If you’re looking for a spot of time travel and historical adventure, Welsh Museums Festival has it covered this October Half Term, from 26 October to 3 November. There will be torchlit adventures around museums at night, historical mysteries to solve, over two thousand years for intrepid time travellers to explore, art and craft workshops and Halloween mayhem! As if that wasn’t enough, there will be talks, lectures, opportunities to share and record memories and rare glimpses behind the scenes at museums across the land. From Cardiff to Anglesey, Carmarthenshire to Erddig, museums on your doorstep will be tingling with activities, many of which will be free. Joining in the fun really is the best way to have a historic half term!
Welsh Museums Festival is an annual event presented by the Federation of Welsh Museums, which is the strategic body for museum and art gallery professionals in Wales. It currently represents over 100 unique accredited Welsh museums, from the very small to our great national museums. Together, these invaluable collections tell the story of Wales, and are a treasured resource for learning, exploration and knowledge about our local and national identity, and how we have lived here in Wales since the dawn of time.
Speaking about the Festival, Welsh Museums Federation President, Victoria Rogers said, “The Welsh Museums Festival provides a focus for our wonderful museums in Wales to create events to empower and further connect with their local communities, and to excite a new generation about the history and stories of their place. In addition, we welcome visitors from across the globe to engage with our Nations’ story. Museums are places of learning, but they are also places of mystery, adventure and fun, and there’s plenty of that about during the Festival!”
Visits to museums in Wales contribute £78.3 million to our economy each year. In addition, they contribute positively to employment and career development and statistics show that visiting museums significantly increases our sense of wellbeing too.
Over the October half term across Wales, our museums will be bursting with activity from Dippy the Dinosaur’s visit to the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff and Dragon Day at Rhayadr Museum to torchlight adventures in museums at night, a chance to try your hand at mummification at The Egypt Centre in Swansea, time travel back to WWII at RWF Museum Caernarfon, a celebration of all things Japanese at Pontypool Museum, a chance to re-create a legend at Oriel Môn, an exploration of the moon and some sneaky science at the Waterfront Museum, Swansea and the chance to have a peak at Bangor University’s Bramwell Natural History collection. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also lantern making and a parade to commemorate the fire at Cambrian Mills, 100 years ago, an exploration of the museum’s anatomy at Cynon Valley Museum, virtual reality at Big Pit, Medieval Fun, a museum hunt for Wally at the Museum of Cardiff, Art for Babas at Glynn Vivian Gallery and a whole host of craft and Halloween making and mayhem for the whole family in museums and galleries across Wales.
And it’s not just for children and families. There will be talks, art classes, a chance to explore Erddig’s textile collection, a gathering of memories from Newtown’s manufacturing industry, lectures and behind the scenes visits to get up close with treasured artefacts and collections. And the great news is that many of the Festival’s events are absolutely FREE!