Get involved - activities and what's on at Sandwell Museums
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Festive Fun and Winter Wonder at Sandwell Museums
Festive Fun online
This festive season will be very different from our usual programme of Christmas events and activities. However we are working hard to bring you some safe festive cheer at our sites and on our social media platforms.
Join us each day on Facebook at Sandwell Museums each day from 1st to 25th December for our advent calendar as we count down the days with a post at noon each day with something different each day. There will be adult and kid's crafts to try at home, a peep at our decorations, information about Christmas traditions and Christmas past and loads more.
Start the festive cheer on 22nd November for 'stir it up Sunday' as the cook at Haden Hill House takes you through this Victorian tradition - there will be a video post on our facebook page.
We're opening on a limited basis! - Pre-booking is essential
We are opening our grounds and sites for a number of open days over the coming months, which we will advertise here a few weeks in advance. Join us for our December open days so that you can soak in the festive atmosphere of our grounds and some or parts of our buildings with something a little extra for families to enjoy.
Please read the information below regarding your visit and watch our video before you book, information about open days is below and then follow the link to book your tickets online
We also have loads of online fun and videos of information, behind the scenes and history on our social media sites - visit www.facebook.com/sandwellmuseums for posts and click the events page for details or visit www.discoversandwell.co.uk/whatson for event details
Before booking please read the information regarding your visit below and then follow this link to book your ticket online.
Information regarding visiting at this time
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.
1. Entrance is by pre-booked timed ticket only. If you do not have a specific time on your ticket you have not booked an entrance ticket!
2. Each ticket admits up to 6 people and everyone in the group MUST BE from the same household. You should not mix with other groups on site apart from as permitted in current government guidelines.
3. Your ticket is issued for a specific time- We will not be able to admit your group at any other time or if you are late
4. If you require a children’s activity pack for your visit if one is advertised as available you will need to order this online before your visit. Please check for the day of your visit
5. Please only book for one event as spaces are limited - one booking per site per group please.
Entrance for our open days.
1. Please be aware that things are different from our usual opening procedures and activities
2. Please wait to be asked to enter the site by a member of staff, you may have to wait a very short time in a socially distanced queue.
3. If you are 11 years old or over you must wear a face covering unless medically exempt inside our building and when approaching outside reception areas
4. I’m sorry but as always we are unable to accommodate pushchairs inside our buildings, please leave them outside
5. Please sanitise your hands on entrance using the hands-free sanitisers available
6. Please remain at least 2 metres away from staff and other groups visiting the museum,
7. There is a one-way system in place within our buildings, please adhere to this route 8. We ask that your group remains together throughout your visit and although we would normally encourage you to touch objects at this time we ask you NOT to touch anything
9. Refreshments and our shops are not currently available but a toilet is available if you require it.
10. You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds but we ask you not to eat inside our buildings and to take your rubbish home
11. Sandwell Museums and Arts will keep your details for 21 days for track and trace purposes
13. Most of all we hope you have an enjoyable visit.
1. Our sites are cleaned regularly
2. Our staff will adhere to social distancing rules and wear face coverings as per government regulations.
3. All activity packs we produce will be put together at least 72 hours before your visit and will not be directly handled by staff on the day we are giving them out.
Please note that changes may be made at any time due to changes in government guidelines.
We will continue to offer our events and activities online on our social media sites.
You can book tickets to visit our sites this winter by visiting our online ticket sales site by clicking this link. Although you need to pre-book, visiting is still FREE although there is a small charge for activity packs. during half term
Festive Open Days - Free entry but booking a ticket with a timeslot is essential. Tickets on sale late November or early December.
Family Festive Open Day - Saturday 5 December, Sunday 6 December, Saturday 12 December, Sunday 13 December with time slots between 12pm and 3pm. Visit our festive grounds and enjoy walking around the ground floor of Oak House decorated for the festive season, with a hands free outdoor Christmas trail for younger visitors to enjoy. You can also book a festive goody bag with crafts, gifts and activities to take home. This must be booked separately through ticketsource when you purchase your entrance tickets.
Festive Wednesdays - Wednesday 9 December, Wednesday 16 December - times between 10am and 1pm - Take a stroll in the Oak House grounds and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Visit the ground floor of the Oak House and find out about the Turton family who lived at Oak House in the 1600s, see the house beautifully decorated and discover Christmas long ago.
Twilight Festive Open Evening - Thursday 17 December 4pm-7pm - Twilight Open Evening - Take a stroll in the Oak House grounds and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Visit the ground floor of the Oak House and see it lit for a cosy 1600s Christmas and find out about Christmas long ago and the Turton family who lived at Oak House in the 1600s.
Haden Hill House
Santa's magical post box - Santa Claus has arranged for his magic post box to be outside the front door of Haden Hill House Museum on Sunday 29th November from 11am- 3pm.
Why don’t you write him a letter or draw a picture & bring it along & drop it in the post box, and with a bit of Christmas magic, it will go straight to Santa
Festive inside out museum - Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 December - enjoy our seasonal decorations on our windows and near the house and enjoy some trails and quizzes on our windows. The house isn't open on these days
Festive Twilight Open Evening –Thursday 10 and Thursday 17- times between 3pm and 7pm. Visit Haden Hill House and see it decorated for the festive season, and lit for a cosy Christmas evening, learn about life in this Victorian gentleman’s house as you walk around. Please note that light levels in the house and the park will be low once it gets dark.
Festive Friday - Friday 11 and Friday 18 December - times between 10am and 2pm - Visit Haden Hill House and see it decorated for the festive season, learn about life in this Victorian gentleman’s house as you walk around.
Family Festive Open day - Sunday 13 December - times between 11am and 3pm. Visit Haden Hill House and see it decorated for the festive season, and learn about life in this Victorian gentleman’s house as you walk around. Enjoy the decorations in the park near the house and have a go at our outdoor handsfree trails and quizzes in the park and on our windows.
Bromwich Hall - The Manor House
Festive Family Open Days - 5, 13, 19 with times between 11am and 4pm. Visit the grounds of this beautiful medieval building and see them decorated for the festive season with a hands free trail for younger visitors to enjoy. Why not purchase a special festive goody bag; one for each child in your group (age 3 and over), and your group will have the opportunity to walk through our great hall decorated for Christmas, where a special visitor from the North Pole will be ready to say a little hello as you go past. Entrance to the grounds is free but a ticket must be purchased. To visit the great hall you must purchase a separate goody bag for each child in your party
Open Days - Monday 14 and Tuesday 15, timeslots between 10am 1pm - Visit Bromwich Hall and enjoy the grounds, visit the great hall dressed for the festive season, discover Christmas in the tenements in the early 20th century and take a peep at our medieval kitchen getting ready for the festive celebrations. For young visitors there will be something festive to spot in the grounds.
Twilight Open Evening. date to be confirmed - Visit Bromwich Hall and enjoy the grounds lit with twinkly lights for the festive season, see the great hall dressed for a medieval Christmas and discover Christmas in the tenements of the early 20th century. Take a peep at our medieval kitchen preparing for the festive season and there will be something to spot for young visitors in the grounds.
Please read our blogs (click the link below) and follow us on facebook, twitter and Instagram for further information, and interactive activities
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!