I was in secondary school and uni during the 90s, so the toys were later than my memories of toys. But it was fun to still see them, especially the collectibles. 

toys of the 90s display

I did fancy giving the Bop-It a go – we used to love that toy, and I’m sure we’ve still got one around at home. There was also a Jenga to try out.

Then onto the videos. Who remembers the joy of going to Blockbuster to pick your film to rent for the weekend?  I loved looking at the films. There were some cinema classics of that era. 

blockbuster video shelf set up display

Of course the 90s were the start of mobile phones being commonplace with the brick Motorola, and the great Nokia 3210 on display. There were also classic perfumes like Exclamation! And Lynx to remember (it seems madness to me that Lynx is still as popular as ever with teen boys, a rite of passage).

There was a corner with a boxy tv showing 90s tv shows. When I was there it was Ab Fab showing, so I had a few chuckles at that.

The (pretty appalling) fashion was hung up.  It was pretty awful fashion back then, although quite normal at that point. I can’t believe some of it is having a renaissance back in the shops this year.

90s fashion display

I did have a laugh at some of the foods. I remember Red Bull coming out when I was at uni, and the rep coming to our sports centre to let us try it out before going and playing squash. Let’s just say it didn’t go down well with our team, and no wonder it moved to the clubbing side rather than as an energising drink for sports!  

90s food and drink plus original Gladiators souvenirs

My former favourite chocolate bar, Spira was one of those on display. Although I can’t believe that Time Outs haven’t changed the packaging design in all those years!

The 90s were an iconic time for music with the Spice Girls, but the huge Britpop indie scene as well. Iconic number ones that stayed top of the charts for months on end and were easily recognisable.

90s music posters Spice Girls and Blur with Geri Halliwell cut out

I loved the CD wall, and remembered so many of the CDs that I had during my uni years and afterwards. Many an hour spent in the cheap music shops flicking through CDs to pick up 2 for and 4 for a price.

CD display wall of 90s music

The film section was largely posters, with each explained for those not familiar with the movies. It was definitely a time I spent a lot of time in the cinema (student discounts!) but there were still a few I’ve never seen.

For gamers there was chance to check out the old gaming systems. They’ve moved on so far compared to what was back then.  Maybe I should take N so he could really see the difference in what to me seems so little time back then, but to him would seem eons ago.

Throughout the exhibition they’ve got quizzes and interactive boards with questions to answer. There were also fun card games from the 90s you could have a go with.

I liked looking through some of the ‘coffee’ books around the gallery as well.  It really gave a good look at what life was like back then. And who was in the news and looked up to on the celeb front back then, even though they weren’t always really suitable icons to be following in their habits.

Visiting the 90s exhibition and the verdict

It’s not a large exhibition, so you’ll be looking at an hour if you look at everything. It was fairly empty when I visited, and only adults or older teens there. I suspect it’ll be mostly interesting to those looking back and reminiscing like I did, but it could be fun for children to see what sort of things mum and dad used to like and watch when they were younger.

If you want to visit, it’s on until the 7th July 2024, and claims to feature Toys, Trends and Iconic 90’s memories.

The exhibition is open during Banbury Museum’s opening hours, 10am-4pm Monday to Saturday, and 11am-3pm on Sundays.  It’s a paid exhibition, but the museum in general is free, so you can make the most of your time visiting. For a fiver (adults, children’s tickets are £2.50), it’s worth an hour looking round and remembering those 90s memories.

Have you ever been to a 90s exhibition?  What’s your favourite memory from those years?

Try these other day out ideas in Oxfordshire.

Love it? Share it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I would love to see this exhibition! The 90’s are my favourite years. Blockbuster is a blast from the past, I remember trying to explain to my girls about renting vidoes, they just didn’t get it.
    I used to love that Exclamation perfume and it seems crazy that the fashion is making a comeback! My youngest loves cargo pants and has a very similar Nivarna t-shirt. lol x