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Half-term with the kids

How to keep the kids occupied during a cold week in February, eek! The Harry Potter box set looks tempting – it buys you a massive 19 hours! But the other 41?!

Lambing, Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power, near Cheltenham, Sat 10 Feb to Sun 15 April

lambs in a barn

The cutest signs of spring will be appearing on Adam Henson’s beautiful farm just in time for half term. Open-dated tickets mean you can book in then choose a day when the sun’s out (if we get one, fingers crossed!), but if we don’t there’s a new Animal Barn to cosy up in. And as well as cooing at lambs, there are loads of other fun things to entertain the Mudlets with, including tractor safaris, play areas, mazes and a rare breeds trail. cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk

 

Kids’ Clay Workshop. Stroud Brewery, Thrupp, Sat 10 Feb, 2-4pm

making a clay pot

A free (yippee!) event where your progeny can get covered in muck and then produce an oeuvre – hedgehog, badger, mythical creature, wherever their imagination takes them – which they can proudly display at home afterwards. Sounds like a good start to half-term and you can always stay on for pizza and beer. stroudbrewery.co.uk

 

Snowdrops at Snowshill Manor, near Broadway, Sat 10 & Sun 11 Feb, 1-4pm

The quirky manor house comes out of winter hibernation for the weekend to show off the carpet of snowdrops that bloom in the grounds. The manor house was once the home of architect Charles Wade who saw it advertised for sale in Country Life while he was serving in France during the First World War. He bought it as soon as he was discharged and, after restoring it, installed his eccentric collection of furniture, clocks, bicycles, and other curios, while he himself lived in the outhouses. The garden was also a labour of love; Wade regarded it as a series of ‘outdoor rooms’ and brought an Arts and Crafts sensibility to its design. The blanket of snowdrops as the garden wakes up to spring is gorgeous. And the village of Snowshill (locals say ‘Snozzle’) is worth a visit while you’re there, too. It’s picture perfect and was the setting of Bridget Jones’s parents’ home where she first meets Mr Darcy in 2000’s Bridget Jones’s Diary. And there’s a great gastro pub, the Snowshill Arms. nationaltrust.org.uk

 

Half-term fun, Woolley Grange, Bradford on Avon, Wilts

Stay at Woolley during Feb half-term and you can enjoy the hotel at its best. The Woolley Bears Den is humming with activities for the littlies and there’s fun programme for older children too. So kick back and enjoy a real break. woolleygrangehotel.co.uk

 

Assault course, REME Museum, Chippenham, Wilts, Tue 13 to Fri 16 Feb

tanks in a museum

Test their skills on a brand new soldier-led assault course at the REME Museum. Families will also be able to build an airborne truck with its own parachute, design a REME recovery vehicle, or make trucks to run on an indoor drag-strip in the education area.

 

Young Chef’s Academy, Devizes, Wilts, Thu 15 Feb

Get the Mudlets out of your hair for a whole day and you never know, they might even bring you home something delicious. vaughanskitchen

 

Are We Nearly There? STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway, Swindon, Thu 15 Feb

wheels of a steam train

Get crafty, creating posters for the GWR map as you explore the GWR’s use of clever publicity and design. steam-museum

 

Theatre Fest West: Lego Beach, Salisbury, Wilts, Fri 16 Feb

If you saw 4.8 million pieces of Lego washed up on the shore, what would you build? In 1997, a freak storm exposed Lego to the power of the tide, scattering the tiny pieces across the ocean. For the last 20 years, these pieces have continued to ruin one small community, causing secrets to be uncovered and memories to be remembered. Based on a true story that only tiny pieces of plastic can build. salisburyartscentre

 

Family Bushcraft: Pancake Cooking Around the Fire, Romsey, Wilts, Fri 16 Feb

Who says that Pancake Day is only one day a year? You can celebrate Pancake Day twice in one week by cooking your own tasty treats over the campfire. familybushcraft

 

Far Peak Climbing Centre, Northleach, all week

There’s nothing like an adrenaline rush to warm you up on a frosty February day and Far Peak near Northleach has plenty of those on offer with its indoor climbing and bouldering (that’s climbing without ropes and harnesses for anyone who didn’t know, ie, me) and 15m outdoor tower that’s just waiting to be scaled. For half term there are extended opening times (9.15am-10pm) and activities that cater for pretty much all ages. During the week, budding Robin Hoods can also have a go at archery and budding Bear Gryllses can try their hand at Bush Craft where they’ll forage the 25 acres, light camp fires, cook marshmallows (yeah, Bear does that) and build dens. wildrockclimbing.co.uk

 

Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre, all week

Who needs a skiing holiday abroad when you’ve got the dry slope at Gloucester to slalom down? Er, all of us, but, hey, we can’t all jet off to St Mortiz for the week, so, although it’s not quite the next best thing, there’s still a lot of fun to be had here. During half term, you can book the kids in for two- or three-day holiday ski and snowboard school, which is suitable for six to nine year olds and will give you a chance to catch up on drinking coffee while the offspring knacker themselves out. And for anyone who finds remaining vertical while careering down a hill at speed an uncomfortable prospect, there are also tubing sessions available, where you career down a hill at speed sitting on a large rubber inflatable. gloucesterski.com

 

A Taste of the Past, Stonehenge, Wilts, all week

stonehenge on a sunny day

Stonehenge is regarded as a British cultural icon, and is one of the most famous landmarks in the UK, but have you ever wondered how the food was prepared for the people who worked there many years ago? Take an historical trip and join Neolithic cooks for an exciting look at the food that fed the builders of Stonehenge. english-heritage.org

 

Kid 4 a Quid, Monkey World, nr Wareham, Wilts, all week

baby gorilla carried by mother

Calling all kids! Yes, you big ones too. Bring a present for the primates and kids get in for only £1. monkeyworld.org

 

Wicked, Bristol Hippodrome, all week

Splash some cash and take ’em to a show. The untold story of the Witches of Oz – or how two sorcery students became the Wicked Witch of the West (boo, hiss) and Glinda the Good.

 

Imagine Children’s Festival, Southbank Centre, all week

12 days of jam-packed half-term fun in this brilliant annual festival by kids for kids. Aimed at 0-12 year olds, there’s a mind-boggling array of activities and events, including a whole clutch of free possibilities in The Clore Ballroom, Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, dance-theatre Tidy Up, Fun DMC, Bedtime stories, plus debut authors comedian Harry Hill and Radio One’s Greg James.

 

Orchid Festival, Kew Gardens, London, all week

Things are going totally tropical this month at London’s gorgeous Kew Gardens. Their annual orchid festival takes in Insta-friendly displays of the vibrant Thai blooms, Thai street food and musical performances, workshops on how to grow these notoriously tricky flowers and Thai afternoon tea at The Botanical restaurant. King prawn, lemongrass and coriander tartlet followed by Thai sticky coconut cream rice with mango salsa? Yes please. kew.org

 

Additional reporting: Tonicha Luffman

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