Bolton Library and Museum Services

Summer holiday activities

School holiday activities at Bolton Library and Museum Services’ venues

All the listed events are free, drop in sessions suitable for children aged 4 to 11. For more information call 01204 332853 or email

Saturday 20 July to Saturday 31 August

Bolton Central Library and Museum

School’s out!

Come along for lots of family friendly fun at Bolton Museum during the summer holidays.

The Great Pirate Adventure 

Monday 22 July to Saturday 17 August

Join us for The Great Pirate Adventure! Come to our pirate training school and learn how to look, talk and act like a pirate. Sing a pirate song, make a pirate craft and dig for treasure. But watch out – you don’t want to end up walking the plank!

The pirate training school will be in session at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm from Monday to Saturday. Booking is via Eventbrite and you can ring 01204 332853 for assistance.

July sessions:

August sessions:

There’s a Relaxed session on Sunday August 4, 1.30pm to 2.30pm.

Developed in partnership with the Octagon Theatre who will be presenting a new adaptation of 'Treasure Island' over the festive period:


There’ll be free activities from Monday to Saturday!

Each day from 10.30am to 11.30am get hands on with our object handling table in the museum.

From 1pm to 3pm come and take part in our awesome afternoon activities in the galleries:

On Mondays you can meet a character from Bolton’s History gallery! They will bring to life some of the exciting happenings in town’s important industrial past – including Annie Barlow who helped to build up the museum’s Egypt collection and spinning mule inventor Samuel Crompton.

Tuesdays and Saturdays come along for a crafternoon where you can make a wonderful creation.

Join us on Wednesdays for a Scavenger hunt. Seek out the clues to get the chance to take part in a prize draw.

Join our Young Volunteers group, The Imaginators, on Thursdays to celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge with space themed activities.

Fridays are ‘Family Tour Fridays’ with lots of different and fun tours happening around the building. Tours are on the hour at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm, no need to book just come along.

Bolton’s Food and Drink Festival

Bolton’s famous Food and Drink Festival will take place from Friday 23 August to Monday 26 August.

Bolton Central Library and Museum’s team will be at the Crompton Place where we will be organising a wave of pirate themed events and activities, from 10am to 4pm each day.

Watch out for more details of our summer holiday events, which will take place from Saturday 20 July to Saturday 31 August, on our website

Historic Halls events

Bug Hunts

Tuesday 23 July, Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum, 11am to 12pm and 1pm to 2pm

Wednesday 14 August, Smithills Hall, 11am to 12pm and 1pm to 2pm

Join us for a brilliant bug hunting session. Grab your nets and containers so that you can examine what you have found.

Our bug expert will help you identify them and then you can let them go. Suitable for children aged 4 to 11.

Sessions from 11am to 12pm and 1pm to 2pm, £2 per child. Please book children’s places on Eventbrite (children must still be accompanied by an adult):

Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum:

Smithills Hall:

or call 01204 332853.

Fantastic Fridays

Smithills Hall, Friday 26 July to Friday 30 August 

Smithills Hall and The Woodland Trust have got lots of exciting activities to entertain you, every Friday from 12.30pm to 2pm:

26 July - Summer Scavenger Hunt - be a summer Nature Detective.

2 August - Leaf-rubbing - create an amazing work of art from leaves. 

9 August - Wooden wind chimes - make a magical musical instrument. 

16 August - Bird Feeders - make a brilliant bird feeder for home. 

23 August - Bug hotels - create a marvellous home for minibeasts.

30 August - Tree trail - get on the trail of Smithills’ terrific trees.

Please book on Eventbrite, cost £2 per child:

Summer crafts at Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum                                  

Tuesday 13 and 20 August, 1pm to 2.30pm

Join us at Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum for our super summer craft sessions.

Please book in advance on Eventbrite and search for ‘Summer crafts at Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum,’ £2 per child.

Community Libraries 

Blackrod Library

Thursday 25 July 11.30am-12.30pm

Use your imagination and create your own space scene and who knows where aliens may appear!

Monday 19 August 2.30pm-3.30pm 

Make your own space rocket.

Names will go into a hat for a prize for both events.

Breightmet Library

every Tuesday and Thursday, 11am to 12.30pm

Fun for all the family at Breightmet Library this summer!

We’ll be doing something awesome every week including making coloured button and bead keychains, aeroplanes, wind chimes, play clay, rockets, stained glass decorations…and even your own solar system!

Bromley Cross Library

every Thursday, 1pm to 2pm

Come along to Bromley Cross Library every Thursday during the summer holidays at 1pm for one of our themed events. 

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge theme is Space, so all our events will be space themed. Fancy dress is optional but aliens and spacemen will be most welcome!  There will crafts, games, trails and quizzes as well as our colouring competition. Suitable for boys and girls, ages 4 to 10 years. 

  • Thursday 25 July – Aliens Love Underpants
  • Thursday 1 August – Astro Naughty Naughty Baddies
  • Thursday 8 August – Star Wars
  • Thursday 15 August – Knock Knock Alien
  • Thursday 22 August – Penguinaut & Rockets
  • Thursday 29 August – The Big Bang!

Farnworth Library

Join us at Farnworth Library for our super summer craft activity sessions from 2pm to 3pm on:

  • Saturday 20 July
  • Tuesday 23 July
  • Tuesday 30 July
  • Tuesday 6 August
  • Tuesday 13 August
  • Saturday 17 August
  • Tuesday 20 August
  • Tuesday 27 August

Harwood Library

Tuesday and Friday, 2pm to 4pm

Join us every from 2pm to 4pm every Tuesday and Friday for pop up stories, our weekly craft and rocket selfie station. Plus follow our Space Chase Trail.

Horwich Library

Summer Reading Challenge crafts

Keep up with your reading skills and join the Summer Reading Challenge, borrow some books and join us for some crafty fun:

Rocket crafts - Wednesday 31 July, 2pm to 3.30pm

Design a cosmic rainbow - Thursday 15 August, 10am to 12pm

Make your own model clay alien - Saturday 31 August, 10am to 12pm

High Street Library

Space shuttle craft, Saturday 20 July, 2.15pm to 3.15pm

Whizz along with the Summer Reading Challenge and get crafty at the same time and create your own space shuttle.

Live quiz, Sunday 21 July, Sunday 4, 18 August and 1 September, 2pm to 3pm

Test your knowledge with our live quiz. There’ll be questions to suit all ages from space to books and films to pop music. Small prizes will be available.

Alien craft, Monday 22 July, 2pm to 3pm

Use your imagination to create an amazing alien from modelling clay. Small prizes available.

Planet collage, Tuesday 23 July, drop in from 12.30pm to 5.30pm

Make a planet collage from craft materials.

Space Theatre, Thursday 25 July, Thursday 8 and 22 August, 1.30pm to 2.30pm

With others in your group choose your puppets, props, sound effects and then write your script. Perform a short play in a mini puppet theatre. Performances can be recorded so that you watch yourself in action.

Family Cinema 

Lilo and Stitch, Saturday 27 July

How to Train Your Dragon – The Hidden World, Saturday 3 August

The LEGO Movie 2, Saturday 24 August

Ralph Breaks the Internet, Saturday 31 August

Come and watch these fantastic family films during the summer holidays. Please collect your ticket in advance from High Street Library and the film screening starts at 2.15pm.

Library Bingo, Sunday 28 July, Sunday 11, 25 August, 2pm to 3pm

All the family can join in our fun bingo session with a bookish twist! Small prizes available.

Spiral Space mobile, Monday 29 July, 2pm to 3pm

Make your own spiral mobile to hang from the ceiling.

Straw Rocket, Tuesday 30 July, drop in 12.30pm to 5.30pm

Come along and make your own space rocket!

Party Games, Thursday 1, 15, 29 August, 1.30pm to 2.30pm

Join us for an afternoon of party games including musical statues, space bubbles, charades and more. Free tickets are available in advance from High Street Library.

Astronaut craft, Monday 5 August, 2pm to 3pm

Create an astronaut and see if you can make him float through space!

UFO craft, Tuesday 6 August, 12.30pm to 5.30pm

Using CDs and paper make yourself a UFO complete with alien.

Groot mini plant pot, Saturday 10 August, 2.15pm to 3.15pm

From modelling clay make yourself a Groot shaped cress seed plant pot.

Planetarium craft, Monday 12 August, 2pm to 3pm

Make your own planetarium and learn lots of astronomical facts along the way.

Robot craft, Tuesday 13 August, 12.30pm to 5.30pm

Make a 3D paper robot with a themed backdrop.

Galaxy painting, Saturday 17 August, 2.15pm to 3.15pm

Paint your own galaxy and paste your favourite guardian of the galaxy!

Moon and Rocket clay craft, Monday 19 August, 2pm to 3pm

Make a rocket landing on the moon and then plant your flag.

Alien mask craft, Tuesday 20 August, 12.30pm to 5pm

Make yourself an alien mask – colour and decorate as you wish!

Moon and Star craft, Tuesday 27 August, 12.30pm to 5.30pm

Decorate a crescent moon with a shooting star.

Westhoughton Library

Space Bingo, Monday 22 July and Tuesday 13 August, 2pm to 3pm

Come along for a game of Space Bingo.

Rocket Building, Tuesday 23 July, 2pm to 3pm

Come along for a junkyard modelling session to build your own rocket which you can take away.

Competition Thursday from 25 July to 29 August, 9am to 7pm

Every Thursday collect our space themed competitions, complete and post in our competition entry box at the main desk to be in with a chance of winning a prize.

Party Games afternoon, Monday 29 July and Monday 19 August, 2pm to 3.30pm

Join in with an afternoon of party games including musical statues, Simon says and pass the parcel. We’ll wind down the party games with story and some juice.

Flying Saucer craft session, Tuesday 30 July, 2pm to 3pm

As you zoom through The Space Chase Summer Reading Challenge come along and make your own flying saucer for your alien to whizz through space. 

Space slime, Monday 5 August, 2pm to 3pm

Learn how to make slime the space way!

Straw Rockets, Tuesday 6 August, 2pm to 3pm

Come along and create a straw rocket which makes for a great science exploration. You can compare how different angles of the straw affects the distance that the rocket will travel or how adding fins or folding the rocket in different ways can affect its flight.

Face painting, Tuesday 13 August, 2pm to 3pm

Pop along to Westhoughton Library and get your face painted.

Board Games, Tuesday 20 August, 2pm to 4.30pm

Join us for our Board games afternoon in the Junior library, lots of games to choose from for all ages.

Marshmallow stars, Tuesday 27 August, 2pm to 3pm

Construct some fun marshmallow constellations for each of your favourite star groups.