Family fun things to do at the museum over the Summer holidays

We offer a host activities at the museum, and with your annual pass you can enjoy most of them for free.

National Waterways Museum Gloucester Model Boats in the new galleries within the National Waterways Museum Gloucester

Over the summer holiday there's lots of things to do during your visit to the museum. Together with the family exhibits you can get a taste of life on the water with our 45-minute boat trip on Queen Boadicea II down the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

Here's a list of our special activities, experience days, craft activities and exhibitions.

Young Engineer Days

Gloucester docks crane

We have got a brilliant and free opportunity for children who want to see how engines work.

Children will spend the day with the historic Fielding Engine in the Gloucester Docks with the Canal & River Trust - Explorers team. Parents can drop children off at the Museum at 11am and then pick up at 2.30pm (or come at 2pm if you want to learn about the Fielding engine from your children).

Young engineer days are on selected Tuesdays during the summer holidays. For ages 8 and up: 30th July and 6th August and for ages 11 and up: 20th and 27th August. Please email if you would like to book your FREE place. The day is limited to 4 children so book early to avoid disappointment. 

Crafty Thursdays

Come and have a go at some traditional boaters' crafts at the National Waterways Museum Gloucester in the summer holidays, every Thursday from 1st August. Drop in when you like from 11am-3pm. Any age can have a go but some younger ones might need some parental help.


Craft activity

1 August

Have a go at Roses and Castles Painting - the colourful canal folk art that was used to decorate working narrowboats in the 19th century.

8 August Use knots to make rope bracelets or key chains to take away with you.
15 August Experiment with crochet, a popular boaters craft used to make scarves and blankets. We can show you how!
22 August Make model narrow boats and origami boats and take one home with you.
29 August Learn all about the spider web stitch, made popular on the waterways and used on belts and other accessories. Take yours away on a badge.

 Seasonal trails and popular family wildlife trail

Wildlife is an ever present feature of the canals, whether it’s the birds and butterflies we see today or the mice and rats that called the grain warehouses home. Follow our family trail around the museum and meet some of the animals you might see out on the canal.

Come and have a go at stamp collage art!

Our brilliant exhibition from Rachel Markwick, a Stamp Collage Artist continues throughout the summer holidays on Level 2 of the museum. We have been inspired by Rachel to make a giant stamp collage of our own but it's pretty big so we would love visitors to come and get creative and stick on a stamp. Rachel has created images using the Gloucester Docks and Tall Ships as her inspiration. We are hoping to create an image of our trip boat Queen Boadicea II, a Dunkirk Little Ship.  Why not stick on a stamp on our giant board on the ground floor and then go on a boat trip!

Eric Gaskell Exhibition

Colourful Leaking Locks by Eric Gaskell

It is a privilege to host Eric Gaskell at the National Waterways Museum Gloucester for a solo summer exhibition on board the Museum’s floating exhibition space Sabrina 5. Eric’s linocuts feature English and Welsh canals and waterways and are based on his drawings, usually taken from life. Born in Wigan in 1957, Eric studied painting and printmaking. He exhibits widely and teaches drawing, painting and printmaking.

We hope to run a printing art activity for families on Wednesdays throughout the summer holidays. Keep an eye on social media for more details.


Your entry allows you to return as many times as you like throughout the year.

Adult (age 16 +)


Child (6-15)


Child (5 and under)









Last date edited: 19 July 2019