Get involved - activities and what's on at Sandwell Museums

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Important visitor information - Please read before you visit

Our sites are now closed until 1st April (or the nearest advertised open day) for conservation work, deep cleaning, redisplay and planning activities.

From February however we are open for pre-booked and regular community groups and schools, February half-term and special events and activities (see below). Staff are available on site to answer any queries.

  • Scroll down the page to find out what activities are available at our different sites. Please note that our sites are open at advertised times below and also for general casual visitors. For these general opening hours click the links to the site page. We will be updating our events throughout the year for the coming season so keep coming back to see what's on next.
  • Entrance to our sites is FREE unless an admission charge is stated for specific activities and there is no need to book unless it states booking is required. To book, phone the relevant site or pop in - cash or cheque only.
  • Please note that staff are not available to take phone calls every day.  Please avoid calling on Mondays.
  • Follow the links below to the site pages to find out about opening times, accessibility and facilities
  • We are unable to accommodate pushchairs inside our buildings due to the size and nature of our sites.                               

  • Assistance dogs only on site please.

Museum Musings

Behind the scenes insight, cracking history information and lots of interesting stuff in our Sandwell Museums blog. Find out more about what goes on behind the closed doors at sandwell Museums. 

Oak House Museum, Oak Road, West Bromwich - 0121 553 0759

Our site is open at advertised times below and during our general opening hours found on the Oak House page, staff are available at other times to take your call but please avoid calling on Mondays. Oak House is open April-September, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays 1pm-4pm (Site, visitor centre, playground and Old barn opens 1pm and the house opens at 2pm) and October and November Tues, Weds and Thurs 1pm-4pm (Site, visitor centre, old barn and playground open at 1pm, house opens at 2pm). Entrance Free. We also have a lively programme of Christmas activities in December. Open at other times for special events and activities throughout the year as advertised below.

 

Play area at Oak House

Sundays at Oak House- Visit on Sundays from April to the end of September 2pm-5pm (last admission 4:30pm). enjoy our playground for young visitors or have a cuppa in the vinery, discover the story of the Turton family and explore this fascinating 17th century building. Some Sundays you may even find the master or mistress of the house, learn some 17th century games, try your hand at quill pen writing or meet a servant in the kitchen.

A Stitch in Time: throughout 2019 . A small exhibition currently on display in the Oak House    Museum showcasing some of the amazing textiles and needlework in our museum collection, some of which is over 400 years old. This exhibition is upstairs inside Oak House. until the end of 2019

Explorer Dome Live Space Show: Tuesday 23 July; 11.45am-4.15pm A planetarium show for adults and children aged 4+. Explore our planet, moon, sun and solar system, then go star-spotting to discover the constellations and discover the stories behind them through the gods and heroes, myths and monsters. Tickets £3.00 per person. Cash or cheque only. Limited spaces, call to book. Face painting and crafts and trails also available on the day. Tea room and Oak House open.

Space Crafts: Wednesday 24 July and Thursday 25 July; 12-4pm. Make some space themed crafts in our barn classroom from 50p and find our space trail hidden around the Oak House. Light refreshments available. Cheque or cash only.

David Moore Blues Band: Sunday 28 July; 2.30pm-5pm Live music at the Oak House as part of the Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival. Doors open at 2pm. Show starts at 2.30pm. Light refreshments available. 

Archaeology Week: Tuesday 30 July, Wednesday 31 July, Thursday 1 August; 12-4pm
Take part in crafts, trails, sandpit dig, face painting, finds washing and join real archaeologists as they open up a test pit in the Oak House grounds. Small charge for some workshops. Cheque or cash only, please bring change - Tea room and Oak House open.

Pebble Art Workshop: Sunday 4 August; 2-4pm, Show us your artistic skills and try your hand at pebble painting in the Oak House Barn classroom. All ages welcome. Pens and pebbles supplied. £1.00 entry. Light refreshments available. Oak House open. Cheque or cash only.

Carnival Family Fun Day: Tuesday 6 August; 12-4pm, Join us for all the fun of the fair with carnival games, cocktails, crafts, trails and face painting and live rock and roll music on the terrace with Ian Casey. Small charge for some activities. Light refreshments available. Cheque or cash only.

Carnival Crafts: Wednesday 7 August, Thursday 8 August; 12-4pm, Make various crafts in our barn classroom from 50p and find our carnival trail hidden around the Oak House. Light refreshments available. Cheque or cash only.

Princess and Pirate Day: Tuesday 13 August;12-4pm, Visit Oak House today and come dressed up as a Princess or a Pirate. Chat to our pirate in the house and find our treasure trail. Face painting, crafts and trails and quizzes available. Light refreshments available. Cheque or cash only please bring change.

Princess and Pirate Crafts: Wednesday 14 August, Thursday 15 August; 12-4pm. Make princess and pirate themed crafts in our barn classroom from 50p and find our trail hidden around the Oak House. Light refreshments available. Cheque or cash only please bring change

Fairy Tale Fun Day: Tuesday 20 August; 12-4pm, Come and meet the Oak House bear and dress as your favourite fairy tale character. Go Play will be here making fairy dens and creating giant bubbles. Face painting available and crafts, trails and quizzes. Light refreshments available. Cheque or cash only.

Fairy Tale Crafts: Wednesday 21 August, Thursday 22 August: 12-4pm, Make fairy tale themed crafts in our barn classroom from 50p and find our trail hidden around the Oak House. Light refreshments available. Cheque or cash only please bring change.

Go Play Sports Day: Tuesday 27 August; 12-4pm, Go Play will be here with various sporting games and activities on the events space. Trails and quizzes. Light refreshments available. Cheque or cash only please bring change

Pick and Mix Crafts: Wednesday 28 August, Thursday 29 August; 12-4pm, Various crafts to make in our barn classroom from 50p and trails hidden around the Oak House. Light refreshments available. Cheque or cash only lease bring change.

Have your child's birthday party in the Oak House Classroom! - The Oak House classroom is the perfect venue for a children’s party in the spring and summer. As we are open to the public on Sunday in summer we are able to bring you the use of this area for children’s parties for a special price. You can hire the Oak House classroom for the special price of £100 for 2.5 hours on Sunday afternoons between 2pm and 4:30pm—from April– September. This includes hire of the room and use of our tables and chairs. Visitors can also use our playground and visit the house too. You provide entertainment and refreshments. Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability call 0121 553 0759 for details or email museumarts_tourism@sandwell.gov.uk.  You can hire the room at other times of year but full room hire prices would apply.

Regular groups 

Gardening Group - Join our volunteer group and help us to garden the grounds for wildlife and in a 1600s style removing inappropriate planting and planting plants, herbs and seeds you may have found around Oak House in the 1600s. Tuesdays 10am-1pm.

Nifty Knitters, knitting group 11am-1pm £1 - Every Friday - Come along bring along your knitting or other craft activity of your choice, get advice off other group members and have a natter. Everyone is welcome.

Find out about general opening times, facilities, directions and other information about Oak House Museum.

Haden Hill House Museum, off Barrs Road, Cradley Heath - 01384 569 444

Our site open at advertised times, staff are available at other times to take your call but please avoid calling on Mondays. Open to general visitors April - September Thursdays, Fridays 10am-5pm and Saturdays and Sundays 2pm-6pm. Then October and November Thursdays and Fridays 12pm-4pm and Sunday 11am-3pm. The site is open at other times for special events and activities throughout the year as below including a lively Christmas programme. Entrance Free

Museum assistant Anne Willetts and visitor services officer Alison Hyatt prepare for the VE Day 70th anniversary event at Haden Hill House Museum

Don’t Go into the Cellar Theatre Company present: - “Beastly Monsters & Monstrous Beasts” Sun 26 May 2.30pm In this original theatrical show for produced for children and young families, we invite you to join Professor Charlotte Challenger, as she recounts several of her daring escapades from the Edwardian era. Be thrilled as you encounter marauding monsters, deadly dinosaurs and fiendish fauna! The performance will be outside; however there will be shelter provided in the event of inclement weather. £7 per person or £25 family ticket (2 adults & 2 children up to 14yrs old) CANCELLED -Due to lack of interest

Midland Painting Group exhibition: until mid July. Enjoy paintings, drawings, and crafts by Midland painting group.

Ruskin on Tour exhibition – Until end of October. See a selection of our fantastic Ruskin pottery collection made in Smethwick.
 
Fun in The Sun: Sunday 7 July 2pm-5.30pm. Join us for an afternoon in the park, with a bouncing   castle, inflatable assault course, inflatable slide, outdoor games, music & children’s entertainment. Tokens can be purchased to take part in the various activities.                                

Jazz Festival - Sunday 28 July 2pm - Join us for live music in the park as part of Jazz Festival, bring a picnic and enjoy! Performers to be announced. Entry Free

Regular Groups

Natty Knitters: 10.30am-12.30 join our knitting group every Wednesday from February onwards where you can enjoy a natter & a cup of tea, bring your own knitting or craft - £1 per person.

Find out about general opening times, facilities, directions and other information about Haden Hill House and Old Hall.

The Manor House Museum, Hall Green Road, West Bromwich, 0121 588 2985

Our site open at advertised times, staff are available at other times to take your call. The Manor House is open for advertised events and activities and weekend guided tours as advertised below. It is not open at other times apart from for pre-booked groups.

NB: Seeing the whole building: Access to the whole building is sometimes not possible on event and activity days - look out for our free guided tours or self guided tours which will be advertised below if you would like to see as much of the house as possible and learn more about the history. However groups can book private guided tours with the site which attracts a cost.

Open Dates for 2019- A chance to explore the Manor House as part of a self guided tour and discover 800 years of history. Please note that currently only the great hall and the kitchen are furnished. Entrance is Free

First Sunday and consecutive Monday of each month: April- July 2019 (excluding bank holidays)
Sunday 7 & Monday 8 April: 12pm-3pm, Sunday 5th: 12pm-3pm, Sunday 2 & Monday 3 June: 12pm-3pm, Sunday 7 & Monday 8 July: 12pm-3pm

Every Sunday & Monday throughout August & September 2019 (excluding bank holidays)
Guided Tours on Sundays in August 12:30pm & 1:45pm
Sunday 4 & Monday 5 August 12pm-3pm, Sunday 11 & Monday 12 August 12pm-3pm, Sunday 18 & Monday 19 August 12pm-3pm, Sunday 25 August 12pm-3pm, Sunday 1 & Monday 2 September 12pm-3pm, Sunday 8 September 11am-3pm & Monday 9 September 12pm-3pm, Sunday 22 September 11am-3pm & Monday 23 September 12pm-3pm, Sunday 29 & Monday 30 September 12pm-3pm,

Doors close 30 minutes before the museum closes
Open at other times for special events, activities and pre-booked and regular groups

  • No pushchairs inside the building
  • Assistance dogs only on site.
  • Please wear sensible shoes, preferably flat or low heels.

Jazz Festival - Join us for the 35 Birmingham, Solihull & Sandwell Jazz Festival. Experience the magical sound of Jazz underneath the beams of our 13 Century Manor House.

Friday 19 September, 7pm- Les Stompers  de Paris
Sunday 21 July, 2pm- Rip Roaring Success

Schools Out Disco: Wednesday 24 July, 1pm-3pm ages 6 and under, 4pm-6pm for all ages. Schools out disco to celebrate the end of the school year. Tuck shop available, £1.00 per child, 50p per adult, booking required.

Film Club: Tuesday 6 August, Tuesday 13 August, Tuesday 20 August, Tuesday 27 August, 12:30pm.
Various popular children’s movies will be shown each one relating to the theme of the event that is running that week. Small charge for refreshments from The Buttery Tea Room.

A Day at the Beach: Monday 29 July-Tuesday 27 August. Manor House beach will be open, every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday excluding bank holidays.

On The Pier: Monday 29 July, 12pm-3pm.  Beach and circus themed crafts, trails and activities, small cost for crafts and activities. Beach will be open.

Seaside Special: Wednesday 31 July, 11am-3pm. Deano the Magician will be here, shows at 11:30 & 1:30. Crafts, activities, bouncy castle, trails, and beach. Magic show cost, £1 per child, 50p per adult.

Wildlife Week Crafts: Monday 5 August, 12pm-3pm. Join us for wildlife themed crafts, trails and activities in the grounds. The Manor House beach will also be open.

Dudley Zoo Animal Show: Wednesday 7 August, 11am-3pm. Dudley Zoo will be here with shows at 11:30 & 1:30. There will be crafts, activities and trails in the grounds. Entrance to the Animal show will be £1.00 per child and 50p adult. Space to the shows are limited so booking is advised.

Wild West Themed Crafts: Monday 12 August 12pm-3pm. Come along and join us for Wild West themed crafts, trail and activities. The Manor House beach will also be open. 

Manor House Hoe Down: Wednesday 14 August, 11am-3pm. Become a cowboy and complete crafts trails and activities. Ian Casey will also be singing wild west classics.

Toy Time Crafts: Monday 19 August, 12pm-3pm. Join us for themed crafts, trails and activities in the grounds. The Manor House beach and soft play will also be open.

Toy Time Picnic: Wednesday 21 August, 11am-3pm. Bring your favourite teddy for a picnic in the grounds. Story Players will be here at 12:30pm with a session aimed at aged 6 and under.  Entrance to the picnic will be £1.00 per child and 50p per adult. There will also be soft play, crafts and other activities in the grounds. Event open to all ages, but most suited to 6 and under.

Jolly Roger's Pirate Party: Wednesday 28 August 11am-3pm. Treasure hunt, crafts, magic show, and meet some furry friends. £1.00 for children and 50p for adults. Activity prices will vary.

Medieval Mayhem Weekend - 12 & 13 October. Join us at this fabulous medieval building as Buckingham's Retinue re-enactment group bring the house to life as it might have been at the end of the 1400s, with knights and crafts, cooking, games and dancing and more. Look back nearer the time for full details. A fascinating weekend bringing history to life! 

Regular Groups

Garden Maintenance Group: The 1st Wednesday of every month starting April, 10am-1pm, Could you spare a few hours a month towards the upkeep of the Manor House grounds? Our 13th Century grounds require on-going care to keep them at a high standard so they can be enjoyed by all of our many visitors, and we need your help to do this! Come and help and become part of a passionate and friendly team! All basic tools will be provided as well as light refreshments. Areas of maintenance will include: - The Moat - Car Park, - Pathways - Herb Garden, Call us on 0121 588 2985 to register your interest.

Happy Crafters: Every Tuesday from April, 10am-1pm- The Manor House Museum, Are you a crafty person who loves meeting new people? Are you a sewer, a knitter or an embroiderer, a felter, or general crafter? Perhaps you make jewellery, enjoy felting or simply appreciate a good scrapbook. You've heard of knitter natter groups well this is craft and chatter!  Whatever your talent, sit within our social circle and become a Happy Crafter at The Manor House Museum, getting together with likeminded people, completing activities you’ll love! £1.00 per person, includes light refreshments. This is a self-led community group and all materials and equipment should be provided by yourself.
A small amount of sewing machines will be available from us on site.Call us on 0121 588 2985 to register your interest.

Find out about general opening times, facilities and other information about the Manor House Museum.

Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery, Holyhead Road - 0121 556 0683

After we had a flood at the end of October after a severe storm we are busy re-decorating, cleaning, tidying and re-displaying the museum ready for a brand new season in April. We are really excited about opening the museum once again. From the beginning of April, Wednesbury Museum will be open on Wednesdays and Thursdays 11am-4pm and on Saturdays 2pm-5pm, Entrance is Free. Staff are available Tuesday-Thursday to take your call and answer any queries.

Ranbir Kaur: A Journey Through Colours: Spring temporary exhibition  April 3 – 13 July – Come and join us in celebrating 30 years of creativity with Ranbir Kaur, international rangoli, Indian Textile and Asian Craft artist.  Through this exhibition we learn about Ranbir’s extraordinary life, and see some of her intricate artwork on display.  Over the past 30 years, since taking up residency in the UK, Ranbir has worked as an artist and teacher. Her main aim has been to raise the profile of the arts and crafts of Asian Women, as they are an integral part of daily life for those women throughout the world.                                                                              

Five Decades of Self Portrait is an exhibition showing at Wednesbury Museum & Art Gallery from 24 May to 29 June presenting photographs from American photographer, David Attie; the Handsworth Self Portrait project (Brian Homer, Derek Bishton and John Reardon); & self-portrait projects from Jubilee Arts & The Public. Exhibition put on as part of the BLAST festival by Multistory

Museum Tots: Weds 3, Thur 4 July 11am-3pm & Sat 6 2pm-4pm. It’s early years week for very young visitors and their families with soft play, messy crafts and story time. Visit our listings page nearer the time for more details .                 

The Jazz festival: Sat 20 July 2:30pm - Join us again this year for live music at the gallery with Florence Joelle, entry FREE

Animal Day with Dudley Zoo - Thursday 1 August 11am-3pm - Dudley zoo will be here with some animal shows for you to enjoy - shows at 11:45am, 12:45pm and 13:45pm - £3 per person book on arrival, no bookings taken before the day. You can also enjoy face paining and a cuddly life size animal character, craft activities and our animal trail.  

Check out our school holiday fun activities at the museum every Thursday throughout the school holidays from 11am-3pm
                                

All the Fun of the Fair – Arts Trail 2019.  The Sandwell’s “All the Fun of the Fair” 2019 arts trail is open to all amateur artists, Schools and community groups.
The theme for this year’s arts trail is “All the Fun of the Fair”.  We are looking for your creative interpretations of fun fairs, circuses, carnivals, and everything in-between.  Do you have a photograph of a circus or fun fair?  Do you have painting of a circus performer or showman?  We want you to submit your pieces so that we can exhibit your work across a number of our museum sites throughout the summer, so that the people of Sandwell can vote for their favourite piece of artwork..
museumarts_tourism@sandwell.gov.uk 0121 556 0683 for more information or to submit pieces

Regular Groups

Community Painting Groups - Our three art groups meet on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday at the museum from 10am and a member of museum staff facilitates the groups. These aren't taught groups but our knowledgeable member of staff is on hand to help and give advice. There is also the opportunity to go on trips or try your hand at new artistic techniques or styles. call 0121 556 0683 for details and information.

Tuesday Groups - Tuesdays are our community groups days - call the museum to find out more.

Find out about general opening times, facilities and other information about Wednesbury Museum. 

The Arts Cafe at Central Sixth , West Bromwich

From our recent call out for artists to exhibit we can now happily announce that the 1st couple of exhibitions to take place:

Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell Jazz Festival

Friday 19th – 12:00pm:  Bruce Adams and Dave Newton
Friday 26th – 11:30am:  “Don’t worry about the Bear” book launch and Question and Answer session
Friday 26th – 12:00pm:   Val Wiseman and The wise Guys

 

 

Galton Valley Canal Museum, Smethwick, B66 1BA

Galton Valley

Galton Valley Pumping station is open on the second Saturday of the month 10am-3pm starting 9th March Entry FREE - Dog Friendly

Housed in the New Smethwick Pumping Station the canal museum tells the story of the Galton Valley canal system and the people that lived and worked on it. Entry to the museum is free and there are light refreshments available. Sorry there are no toilet facilities.

Manned by our brilliant Friends group. Entrance is FREE -  Call 0121 556 0683 for more information.

March 9, April 13, May 11, June 8, July 13 (Summer fun day 11am-3pm)
August 10, September 14 and 21 (extra guided tour at 10am), October 12.

 

Bishop Asbury Cottage

Bishop Asbury Cottage normally hosts several public open days per year FREE. keep checking back here for details

Alternatively you can book in a group visit for a small charge per person by calling 0121 553 0759.

Open Days 27th April 2019 - 10am-12pm

Monday 29th April  - 1pm-3pm

Friday 13 September 10am-12pm

Saturday 14 September 1pm-3pm

Join us!

You can also 'join us' and discover there are 'More to Museums' - find out what regular groups or activities adults can get involved with from gardening or knitting, fund raising, volunteering or dressing up!