Get involved - activities and what's on at Sandwell Museums
Important visitor information - Please read before you visit
- 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.
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.
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.
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
The Haunting (1963): Friday 25 October; 7.30pm-9.30pm. Take a look around the museum and see how the house changes once the sun goes down. Enjoy light refreshments before taking your seat to view the eerie black and white horror movie ‘The Haunting’ in the Oak House classrooms. The film is being shown in partnership with Black Country Touring. This event is suitable for 18+ only. Tours start at 6.00pm & 6:45pm film screening starts at 7:30pm. £6.00 per ticket. Booking essential. booking https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/sandwell-museums-and-arts
Monster House: Tuesday 29 October; 11.00am-3.00pm. The classroom cinema is open and showing 'Monster House' in partnership with Black Country Touring. Booking essential, £2.50 per person book online https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/sandwell-museums-and-arts. You can also look at Sandwell’s very own Monster House and explore the museum decorated for
Halloween and have a go at our Halloween themed trails. Ron Popple will be here performing magic tricks and face painting will be available.
Pumpkin Carving: Wednesday 30 October; 11.00-3.00pm. Leave the mess at home and come and carve a pumpkin in the Oak House classrooms. £3.00 each. Booking essential, ticket price includes pumpkin and all carving materials. The Oak House will be open and decorated for Halloween with free Halloween trails. The tea room will be open for light refreshments courtesy of the 'Friends of the Oak House Museum'. pop in to book cash only 0121 553 0759 or book online https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/sandwell-museums-and-arts
Spooky Craft Day: Thursday 31 October; 11.00-3.00pm. Come along and make Halloween themed crafts in our cosy classroom. The Oak House will be open and decorated for Halloween with free Halloween trails available from reception. Crafts range from 50p-£4.
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 email@example.com. You can hire the room at other times of year but full room hire prices would apply.
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.
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
Ruskin on Tour—1 August until the end of October. Enjoy our touring exhibition of the fabulous Ruskin Pottery and its stunning colours, made in Smethwick.
Felt Squirrel Keepsake Workshop: Wednesday 16 October; 10am – 12.30pm. This Autumn create a unique hand embroidered pure wool felt squirrel keepsake. Enjoy this creative workshop in the relaxing environment of Haden Hill House Museum and grounds. Workshop lead by artist Madeline Norris. Ages 18 years +. £20 per participant. All materials and refreshments included. Advanced booking essential
Charity Book Sale: Sunday 20 October; 11am – 3pm. Second hand book sale raising funds for charity.
Don’t Go into the Cellar Present-‘Strictly Sherlock’: Monday 21 October; 6pm & 8pm After the terrific success of The Singular Exploits of Sherlock Holmes, we return with this follow-up stage play. Join the king of the detectives as he brings to life those three startling cases, “The Sussex Vampire”, “The Creeping Man” and “The Devil's Foot! Tickets £8. Booking essential. Not suitable for younger children, pop in to book - cash or cheque only 01384 569 444
Autumn Leaf Garland and Wreath Crafts: Sunday 27 October; 11.30am – 2pm. Be inspired by the beautiful autumn leaves and make a paper leaf garland or wreath to decorate your home. All materials provided. £4 per participant. Book on arrival
A Fete Worse Than Death - Halloween Family Fun Day: Wednesday 30 October; 11am – 3pm Spooky going’s on at Haden Hill House & Hall, come and join in with Halloween fun for all the family. Music, workshops quizzes, trails & more. £1 per person (adults & children).
Halloween Hat and Mask Workshops: Thursday 31 October; 12pm – 4pm. Come and decorate a hat or a mask for Halloween ready for ‘trick or treating’. £1 per craft
Haden Hill Hedgehogs: Friday 1 November; 12pm – 4pm. Its nearly hibernation time for hedgehogs find out about these delightful, endangered creatures. Crafts, trails, quiz and information.
Gunpowder Treason and Plot: Sunday 3 November; 11am – 3pm. Find out about why we celebrate bonfire night and the history behind ‘penny for the guy’. Craft activities, quizzes and trails.
Armistice Day: Sunday 10 November; 11am-3pm. We will be commemorating Armistice day with information about local people who served in the World Wars, poppy crafts and trail.
Advent Calendar Workshop: Sunday 17 November; 11am – 12pm. Make some marbled paper and then incorporate this into your own festive advent calendar. All materials provided. Ages 7 + (children should be accompanied by an adult). £5 per participant (excluding accompanied by an adult). Advanced booking essential. 01384 569 444 pop in to book
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.
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 Days are normally between April and September
- No pushchairs inside the building
- Assistance dogs only on site.
- Please wear sensible shoes, preferably flat or low heels.
Spooky Pumpkin Carving: Sunday 27 October- 1 hour sessions at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm & 2:30pm- Come along and scoop, carve and decorate your pumpkin ready for Halloween. £3 per child (inclusive of pumpkin and tools) and 50p per adult. Booking Essential, to book visit www.ticketsource.co.uk/themanorhousemuseum
Trick or Treat! Monday 28 October, 11am-3pm (entry times will need to be chosen at booking) Calling all ghouls and monsters! Creep, float or crawl your way through this year’s Trick or Treat. Take part in lots of activities throughout the house and grounds and fill your bag with goodies in the safety of an enclosed site. £5 per child, £2 per adult. Booking essential. To book your tickets, visit: www.ticketsource.co.uk/themanorhousemuseum
Fang-Tastic Halloween Disco: Tuesday 29 October, 6pm-8pm- The Friends of the Manor House Museum are hosting a fang-tastic disco! Come dressed in your favourite spooky costume and boogie the evening away. £2 per person, pre-booking advised. To book, visit: www.ticketsource.co.uk/thefriendsofthemanorhousemuseum
Spooktacular Crafts: Wednesday 30 October, 11am-3pm- Come along… if you dare! Get creepy and create some chilling crafts inside our spooky Great Hall, or take part in terrifying trails and quizzes.
Manor House School of Witchcraft & Wizardry: Friday 1 November, 10am-12pm & 1pm-3pm- Grab your broomstick, fly down to the Great Hall and join Professor Calculus Black for a magical afternoon. From wand duelling to care of magical creatures, and everything else in-between, all students will leave an expert in all things the wizarding world has to offer. £15 per child, to include a take home wand, chocolate frog, and crafted dragon, £2 per adult. Booking essential, to book visit: www.ticketsource.co.uk/themanorhousemuseum
All the Fun of the Fair: Roll up! Roll up! Roll up! Come and join us as we celebrate the end of this Years Arts Trail "All The Fun of The Fair", with our very own Little Big Top Circus bought to you by Bigtopmania!! There will be clowns, jugglers, aerial acts and much more for you to enjoy. Fun for all the family! In the grounds of the Manor House Museum, we welcome you to celebrate in this classic circus show.
Family Ticket (2 adults and 2 children): £35.00
Doors open at 5pm, show starts at 5:30pm (Show runs for 60 minutes) tickets at
Roll up! Roll up! Roll up! Come and join us as we celebrate the end of this Years Arts Trail "All The Fun of The Fair", with our very own Little Big Top Circus bought to you by Bigtopmania!!
There will be clowns, jugglers, aerial acts and much more for you to enjoy. Fun for all the family!
In the grounds of the Manor House Museum, we welcome you to celebrate in this classic circus show.
Family Ticket (2 adults and 2 children): £35.00
Doors open at 5pm, show starts at 5:30pm (Show runs for 60 minutes)
Manor House School of Witchcraft & Wizardry for Adults: Friday 8 November 7pm-9pm- Grab your broomstick, fly down to the Great Hall and join Professor Calculus Black for a magical evening aimed at adults and young adults (15+)
From spell casting to care of magical creatures, and everything else in-between, all students will leave an expert in all the dark and mysterious things the wizarding world has to offer. A licensed bar will be available throughout the evening until 10:30pm. £15 per person. Booking Essential, to book, visit: www.ticketsource.co.uk/themanorhousemuseum (children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult)
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.
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.
Pop Art- Enjoy our fantastic bright pop art exhibition in the Richard's gallery this summer.
Chance People –Aug onwards. Explore our new exhibition of Chances glassware and learn about the people who worked at the factory– until end of 2019
Creepy Crafts: Wednesday 30 October 11am-3pm. Join us for our creepy crafts, and terrible trails.
Spooky family fun day: Thursday 31 October 11am-3pm- loads of creepy fun with games and entertainment, why not come dressed up!
Model Railway Group showcase: Saturday 2 November 11am-3pm West Bromwich rail model group showcase some of their larger layouts at this fascinating display.
Bring your own glass! Capturing Chance: Part of the Living Memory Project - Thursday 14 November, 12pm -3pm. Did you work for Chance Bros in Smethwick, or know someone who did? Maybe you just love their glass and have some cherished pieces you would like to show? Or have photographs that captured life at the site? If so, join artist Leanne O'Connor in a studio style photography day, that is centred around recording memories and a chance for you to have your own studio-style portrait with your glass and related ephemera. The call-out is open to anyone but it would be particularly wonderful If we could hear from past chance workers and regional glass enthusiasts. Bring your own glass is completely free, encourages storytelling of local glass histories and will form part of Leanne’s response as a bursary artist as part of the living memory project.
If you have any questions around this event, please contact Leanne via email firstname.lastname@example.org or WMAG. You can find out more about the living memory project via the link below:
Keepers of the Light 1pm start. Thursday 21 November - no need to book just drop in. Brendan Jackson and Geoff Broadway will be presenting their new project ‘Keepers of the Light’ that celebrates the legendary Chances Glass Works of Smethwick and its connection with the iconic Portland Bill Lighthouse in Dorset Based on rare archive materials and people’s stories, the artists explore both this unique landmark in Dorset and the legendary glassworks in the Black Country through a new book and short film. Signed copies of their new book will be available to purchase after the talk.
Tots in Museums for the under 5s– Pirate Penny and the Patchwork Purse: Thursday 28 November. 11:30am doors open 11am. Join the Storyplayers for rhymes, songs, music and movement as the children join Pirate Penny on her adventures to find the terrific treasure hidden in the Patchwork Purse.—£1.50 per child to see the show (booking for show recommended). You can also pop in from 12:15pm for games, soft play and messy crafts for young visitors (no need to book for this). There may also be a pre-festive twist!
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.
From our recent call out for artists to exhibit we can now happily announce that the 1st couple of exhibitions to take place:
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.
Our 2019 open days have now finished - we will be open again from March 2020.
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.
Look out for our 2020 free open days in spring and September 2020.
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!