Get involved - activities and what's on at Sandwell Museums
Things to do at our museums
Scroll down the page to find out what activities are available and you can enjoy at our different sites!
Entrance to our sites is FREE unless an admission charge is stated for specific events.
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 and we are unable to accommodate pushchairs inside our buildings.
Scroll down beyond our autumnal activities to find out what's on this Christmas!
Autumnal antics and spooky fun for all ages.
The 'Old Shop' exhibition room -Islamic Art: Discover some of the fascinating and ancient objects in our collection brought back from around the world by Victorian travellers and discover the story of Helen Caddick.
A lady traveller abroad - Visit our exhibition in the 'Old Shop' and see items on display which were on display at the house in the 1890s, brought back by local lady traveller Helen Caddick. The items we have chosen are from our Islamic art collection as part of a funded project.
Autumnal antics and spooky fun.
Halloween spookfest family fun day. Tuesday 25 October 11am-3pm. Spooky Halloween fun for all the family, magic ,entertainment and balloon modelling from Ron Popple, ghostly music in the Oak House courtesy of Andy Casserley, creepy costumed characters bringing the house alive and enjoy ‘spooktacular’ trails, quizzes games, crafts and face painting throughout the day. Why not join us in your most gruesome Halloween fancy dress costumes for a ‘hauntingly’ good day. Small charge for crafts and face painting from 50p - £3
Tea room available courtesy of the Oak House Friends.
Monster Halloween craft day. Wednesday 26 October 11am-3pm. Join us for a hands- on crafts day. Make your spookiest creations from the junk modelling materials provided. Other crafts available plus Halloween themed trails, quizzes and games for all the family. Crafts 50p-£3 depending on what you make. Tea room available courtesy of the Oak House Friends
Pumpkin carving workshops: Thursday 27th October 11am -3pm. £2.50. Come and join us on our fantastic pumpkin carving workshops and take home your ‘spooktacular’ creation in time for ‘All Hallows’ Eve.’ Pumpkins, tools and stencils provided. Each session will last approximately 45 minutes. Why not stay a little longer and take part in the ‘creepy’, craft of the day, quizzes and trails available? Booking Essential. Tea room available courtesy of the Oak House Friends.
Fright night silent movie evening. Friday 28 October 7-9.30pm £9, £8 concessions. One for the grown ups!. Join us for a wonderfully atmospheric silent movie showing of the 1922 film ‘Nosferatu’ to be accompanied by the Black Country Guitar Quartet. A truly unique evening at the Oak house barns visitor centre. The Oak House will be open to view prior to the concert from 6pm -6.45pm. Tea room available courtesy of Oak House Friends. Booking essential. Suitable for ages 16+.
1600s Gardening Group - Join our volunteer group and help us to garden the grounds for wildlife and in a 1600s style. 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.
Macmillan Biggest Coffee Morning & Sale: Fri 30 Sept 11am-3pm Come & join us for coffee, cake, and browse through our selection of items for sale. All proceeds go to Macmillan.
Autumnal antics and spooky fun.
Don’t Go into the Cellar: Tues 13 October— Shows at 6pm and 8pm. £7.00 to include light refreshments. The Friends of Haden Hill Estate has once again invite this popular theatre company to return to thrill & chill you this autumn with “Murder by Gaslight’ a ghoulish audience with two of the most infamous poisoners in British history - William Palmer and Harvey Crippen. Over 14s only Tickets on sale now. Booking required.
Pumpkins Galore: Sunday 23 October– 11am-3pm -Join us for an afternoon of pumpkin fun, carve a pumpkin for Halloween, and follow our pumpkin trail, pumpkin recipes & more. Timed sessions available for pumpkin carving, Booking Essential for pumpkin carving, phone to book a place, £2.50 per pumpkin carved. Other activities just drop in.
“The Secret Passage”: Tuesday 25 October 2pm-3.30pm join in our Gothic inspired creative writing session working with Julie Calcott to write a spooky story. Age 8-11 only. BOOKING ESSENTIAL, £3 per child.
Autumn themed drop in crafts & trails: Wednesday 26 October 11am-3pm Join our friends from the RSPB who will be here doing autumn crafts. 50p-£2 per item made.
Halloween crafts day: Thursday 27 October 11am-3pm. Drop in children’s craft workshops 50p-£2 per item made.
House of horror family fun day: Friday 28 October-12 - 4.00pm. Spooky goings on at Haden Hell House & Hall, come and join in with Halloween fun for all the family; music, magic and balloons kid’s crafts quizzes, trails & more.
Autumn Sundays at Haden Hill House - open every Sunday in October and November 11am-3pm then in December for Christmas fun and activities as advertised.
Arty Autumn: Sunday 2 October, 11am-3pm, younger visitors can get into the autumn spirit with arty autumn activities and trails.
“Arty barkers”: Sunday 9 October a creative art day for dogs organised by Cradley Heath Creative
“1066 and all that”: Sunday 16 October 11am-3pm. Make a shield, sword & crown to commemorate 950 years since The Battle of Hastings took place. £2 per item made
Gunpowder, treason and plot: Sunday 6 November. 11am-3pm. Find out about why we celebrate bonfire night, with craft activities, quizzes and trails.
Poppies for Remembrance: 13 November 11am-3pm how did the poppy come to be the symbol off remembrance? Join us to find out more, create your own poppy wreath & plant a poppy seed to remember someone by.
Nature themed drop-in children’s workshops & trails: Sunday 20 November 11am-3pm, 50-£3 per item made
Halloween spook fest for all ages.
Horror film fest Friday: October 21 doors open at 6.45pm , 1st film starts at 7pm £3 per person to include an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink. No Booking required. Are you brave enough to watch 2 horror films in one evening, one of which will be screened in 3D! ? No problem you say… BUT are you brave enough to watch them in a 13th century Medieval Manor House reputed to be haunted? All refreshments/snacks MUST be purchased from the Manor House.
Family Halloween disco: Saturday October 22, 7.30pm - 10.30pm £5 per person—to include a Halloween lucky bag for children under 12 years. Booking essential, no ticket - no entry. Boogie the night away to live music and a disco, whilst dressed as your favourite spook! There will be fun and games and a snack bar serving spooky refreshments.
Manor House mystery Inc spooky fun day: Monday October 24, 11am -3pm children £1 adults 50p. Come and meet the Manor House Mystery gang and there super sleuth pooch! There will be lots of spooky things going on including partytime with the mystery inc gang. You can make some crafts and do a treasure hunt plus much more. Refreshments will be available There will be a charge for some activities
Halloween Movie Club Tuesday 25 October 1pm (doors open at 12.30pm) Admission Free – if a film is showing in 3D there will be a £1.50 hire charge for the ‘active’ glasses no booking required Come and see a spooky family film this Halloween. All snacks/drinks must be purchased from the Manor House
Spooky Craft workshops Wednesday: 26 October 11am—3pm (last admission 2.30pm) Admission free. Come and make some spooky crafts, no need to book, just drop in. Crafts dependent on item made 50p—£4
Junior Ghostbusters: Wednesday October 26 5pm start doors open at 4.30pm. £5 per child £1.50 per adult. Booking Essential. Not recommended for children under 8 years, may be a little scarey.Have you got what it takes to become a 'Manor House Ghostbuster'? There have been lots of strange and spooky things happening at the Manor House this October! Come and help the team to search the house for clues and solve the puzzle! Is the Manor House really haunted?
Trick or treat: Friday October 28 timed slots 3pm, 4.15pm, 5.30pm & 6.45pm, Admission £6 per child to include trick or treat bag and lots of goodies. Adults free if accompanied by a child. Come along and trick or treat in a safe environment. There will be many different residents to meet you and lots of different tricks and treats as you walk around the Manor House this Halloween Refreshments will be available. BOOKING ESSENTIAL
FRIGHT NIGHT ‘ The Circus Come to Town’ Saturday October 29. Timed entry slots from 5pm – 9pm £6 per person to include: Fright Night tour & ghost walk Over 12s only booking essential. No ticket no admission. Do you dare enter the Manor HELL House this Halloween? The Circus has arrived, the big top is open – BUT do you dare come in? Lots of scary fun at one of the most haunted buildings in the Midlands! Also included is a short ghost tour around the grounds to hear about the real ghosts that have been seen. Smoke machines and strobe lighting/flashing lights will be used during the tour.
Get involved – Sewing classes at the Manor House Museum: Learn how to use basic and advanced sewing techniques to create wonderful things and gain confidence in your own ability to create and sew! All you need to do is bring yourself and your creative flair!
Halloween Costumes Saturday 1st/Sunday 2nd October & Saturday 8th/ Sunday 9th October 10am-2pm £45.00 for 4 Bite-size classes MATERIAL NOT INCLUDED
Do you have a party and your itching to make the scariest costume? Do you need a costume to beat last years? Or does your child need a costume that nobody else has?Come along and make a Halloween costume! Design, Pattern cut and sew the costume ready for Halloween! Bite-size classes with a BITE
All Halloween tickets with the exception of the Halloween sewing club will be on sale from Saturday 24th September
Nostalgia Rooms: The Queen and Sandwell. An exhibition of 50 photographs showing people in Sandwell celebrating and meeting the Queen in the 50s, 60s and 70s with fabulous photos of coronation celebrations and visits by the Queen in the 1960s and 70s. Photographs provided by Sandwell Community History and Archives Service.
Autumnal fun and spooktastic activities.
Potty for Pumpkins: Wednesday 26 October 11am-3pm. Join us for loads of pumpkin and autumnal kid’s craft and art activities and trails with pumpkin facts and games and you can even try some pumpkin treats.
Wizzy witches and wizards family fun day: Thursday 27 October 11am-3pm. Loads of great family fun and entertainment for a spooktastic day with magic shows, crafts, games, trails and an interactive family theatre performance with Abracadabra at 1pm. Why not come dressed up!
Dracula’s Ghost – Halloween creepy performance: Wednesday 2 November 8pm, doors open 7:30pm. ‘Dracula’s Ghost’ This spine-tingling original theatrical show from ‘Don’t go into the Cellar’ theatre company tracks the vampire from his destruction at the hands of Van Helsing, through his many incarnations down the centuries. £6 per ticket, refreshments available on the night at a small extra cost. Booking essential. Over 14 years old only. Tickets available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 10am and 4pm (ring the doorbell if the doors aren't open, or Saturday 29th October 11am-2:30pm.
Spooky Saturday - Saturday 29 October 11am-3pm (last admission 2:30pm) - Join us for spooky kid's craft activities and spooky trails. It is also a chance to buy your tickets for Dracula's Ghost performance.
Les Oiseaux - evening concert: Weds 9 November 7:30-9pm. Wednesbury Museum Society presents an evening of live music with Les Oiseaux. £5 for non-members
Model Railway Showcase: Saturday 12 November, 12pm-4pm. Join West Bromwich Model Railway Society for their annual display showcasing some of their exciting model railways. Free
Galton Valley Canal Museum, Smethwick, B66 1BA
2016 museum open days: Saturday 9 July (fun day) 13 August, 10 and 11 September, 8 October, 5 November - 10am to 3pm.
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!
Christmas and Winter at Sandwell Museums
The Manor House
Get Involved – sewing classes at the Manor House: Learn how to use basic and advanced sewing techniques to create wonderful things and gain confidence in your own ability to create and sew! All you need to do is bring yourself and your creative flair!
Christmas Furnishings -Saturday 12 & Saturday 19 November (GROUP 1) Or Sunday 13 & Sunday 20 of November (GROUP 2) 10am – 2pm £20 per group of classes MATERIALS NOT INCLUDED The popular Christmas Furnishings class is back! Make your own tablecloths, pillows, Santa sacks, stockings all in time for the big day! The classes will take place on the first floor, the Manor house has no disabled access at present.
Deck the Halls - Thursday December 1 6pm – 8pm (the grotto will open, for visits to Santa at 5pm) Admission 50p for over 12s
The house will be decorated and the Christmas music will be playing! Come in out of the cold and browse the stalls in search of unique presents, or make your own with our build a gift crafts you can also Visit Father Christmas in his grotto for the first time in 2016 at the Manor House.
Christmas Carols at the Manor House: Friday 2 December 7pm start (doors open at 6.45pm) £6 per person to include refreshments. Booking advised as limited spaces are available. Come and join Ian casey as he sings favourite Christmas carols from years gone by, all whilst sitting in ours Great hall decorated for Christmas and lit by candlelight.
A Frozen Christmas and Santa Saturday: 3 December -three time slots 10:30am-12:15am, 1pm-2.45pm, 3:30pm-5:15pm. Booking essential £12 per child Adults £2.00. Meet Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Sven in a special sing along show; then meet Santa who may have a little Christmas surprise for you to take home. Refreshments will be available. Please note: there will a seating area available at the front for children seats are for adults only.
Christmas Movie. Enjoy your wonderful life this Christmas with our Christmas movie: Wednesday 7 December 7pm start (doors open 6:45pm). No booking required £3 per person to include refreshments. Come and watch the all -time classic Christmas movie in the Great Hall, decorated beautifully for Christmas.
Santa Saturday Saturday 10 December 11am – 3pm (last tickets for santa sold at 2pm) Admission free. Craft dependent on item made 50p - £4.00 Santa visit £3. Come and visit Santa in his grotto and make some Christmas crafts! There may be a long wait for Santa at busy times. We use a number ticket system to avoid queueing.
Hunt for Santa - Sunday 11 December, 11am and 2pm start (Doors open 15 minutes prior to start time) Booking essential Children £12 adults £2.00 – to include gift from Santa, craft activities, Santa hunt, and refreshments. Santa is having a bit of fun this year and has set a hunt for you to find him, come along and find the clues meet some characters until you hopefully find Santa himself!!
Through the Decades - Friday 15 December 7pm start (doors open 6:45pm) £6 per person to include refreshments. Booking advised as limited spaces are available. A journey through Christmas music style. Join Ian Casey for a trip down memory lane. You are sure to be foot tapping and singing along as Christmas is nearly here. Christmas hats welcome!
Family Christmas Disco: Saturday 16 December 7.30pm—10.30pm £6 per person—to include a Christmas lucky bag for children under 12 years. Booking essential, no ticket - no entry Boogie the night away to live music and a disco, whilst dressed in your Christmas party clothes! There will be fun and games and snack bar selling seasonal refreshments..
Supper with Santa: Monday 19 & Tuesday 20 December 3pm or 6pm. £12 per child £2 per adult Booking Essential Meet Santa as he makes a quick visit to the Manor House during his busiest week of the year! You will see a magic show, hear a Christmas story and watch ‘the snowman’ whist drinking hot chocolate and munching on cookies, a unique experience not to be missed!
Christmas Movie Club: Thursday 22 December 12noon start. (doors open at 11.30am). Come and see our brand new family film of the sequal to Finding Nemo in 3D as you wait for Christmas to arrive! Admission free but there will be a £1.50 charge for hire of 3D All snacks/drinks must be purchased from the Manor House. Call for info about what films are being shown
Oak House Museum - 0121 553 0759
Letters to Santa and Christmas count down: Sunday 27 November. 11am-3pm. Join us for a cosy family day and the first glimpse of Oak House decorated for Christmas as we prepare for Advent. Children can write and decorate their letters to Santa and make some Christmas themed crafts including, Santa Stop here door signs, Santa countdown clocks, baubles , santa wish lists and reindeer food .There will be advent themed quizzes, trails and colouring available plus a few craft stalls to browse. The oak house elf will also be there to help you with your letters! Everyone welcome. Just pop in! Crafts from 50p to £3 depending on what you make.
Polar Express Christmas Fun Day with Santa in his grotto: Sunday 4 December 11am-3pm. £2.50 per child to visit Santa.
All aboard for the Oak house Polar Express themed fun day. Why not Join us in your pyjamas to recreate the magic of this wonderful film. Santa will be stopping off on his journey in his train themed grotto in the Oak House to give all the good children an early present. Booking for Santa is essential so be sure to call the ticket office on 0121 553 0759. There will also be crafts, quizzes , colouring , trails, and songs from the film and some yummy hot chocolate to keep you warm and cosy served by the ‘Friends of Oak House’. Remember ‘The bell still rings for those who truly believe’.
Santa for schools Tuesday 6th December 9.45am – 11.45am or 12.30pm-2.30pm.
Wednesday 7th December 9.45am -11.45am. only. £1.50 per child (minimum £40 per group if below 27 children.)
maximum 50 children per half day session. call to book. Join us for a half day session where children can write their letters to Santa and learn about and play with toys from bygone days. The children learn about why we have Christmas cards and make their own Victorian style cards. The children will take a trail around the beautiful Oak House and have an audience with the man in red in his magical grotto. Booking essential. Call now on 0121 553 0759
Night Watch Concert Saturday 10th December 7.30pm £6, £5 concessions. Booking essential A unique evening with the chance to listen to some of the earliest recorded Tudor Songs and dance tunes from the 12th to late 17th century medieval renaissance and early baroque periods. Audience participation makes this a must see concert in the welcoming barns visitor centre. The Oak House will also be open from 6.30pm- 7.15pm for a chance to see the beautiful decorations by candlelight The site will be open at 6;30pm and the concert room will be open at 7:15pm not before. Cds from Night watch will be on sale in reception from 6.30pm. Refreshments available from the ‘Friends of oak House’
Santa’s Grotto and disco day: 11 December 11am-3pm. £2.50 per child to visit Santa. Join us for a festive family disco and your last chance to visit Santa in his Polar Express themed grotto at Oak House this year. We have lot’s of cool tunes , balloons, games , face painting and fun to get you rocking around the Christmas tree. We will also have our crafts of the day, festive flag game , quizzes and trails.
Crafts 50p -£3 depending on what you make. Face painting £1 per child. Tea room courtsesy of ‘Friends of Oak house’.
Carols with the Salvation Army: Tuesday 13 December and Thursday 22 December 6pm-8pm (concert starts at 7pm, doors to concert room open 6:45pm) £6, £5 concessions. Enjoy a fabulously uplifting and festive evening of Christmas carols with the Salvation Army. We are offering two dates this year due to overwhelming demand. Admission will be from 6pm for a chance to see the Oak House by candlelight beautifully decorated for Christmas. A drink and mince pie or festive cake is included in the price and other refreshments on sale courtesy of the’ friends of Oak House’ to enjoy before the concert. The concert will begin at 7pm and there will be no interval . Please note the doors to the concert room will not open until 6.45pm. Booking is essential. Please call 0121 553 0759.
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.