Get involved - activities and what's on at Sandwell Museums
Our museums are closed to the general public until the beginning of April; although we will be open in February for half term activities.
From February our regular groups will return and we will be taking bookings for schools and other pre-booked groups.
Things to do at our museums - general info (more info at the bottom of the page)
Scroll down the page to find out what activities are available and you can enjoy 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.
Bedtime Stories: Oak House has a brand new bed! Come and find out more about bedtime long ago and get involved in our weeklong ‘bedtime story’ themed activities.
Storytime : 21 February 11:00am-3:00pm: See our new bed and learn about bedtime long ago. Listen to stories with Sandwell Storyplayers £2.50 per child suitable for ages 3+ booking essential. There will be quizzes and trails all based around bedtime stories.
Ted in the bed craft workshop: 22 February 11:00am-3:00pm: £4.50 per child. Join us to make your very own bed for Ted, teddy included in cost of workshop, (materials provided by Knifty Knitters) Booking essential. Other crafts and trails available from 50p-£2.50
Cosy Craft Day: 23 February 11:00pm-3:00pm: 50p-£2.50 per item. Join us for a cosy craft and colouring day in the Oak House barns visitor centre. Crafts and a colouring competition will be in keeping with our weekly theme of bedtime stories with prizes and certificates on offer and a chance to see the winning pictures on display during the Easter Holidays.
Birds and Bees at Oak House - Easter
Bird week at Oak House - Activities 11am-3pm (house and grounds open until 4:30pm). This half term Oak House will be all about the Birds and the Bees (literally). From the 11, 12, 13 April we will be hosting a number of events all featuring a bird theme.Join us for trails, quizzes and crafts on Tuesday 11th April. Craft prices 50p - £2.50 dependant upon craft activity. Learn all about the birds you can see in the Oak House grounds and keep your eyes peeled for some special guest visitors. To mark the return of 'Beat the Street'to Sandwell this year we will be having some exciting activities to take part in. Watch this space!
Bee week at Oak House 18,19 & 20 April 11am-3pm (house and grounds open until 4.30pm)- Last week we learnt all about the birds and this week it's time to learn more about the bees.It's Bee week at Oak House! Come along and learn al about busy buzzing bees. There will be crafs, trails and quizzes. Craft price range from 50p - £2.50 dependant on craft activity. Learn about all the different uses of bees wax and how honey can be used to heal illness, you can try some honey for yourself at our hiney tasting station. Tea room open courtesy of friends of the Oak House.
Oak House Summer Fayre and Barns Birthday Party - 9 July, 12-4pm Join us for our summer fun day for all ages and celebrate the 3rd birthday of our barns visitr centre. More information to follow but put the date in your diary.
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.
Kid’s drop-in craft activities - Wed 22 February -11am-3pm. 50p to £2 depending on what you chose to make
Help the Housekeeper- Thurs 23 February -11am-3pm. Our Victorian housekeeper needs some willing volunteers to help with the household chores, can you help her? Join in with the spring cleaning Victorian style!
Children’s table top sale - 24 February 11am-3pm. For children by children. Book a table and sell your unwanted toys, games and books (no electrical equipment please). Tables are free, advance booking for tables is essential. However visitors can come along and browse the stalls for a bargain on the day.
Homefront at Haden Hill House - Sunday 1 May, 12-4pm Enjoy our World War II event with family fun, costumed characters, vehicles and more. Entry free. More details to follow.
Steam - Sunday 25 June, 12pm-4pm. Join us for a great summer event for all the family for of steam, music, family entertainment and much more. Entry Free but a charge for some activities. More details to follow.
Bric-a-Brac fair - Sunday 16 July, Enjoy our bric a brac day, with live music and entertainment - call us to hire a table or just come along and browse to find something unique. 01384 569 444
Proms in the Park - Sunday 10 September, 2pm-6pm An afternoon with loads of great live music, why not bring a picnic,. Entry Free.
Manor House Goes Wild: Monday 20 11am- 3pm (last admission 2:30pm) - Come along to the Manor House Museum and make things for your garden including Bug houses, Bird feeders and Gnomes. Refreshments will be available. Craft activity price dependent on item made 50p- £5.
Manor House Goes Wild: Wednesday 22 February – 11am-3pm (last admission 2:30pm). Lots of fun activities continue with our wildlife theme including crafts, quizzes, colouring and a story themed Bug Hunt. Bug hunts must be booked upon arrival, limited spaces available. £1 per child. Refreshments will be available. Craft activities price dependent on item made 50p-£5.
Movie club: Thursday 23 February- Come to the Manor House Museum to watch a Disney Classic about the life of bugs as part of our half term fun wildlife Movie Club. Entrance to museum is £1.50 to include a cone of sweets and a carton of juice. Extra refreshments will be available to purchase at an extra cost. Film starts at 11am, doors will open at 10:45am
Mother’s Day at the Manor— 11am start, free guided tour 11:15am, Join us for cream teas, a guided tour and make a mother’s crafts. Crafts between £1.50 -£3, cream teas £3 each or 2 for £5.
Charity Family Fun Day— 1 April. Join us for lots of family fun in aid of Sans
Vintage Fayre - Sunday 14 May - Details and times to follow.
Shakespeare in Sandwell - 29 May 5pm onwards- The Festival Players return to the Manor House this year with William Shakespeare's 'Merry Wives of Windsor. Full details to follow
Free guided tours: are available on Sundays between 11am and 2pm from 30 July until 10 September, You can visit the great hall and chapel without taking a tour but the rest of the building is access via tour only. Cream teas are also available! Younger visitors can try on armour and have a go at our medieval games. Please note that the building is largely not accessible although there are accessible toilets however a virtual tour is available to take on a tablet with our staff by prior arangement - call 0121 588 2985
Guided tours are also available throughout the year as part of other special events and activities - check the listings here to find out more.
Crazy Craft Day – 22 February 11am-3pm. Join us for a day of craft activities quizzes and trails with lots of craft activities to choose from. 50p to £2 depending what you make.
Children’s Party Fun Day – 23 February 11am-3pm. Celebrate a new season of family fun and the end of winter with our family fun day party with disco, games, face painting, magic and balloons and craft activities. £1 entry per child and a small charge for facepainting and craft activities.
11am-12pm - music and balloons
12pm-1pm – disco and games
1:30pm-2:15 – magic show
2:15-3pm – music and balloons
Face painting throughout the afternoon (over 3s only) – a small charge will apply.
Ugly Duckling Day - Fabulous family performance with puppets and traditional children's entertainment. Major Mustard is on tour with his musical 'Box of Delights' when he meets a sad and grumpy little duckling. This unusual and delightful version of Hans Christian Andersen's tale Major Mustard and the audience call on their skills of song, music and story to cure the duckling's sadness. Loads of great fun - There are two performances one in the morning and one in the afternoon (11:30 and 13:15). Also crafts and trails all day. Entry FREE £1 per child for show, crafts 50p - £2 depending what you make.
Go wild at the museum - 20 April, 11am-3pm - Join us for our animal and wildlife themed day. Enjoy our Dudley Zoo sessions and meet some of their smaller animals and meet our friends from the RSPB who will also be here with lots for you to see and do, enjoy our animal trails and craft activities and get your face painted (£3). Entry Free just drop in, £3 per child to see Dudley Zoo - book your place on the Dudley Zoo sessions on arrival - just drop in for crafts, trails, RSPB and face painting
please note spaces are limited on the Dudley Zoo sessions (no more than one adult only to accompany each child and adults with older children will
Look out for our summer of fun with our Indoor, Outdoor festival inside the gallery this summer!
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz -
Regular Groups and Activities
Stay and Play at Wednesbury Museum: £2 per child per session. Join us for our early years sessions with toys and games, storytime, musical activities, crafts etc - there will be different activities on different weeks.
Wednesday 26 April 10:00 - 11:00
Wednesday 3 May 10:00 - 11:00
Wednesday 10 May 10:00 - 11:00
Wednesday 17 May 10:00 - 11:00
Wednesday 24 May 10:00 - 11:00
Wednesday 31 May No Session
Wednesday 7 June 10:00 - 11:00
Wednesday 14h June 10:00 - 11:00
Wednesday 21 June 10:00 - 11:00
Wednesday 28 June 10:00 - 11:00
Yoga classes - No need to book just turn up! Enjoy yoga classes in the calming surroundings of our Victorian Painting Gallery
Wednesday 26th April 3:45pm - 4:45pm £3.00
Wednesday 3rd May 3:45pm - 4:45pm £3.00
Wednesday 10th May 3:45pm - 4:45pm £3.00
Wednesday 17th May 3:45pm - 4:45pm £3.00
Wednesday 25th May 3:45pm - 4:45pm £3.00
Elevensies at the Gallery - Join in our coffee mornings with talks, activities, taster sessions etc. 11am-1pm
Tuesday 11th April Reminessence Group-Jukebox Memories
Tuesday 18th April Join us for springtime cream teas in the surroundings of our Victorian Painting Gallery
Tuesday 25th April Speaker - Alan Thornton- Memories of the 40s, 50s and 60s
Tuesday 2nd May 60s and 70s TV Quiz
Tuesday 9th May Vintage recipes and food - Reminise about vintage food and recipes and how we used to cook, enjoy our Nostalgia rooms and see our 50s cooker and 60s and 70s kitchenware
Tuesday 16th May Speaker - Neil Roberts - The End of The End of the Pier Show
Tuesday 23rd May Reminessence Group - Holidays
Tuesday 30th May Have Ago!! - Adult and Family Learning
Tuesday 6th June Speaker - John Smith - History of Broadcasting
Tuesday 13th June Mindfullness
Tuesday 20th June Reminessence Group - Childhood memories
Tuesday 27th June Speaker - Vanessa Morgan - A Beginners Guide to Genealogy
Tuesdays - Adult Groups - Ideal for all, mindfulness 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
Have A Go!! – Have A Go!!: Wednesday 22 February 10am-12pm. Free Sewing and Art workshops provided by Sandwell Adult and Family Learning. This is a great chance for families to discover a new hobby or interest. “Have A Go” events will be running through the year offering people the chance to discover new hobbies, groups and interests around Sandwell.
Alex Drozd Photography Exhibition – Wednesday 1 March – 17 March 2017. “Smethwick Galton Bridge” The project centred on the framework bordering the top 2 platforms. The success of such images would hopefully make people look much closer at the environment around them for similar – ‘experiences’, re-evaluate the visual properties of the world around them and hopefully encourage them to make their own images.
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 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Friday 17 February Suzi Woods Trio
Friday 17 March The Whiskey Brothers
Friday 21 April Lee Jones Trio
Friday 19 May Sheila Waterfield Trio
Friday 16 June The Quiet Men
Wednesbury Art Groups Showcase – Wednesday 26 April – 19 May. An exhibition of paintings and images from the Art Groups of Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery. A group of talented and creative artists would like to share their hard work, passion and hobby with
Galton Valley Canal Museum, Smethwick, B66 1BA
2017 museum open days: 10am-3pm Entry FREE - Dog Friendly!
8 July - Family Fun Day
9 & 10 September - look out for our Heirtage Open Days activities
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 information.
Bishop Asbury Cottage open days will next be in May and 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, tory below the water line and learn about the skilled engineering that goes into the maintenance of our waterways.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.