Get involved - activities and what's on at Sandwell Museums
Scroll down the page to find out what activities are available at our different sites. Our main events are listed below and more smaller activities will be added throughout the year, such as school holiday fun etc so keep coming back"
Entrance to our sites is FREE unless an admission charge is stated for specific activities and no need to book unless it states booking is required.
Please note that staff are not available to take phone calls every day. Please leave a message and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Follow the links below to the site pages to find out about opening times and facilities - no dogs are allowed apart from assistance dogs (apart from Galton Valley museum which is dog friendly as long as dogs are kept on a lead and under control) and we are unable to accommodate pushchairs inside our buildings.
Arts trail - Sandwell Bloomin' Lovely
Sandwell Museums and Arts are launching a summer arts trail for summer 2017.
Follow the arts trail to some of the most inpiring places in Sandwell and view some of the pieces of artwork done by amateurs, schools and groups inspired by Sandwell and nature. You can see work on display at Haden Hill House, Oak House, Wednesbury Museum, RSPB Sandwell Valley and Sandwell Park Farm. until the end of September
Join in the Arts Trail by uploading your photos or photos of your paintings and drawings to our Sandwell's Bloomin Lovely group on Flikr and help us create and online exhibition celebrating how Bloomin' Lovely Sandwell can be! Click the link and get uploading or just enjoy the photostream! https://flic.kr/g/BBz6H
Summer holiday fun activities
We have loads of great free or affordable summer holiday fun activities at our sites for you to get involved with and enjoy. Please note that our activities are aimed generally at families but unless stated many are most suitable for children between 3 years and 12years depending on the child.
Heritage Open Days 2017 - Celebrate Sandwell's Heritage with Sandwell Museums
Heritage open days is a national initiatives to celebrate England's heritage each September through events, activities, open days, talks, walks, peeps behind the scenes and opening buildings not usually open to the public. Heritage Open Days run from 8th - 10th September 2017. Find out more how you can celebrate and enjoy Sandwell's Heritage
Please note that throughout the summer and until early October there will be building works taking place at Oak House. The house will still be open during this time (apart from 1-10 Aug when the house itself will be closed for scaffolding erection) but there may be some noise or disruption at other times. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience. However the playground, visitor centre and advertised holiday events and activities are still going ahead as normal and will be unaffected.
Until the end of September Oak House is open, Tuesdays Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays 2pm-5pm -last admission half and hour before closing. Please note that during the school summer holidays Oak House and grounds are open from 12pm with doors closing at 4:30pm and the site closing at 5pm on Tues, Weds and Thurs. The site continues to be open 2pm-5pm on Sundays. The house and grounds are open at other times for advertised events and activites and pre-booked groups only.
Tea room open at all activity days courtesy of Friends of the Oak House.
Alice in Wonderland, 8-10 August, 12-5pm (last entry 4:30). Adventure into wonderland with Crafts, trails and quizzes all based around the children's classic book Alice in wonderland. Why not come along dressed as your favourite character. Small charge for craft activities.
Pirate Week, 15-17 August, 12-5pm. Ahoy there! Its pirate week at Oak House Museum. Come dressed as a pirate and play on our pirate ship playground in the Oak House grounds. Crafts, quizzes and trails. Small charge for craft activities.
Get Active, 22-24 August, 12-5pm . Enjoy the great outdoors and get active this week with Outdoor Games, trails & quizzes. Small charge for craft activities.
Back to School, 29-31 August, 12-5pm. Get ready to go back to school. Come along to the Oak House with ‘Back to School themed crafts.’ Small charge for craft activities.
Looking after our museum - On the first Sunday of the month 2-5pm (last entry 4.30pm). Learn more about caring for a 400 year old house and its contents. See museum conservation in action; learn more about the pests that can potentially eat our collection. Ewww!
Living History on the Second Sunday of the month 2-5pm (last entry 4:30). Meet characters from the past and learn what life was like at the Oak house museum long ago.
Guided Tours on the Third Sunday of the month 2-5pm (last entry 4:30). Learn more about the Oak House with a Guided Tour from one of our knowledgeable staff members. Tours start at 2.30pm and last approximately 45mins. £1.50 per person.
Afternoon Tea last Sunday of the month will be available at the Oak House Barns Visitor Centre on the last Sunday of the month May to September. Booking essential. For more information or to book please phone the Oak House Museum.
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.
Until the end of September Haden Hill House is open Thursdays and Fridays 10am-5pm and Saturdays and Sundays 2-6pm (last admission half and hour before closing). The Old Hall is open for special open days. The House is only open at other times for organised events and activities and pre-booked groups.
The Queen and Sandwell exhibition - Enjoy some amazing photographs of Sandwell people celebrating and meeting the Queen in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. April - end of May 2017.
Tea room open from: Sun 28 May until Sun 1 October on Sundays only as well as event days, 2-4.30, run by The Friends of Haden Hill Estate.
Hawks & more Sun 30 July, 20 Aug & 24 Sept 2-4pm Come & see the beautiful birds of prey in the Park (weather permitting) There will be a trail in the House too.
Multi Sports coaching sessions for children Thursday 17 August 11am-1pm Please contact us for more details about booking and costs
Football coaching sessions for children Thursday 10 & 24 August 11am-1pm Please contact us for more details
Sew What? Friday 11 Aug 11am-3pm- We invite you to come & learn the arts of sewing & knitting with our resident expert Suitable for children, adults welcome too. £1.00 per person.
Loony Balloony’s Sunday- 13 Aug 2-3pm or 3-4pm - Have lots of fun balloon modelling with Ron Popple, this is your chance to learn how to make models with balloons. Suitable for children aged 6yrs & above. Advance booking essential. £2 per child.
Recycled musical instruments fun: Thurs 17 August 11am-3pm-Drop in and make a musical instrument out of our recycled material with our music man, Andy. £1 per instrument made
Ron Popple Magic Moments Thurs 24 Aug 11am-3pm -Enjoy some fun children's entertainment as Ron Popple will be performing magic shows and balloon modelling today. Lots of fun and laughter! Shows at 11.30-12noon, 12.30-1pm and 2-2.30pm. Advance booking essential, £1 per child
Fun Nature activities with the RSPB Friday 18 and 25 August (times to be confirmed). Children’s Craft Activities & Trails Thurs 31 August & Fri 1st Sept 11- 3 Drop in crafty fun! 50p-£2.50 per item made.
Cradley Heath Salvation Army Band & Songsters Sun 3 Sept 2-3pm. The Band will be performing in the park weather permitting.
Madness with Mad Dom and Teddy Bear's picnic. Sun 27 Aug 2-4.30pm- Fun, laughter & madness with children’s entertainer Mad Dom, why not bring your Teddy Bear and a picnic to enjoy in the park, play with our garden games in the park and enjoy our Teddy trails and children's craft activities.
“Behind closed doors” Thurs 7 Sept 11am-3pm unlock some of the secrets of our Attic, Tours start 11am then on the hour, last tour at 3pm.
History Walk Fri 8 Sept 10.30-12noon Share a stroll around Haden Hill Park with local historian John Billingham. (Weather dependant) Suitable for adults only. Advance booking essential
Haden Old Hall (next to Haden Hill House) Sat 9 Sept 2-4 & Sun 10 Sept 2-5pm. Discover 400 years of history at our Haden Old Hall
Proms in the Park—Sunday 10 September 2-6pm—Our popular live music afternoon returns to celebrate Heritage Open Days with jazz, easy listening music & Brass Band live in the park outside the beautiful Haden Hill House Museum. Why not bring your picnic, a chair or blanket and your flags and enjoy the atmosphere in our beautiful park.
“Tea with Oscar Wilde” Sun 17 Sept 2.30pm-Don’t go into the Cellar Theatre Company brings you an afternoon of “chit- chat” with Oscar in the surroundings of this beautiful Victorian House. The performance starts at 2.30pm will be followed by afternoon tea, when the man himself will be joining you. You’ll be ‘Wilde’ about who he has on his chaise... The popular modern chat show reimagined for the Victorian age, hosted by the acclaimed wit of the era, Oscar Wilde. Following the now familiar format, guests include a selection of some of the ‘celebrities’ of the day. Packed with gossip, song and humour - and a few surprises - this light-hearted performance invites the audience to experience the 1890s' wittiest “chit-chat” show. The show starts at 2:30pm and will be followed by a fabulous afternoon tea. £15 per person to include performance and afternoon tea. Advanced booking essential - tickets available from the house from 3rd July - open Thursdays and Fridays 10am-5pm and Sat and Sunday 2pm-6pm.
The Manor House is open for advertised events and activities and weekend guided tours. It is not open at other times apart from for pre-booked groups.
Do it yourself - Treat your body part 2- Thursday 27 July 7pm – 9pm Make your own perfume and body wash and return home smelling as fresh as a daisy! Cost £6 per person, to include all materials and light refreshments. Booking essential. Over 12’s only
Free summer guided tours - Every Sunday from 30 July to 10 September 11am-3pm. Join one of our guided tours and get to look around this fascinating thirteenth century building, try on some armour and play medieval games and see some of our rooms displayed as they may have looked in the late medieval period. Guided Tours last approximately 1 hour and begin at 11.30am, & 1pm —no need to pre-book. Refreshments and cream Teas will be available. If you are unable to get around the whole building you can book a virtual tour with one of our staff and a tablet - but you must pre-book this in advance at 0121 588 2985. Please note that guided tour days are the only opportunity to see the whole building at the moment - free flow is currently not possible.
Valuation Day Saturday 29 July 10am – 1pm (last ticket at 12noon) Free entry 3 items only (you can queue again if you have more)
Sort out your attic, look in the back of your cupboards - Biddle and Webb auctioneers are coming to the Manor House to value your items, who knows what treasures your house holds? The auctioneers will see people in a numbered/ticketed order. Refreshments will be available.
Horrid Henry - Tuesday 1 August 11am – 3pm last admission 2.30pm. Join in the horrid fun with our ‘Horrid Henry’ themed day – who not come dressed as your favourite character from the show? The Sandwell Storyplayers will be here telling ‘horrid’ tales at 1pm, there will be ‘horrid crafts’ and a ‘horrid’ treasure trail if you fancy a go? Refreshments will be available. Admission 50p children – Adults free with a child.
Teddy Bear's picnic - Thursday 3 August 11am – 3pm If you go down to the Manor House today ….. there will be lots of ‘teddy’ inspired fun. Magic & balloons with Ron Popple, Party Games and crafts. Bring a rug and enjoy a picnic and don’t forget the guests of honour – your favourite teddy or cuddly toy! Refreshments will be available. This is an outdoor event which will move indoor if the weather is not kind. Admission free
House of Screaming Death Screening.Thursday 20 & Friday 21 July. Door open at 6.45pm for a 7.15pm start cost £4 per person to include a bag of popcorn and a drink. During 2015/2016 the Manor House was used as a location for the filming of a British Horror film by award winning film makers, Lightbeam productions. The Manor House has been given a unique opportunity to do two screenings of the finished product: You are invited to spend an evening with THE ARCHITECT at the fictional Bray Manor for the A SCREENING of THE HOUSE OF SCREAMING DEATH - a Midlands based horror feature film that has been produced over the past four years in and around the region with a variety of local cast & crew, and which returns the genre back to the time of Hammer studios and classic British chillers! Booking is advised as limited spaces are available. Refreshments will be available.
Tuesday 8 August Horrid Histories 11am – 3pm last admission 2.30pm. The Tudors and the Greeks are just 2 of the periods in history that this horrid history event will cover – Come and find out more of the terrible truths! Join in the fun with The Sandwell Storyplayers who will be here telling horrible history tales at 1pm, there will be themed crafts and food tasting Refreshments will be available. Admission 50p children – Adults free with a child
Tuesday 15 August Fairies, Elves & Goblins 11am – 3pm last admission 2.30pm. Come along and see if you can find the fairy, elf and Goblin doors that are all around the Manor House grounds! If you dress as a mythical creature it may be easier to spot them! Find them all and you could win a prize! The storyplayers will be here at 1pm telling you tales about little magical creatures and there will also be crafts to make. Refreshments will be available. Admission £2.00 per child to include a ‘creature hunting pack’
Thursday 17 August The Manor House Pirates 11am – 3pm last admission 2.30pm. Come and meet the pirates of the Moat pond at the Manor House, there will be party games, crafts to make, Magic & Balloon shows, a treasure trail, and you can meet some of the pirates pet animals with Dudley Zoo! Refreshments will be available. Admission £1.00 per child Adults free with a child
Tuesday 22 August Heroes/ Villains Tuesday 1st August 11am – 3pm last admission 2.30pm free Why not come dressed as your favourite Hero or Villain The Sandwell Storyplayers will be here telling super stories at 1pm, there will be crafts and food tasting. Refreshments will be available. Admission 50p children – Adults with a child.
Tuesday 29 August Mystery solving Detectives 11am – 3pm last admission 2.30pm. The Sandwell Storyplayers will be with a mysterious tale at 1pm, You can make some crafts fit for a detective in training, you can make disguises and the equipment that every good ‘sleuth’ carries. There will be a crime solving trail – if you solve it you will win a prize! Refreshments will be available. Admission 50p children – Adults free with a child.
Thursday 31 August Back to School Crafts 11am – 3pm last admission 2.30pm. Come and make all the things you will need for your return to school – pencil cases, rulers, pen-toppers and more. Refreshments available.
Heritage Open weekend - Medieval Re-enactment Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 September 11am – 3pm. The Manor House welcome the Buckinghams Retinue who will be putting up their medieval encampment in the grounds of this 13th century Manor House. They will be bringing to life the late medieval period, recreating the time now known as ‘The Wars of the Roses’, displaying an encampment, with visitor activities, both military and civilian. You will have the opportunity to see the arms, armour and firepower available to a medieval army demonstrated, and perhaps get the chance to join our army, try on a helmet or hold a sword. For those interested in more gentle activities there will be a display of medieval music and dance with the opportunity to participate with easy to learn and highly enjoyable medieval dances. There will also be a chance to play games, hear about the gruesome surgeon and see a battle display. There will also be a talk with pictures by local historian Ian Bott, looking at the journey of the Manor House over the last 800 + years.The House will also be open for free guided tours and a sample of medieval dishes for you to try.
Refreshments will be available
Wednesbury Museum is open Wednesdays and Thursdays 11am-4pm and Saturdays 2pm-5pm (last admission is half an hour before closing). The museum is only open at other times for advertised events and activities, community groups and pre-booked groups.
Summer festival fun with our Indoor Outdoor Blooming Lovely festival at Wednesbury Museum.
Rock out @ the museum - Wednesday 16 August 7:00pm – 10:00pm - A collection of young local bands and artists rocking out at Wednesbury Museum and art Gallery as part of our Indoor/Outdoor Summer Festival. Come along, bring a picnic, sit back and enjoy the an evening of live music. £3 per ticket - 4 tickets for £10 no alcohol but you can bring a picnic! Tickets available from Wednesbury Museum Tues, Weds and Thurs 9:30am-4pm (ring the doorbell if we aren't open) and Saturdays 2pm-4:30pm.
Kidsbury - Summer family fun festival with our indoor, outdoor festival in our festival field in the gallery.
Wednesbury Crafty Fun - Join us on Wednesdays throughout the school summer holidays for summer holiday crafts and trails. 50p-£2.50 depending what you make. Wednesday 26 July, 2 August, 9 August, 16 August, 23 August, 30 August.
Gap at the Gallery - Thursday 27 July, 11am-3pm. Get creative and help us create a piece of festival art for our gap at the art gallery and help us fill our giant frame.
Musical Fun - Thurs 3 August 11am-3pm. Join us at the museum in our festival field inside the gallery and make a musical instrument and play some music and sing along. You can also enjoy our musical craft activities and trails. Free
Circus Skills - Thursday 10 August 11am-3pm - Join us in our festival field inside the museum for our circus skills activities. Learn baloon modelling, juggling and plate spinning. There will also be craft activities and trails. Book your place on the circus skills activities £2 per child advance booking and pre-payment essential. Each session is an hour long to include circus skills and balloon modelling sessions age 4- 12 years sessions at 11:15am, 12:45pm and 2pm.
Animal Magic - Thursday 17 August 11am-3pm - Join us in our festival field with some fabulous animals from Dudley Zoo. There will be 3 animal sessions £3 per child (with one adult included) to be booked on arrival as there are limited places. No pushchairs please. You can just drop in to enjoy the face painting, trails and craft activities.
Magical Mystery - Thursday 24 August 11am-3pm. Join us in our festival field at the gallery for some fairyland fun - Decorate a fairy or elf door for your garden, decorate a garden gnome or enjoy our other mythical magical creatures craft activities, quizzes and trails. You can also make magic dust for those special spells. 50p-£2.50 depending what you make.
Back to school festival party - Thursday 31st August 11am-3pm. Enjoy our back to school party with balloon modelling, magic, disco and games, summer hat crafts and trails - £1 entrance per child. crafts 50p-£2.50 depending what you make.
Summer Community Cinema
Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery and Black Country Touring Community Cinema are launching a film season at the Gallery
Thursday 10th August, 7pm, £5 (to include tea, biscuits and popcorn) – Summer Holiday (U) 1963, 1h 47mins, Dir. Peter Yates
Saturday 12th August, 2pm, £3 (to include drinks and nibbles) - Sing (U) 2017, 1h 48mins, Dir. Christoph Lourdelet & Garth Jennings
Thursday 24th August, 7pm £5 (to include tea, biscuits and popcorn) - Some Like It Hot (12) 1959, 2h 1min, Dir. Billy Wilder
Saturday 9th September, 2pm £3 (to include drinks and nibbles) - Beauty and the Beast Sin-a-long. 2017 blockbuster family film
Certification explained – U (Universal – open to all! Should be suitable for ages 4 and over, 12 – anybody under this age shouldn’t be admitted, PG (parental guidance) - some scenes may be unsuitable for younger audiences particularly under the age of 8 but anybody can be admitted.
Sandwell Museums Community Art Groups Showcase - Wednesdays 6th , Thurs 7th and Saturday 9th September. See fabulous paintings and drawings on display created by our regular painting groups which meet at the museum on Tuesdays, Weds and Thurs
Live Music at the Gallery - Jazz on Tap - Saturday 23 September 2:30pm-4;30pm. Join us for an afternoon of live music with Jazz on tap playing tunes you'll know and love. Tea and coffee will be available. Why not bring a picnic too! Free
Nostalgia Rooms - Clothes! - see some amazing 50s, 1960s and 70s clothing and shoes in our clothing exhibition as well as some fantastic old photos of Sandwell High Streets in times gone by.Photographs courtesy of Sandwell Community History and Archives Service - until the end of 2017.
Larger events later in the year at Wednesbury Museum.- Dates for the diary!
Halloween Family Fun Day- Thursday 26 October - 11am-3pm
Model Railway Showcase – West Bromwich Model Railway Group showcase some of their displays 4th November 12pm-4pm
Christmas Quiz with Fish and Chip Supper –1st December, 7am-9pm (cost to be confirmed)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - 9th December – Christmas performance 11:30am and 2:30pm (lasts about an hour) – (cost to be confirmed) - £5 per person tickets available fromt he museum NOW. Cash or cheque only please.
Regular Groups and Activities
Tuesdays - Adult Groups - Ideal for all, mindfulness, knitting groups, and jewellery making - call for details
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays - Adult Community painting groups (no previous experience needed all welcome but there is sometimes a waiting list to join - call for info)
The Arts Cafe at Central Sixth , West Bromwich
Jazz and Blues Lunchtime Sessions – Every month we are bringing a jazz and blues band to the Arts Café, to help you ease into the weekend. The 3rd Friday of every month 12-2pm.
Friday 16 June The Quiet Men
SAFL Art Group Exhibition: 22/05/2017 – 05/06/2017: A collection of work from the art Groups of Sandwell’s Adult and Family Learning Art Groups. A group of artistic individuals who meet every week to practice their art skills and develop their talents.
Sandwell College Students End of Year Exhibition: 07/06/2017 – 01/07/2017: A celebration of Sandwell college students creative work, with an end of year exhibition.
Arts Café at the sea side: Every Tuesday morning throughout August, come down to the arts café and take part in a range of Seaside themed arts and crafts £2.00 per child. 10:00am – 12:00pm
Tuesday 8 August
Tuesday 15 August
Tuesday 22 August
FabLab by the ea: Every Thursday morning throughout August, come down to the Arts Café and take part in a range of FabLab Seaside themed activities £2.00 per child. 10:00am – 12:00pm
Thursday 10 August
Thursday 17 August
Thursday 21 August
Galton Valley Canal Museum, Smethwick, B66 1BA
2017 museum open days: 10am-3pm Entry FREE - Dog Friendly!
- 12 August
- 9 and 10 September - look out for our Heritage Open Days activities
- 14 October
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.
Call 0121 556 0683 for more information.
Bishop Asbury Cottage will host an open day on Sunday 10 September 2017.
Alternatively you can book in a group visit for a small charge per person by calling 0121 556 0683.
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!
General information for visitors
- Entrance to our buildings and activities is free unless a ticket price is stated. However there may be a small charge activities.
- Booking for activities is not normally required but each listing will state if booking is needed.
- We are unable to accommodate pushchairs inside our buildings, due to the size and nature of our sites.
- Where an event is advertised as 'booking essential' we cannot guarantee that there will be any places left on the day of the event. Please call the site to find out.
- We are unable to take bookings via email please phone the relevant site and leave a message. Staff are not available every day to answer the phone but please leave a message and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
- Please note there are platform lifts to the first floors at Wednesbury Museum and Haden Hill House. Oak House and the Manor House are not accessible.
- Last admission to our sites is 30 minutes before the museum closes.
- Guide dogs only.
- For information about parking and getting to our sites etc please follow the links above to each site.
- Shoes must be worn at ALL times in the Oak House playground.
- Find out about the accessibility of our sites with our - access statement.
- If you would like to find out about our normal opening hours for casual visitors follow the links above to the relevant buildings.
- Our museums are closed for general visitors from December until Easter or 1 April (whichever is first) apart from special activities including Christmas and February half term. Our sites are not open on Good Friday.
- Staff are available at our sites during the closed period and on days we are not open to general visitors as they will be busy dealing with visiting groups, painting, undertaking maintenance, deep cleaning, organising, undertaking back office activities and admin.
- Keep checking this what's on page as we add and update exhibitions and activities for the coming year all the time. Most of our events are free unless an entry price is shown.
- Find out more about each museum and our opening hours.
- Contacting our sites - please note that staff are not available to take phone calls every day, so please leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
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