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
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.
mARTch - Celebrating, Art, Culture and Creativity in Sandwell - Join us, Join in!
six activities for you to get involved with across the six towns throughout March. Drop in and work with local artists to create something which will be part of a community exhibition later in the year. Decorate a tile and be as creative as you like - no need to be arty or have done anything arty before. You can also get the chance so say what arty fun activities you would like to get involved with in Sandwell.
Oak House, 18 March, 10am-4pm
Haden Hill House, 19 March, 10am-4pm
Oldbury Library, 25 march 10am-4pm
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 11 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 all about busy buzzing bees. There will be crafts, 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 honey tasting station. Tearoom 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 third birthday of our barns visitor centre. More information to follow but put the date in your diary.
School summer holiday fun! Oak House and grounds are open from 12pm-5pm during the children's main big school summer holidays so you can enjoy our activities and our playground a little bit longer. Look out for our great programme of summer holiday activities on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, throughout the school holidays.
Sandwell Surprises - exhibition.- Visit the Old Shop at Oak House and see our showcase of Sandwell Museums' Community Art Group's work showing paintings of iconic Sandwell buildings and scenes.
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.
Children’s Easter themed activities and craft fun. 12 & 13 April 11am-3pm. Small charge for craft activities, between 50p and £2.50, depending on item made.
Easter fun at Haden Hill House: 17 April 12-4pm with children's entertainer Mad Dom, musical fun with Andy Casserley, egg rolling and Easter egg trails.
Springtime themed fun Activities: 19, 20 & 21 April 11am-3pm.Craft workshops and trails. Small charge for some activities.
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.
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
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
School summer holiday fun! - Look out for our great summer holiday activities. Check back here for more details later in the year.
Proms in the Park - Sunday 10 September, 2pm-6pm An afternoon with loads of great live music, why not bring a picnic,. Entry Free.
Mother’s Day at the Manor Sunday. 26 March— 11am – 2pm, free guided tour 11:15am, last admission 1.30pm 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—Saturday 1 April. 10am-3pm Join us for lots of family fun in aid of Sands still birth and neonatal death charity. There will be a bouncy castle, magic, over 15 craft stalls, face painting, a penalty shootout – plus much more! There will also be an appearance from paw patrol and some of the Disney princesses. Admission free, but a donation will be gratefully received.
Animal magic - Monday 10 April - 11am – 3pm (last admission 2.30pm) See a magic show or some animals from Dudley Zoo, make some animal inspired crafts and do the animal treasure hunt. There will be, animal films showing, quizzes and an art project to get involved in too. Refreshments available. Admission £1 per child to include magic show and animal handling adults with a child free of charge
Craft Day at the Manor House - Wednesday 12 April 11am – 3pm (last admission 2.30pm) Just drop in and make some egg-citing Easter crafts. Admission free Refreshments will be available. Craft activity price dependent on item made 50p- £5.
Bank Holiday Monday Easter Fun- Monday 17 April 11am – 3pm (last admission 2.30pm) lots of things to do today at the Manor House, and an added bonus is free parking and not far to travel! There will be crafts to make, an Egg hunt that you can do, make your own chocolate egg, and other Easter inspired activities. Refreshments will be available, a charge for crafts and activities 50p - £5.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Wednesday 19th April 11am – 3pm (last admission 2.30pm) Admission 50p children Adults accompanying free. Lots of authors have written in a diary style over the years, more recently we have Diary of a wimpy kid and Tom Gates. The storytellers will be here at 1pm telling their hilarious wimpy kid tale, you can make the tools to write your own diary, including notepad, pencil cases, pencil toppers and pen pots – write your funny diary story and enter our event competition to win a prize!
Storyboards, comics and flick books - Friday 21 April 11am – 3pm (last admission 2.30pm) Admission £3 for children taking part Recommended for children over 8 years. Write a script, make a storyboard, animate it into a flick book, then make a comic – all you have to do now is choose a theme. Refreshments will be available.
Get ready for St George's Day - Saturday 22 April 11am – 3pm (last admission 2.30pm) Admission free. Make a hat, flag, some bunting and other St George inspired crafts. Guided tours will be available at 12noon and 1pm and refreshments including cream teas will be on sale. Crafts between £1 -£4, cream teas £3 each or 2 for £5.
Do It Yourself – Body. Bath bombs and Scrubs -Thursday 27 April 7pm – 9pm Cost £6 per person, to include all materials and light refreshments. Booking essential. Over 12s only Do you fancy having a go at making your own beauty products, furnishings or decorations? Come along to the Manor House to the first of our monthly Do It Yourself evenings where you get the chance to show off your creative talents.
Make your own bath bombs and body scrub to make your body feel amazing and even better, you will have made them yourself!
Sunday 30 April Bank Holiday Monday - 1 May Boer War Group 11am – 3pm both days Admission Free. There will be a charge for some activities. Last tours are one hour prior to closing. The Anglo Boer War Staffords re-enactment group take camp at the Manor House. Come and watch history of the late 19th Century factual historic drama, military re-enactments, displays and other educational entertainment based upon world history. Please note Gun Powder will be used during battles, and this will lead to loud bang
Vintage Fair - Sunday May 14 11am – 4pm. Come along and browse the stalls selling clothing and accessories, Handmade, collectables, retro, vinyl and much more. There will be a tearoom open for refreshments and live music and dancing all courtesy of Mabel’s Vintage Fairs.
Shakespeare in Sandwell - the Merry Wives of Windsor - Bank Holiday Monday 29 May, entry from 4pm, play starts at 5pm
In Advance £12 Adults £10 Concessions. On the Day £14 Adults £12 Concessions. The Festival Players Theatre Company is proud to present the Merry Wives of Windsor. Presented in full costume, an all-male company will bring to you the roguish and foolish knight, Falstaff, as he schemes to woo two married women to get his hands on their husbands’ money, but the wiley Wives of Windsor are more than a match for him! Bring your own chairs or a blanket and have a picnic in the grounds of this wonderful 13th century Medieval Manor House. This is an open air production, which may move indoors due to weather conditions.
You can purchase tickets when the Manor House is open or online at www.thefestivalplayers.co.uk
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.
Nostalgia Rooms - Clothes - see some amazing 1960s and 70s clothing and shoes in our clothing exhibition - until June.
Easter Bunny Trail: Wednesday 12 April, 11am-3pm. £1 for Easter bunny trail, craft activities 50p-£2 depending what you make. Have a go at our Easter trail around the gallery and you could win an Easter egg and join in our creative crafts and arty fun.
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.
Creative Spring! - Wednesday 19 April 11am-3pm. Join in our springtime arty activity and creative 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 - Saturday 2 December. Enjoy our morning or afternoon Christmas theatre performances of the Wizard of Oz with the Hobgoblin theatre company. More info and ticket info to follow.
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 14 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 Reminiscence 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 - Reminisce 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 Reminiscence 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 Reminiscence 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
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 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, with arty boats, Dudley Zoo, crafts and trails.
9 & 10 September - look out for our Heritage 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.