The Bowes Museum is throwing open its doors for free entry to everyone on Saturday, 16 September as part of the Heritage Open Day scheme.
Visitors to the County Durham Museum will also be able to take advantage of a half price membership offer, only available to new members signing up on the day.
They'll be able to meet some of the artists whose work is on show in The Magic of the Silver Swan exhibition, including Martin Smith, Helen Pailing and Kinnari Saraiya to find out what inspired them to create their pieces as well as join in Artist Makers sessions with a ceramicist, mixed media artist and animator to make their own works to take home.
With behind the scenes tours led by specialist staff to the painting stores, vaults, fashion and textile gallery cube and conservation studios there's the chance to discover some Museum secrets, and more about the making of A Collector's Story: A Private Collection of Vivienne Westwood. There will also be different guided Spotlight tours every half hour, inside and out, talks about different items in the collection, from the roman head pots to the story of the Museum and the opportunity to find our how to volunteer.
There will be a Camera Obscura in the grounds to see things from a new perspective and get an idea of how the Italian painter Canaletto came to create his two master works on show in the picture galleries.
Play equipment, including hoops, bats and balls will be availble for all to enjoy on the terrace and parterre. Visitors can join Bright Woods Forest School who'll be delivering fun, interactive workshops in the gardens and they can pick up the Pocket Parkland Playbook from reception that's packed full of ideas for activities in the parkland and beyond!
The Friends of the Bowes Museum will also be on hand to talk more about their work to support the Museum and how people can join them.
With Stay and Play self led activities in the galleries for our younger audiences, there promises to be something for everyone to enjoy as the Museum joins this national festival of history and culture.
The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle is open from 10am to 5pm daily