October half-term activities at STEAM and Lydiard House Museum

Museum trails, free drop-in art sessions and a special Medical Lotions and Potions session are just some of the many activities designed to keep families entertained in Swindon Borough Council-owned venues during October half-term.

Swindon’s STEAM Museum and Lydiard House Museum are both putting on activities which visitors of all ages can take part in. Meanwhile, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s Art on Tour will also be delivering activities at both venues as well as at Swindon’s Central Library in Regent Circus.

STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway

At STEAM, visitors can take part in the ‘Strange Tales of the GWR’ trail around the museum and combine this with other fun-packed events scheduled over the rest of the week.

Families can be a part of the world’s biggest community of drawing enthusiasts on Tuesday, 26 October when ‘The Big Draw Festival’ comes to STEAM. Free drop-in art sessions will be delivered by Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s Art on Tour project using the theme of ‘Make the Change’. Information about The Big Draw can be found at www.swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk/artontour.

STEAM’s popular ‘Hands on the Past’ sessions are also back for October half-term where visitors can find out what it would have been like to toil at Swindon Works or discover what life was really like living in Swindon Railway Village. Interactive sessions take place on Wednesday, 27 October or Thursday, 28 October and cost £2 per person, in addition to the normal STEAM admission.

Visitors can also look out for the museum’s spooky tours, taking place on various days throughout the week. Tickets are now available to book online all the way up to Thursday 4 November.

Lydiard House Museum

Over at Lydiard House Museum in the beautifully ornate State Rooms of Lydiard House, visitors can see the new exhibition ‘Look Up! The hidden architectural features of Lydiard House’. A trail accompanies the exhibition to help families find surprising details hidden up high around the stately home.

The world’s biggest community drawing project will be stopping off at Lydiard next Saturday (23 Oct) when ‘The Big Draw Festival’ comes to Lydiard House. Free drop-in art sessions will be delivered by Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s Art on Tour project between 1pm and 4pm, continuing the theme of ‘Make the Change’.

A free drawing workshop with artist Jo Beal will also be taking place at Lydiard House Museum next Saturday (23 Oct) between 11am – 12.30pm. Connect with nature through listening, looking, walking and drawing in this fun and friendly drawing workshop. Please email ArtOnTour@swindon.gov.uk to book your place. Suitable for ages 14+.

In the 17th Century, Lady Johanna St. John of Lydiard House made poultices and potions from herbs and plants known for their healing properties. On Friday, 29 October, a brand-new Medical Lotions and Potions family activity will be taking place at Lydiard House Museum. During the session children will get the chance to dress up in a lab coat and create their own potion to take home. Visitors will also have the opportunity to handle medical artefacts from the past, including a plague mask.

Sessions last 30 minutes and cost £2 per person, in addition to House admission. To reserve your space, please email LPark2@swindon.gov.uk with your preferred session time: 10:30am, 11:30am, 2pm or 3pm.

Lydiard House Museum is open on Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays, from 11am to 4pm (last admission 3.30pm).

Tickets can be purchased from the House on the day. Combined admission for Lydiard House and Walled Garden costs £7.25 for an adult and £4 for a child (under threes go free). Tickets for the House only and family tickets are also available. To find out more, please visit: www.lydiardpark.org.uk

Councillor Robert Jandy, Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage, Leisure and Town Centre Experience said: “With such a great variety of family activities taking place at STEAM and Lydiard House Museum, the autumn break is a great time to visit. Children can follow museum trails, get creative with ‘The Big Draw’ and even make their own spooky potions. I would urge all families to check out what’s on offer this October half-term.”

As well as the creative activities taking place at STEAM and Lydiard House Museum, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s Art on Tour project will be delivering events at Swindon’s Central Library over the October half-term.

These will take place alongside an exhibition of artworks from the Swindon Collection. The Broad Horizon showcases a selection of paintings and works on paper responding to human relationships with nature. It is free to view during the Central Library’s opening hours until 6 November. To find out more, visit: www.swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk/artontour

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