Published Thursday, 24th August 2023
By James Cowen
From 1950s bands and map making to UFOs and playtime, visitors can make a whole summer of unforgettable memories at Beamish Museum.
Until 30th August, visitors can take part in a whole host of hands-on activities during the Summer of Fun event.
The event and activities are included in museum admission and are free to Beamish Unlimited Pass holders and Friends of Beamish members – pay once and visit for free for a whole year!
Try your hand at proggy mat making every Wednesday, bread making on Thursdays and pan polishing on Fridays.
There'll be teddy bears' picnics on Tuesdays and Thursdays – don't forget to bring your teddies along for a treat! Each weekend, enjoy playtime in the back lane of Francis Street with skipping and quoits.
In The 1900s Pit Village, visitors can help the miners' wives with their chores, did you know that every day had a different job? Monday was wash day so grab a poss stick and learn how clothes were washed, help with the ironing each Tuesday.
Try your hand at proggy mat making every Wednesday, bread making on Thursdays and pan polishing on Fridays. There'll be teddy bears picnics – don't forget to bring your teddies along for a treat! Each weekend, enjoy playtime in the back lane of Francis Street with skipping, quoits.
In The 1900s Town, visit the emigration office to help create a map, learn about the countries people moved to in the early 1900s and discover what they left behind when setting off on their new adventures.
Take part in Suffragette rallies each Wednesday and help the townsfolk campaign for women to get the vote.
Enjoy all the fun of the Edwardian Fairground (small additional cost applies) as you take a spin on the gallopers, speed down the helter skelter and try your hand at the sideshows. Build sandcastles on Beamish Beach and children can enjoy donkey rides each weekend.
Visit The 1940s Farm to discover what life was like on the Home Front during the Second World War and learn about wartime code-cracking each weekend in Orchard Cottage.
There's plenty to do in the 1950s welfare hall throughout the Summer of Fun event. Explore the unexplained each Monday with the 1950s Beamish UFO club, get your thinking caps on and put your knowledge to the test with a 1950s-style quiz each Tuesday and Friday and learn about the birth of the NHS each Wednesday – visitors are invited to bring their teddy bears in to be weighed at the baby clinic!
Explore 1950s peace protests and marches on Thursdays and, each weekend of the Summer of Fun event, there will be a range of activities to enjoy, from bands and choirs to youth clubs.
Have you visited the museum's new 1950s exhibits yet? Beamish has opened replicas of semi-detached council houses from Red House in Sunderland, police houses and office from Leam Lane in Gateshead, and a bowling green and pavilion from Billingham in its 1950s Town.
Enjoy 1950s picnic fun every weekend at Spain's Field Farm, with costume try-on, hobby horses and other toys and games from the era! (Spain's Field Farm is currently open on weekends and bank holidays only to allow for the continuing construction of the museum's 1950s Town.)
In addition to the full programme of events, visitors can pick up a free copy of a sensory trail from the Entrance and enjoy a different way to experience the museum.
Celyn Gurden-Williams, Assistant Director – Engagement at Beamish Museum, said: "We're inviting families to enjoy unforgettable days out at Beamish this summer. We've got a whole host of hands-on activities for visitors of all ages to take part in across the event. The Summer of Fun event is included in admission and is free to Beamish Unlimited Pass holders and Friends of Beamish members, making the event fantastic value for money!"
The fun doesn't stop there, the museum has a whole programme of events taking place throughout the summer. Admire traditional tractors at the Beamish Tractor Show (22nd and 23rd July), pack up your homegrown vegetables, fabulous floral arrangements and canny crafts and take them along to the Beamish Allotment, Garden & Craft Show (26th to 28th August). Pick up an ID card and make your way to The 1940s Farm for Dig For Victory (31st August to 3rd September).
As well as the programme of events, visitors can explore the 350-acre museum, including meeting the Georgians at Pockerley Old Hall and enjoying a steam train ride through the stunning 1820s Landscape at Pockerley Waggonway (Wednesday to Sunday).
Visit the mining families in The 1900s Pit Village and practise your handwriting in the school – don't forget to say hello to the pit ponies! In The 1900s Town, explore the dentist and music teacher's houses, enjoy a taste of the past at Herron's Bakery and pick up a bag of your favourite sweets from Jubilee Confectioners.
Meet the Land Girls and Home Guard at The 1940s Farm and visit The 1950s Town for delicious treats from Middleton's Quality Fish and Chips or John's Café and fully embrace the era with a 1950s hair-do (small extra charge applies).
Daytime events are included in museum admission and are free to Beamish Unlimited Pass holders and Friends of Beamish members – pay once and visit for free for a whole year!