Looking for a truly historic half-term? Welsh Museums Festival has it covered
Dragon lore, Pirate Codes, Time Travel and Treasures, and Crafts are on offer as museums across Wales are busy brewing a potent potion of inspiration for a bumper historic half term, as the Welsh Museums Festival ensures plenty of activity to delight locals and visitors of all ages. And with the cost of living soaring, this year’s festival will have more FREE festival activities than ever before.
Speaking about the festival, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden said: “Wales’ excellent museums support our sense of nationhood and wellbeing. They are also key to our tourism economy. At a time when families and individuals across the UK are struggling with increased living costs, we feel passionate that Wales’s story and our treasures remain accessible to all. Welsh Government is therefore proud to support Welsh Museums Festival to offer a packed fortnight of events for all ages, welcoming visitors and supporting our communities, with an engaging array of events and activities in museums across Wales. And importantly, enabling more of these events than ever before, to be offered free of charge.”
Welsh Museums Festival is made possible by funding from Welsh Government. It is an annual event presented by the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales, which is the advocacy body for museums and galleries and those working in this sector within Wales. It currently represents over 100 unique Accredited Welsh museums, from small independents to 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.
Launching the programme for this year’s Festival, Nêst Thomas, President of the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales said: “I’m grateful to our fantastic museums for taking up the gauntlet of participating in a longer festival this year, so that we can support local tourism economies and our communities to have a historic half term. It feels particularly important at this time of increased financial hardship, to do as much as we can to support our visitors’ wellbeing, and so we’re delighted that more Festival activities than ever will be free of charge. Come along to discover our treasures, to enjoy historic hullabaloo, to solve riddles, to learn, to make and craft, to discover a wealth of stories, to time travel and enjoy.”
In Monmouthshire, MonLife Heritage is offering a number of free activities in partnership with the festival.
A key theme of this year’s festival is ‘treasure’. Festival events will explore treasures held in museum collections and asking questions such as ‘what do you treasure?’ and ‘why?’. To that end, the festival will be engaging visiting teenagers in a Photography Competition which encourages them to creatively explore some of their ideas about treasure, while children will enjoy hunting for Black Bart’s treasure chest by solving a series of riddles and cracking a secret code.
Oh, and did we mention dragons? Look out because ‘Here Be Dragons’! A clutch of baby dragons has hatched and run a mock in a number of our museums and sharp, young eyes are needed to help track them down. All through Welsh Museums Festival, afflicted museums will be engaging visitors help round them up and return them to the wild so that they can grow big and mighty like the dragon on the Welsh flag.
We are also running specific events. Whilst the leaves are turning and our wonderful wildlife is getting ready for the colder days ahead, drop in and join us for free half term fun with our autumn animal clay play days from 11am-3pm on the following dates:
Monday 31st October at Shire Hall Museum, Monmouth
Tuesday 1st November at Abergavenny Museum and Castle.
Thursday 3rd November at Chepstow Drill Hall.
Children must be accompanied by an adult. No booking required.
Cllr. Sara Burch of Monmouthshire County Council said: “There are plenty of playful family activities at Abergavenny and Chepstow Museums this week. There are opportunities for children to dress up in costumes, play a game of ‘throw the fish in the basket’, chalk the longest line you can, or grab a ‘horse’ and canter down the corridor. From mud kitchens and chalkboards to dressing up and toys and games, there is something to make a visit full of fun.”
The time travel ends on 6th November full programme details will be available on https://www.monlife.co.uk/autumn-animal-clay-play-plus-much-more/ on the festival’s website www.museums.wales