Get involved - activities and what's on at Sandwell Museums
Scroll down the page for more vids and information links!
We are opening our grounds and houses for a series of open days and safe activities this summer
Entrance to our sites is free but there may be a charge for some activities.
You don't need to book to visit but you may need to book for our summer activities and craft bags. See the listings below for details.
The sites may be open at other times other than the open days below for bookable activities.
After 19th July we continue to ask you to fear a face covering inside our buildings and respect other people's personal space. Please use the sanitisers provided on entrance and before using our play areas.
Bromwich Hall - 0121 588 2985. Tuesday and Saturday - 10am-1pm - On Tuesdays the grounds remain open until 4pm so why not bring a picnic. Last admission 30 mins before closing.
Haden Hill House - 01384 569 444. Thursdays and Fridays 10:30am-12:30am and then 2pm-4:30pm and Saturdays and Sundays 2pm-5pm. Last admission 30 minutes before the museum closes.
Oak House Museum - 0121 553 0759. Open Wednesdays, Thursdays 10am-3pm and Sundays 10am-1pm. Last admission half an hour before the museum closes. Please note at the moment only the ground floor of the house is open but we have lots of new information for you to enjoy! The playground will also be open from 21 July - please sanitise before and after using the facilities.
Wednesbury Museum and art Gallery - 0121 556 0683. Due to ongoing building works we don't have any planned open days at the moment but we hope the museum will be open in the autumn. Please keep checking back for further details nearer the time.
Bishop Asbury Cottage and Galton Valley Pumping Station - There are currently no plans for open days at these sites but we hope we can open them later in the autumn.
We want you to have an enjoyable but safe visit to our sites so here is some information you will need to read before your visit.
You will need to pre-book for many of our activities and craft activity bags this summer so that we can ensure our visitors are safe and numbers are limited. Please check you are purchasing the correct thing before you buy! You can book your tickets here. Information about our summer activities are below.
Entrance for our open days.
1. Please be aware that things are different from our usual opening procedures and activities even after 19th July to ensure the safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff
2. Currently you are legally required to wear a face covering indoors but from 19th July if you are 11 years old or over we would kindly ask you to continue to wear a face covering when approaching reception and in our toilets and inside our buildings unless medically exempt.
3. Please sanitise your hands on entrance using the hands-free sanitisers available and before undertaking any hands-on activities such as in our play rooms
4. Please think of others and respect their space and remain at least 2 metres away from staff and other groups visiting the museum or in the grounds.
5. After 19 July we will begin to start to open our shops and refreshment areas, you may wish to check before visiting.. A toilet is available if you require it.
6.. You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds but please take your rubbish home
7.. Until 16th August all members of your group who are over 16 will be required to give details at reception and Sandwell Museums and Arts will keep your details for 21 days for test and trace 8. Please DO NOT attend if you have any Coronavirus symptoms. Find out about current listed symptoms of covid 19
9. Most of all we hope you have an enjoyable visit.
Please note that changes may be made at any time due to changes in government guidelines.
Summer Staycation at Sandwell Museums - Summer activities on site.
Enjoy a summer staycation with us at Sandwell Museums with a wide variety of safe family activities for all ages to enjoy.
To limit numbers many of our activities are pre-bookable. Book your space now at: www.ticketsource.co.uk/sandwell-museums-and-arts
Please note that although many legal restrictions have been lifted we still ask you to observe a number of measures whilst on site to ensure the safety of all visitors, staff and volunteers.
a) We ask you to continue to observe social distancing from other groups and respect other people’s space
b) We would strongly encourage you to wear a face covering inside our buildings and when approaching staff if possible for the safety of staff and other visitors
c) We ask you to continue to use the hand sanitisers provided at our sites particularly when entering and when using any activities.
Haden Hill House Museum
Wednesday 22 July to Sunday 29 August. There will be trails and quizzes around the museum and park on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Tuesday 10 August (moved from 24 July) – Insect Safari. Join us for workshops and storytelling between 11:30am and 1:30pm and at 2pm then enjoy a fantastic performance of giant bugs at 2pm. Booking is not required just turn up!
Sunday 25, 2pm – Birmingham, Sandwell and Westside Jazz Festival performance in the park by the David Moore Blues Band – Free, just turn up. Outdoor performance only.
Wednesday 28 July - We’re going on a bug hunt - bookable workshops –£5.50
Thursday 29 July - Make a creepy crawly bookable craft sessions Thursday–£2.50
Wednesday 4 Aug - bookable workshops – Make a pinhole camera £5.50
Thursday 5 Aug, bookable craft sessions – decorate a photo frame £2.50
Wednesday 11 Aug - bookable workshops – Circus Skills with Spinsonic Circus £7.50
Thursday 12 Aug - bookable craft sessions – Make an acrobat £2.50
Wednesday 18 Aug -bookable workshops –Create your own ice cream £5.50
Thursday 19 Aug - bookable craft sessions – Make some seaside post cards £2.50
How shall we get there/holiday travels
Thursday 26 Aug - bookable craft sessions – Make a train, plane or automobile £2.50
Go Play - Enjoy sporty fun with Go Play on in the park during the school hols - Booking will be required, further details to follow
Macbeth - Saturday 21 August, 7pm. Enjoy Shakespeare in Haden Hill Park with the Chamberlain's Men theatre company. Bring a chair and a picnic and enjoy this amazing theatre company at the bottom of the park For information, costs and booking click the link
Pirates & mermaids at Bromwich Hall
Saturday 24 July 10am-1pm - Follow our trails and quizzes around the grounds and take home a themed craft bag* (*cost and pre-booking applies)
Tipitina at Bromwich Hall for the Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival- Saturday 24, 2pm –- Join us in the grounds of Bromwich Hall with an afternoon of Tipitina, a hugely talented combo delivering the red hot and rocking music from the New Orleans of Dr John, James Booker, Professor Longhair and Fats Domino. This event will take place in the grounds (weather permitting) so please feel free to bring your own seating and refreshments to enjoy during the performance. (Pre-booking required - more tickets to be added)
Tuesday 27 July 10am-2pm - Ahoy There! Sail down to Bromwich Hall to take part in our Jolly Roger trail around the grounds, make your own pirate hook as part of our free craft of the day or take home a themed craft bag* (*cost and pre-booking applies)
Song of the Sirens- Wednesday 28 July - Join Wolf Blackheart as he tells you the story of his journey to Scarlet Cove. Hear how he met and escaped the clutches of the sirens; beautiful maidens who hide a deadly secret! Using sound, light, props decorations and character storyteller, we take you on a journey using 4 of your senses to hear, see touch and smell the adventure! Sessions at 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm & 3pm £4 per child, £1 per adult (Pre-Booking required)
Into the wild at Bromwich Hall
Saturday 31 July, 10am-1pm- Follow our trails and quizzes around the grounds and take home a themed craft bag* (*cost and pre-booking applies)
Insect Safari - Saturday 31 July, 11:30am & 2pm - A fantastical performance celebrating everything that creeps and crawls - featuring puppets, music and a whole lot of bugs! FREE ENTRY. This activity will take place in the grounds (weather permitting) so please feel free to bring your own seating and refreshments to enjoy during the performance. (Pre-booking required)
Tuesday 3 August, 1am-2pm - Unleash your wild side at Bromwich Hall and explore our animal zones throughout the grounds! Meet the t-rex in our Jurassic Zone, or discover what lies in the mini-beast zone. Become a hunter & gatherer and create a pair of binoculars or an imagination camera as part of our free craft of the day, or take home a themed craft bag* (cost and pre-booking applies)
Circus fun at Bromwich Hall
Saturday 7 August 10am-1pm - Follow our trails and quizzes around the grounds and take home a themed craft bag* (*cost and pre-booking applies)
Tuesday 10 August 10am-2pm - Roll Up Roll Up! It’s time for some circus fun at Bromwich Hall! Have a go at some of our circus activities, create your own egg clown face as part of our free craft of the day, or follow our trails, quizzes and activities around the grounds! You can even watch a magic show*, book onto a balloon masterclass* or take home a themed craft bag* (*cost and pre-booking applies) Magic Show at 10:30am & 1pm, Balloon masterclass at 11:45am £2.00 per child, £1.00 per adult
Wednesday 11 August, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1:45pm, 2:45pm- Join us for a dazzling array of circus skills led by Primary Workshops! This engaging session has been devised to encourage children’s skills in an energetic and exciting way using a variety of equipment such as diablo, spinning plates, juggle balls plus much more! £4.50 per child, £1.00 per adult (pre-booking required)
Fairies & goblins
Saturday 14 August 10am-1pm. Follow our trails and quizzes around the grounds and take home a themed craft bag* (*costs and pre-booking applied)
Tuesday 17 August 10am-2pm - Do you believe in Fairies? We do, and they’re waiting to be discovered at Bromwich Hall! Join Professor Calculus Black from the Wolsbane Wizard academy and explore the grounds on his hunt for all things mythical* or follow our trail to discover who stole the fairy dust. Visit our fairy houses and collect items to make your own Leaf Person as part of our free craft of the day or take home a themed craft bag* (*cost and pre-booking applies) Fairy Hunt 10:30am, 11:45am, 1pm, £2.00 per child £1.00 per adult (pre-booking required)
Sports’ week at Bromwich Hall
Saturday 21 August 10am-1pm – Join in our trails, quiz & craft bags* (*cost and pre-booking applies)
West Bromwich Foodstival- Sunday 22 August 10am-6pm- Are you ready for a mouth-watering taste sensation? This is going to be a fantastic opportunity to sample some of the best foods around, followed by tempting treats and tongue tingling delicious drinks! A perfect day out for all the family, with live music, a kids zone and family entertainment! Please note, this day is organised by Pick n Mix Events.
Tuesday 24 August 10am-2pm - On your marks…get set…GO! Run, hop or jump along to Bromwich Hall for a sports day in the grounds. There will be activities to test your skills throughout the day and races at 10:30am, 11:45am & 1pm including a grown-ups only race at 11:45!
Wednesday 25 August, 10-10:45, 11-11:45, 12-12:45, 1:45-2:30, 2:45-3:30 Immerse yourself in the spirit of the Sports Week and take part in our unique and exciting Olympic Dance Workshop where all children will learn the traditional and spectacular dances from around the globe. £4.50 per child £1.00 per adult (pre-booking required)
Teds & tots at Bromwich Hall - with some activities aimed at the under 5s
Activities for the under 5s
Saturday 28 August 10am-1pm- Join in our trails, quiz & craft bags* (*cost and pre-booking applies)
Hartbeeps Baby Rave- Sunday 29 August 11am- Join us on the beach for a swimmingly good time for children under 5 years! We will be bringing you a baby rock cafe session with stations for you and your little ones to dress up, engage in play and have lots of fun together. We will then end our fantastic session with an awesome beach themed Rave!!! Tickets will be released after the next government announcement on 19th July! Visit Hartbeeps Sandwell on Facebook for information. Please note this event is organised by Hartbeeps Sandwell.
Tuesday 31 August 10am-2pm- Join Chelsea at Hartbeeps Sandwell for an adventure with the Ted's at tea time! With puppets, parachutes, dress up and lots of props we will take you and your Ted's for a very special tea party. With sessions suitable from birth all the way to 5 years we unlock your child's imagination and make believe through mini interactive productions and original soundtracks that adults and children will love! 10:30am- Newborn to sitting, 11:45am- Confident Sitters to first wobbly steps, 1:00am - Confident walkers to 5 years and their siblings £4.00 per child, £1.00 per adult (pre-booking required)
Shakespeare in Sandwell -Henry V - Saturday 28 August 5pm- A welcome return for the Festival Players this summer! 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 with The Festival Players. This event will take place in the grounds (weather permitting) so please feel free to bring your own seating and refreshments to enjoy during the performance. £14 adults, £12 concessions (pre-booking required). Find out more about the festival players
Oak House Museum
Venture down the rabbit hole at Oak House this summer with our beautiful outdoor exhibition of artwork from Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland. Go bug hunting in the long grass, bring along a picnic and have your own ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’. Children (and the young at heart) are encouraged to come along in Alice in Wonderland fancy dress.
Please note the playground will remain closed until further notice- but there is still lots to do and explore at Oak House.
Look out for additional special activities we will have going on throughout the Summer.
Craft activities and trails - Wednesdays
21 July, 28 July, 4 Aug, 11 Aug, 18 Aug, 25 Aug
Enjoy our craft activities and trail around the grounds.
Living History – Thursdays
22 July, 29 July, 5 Aug, 12 Aug, 19 Aug, 26 Aug
Every Thursday throughout the Summer you will be able to meet and chat to historical interpreters from Oak Houses past. Who will be busy in the grounds doing a variety of historical displays ranging from cooking to working with natural fibres.
1, 15 and 22 & 29 August crafts and trails – 10:30am-12;30pm
8 August Sunday: Hartbeeps Alice in Wonderland event for the under 5s. Booking through Hartbeeps Sandwell.
25 July Sunday: Birmingham, Sandwell and West Side Jazz Festival presents a performance by Shufflepack at 2pm. Free but booking pre-booking is essential.
31 July Saturday: bug hunts 2pm-5pm. Explore our wildlife grounds which are full of life and see what fantastic mini-beasts are lurking in the long grass. Join Sandnats committee members and assist with their Invertebrates Survey - free but pre-booking essential
27 August Friday: Insect Safari 11:20am & 2pm An outdoor performance celebrating bugs - featuring puppets, music and a whole lot of bugs! FREE ENTRY. (Pre-booking required)
Sandwell Stories - Check out the links below to find videos, blogs, information, pics and more as we share our stories.
Beyond the heritage - Meet Sandwell Museums in this vid
Sandwell Museums - meet the collection
Sandwell Museums collection in 10 key objects - Read our blog and see the mini vids that showcase 10 objects we think explain our collection
Sandwell Museums in 10 objects video - 10 more objects in this video with our collections officer.
The Diggers up - Discover the story of our mort safe.
My Favourite painting - a member of staff shares their favourite painting at Wednesbury Museum
The Nostalgia Rooms - Do you remember rooms like this?
Ruskin Pottery and Black Country People at work - While the family at Haden Hill House lived in luxury, many in the Black Country lived in terrace houses and working in factories. Discover one of the best firms to work for at the end of the Victorian period and the fantastic colourful items they made!
Bromwich Hall Stories
What was going on outside Bromwich Hall? - Bromwich Hall is a remarkable survival but what was happening outside the walls of the building in the past? Watch out mini vid.
Why isn't it a pub any more - Discover why Bromwich Hall is such an important building by reading this blog
Bringing in the pollinators -mini vid about our little orchard
Ladies of the Manor - Read about some of the women who are associated with Bromwich Hall
Why have you painted it pink? - Read and discover how medieval buildings were far from being black and white!
We all know people in the past didn't drink the water....or did they? Read about drinking water vs beer in the past.
Staff share some of their favourite things about Bromwich Hall
A member of staff shares something that inspires them - The chapel floor
The great hall - Forget the architecture for a moment, staff share a reason why this building is so amazing! mini vid
Meet the residents. Over 700 years meet 3 people who lived at Bromwich Hall in our short videos.
Oak House Stories
Oak House rear in the frost
Beautiful Oak House - Check our our Flikr page showcasing photos of this fabulous building.
Oak House and the community - Check out our Flikr page full of pics of our events and activities
Seaven cowes and heifers - Read about The Oak House farm in the 1600s
Meet the new dairy maid - In this video the old maid introduces how to make cheese and butter to Alice the new dairy maid.
The Oak House meadow - relax and enjoy this video showcasing our meadow at Oak house.
Discovering plants at Oak House - watch out relaxing video about some of the plants at Oak House.
Discovering plants at Oak House - relax and enjoy this lovely video about elder and how it was used in the past.
Rewilding at Oak House - See how we are trying to make our grounds perfect for nature and tell its stories
Ladybird - Discover this nursery rhyme and its meaning.
John Turton's chimney pots - Watch our video about how Master Turton made his house fit for a gentlemen.
Round the back of Oak House - in this video we explore the less well known brick façade.
Exploring the outside of Oak House - Watch our video and discover Oak House and how it developed.
Mistress Turton's lace - watch our video and discover how the Turtons used their clothes to show their wealth and status.
Master Turton's posh staircase - Watch our video and see how John Turton upgraded his house to make it fit for a gentleman
Master Turton's best bed - Explore the best bed in the parlour
The oldest clock - Staff showcase the oldest long case clock at Oak House in this little video.
The oldest chest - staff showcase the oldest piece of furniture at Oak House.
Why 17th century buildings weren't so black and white! - Have a look at the Oak House wall painting
The star wars chairs - A member of staff explains why 2 chairs of their favourite.
Shutt up! - Read about quarantine and preventing disease in the 1600s
Blood letting and burdock - Read how to prevent sunburn in the 17th century.
Where have the priest holes gone? Visitors often tell us they were shown priest holes at Oak House in the 1960s, Read about what has happened to the Oak House priest holes.
Penny for a pumpkin - How Halloween and bonfire night got mixed together, read our blog.
Did the idea for the dissolution of the monasteries start in Sandwell? 100 years before the Puritan Turtons moved into Oak House Thomas Cromwell visited Sandwell Priory. Read about what happened.
Try out these old games - You can scratch these boards into the ground or onto a piece of paper or in chalk on the ground. Watch the vids and have a go!
Haden Hill, Old Hall and Park
An Introduction to Haden Hill House - Watch our introduction video to Haden Hill House 10 minutes
An introduction to Haden Old Hall - Watch our mini-doc about Haden Old Hall 15 minutes long
When is a Tudor Hall not a Tudor Hall? Read our blog tracing the history of Haden Tudor Old Hall, which isn't Tudor, that old or a hall - it was probably built by the Hadens though!
Meet George Alfred Haden Haden Best - George Alfred tells you his story of how he came to build Haden Hill House and inherit the Haden/ Barrs estate.
Best's Angels - Meet Emmie and Alice - Check out the website for our project Best's Angels, read Emmie's diaries, see photos and find out about George Alfred's adopted daughters
Shoes and socks off, we're off for a paddle - Read our blog and enjoy our photographs of George Alfred Haden Haden Best at the seaside.
A treasure trove - Several years ago a box of glass plates of the family at Haden Hill house in the early 1900s came into our possession. We have only a few pics of the family.
Make shelf edging with the housekeeper - Watch our video and try you hand at making shelf edging at home.
The Inside out museum - Visit Haden Hill Park and take a walk around this historic landscape with our map. Discover information in the windows of our buildings as you can't look around at the moment which will tell you about the history of the houses and park. Enjoy 55 acres of green flag parkland too.
Visit the historic parkland and explore the historic features.
Staff showcase some of their favourite bits of Haden Hill House or things that have caught their eye.
Amazing hand drawn cards and envelopes to Mr Haden Best
Mrs Martin's guide to wartime rationing - Watch our video about wartime rationing. Haden Hill House and Old Hall were used for a variety of reasons during World War II including as a food store and for billeting evacuees before a home was found for them, the Homeguard drilled in the park and parts of the park were used to plant veg
Bishop Asbury Cottage - The tiny cottage with a big story
More vids and info to come by 18th September!
The prophet on the long road - Francis Asbury tells you his story in his own words
Probably the most famous person you've never heard of! Find out the fascinating story of Francis Asbury
Take a tour of Bishop Asbury Cottage - This 15 minute video gives you a tour of this tiny cottage
Check out our fascinating blogs with history stories, information, peeps behind the scenes etc.
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
Oak House family Fun
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!