Manchester Museum (part of The University of Manchester) launched the UK’s first Inflatable Museum which will bring the museum experience to school halls all over Greater Manchester. Developed in partnership with stage designers and sound artists, this inflatable copy of Manchester Museum incorporates a performance area, exploratory activity spaces, and high quality projection and audio equipment.
Each year, Manchester Museum offers engaging and interactive ‘out of school’ cultural and learning experiences to approximately 25,000 Early Years and Primary pupils, and 5,000 Secondary and Post-16 students, from across Greater Manchester and the surrounding area. However, with in-Museum visits already at capacity and demand for workshops growing all the time, the development of the new outreach programme is essential to growing the Museum’s reach further. www.manchester.ac.uk/museum
Hampton Court. Discover an imaginative new play garden for families, inspired by the myths and legends of the Tudor Court . Opens daily 10.00 – 18.00 until 30 October.
An exciting new play garden for families will cast its spell over Hampton Court Palace for the first time. Populated by mysterious mythical beasts, with battlements to storm, towers to besiege, and even a secret grotto to discover, the Magic Garden will be a new and unique way for families to explore the palace’s past. Designed by RHS Chelsea award-winning landscape architect Robert Myers for Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that cares for Hampton Court Palace, the new garden has been six years in the making and begins an exciting new chapter in the palace’s 500 year history. www.hrp.org.uk.
Summer Fun at Birdland Park & Gardens Bourton-on-the-Water
For fantastic family fun this summer enjoy an exciting and educational day out at Birdland, Bourton-on-the-Water. One of the UK’s biggest bird gardens, discover an array of amazing wildlife from King Penguins to Tortoises!
Situated in the picturesque Bourton on the Water in the Cotswolds, Birdland boasts a beautiful natural setting of woodland, river and gardens that are inhabited by over 500 birds – including 140 different species such as vibrant flamingos, pelicans, colourful parrots, laughing kookaburras and magical owls displayed in over 50 aviaries.
Birdland also is home to the only breeding group of King Penguins in the UK. Situated in Penguin Shore, the parcel of penguins live with the group of comical Humboldt penguins. Spot them swimming underwater through a glass viewing panel and learn more about penguin life during the twice daily Penguin Feed and Talk – 11am & 2.30pm.
Discovery Zone, visitors can learn more about other egg-laying creatures such as invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. Meet recently born chicks at the new Hatchery, currently housing eggs from ducks, quails and chickens. The Hatchery allows children and adults to see up close the rare eggs needing special care and watch the chicks hatching and taking their first steps.
Jurassic Journey trail to discover dinosaurs and dig for fossils. Visitors will be armed with special dinosaur tracker kits, and will venture in to a Jurassic-themed landscape which is home to more than 30 different dinosaurs for an interactive adventure.
Discover Marshmouth Nature Reserve, where indigenous creatures from dragonflies, grass snakes, otters and kingfishers have all been spotted.
Finish up at the Flamingo Point Café or pull up a picnic whilst watching the flamboyant flamingos in the lake.
Longridge in Marlow
Open Day on the 2nd of May at Longridge in Marlow – www.longridge.org.uk/events/events-booking/2016-05-02 –
Green Park in Aston Clinton is also having an Open Day on the 2nd of May! Activities are only £3, so it’s a great way to try out some new things and work out what activities you like without spending too much, as well as having a fun day out. You can get tickets online here – www.green-park.org.uk/events/events-booking/2016-05-02/
Royal Windsor family entertainment
Family Fun Day featuring PAW Patrol on Monday 2nd May
At the early May bank holiday Family Fun Day event, children will be thrilled by personal appearances from PAW Patrol’s hugely popular characters, Chase and Marshall, throughout the day. Meet these two loveable characters for great photo opportunities and memories. The day will also host a plethora of free fun activities for visitors of all ages to enjoy, including pony rides, face painting and more. Entrance is FREE for racegoers under the age of 18 when accompanied by an adult.
There will be seven races on the card with gates opening at 12:15pm and the first race is at 2:15pm.
Family Fun Day featuring Octonauts on Monday 30th May
At the late May bank holiday event, children will have the opportunity to meet two of the intrepid underwater explorers from the well-loved TV show Octonauts; brave polar bear Captain Barnacles and ex-pirate cat Kwazii. The day will also be packed with plenty of free, fun activities for racegoers of all ages to enjoy, including pony rides, face painting and more. Entrance is FREE for racegoers under the age of 18 when accompanied by an adult.
Seven races on the card, gates open at 12.20pm and the first race is at 2.20pm.
Monday 9th May – Spring Evening Racing
Monday 16th May – HRH Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday racenight
Monday 23rd May – Monday Night Racing
Proms in the Park Maidstone
Proms in the Park 2016 Maidstone
- Celebration of music returns to Whatman Park on May 28, 2016
- Maidstone Wind Symphony to perform tribute to Her Majesty the Queen
- Early show time to capitalise on seasonal weather
Saturday, May 28, 2016, the Proms in the Park entire day of free entertainment for families and fans of live music. From community events to local suppliers of food and refreshments, performances by the Hazlitt Youth Theatre to a programme of renowned classical and big band works by Maidstone Wind Symphony, the event promises to showcase the very best of Maidstone during a relaxed and enjoyable May evening.
Alice in Wonderland, the Great Outdoors and More in Eastbourne this Half Term!
Eastbourne is providing some great family days out this May half term, with literary themed activities weaved into the Redoubt Fortress’s offering, many visits from some much-loved characters at Drusillas Park and free tennis to watch at the Aegon Eastbourne Trophy.
The Redoubt Fortress which houses Lewis Carroll’s bed desk from when he regularly holidayed in Eastbourne is borrowing inspiration from the Alice in Wonderland writer in its ‘Secret World of Words’ activity week.
Next door at the Pavilion, ‘Making Tracks: Eastbourne’s Bronze Age Mystery’, and discover a re-creation of part of the UK’s largest Bronze Age track-way, along with many other burial treasures, including part of a horse’s skeleton. Piece together the mysteries and create your own conclusions about the pre-historic site.
Drusillas Park’s brand new wet and wild water attraction, ‘Get Wet’ state-of-the-art sensory play features, splash pad, water jets, twirling streams and more, children can immerse themselves in this tropically inspired colourful installation attraction! Plus, on various dates Drusillas will be visited by Hello Kitty, The Fat Controller, Peppa Pig and George and brand new characters for this year, Bing and Flop.
2 April – 8 May – The Arlington Bluebell Walk
The 44th Arlington Bluebell Walk and Farm Trail makes for a wonderful walking day out with friends and family, as visitors can wander through a sea of bluebells and also pet the farm animals including sheep, pigs and angora goats at neighbouring Parkwood Farm. The Bluebell Walk is open every day from 2 April – 8 May. Go to www.bluebellwalk.co.uk to find out more.
1 May onwards – Eastbourne Bandstand Season
Eastbourne’s Bandstand season kicks off on 1 May with 1812 Tchaikovsky concerts leading the way for Wednesday nights, made complete with a weekly dazzling firework display. Tribute season begins in May with Queen, following with Elvis, Abba, Tom Jones and Stevie Wonder. For more information on the entire 2016 Bandstand season go to www.EastbourneBandstand.co.uk.
9 May – The Mercury Transit
The small planet of Mercury will pass across the face of the sun on 9 May, something which only happens around 13 times in 100 years, also known as the Mercury Transit. The Redoubt Fortress will host a free event, providing specially filtered telescopes and expert knowledge from 12-4pm. Go to www.EastbourneMuseums.co.uk for further info.
13-15 May – Museums at Night
Eastbourne’s 200 year old Napoleonic Redoubt Fortress will be joining in with national ‘Museums at Night’ events across the country, with three film screenings across three days; Alien (1979), The Mummy (1959) and a family friendly screening of One of my Dinosaur’s is Missing (1975) with fossil making and face-painting. Discover more at www.EastbourneMuseums.co.uk.
14-15 May – Eastbourne Sports Festival
A family-friendly sporting weekend held across a number of sports and leisure centres across the town, in which anyone can try a diverse range of sports and activities for just £1 per person, per session. From fencing to cheerleading and trampolining to badminton, the festival encourages people to dive into a new sport or hobby. All proceeds raised will go to the Eastbourne branch of the NSPCC. Follow www.SportEastbourne.com for the forthcoming festival programme.
27-29 May – Beer and Cider by the Sea Festival
Eastbourne’s annual Spring bank holiday festival, Beer and Cider by the Sea takes place from 27-29 May on Eastbourne’s Western Lawns. Festival goers can sample over 60 real ales; many brewed locally in Sussex, in excess of 48 Ciders and Perries from the National Cider and Perry collection, plus wine, cocktails, Pimms and more all washed down with a weekend line-up of live music on the festival stage. For ticket sales information and more go to www.VisitEastbourne.com/events.
28 May – 4 June – Aegon Eastbourne Trophy (WTA Women’s International Challenger Tennis Tournament)
The Aegon Trophy, the only women’s challenger event to be held on grass, allows spectators to watch some of the world’s best up and coming women’s tennis players, completely free of charge at Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park, as a great introduction to professional tennis ahead of the Aegon Eastbourne International. Go to www.VisitEastbourne.com/tennis for further information.
MAKING CHAUCER’S MEDIEVAL TALES UNMISSABLE in Canterbury
Journey back in time to discover Chaucer’s famous Canterbury Tales, joining a costumed character guide to embark on their experience through the award-winning visitor attraction, recreating the pilgrimage from London to Canterbury depicted in the revered poem. Guests will find themselves in the midst of a story-telling contest and be enchanted by five of Chaucer’s most entertaining tales, brought to life by the medieval sights, sounds and even smells of 14th century England.
Visitors to The Canterbury Tales begin their journey at the Tabard Inn in London, where they will meet the first of their costumed guides to set them off on their expedition. During the 40 minute experience, through a combination of live interaction and audio guides, guests will be regaled by five very different tales of true love, saucy scheming and spine-chilling trickery as each of Chaucer’s colourful characters competes to win the title of best story-teller. The audio tours are narrated by famous voices including Robert Powell and Prunella Scales, and are available in multiple languages. A second costumed guide will be on hand to help you on the final leg of your journey, which ends at an incredible reconstruction of the Shrine of St Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, the very reason for Canterbury’s position throughout the years as a major destination for pilgrims and tourists alike.
As visitors leave, they will discover Canterbury’s market place (also known as the Gift shop!) where they will find a range of quality gifts and souvenirs, as well as the opportunity to purchase some celebratory locally produced mead.
IRONBRIDGE Shropshire: Make your own clock at Enginuity
Whitsun half-term holiday 28th May – 5th June
Step back in time and find out more about the history of time-keeping and decorate a clock with your own design and choice of colours to take home at Enginuity, near Ironbridge, Shropshire during the late May half-term holidays from Saturday, 28th May until Sunday, 5th June.
The ‘crafty clocks’ drop-in workshops at the design and technology discovery centre will be held from Saturday 28th May until Sunday 5th June between 10.30am and 3.45pm. Activities will vary from day-to-day and clocks are £3 each to decorate and take home.
Open 10am to 5pm Enginuity is one of the ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums. A great value Annual Passport Ticket allowing unlimited entry into all ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums costs £25 per adult, £20 for seniors, £15 for children under 18, £68 for a family of two adults and all their children and £50 for a family with one adult; under 5s free (terms and conditions apply); Passports can also be bought online in advance saving 10% and individual entry tickets are available at each museum. Activities and workshops vary day-to-day and some carry an extra charge.
For further information call the Ironbridge Tourist Information Centre on 01952 433 424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk. The Gorge is easily reached via the M54 motorway exiting at Telford junction 4 or 6.
Paultons Park Hampshire
Lost Kingdom to open at Paultons Park this spring Hampshire
This May, Paultons Park in Hampshire is set to open the gates to its new £8m attraction; Lost Kingdom; an awe-inspiring and unique dinosaur theme park world.
Situated in almost four acres of Jurassic landscape, Lost Kingdom is set to be the most immersive dinosaur theme park attraction in the country and will transport families 150 million years back in time, to when fierce velociraptors, flying pterodactyls, giant triceratops and mighty tyrannosaurus rex roamed the world.
Ideal for adventurous families, the new theme park is home to a whole host of dinosaur attractions, including two world-class family rollercoasters; Flight of the Pterosaur and Velociraptor, Jurassic-themed family rides; Boulder-Dash, Temple Heights and Dino-Chase, a dinosaur adventure play park and The Dinosaur Tour Co; a 4×4 Jurassic Jeep expedition, where children and parents can come face to face with lifelike moving dinosaurs.
There will also be two new places to eat at the Park; Base Camp and The Nest and an exciting prehistoric-themed shop, Outpost 12.
Paultons Park, which is also home to the world’s first and UK exclusive Peppa Pig World, will open the Lost Kingdom on Tuesday May 17.
For further information, including a calendar of opening times and to book tickets online from £25.75 visit www.paultonspark.co.uk.
Calling all botanists: Explore the Nature Trail at Liverpool ONE
As the first rays of sunshine breakthrough the dark winter clouds, join Liverpool ONE on an outdoors adventure. Children of all ages will be able to experience the Nature Trail on Chavasse Park.
Explore the five acre park, situated in the heart of Liverpool ONE, and see how many different insects, plants and trees you can find.
Liverpool ONE has teamed up with National Museums Liverpool to create the trail.
Lots of fun for the kids all about the different wildlife you can find right in the heart of the city centre.
“Accredited by Children’s University, the trail is just one of a number of activities available at Liverpool ONE that encourage learning outside of school.
Those wanting to take part on the Nature Trail should visit the Information Centre in Liverpool ONE to receive a free information leaflet. Once completed, return to the Information Centre to receive a special explorers Nature Trail sticker.
Folk & Food Festival 1–2 May, 10.30 – 5pm
Celebrating the South East’s finest produce, crafts and traditions! Enjoy over 70 local food and craft stalls, plus talks and cookery demonstrations, traditional folk music, storytelling, dancing, May Day celebrations and rural crafts.
Entry Prices: Adults £13.00, Adults 65+ £12.00, Children £7.00, Family £36.00, Disabled/Helper £5.00
Heavy Horse Show 4-5 June, 10.30am – 5pm
A wonderful weekend of heavy horse demonstations and parades, plus local produce and countryside-themed stalls. Arena displays include horse-drawn agricultural and commercial vehicles. A Grand Parade will bring the show to a close on Sunday.
Entry Prices: Adults £13.00, Adults 65+ £12.00, Children £7.00, Family £36.00, Disabled/Helper £5.00
Viewpoints Trail at Blenheim Palace
To celebrate the tercentenary of ‘Capability’ Brown Blenheim Palace have launched a new ‘Viewpoints Trail’. The 12 cherry-picked views, which each represent a classic Brownian landscape, are situated within the 2,000 acre Parkland. Visitors can download a map prior to their arrival, or can collect one from the Visitor Centre on the day.
The Grand Bridge was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh to serve as the primary focus in the landscape, but it was also intended to act as a viewing platform from which visitors can admire the beautiful surroundings. The Cedar trees with horizontal branches are some of Brown’s original Cedar of Lebanon which are over 300 years old.
Rosamund’s Well dating back to the 12th Century; this was a pleasure pool, built by Henry II for his mistress Rosamund Clifford.
The finest view in England is one of the crowning achievements of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s landscaping and is the spectacular centrepiece view across the lakes. It unites all the earlier phases of landscaping into one romantic English landscape and has remained largely untouched to this day.
Great Lake Vista glimpse through the trees over the Great Lake
The Cascade was originally the overflow section of Brown’s dam across the valley, built to create the Great Lake.
Fantastic British Food Festivals brings its celebration of food and drink to magnificent Blenheim Palace for the 2nd year running, for the late May bank holiday weekend, 28th-30th May 2016, from 10am-5pm
Park & Gardens ticket required: Adult £14.90 / Child £6.90 (Age 5-16) /
Concession £10.90 / Family £39.90 (2 Adults & 2 Children)
Norfolk & Norwich Festival Friday 13 -Sunday 29 May
Norfolk & Norwich Festival, one of the biggest arts festivals in the UK, 13 – 29 May
The programme, which spans performance, theatre, music, visual arts, literature and events for children, includes world premieres, unique concerts and one-off events, including a number of free outdoor events across the festival. For the full festival programme, please visit www.nnfestival.org.uk.