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.
Please note that social media posts may not include all information about a given event, there is more information and details below.
Online bookings - Please note that tickets once purchased will not be refunded unless an error in booking has occurred (eg clicked the wrong time) .Where you have booked tickets online but request a refund; where a refund is deemed appropriate visitors must request their refund to the site via email or by phone giving the name the ticket was booked in and the valid reason for a refund. A refund of the face value of the tickets will be given - booking fees will not be refunded. Refunds will not be authorised less than 3 days before an event as we will need chance to be able to resell your ticket. Refunds won't be issued if you can't come on the day or don't turn up on the day. We are unable to refund booking fees in the unlikely event of an event cancellation as this is the fee taken by the ticket company.
January - please note our sites are completely closed to groups, visitors and pre-booked activities in January - we don't take bookings in January due to deep cleaning, maintenance and planning activities
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. and some great history bits and bobs
Early Spring at Sandwell Museums
We are currently putting our events, activities and open days programme together for 2020, so keep checking back here for details as we publish them. Our sites are closed until April apart from February half term activities, special events and pre-boked and regular groups
Roll up Roll up!
In April an exciting new exhibition opens showcasing images, objects and curiosities from circus and fairground life and culture; from side show acts to the main event, from performing brass band seals to dancing elephants, from menageries to fun fairs, come along from April to explore the wonderful world of circus and fairground history across our 4 main sites— Free entry runs throughout 2020
Start at Wednesbury Museum & Art Gallery and discover the wonderful world of the fairground and sideshows. Then travel to Bromwich Hall to see an intriguing collection of circus and fairground posters loaned to us by local historian Ned Williams. Take a peek at the wild side of the circus at Oak House Museum and visit Haden Hill House to see a fascinating
range of costumes and images of Victorian circus characters.
The exhibition will run from April to November at Wednesbury Museum, April to October at Haden Hill House, Oak House and Bromwich Hall.
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 2pm-5pm 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 and February half term fun. Open at other times for special events and activities throughout the year as advertised below.
Friday the 13th - 13th march - A night with the spirits! Evening tours: More details to follow - Something for the grown ups! Discover some of our ghostly stories and gothic tales as we take you on a tour of this 400 year old building. Aged 14 years and above. Charges will apply booking essential, drinks and snacks will be available
Hartbeeps Sandwell: Sunday 5 April; 2pm-3:30pm. Easter extravaganza just for babies and children under the age of 2. Tickets £4 per person (adults and children). Booking essential. This event is run by Hartbeeps Sandwell.
Zoo Lab: Tuesday 7 April; 11am-3pm. Join Zoo lab for a 45-minute educational animal handling session in the Oak House classroom. Sessions at 11am, 12pm,1pm &2pm. Price £3.50 per child and £1.00 per adult. Booking essential @ https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/sandwell-museums-and-arts
Animal crafts and trails: Wednesday 8th April, Thursday 9th April; 11am-3pm. Animal themed crafts and trails at Oak House Museum. Crafts 50p-£3.00
Easter crafts and trail: Sunday 12 April; 2pm-5pm. Take part in an Easter trail around the grounds of Oak House and complete Easter themed craft to take home in the Oak House Classroom. Craft 50p-£3.00
Ron Popple balloon party: Monday 13 April; 11am-3pm. Join Ron Popple in the Oak House classroom for balloon modelling fun. Party sessions at 12:00pm, 1:00pm & 2:00pm. Entry to classroom is £1 per person. Booking essential https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/sandwell-museums-and-arts
Earth & climate awareness week: Tuesday 14 April; Wednesday 15 April, Thursday 16 April; 11am-3pm. Come along to Oak House and have a go at junk modelling and trails to learn more about being kind to our planet. Small charge for crafts.
St George’s crafts: Sunday 26 April; 2pm-5pm. Join us for St George Day crafts 50p-£3
Green Man celebration: Sunday 03 May; 12pm-4pm. Welcome in spring at the Oak House with our fourth annual green man celebration. Enjoy loads of family entertainment with historical activities in the house, live music, Morris Dancers, family entertainment and more. The tea room will be open courtesy of the friends of the Oak House.
Jazz festival - look out for free live music with the Jazz festival at the end of July!
Oak House family Fun
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 and February half term fun. Entrance Free
Springtime crafts and trails: Wednesday 8 April, Thursday 9 April, Thursday 16 April & Friday 17 April; 11am – 3pm. Drop-in and have a go at our Easter and Spring themed activities & workshops. Crafts £2
Easter egg trail: Sunday 12 April; 2pm – 5pm. Search Haden Hill House and Park for clues to a quiz and the chance to win a prize in our Easter draw. £1 per entry.
Easter fun day: Monday 13 April; 12pm – 4pm. Come and join us for an afternoon of Easter activities for all the family, including Easter Egg rolling, quizzes, raffle, trails & workshops.
Spring flower wreath workshops: Thursday 16 April & Friday 17 April; 11am-12pm. Create a spring flower wreath from felt and ribbons. Ages 7 + (children should be accompanied by an adult). £5 per person (excluding accompanying adults). Advanced booking essential.
Fieldings valuation day: Wednesday 22 April; starts 10.30am Fieldings Auctioneers of Stourbridge will be at Haden Hill House Museum to offer valuations on a range of items including ceramics, furniture, glass and jewellery. £1 per valuation (maximum of five items per person).
May Bank Holiday: Friday 8 May; 12-4pm. This year the May Bank Holiday has been moved to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Come to Haden Hill House Museum to find out more about more about WWII and to join in with crafts, trails and quizzes. Crafts £1
Fabulous 40s -VE Day Celebrations: Sunday 10 May; 12 -4pm. Join us for our commemorations of the 75th anniversary of VE Day, Lots of fun & nostalgia for all ages with live music, costumed characters, historic vehicles, displays, children’s entertainment and more. Haden Old Hall will also be open for the first time this year as will the Tea Room. The Steve King Big Band will be performing throughout the day.
Mr Stink by David Walliams - Sunday 21 June 2020 - Mr Stink by David Walliams adapted by David Kerby-Kendall, brought to you by Heartbreak Productions and Sandwell Council. 4pm - 6pm (Doors open at 3pm). One perfectly normal afternoon in an average English Town two restless souls unite on a park bench - one of them the lonely 12 year old Chloe Crumb and the other an incredibly smelly homeless man. Oh, and lets not forget his loyal dog, the Duchess. Chloe's curiosity and kindness pave the way for this extraordinary and rewarding friendship that takes them to the heady heights of live television and Downing Street via a garden shed. Join Heartbreak Productions for David William's best-seller Mr Stink outdoors in the park. Pack a picnic, bring a chair or picnic blanket and dress for the weather. Filled with fun, humour, and a heart-warming message, this touching tale provides the perfect family entertainment. Please note that no matter the weather, the show will proceed to go ahead, unless instructed by the Heartbreak productions. No refunds available if the show goes on.
Summer Event: 28 June 12-4pm - Come and enjoy our summer extravaganza - more details to follow
The Jazz festival - 26 July. enjoy free live music in the park at 2:30pm
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 self guided and 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.
Easter crafts: Wednesday 8 April, 11am-3pm- Why not get craftty and hop along to make some fantastic Easter crafts with us. There will also be quizzes and trails to take part in for fun!
Easter EGGstravaganza: Saturday 11 April,11am-3pm- There’s going to be a cracking Easter egg hunt and you’re invited. Spend the afternoon egg hunting, making chocolate treats and creating ‘EGGstraornidary’ Easter Crafts. £2.00 per hunt pack, other craft activity prices vary.
Go Green!: Wednesday 15 April, 11am-3pm- Do you part for the environment and join us for fun, nature inspired activities. Learn the importance of our friends the Bees, create some recycled crafts, grow your own plants and help us celebrate Earth day!
VE Day Tea Dance: Friday 8 May, 7-10pm- Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day at Bromwich Hall- The Manor House with live music & dancing, and tea and cake. Hosted by the Friends of the Museum.
Mind, Body & Spirit Fayre: Saturday 9 May, 11am-4pm - Join Lotus Wolf Events for their Mind, Body and Spirit fair inside our 750 year old building. Get in touch with your inner self and browse an array of unique stalls underneath our old beams. This event is hosted by Lotus Wolf Events.
Mabel’s Vintage Fair: Sunday 10 May, 10:30am-3:30am- Visit an array of stalls selling vintage, homemade and local produce. This event is hosted by Mabel’s Vintage.
Shakespeare in Sandwell - Henry V- Monday 25 May, - The Festival Players theatre company return once again for this evening outdoor theatre production - bring a picnic blanket or picnic chairs and a picnic to enjoy the performance. After a rebellious and spirited youth-hood, carousing in the taverns of London, Prince Hal takes on the responsibility of Kingship and leads his troops, of low and high station, across the Channel to do battle with the French at Agincourt. Follow the charismatic King Henry the Fifth in this stirring tale of leadership, bravery, humour, and love; two hours of exhilarating entertainment for a Summer’s evening. More details and ticket information to follow.
Dragon Invasion! Wednesday 27 May 12-4pm. Were Dragons a made-up thing of the past or are they as real as the legends say? Find out as Flame the Dragon and her friends visit our grounds for a fun filled day of myth busting, Dragon 101, crazy crafts and much more flaming hot fun!
£3.50 person. All activities except crafts and bouncy castle are included in the price.
Quiet Hour Dragon Invasion! Wednesday 27 May 11am-12pm. Enjoy our Dragon themed event before the crowds arrive for an hour session suitable for those with invisible disabilities. Get the chance to meet Flame the dragon and take part in calm activities inside the house. Must be booked in advance. Please call us to let us know your individual needs so we can try our best to accommodate them.
Jazz festival - look out for free live music at the manor towards the end of July with the Jazz festival,
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.
Roll up Roll up! - enjoy our fabulous temporary exhibition for 2020 showcasing stories and memorabilia from the circus' and fairgrounds past and present
Sensory Circus exhibition - Saturday 4 April- 2pm-5pm As part of national autism awareness day enjoy sensory activities and quiet spaces and activities around our new circus exhibition. Free
Clown Eggs! - Wednesday 8 April- 11am-3pm. Real clowns have to register their clown faces by painting an egg. Create your own clown face on an egg to take home, also enjoy crafts and trails. 50p-£3 for craft activities depending what you make.
Clown School with Ron Popple Thursday 9 April- 11am-3pm– Book onto our circus skills activities or just drop in and paint a clown face or enjoy crafts and trails book, A charge for clown school and craft activities, visit our website nearer the time for details.
Easter trail – Sat 11 April – 2pm-5pm. Drop in and have a go at our Easter trail and win a small Easter egg. With Easter craft of the day. Easter trail £1, crafts 50p-£2 entry free.
Circus crafts - Wednesday 15 April 11am-3pm–Join us for circus themed crafts and trails –crafts 50p-£2
Greatest Showman themed party: Thursday 16 April- 1pm-3pm. Come along and join the school holiday fun with our Greatest Showman party, with party games, dancing and activities, crafts and trails. Entry to gallery is free, Entry to party is £2 per child.
Crafts and trails for St George’s Day – Saturday 25, 2pm-4pm. Decorate a sword or shield or enjoy our other knights and princess crafts and the dragon trail – 50p-£2 for craft activities
Tea and bunting – Saturday 9 May 2pm-4pm-See local wartime photos, enjoy a cuppa and a tasty treat and young visitors can make flags and bunting. Entry free
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 from March to October 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.
Here are our 2020 open days
11th April - Enjoy our Easter trail for younger visitors and get a small chocolate egg for completing the trail.
11th July - Enjoy the heritage boat at the pumping station
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!