Things to do during the summer holidays

We're holding a host of activities at the National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port this summer, and with your annual pass you can enjoy most of them for free.

National Waterways Museum across the basin National Waterways Museum across the basin

Summer holiday family activities

Here's a list of the things not to miss at the museum this summer.

Craft makers

1 August, 8 August, 15 August, 22 August, 29 August from 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Get crafty on Wednesday afternoons. Each Wednesday we'll have a different canal themed craft activity that's suitable for ages 5-11, but we're open to everyone and there's no need to book. Click on the dates above for details.

Story makers

30 July, 6, 13, 20 August.

1.30pm – 2.30pm: Age 5–7, 3.00pm to 4.00pm: Age 8–11

This summer we're inviting children to get creative in our four-week story makers club. Together, we'll write stories inspired by the rich history of Ellesmere Port docks and the interesting objects on display in our museum. On the final story makers session everyone will read out their story and graduate from story makers club with a certificate. To book please call 0151 355 5017.

Family Tours

31 July, 7, 14, 21, 28 August

Meet at Porters Row at 12 noon.

The tour will take you round number 10 Porters Row, a couple of boats, the stables and finish with a lock demonstration.

Let's Fish! on a Friday

Girl fishing by the canal

27 July, 3 August, 10 August, 17 August, 24 August, 31 August

Want to learn to fish? We’ll get you up and netting in no time!

If you’ve never fished before or fancy getting back into it, book your place with one of our level two coaches and ‘Let’s Fish’ by clicking the date above. Places are limited.

 Horses at work

Horses at Work at the National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port

Sunday 12 August

For over 300 years canal boats were pulled by horse and for much longer the country depended on them for work and warfare. Come and celebrate why horses are so important in the history of the waterways. For more information visit the event page.

Boat trips

'Centaur' at National Waterways Museum

Daily at 1.00pm and 2.00pm £3 adults and £2 children.

No trip to our marvellous museum would be complete without climbing aboard a narrowboat to explore just some of the Shropshire Union Canal on one of our boat trips.

 Realising the past

Windows on the world at National Waterways Museum

A free downloadable app uses 21st century technology to bring Ellesmere Port’s 19th century history to life. Through this augmented reality the people that lived and worked in the port return to tell their stories.

Download the app before your visit. Search National Waterways Museum in either the App Store or Play Store.

Illustrations and photographs

Explore two exhibitions: there’s From Grave to Cradle where you can see how we successfully lifted 11 boats out of the water in October 2017 - the largest ever movement of historic vessels in the UK and also Canal Art...not what you might expect which looks at the many media and styles across the waterways.

Non-stop kids’ trail and activities

Younger visitors can explore the museum on a trail or enjoy activities in the play area.

Where history comes alive 

Photo of Porters Row Cottages, Ellesmere Port

All the museum usual offers will be open for visitors throughout the including costumed interpreters bringing the Porters Row cottages to life on 12 and 26 August and steam days on 12, 26 and 27 August. 

Historic Transport Festival

26 August

Come and see the wide range of classic vehicles including bikes, buses and cars as well as our traditional boats. For more information please visit the event page.

Last date edited: 2 August 2018