Museum trails, free drop-in art fun and a special medical lotions and potions session are just some of the many activities designed to keep families entertained in Swindon council’s museums during October half-term.

At STEAM, visitors can take part in spooky Strange Tales of the GWR trail around the museum in the run-up to Halloween and families can be a part of the world’s biggest drawing session on Tuesday, October 26 when The Big Draw Festival comes to the museum.

The dream venue for railway lovers will bring back its popular Hands on the Past sessions, where visitors can find out what it would have been like to toil at Swindon Works and take a step back in time at the Railway Village. 

Interactive sessions take place on Wednesday or Thursday, October 27 or 28 and cost £2 per person, in addition to the normal admission price.

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

At Swindon’s architectural jewel in the crown, the Grade-I listed Lydiard House, visitors can see the new exhibition Look Up! The Hidden Features of Lydiard House. A trail accompanies the exhibition to help families find surprising details hidden up high around the stately home.

The Big Draw Festival will also be at Lydiard next weekend, on Saturday, October 23. Free drop-in art sessions take place between 1pm and 4pm, continuing the theme of Make the Change.

For those who love to have a pencil in their hand, artist Jo Beal will lead a free drawing workshop on the same day between 11am-12.30pm. Connect with nature through listening, looking, walking and drawing in this fun and friendly drawing workshop. Email to book your place at the event, suitable for those 14 and older.

Following in the footsteps of Lady Johanna St John who lived in Lydiard House in the 17th century, children will get the chance on October 29 to create their own medicinal 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 a space, email with your preferred session time – 10.30am, 11.30am, 2pm or 3pm.

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