Half Term Events

Gastro Science Delves into the Bodies of Astronauts this February Half Term Discover the world of space gastronomy, events around the UK


The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth will be celebrating all marine creatures with tentacles this February half term, with Tentacles Week.

Taking place from 11 – 19 February, Tentacles Week will include a whole host of family fun events and activities, where visitors can discover the weird and wonderful ways marine animals use their tentacles to survive in the ocean.

Visitors will be able to meet the Aquarium’s slippery friends, including the tiny Common Octopus, Oddjob and Giant Pacific Octopus, Miss Squishy. A Tentacle Trail will reveal the magical abilities of these tentacle-based animals, while the Creative Centre will be open for visitors to unleash their inner-artist, with tentacle themed arts and crafts. Tentacle Tours around the Aquarium’s state-of-the-art learning centre, Just Add H2O Headquarters, will also be available for inquisitive minds to discover even more about tentacles.

The Aquarium’s regular programme of shows and talks will also run throughout the half term period.

During the half term week, National Marine Aquarium will also be hosting the ever-popular Sleeping with Sharks event. Taking place on 18 February, the sleepover is an exciting way for visitors to see what happens in the underwater world at night. With the predators of the sea swimming silently overhead, their presence will fascinate anyone brave enough to spend the night in their company.

Suitable for children aged 5-15, the evening also includes a twilight tour of the Aquarium, arts and crafts in the Just Add H2O Headquarters, games around the building, a big screen movie in front of the Eddystone Reef tank, a midnight snack, finished off with a continental breakfast the following morning.

Helen Gowans, Host Supervisor at the National Marine Aquarium, commented: “Half term is going to be a bumper week of fun and frolics at the Aquarium. Tentacles Week will be exploring the fascinating subject of tentacles, which are not only weird and wonderful to look at, but have many interesting uses that help marine animals such as octopus, squid and cuttlefish to survive in the ocean. We’ll also be hosting a Sleeping with Sharks sleepover, which is a great way to discover more about these captivating creatures. We look forward to welcoming visitors from the South West and beyond to join in with some tentacle-themed fun this February.”

Tentacles Week will run daily from 11 – 19 February. To book tickets to attend Tentacles Week and Sleeping with Sharks, visit www.national-aquarium.co.uk

National Marine Aquarium (6)


Winchester Science Centre

This year there are two full weeks of Half Term activities – half term dates are split between counties, giving an opportunity to visit while children in neighbouring counties are at school.

A live presenter-led science show, Brilliant Light, will take the audience on an exciting journey through the science of light. Spectators can expect to be wowed by lasers, intrigued by new unseen worlds and get involved with lots of opportunities for audience participation. The 30 minute show is free with General Entry, suitable for all ages (best for 5-12 year olds), and will run daily in the Space Marquee at 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm.

Visitors can also pay a visit to the UK’s largest standalone planetarium, where they will be able to enjoy a special extended programme of shows, including live, presenter-led shows and 360o fulldome films every day. And if that isn’t enough, visitors can get hands-on with over 100 interactive exhibits, including the Science Centre’s Little Big Room and the Science of Sport Zone.

Throughout February Half Term, enjoy free parking for visitors at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium, with a free park and ride service from the nearby Matterley Estate ensuring plenty of space.

10% online discount available on General Entry tickets when booked in advance, plus a further 10% discount when purchasing three or more General Entry tickets. Visit www.winchestersciencecentre.org or call 01962 863 791.

Brilliant Light at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium (2)


Kent Life Heritage Farm Park There are plenty of reasons to visit award-winning Kent Life Heritage Farm Park, near Maidstone, this year – from festivals and shows to first-time appearances by children’s favourites the Paw Patrol and Sooty.

Half-term Fun and Frolics – 11-19 February A packed week of activities and trails. Come and watch the sheep lambing and meet the newborns. There will also be a variety of shows in the Big Top, all included in the admission price.


Kent Life goat kid with child and mum

Art of Mine

A friendly art studio located in the beautiful Kent countryside. The studio is open every day during the school holidays from 10am to 5pm. Please do drop in and paint pottery or design t-shirts, there’s no need to book. There are also a series of exciting workshops on every day that you can book your child onto in advance. The workshops are suitable for ages 7+. The arty activities for each day are listed online and last from 10-4pm. To book a day (for £40 each) 


National Space Centre

Gastro Science Delves into the Bodies of Astronauts this February Half Term Discover the world of space gastronomy, including what we eat and how the human body deals with eating, digesting and expelling waste in space! Join the National Space Centre’s Mission Commanders for a bumper half term period dedicated to bogies, bums, trumps and burps… the science of all the gross stuff our bodies do in space.

Gastronauts Workshop Life in Space can be very challenging for astronauts.Through live demonstrations and hands on science find out what an astronaut eats, what happens to food as it is digested and how exactly does and astronaut use the toilet.

Trumpots How would you like to make your very own trumps? Drop in for a science lesson with a difference and a chance to take home your very own Trump in a Pot!

Rocket Garden A make and take craft for our youngest visitors to enjoy. Design and build your rocket to house a very special cress cargo. Place it on your windowsill and watch it grow when you get home.

One from the Vaults Join the Science Interpreters from the University of Leicester and the Public Programmes team to get your hands on some of the exciting space food artefacts in the collection that are not on display.

Life in Space Sticker Trail Complete a treasure hunt around the galleries to discover how an astronaut’s body reacts to life in space. Collect a free unique space sticker as your reward.

Visitors can enjoy all of these additional attractions, as well as the Rocket Tower, 3D SIM ride, over 150 interactive elements, a world class exhibition and a 30 minute 360° fulldome Planetarium show included in every day ticket.

Also, visitors can upgrade to a FREE Annual Pass to come back and enjoy it all over again throughout the year* To find out more, or to book, please visit the NATIONAL SPACE CENTRE

*Terms and conditions apply. See Annual Pass for full details. 

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 CUTTY SARK  STEAMFest This half term Cutty Sark will be holding its first ever STEAM event. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and maths and our week of activities will provide creative opportunities for families to learn together about the science of sailing ships, all whilst visiting one of the finest tall ships in the world 13 -18 February Sammy Ofer Gallery, Cutty Sark 11.30-15.45 Suitable for all ages Included in Cutty Sark admission price

Toddler Time term-time Wednesday mornings to our youngest visitors. Bring your little sailors along for songs, stories and playtime on board. 1, 8, 22 February  Sammy Ofer Gallery,           10.00-11.30   Suitable for ages 4 and under £5 Toddler Time ticket for one accompanying adult, includes admission to the ship

Cutty Sark CharactersCome aboard to hear Cutty Sark’s incredible stories brought to life by characters from the ship’s past. Meet Captain Woodget, the ship’s most daring master; Jock Willis, the man who built Cutty Sark; Nannie, the ship’s figurehead; or the ship’s cook, James Robson, who all have an extraordinary story to tell.  Every weekend and weekday and everyday over February half-term Sammy Ofer Gallery and Main Deck, Cutty Sark  Suitable for ages 3+Included in Cutty Sark admission price

Cutty Sark hosts special events and activities throughout the year. Admission charges apply (family activities are free with entry). Please visit our website for more information www.rmg.co.uk/cuttysark

Pirate Party, Royal Museums Greenwich & The Cutty Sark, Greenwich

Pirate Party, Royal Museums Greenwich & The Cutty Sark, Greenwich

Museum of London Docklands

And so my garden grows Sat 11 Feb, 12-1.30pm & 2.30-4pm Be inspired by Crossrail Place Roof Garden and build a mini blossoming station with real seeds that will sprout and grow. Suggested ages: 5+ FREE

All aboard Sun 12 Feb, 12-1.30pm & 2.30-4pm  Take a train journey through the ages in this craft workshop. Create a whole range of different train carriages from throughout history and add to our giant art work.5+ FREE

Take to the sky Mon 13 Feb, 12-1.30pm & 2.30-4pm Set your sights high in this art drop-in workshop. Be inspired by the Emirates Air Line and make a model cable car that will glide through our galleries. 5+ FREE

The Little Horse Bus Mon 13 & Tue 14 Feb, 1pm, 2pm & 3pm What does it take to be a hero? Join our storyteller as she tells the tale of a plucky little horse-drawn bus on the docks. Will he be able to save the day when tragedy strikes? This interactive story takes you on a journey through Graham Greene’s classic children’s book. ages: 5+ FREE

On track Tue 14 Feb, 12-1.30pm & 2.30-4pm Join us on a journey of discovery. Create your own train carriage decorated with objects uncovered during the Crossrail excavations. ages: 5+ FREE

Beep beep Wed 15 Feb, 12.30-2pm & 2.30-4pm Nothing represents London better than a red double-decker bus! Create your own London bus and learn how this iconic mode of transport has changed through time, from horse drawn omnibuses to the new Routemaster. ages: 5+ FREE

Safe journeys  Wed 15 Feb, 11am – 12.30pm & 1-3.30pm Speeding cars, chugging trains and whizzing motorbikes race through London as people move through the city. Add to our giant paper pop up scene of the city’s streets to show all the different ways Londoners get around the city. ages: 5+ FREE

Shipshape  Thu 16 Feb, 12-1.30pm & 2.30-4pm Explore London’s maritime history and create a pop-up ship based on the different examples in our collection. Come and meet our archaeologists and explore artefacts and archaeology from the banks of the Thames. ages: 5+ FREE

Set sail Fri 17 Feb, 12-1.30pm & 2.30-4pm How quickly could ships sail across the seas? Learn about the Cutty Sark, once the fastest tea clipper ship in the world and create a model of the ship filled with goods for a journey across the ocean.  ages: 5+ FREE

Who pays the ferryman? Thu 16 & Fri 17 Feb, 1pm, 2pm & 3pm Join our storyteller to learn how watermen navigated the river and hear the legend of Jon Overs, the penny-pinching ferryman of Southwark. Come and meet our archaeologists and explore artefacts and archaeology from the banks of the Thames.  ages: 5+ FREE

Find your way Sun 19 Feb, 12-1.30pm & 2.30-4pm How do you know where to go in such a big city? Find your way through London by looking at maps in our collection. Then design a map of your favourite spots in London and the best ways to get there.  ages: 5+ FREE



The V&A Museum of Childhood

SEARCHING FOR GHOSTS 4 February 2017 – 21 January 2018

Homes reveal much about the people who inhabit them offering an intimate portrait of our domestic lives and bearing the traces of the people who lived in them in the past. The fabric of the buildings document changes in occupancy, taste and the passage of time. Working with the museum, photographer Tom Hunter and volunteers have undertaken an exploration of some of the housing in East London. This photo exhibition presents a snapshot of life in East London through the personal recollections of people who live there now and the residents of an imagined past. The project unearths stories of home with photographs, installation and sound bringing the past to life, offering a glimpse into the lived experience of several generations of east Londoners. This project has brought together children who live on the estate today with those who have lived there for over 95 years. In partnership with St Hilda’s East Community Centre and Virginia Primary School, Bethnal Green. Admission Free.

LONDON CHILDREN’S BOOK SWAP 11 February 2017 11.00-16.00 London Children’s Book Swap will return to the Museum giving visitors the chance to trade their old books for new ones.Drop-in, all ages.

PLAY THE MUSEUM GAME 13 – 17 February 2017 11.00-16.00 A series of workshops and activities invite visitors to view the Museum’s collection and building playfully and differently. Drop-in, all ages.

THE LOST ROOM 12 – 18 February 2017 10.30, 11.30, 12.30, 14.30, 15.30, 16.30 (60 minutes)The Lost Room by Art of Disappearing is a unique immersive experience for two people, of all ages. Once every hour two visitors can put on headphones and enter a private interactive world.£12 for two people, age 8+

TOY GENERATOR CARD GAME WORKSHOP 13 – 17 February 2017 10.30, 12.00, 14.00, 15.30 (60 minutes) Artist Amy Brown hosts a workshop on how to become a toy designer, through playing a collaborative family game which allows parents and children to come up with a brand new toy idea to add to the Museum’s display.£5 per child, age 4+

THE MUSEUM BOARD GAME WORKSHOP 13 – 17 February 2017 10.40, 12.30, 14.40 (80 minutes) This event allows visitors to design and create their own board game to play at the Museum or at home. Participants can choose characters and locations from the collection, make game pieces with collage materials, and design their board based on the Museum map.£7 per child, age 5+

For more information visit, www.vam.ac.uk/moc


WWT London Wetland Centre

Saturday 11 – Sunday 19 February Owl Pellet Dissection Workshops Owls are amazing animals that swallow their prey whole and as not all of the animal can be digested; part of it is regurgitated in the form of a pellet. Can you find out what an owl eats by identifying the bones within the pellet? Perhaps you’ll even be able to reconstruct the skeleton found inside it. Ages 5+. Adults are also welcome. £5 per pellet. Spaces are limited so please register for the workshop at admissions on the day.

London Puddle Jumping Championships News splash!!  The London Puddle Jumping Championships will be held at WWT London Wetland Centre during February half term.  Children of all ages can grab their wellies and have fun jumping in puddles in the fresh air from 11 to 19 February 2017. Bring your wellies and wet weather gear and come and have a splashing time! Use your imagination to create the biggest, most exciting splash. Throw some shapes in the air for extra style!  Puddle Jumping is free with paid admission to the Centre and free to WWT members.  Every contestant will receive a sticker to celebrate their puddle jumping skills. wwt.org.uk

PJ 2016 1 CREDIT D Peters


Family Fun at The View from The Shard Kids Go Free between 11th February and 19th February

Take your little ones on an adventure 800ft above the ground and head to The View from The Shard, where you will fall in love with the city’s iconic skyline, as you spot both historic and modern landmarks and discover over a 1,000 year of London’s history. As well as providing unprecedented views over the city, this half-term, award-winning chocolatier Paul A Young, will be hosting a pop-up experience on Level 69 of the attraction. Kids will be able to get creative at the interactive chocolate lollipop dipping station, complete with Paul A Young fine chocolates. With a choice of either dark or milk chocolate heart lollipops, they’ll be able to dip away to their hearts content, choosing from a selection of fabulous toppings such as multi-coloured sprinkles, chocolate pearls and a few secret extras.  www.theviewfromtheshard.com

The View from The Shard ii

The Geffrey Museum of the Home

Places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis 30 minutes before the activities start. All children aged 11 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Tuesday 14 – Friday 17 February Explore how people make their homes their own. Make door signs, photo frames, ornaments and more. From Nursery Rhyme Time (age 2-5) to Designer Phone Cases (age 11+) Design and make your own phone case using a variety of techniques. 2 – 4pm  www.geffrye-museum.org.uk



Historic Royal Palaces

This half-term, Historic Royal Palaces offers an array of engaging and educational activities for children to enjoy, from joining the Georgian Court at Kensington Palace, uncovering historic artefacts at the Tower of London to interactive adventures at Hampton Court.

February Half Term-Palace Adventures: Hampton Court Palace Saturday 11 February – Sunday 19 February 11.00 – 15.00 Included in palace admission

February Half Term-Beautiful Things: Kensington Palace Sunday 12 February – Saturday 18 February 11.00 – 15.00 Included in palace admission

Story Scramble – Tower at War: Tower of London Monday 13 February – Friday 17 February 11.00 – 15.30 Included in palace admission

All events and materials are included in the general admission ticket price for each palace unless otherwise stated. All events are subject to change, please check www.hrp.org.uk for up-to-date information on prices, opening times and details on event booking.

The Tower of London 29th March 2016

The Tower of London 29th March 2016


Gatton Park  

Sunday 12th February   National Gardens Scheme Open Day 11am – 4pm  Cost: Adults £5 children free. Soup and roll lunch available to purchase

 Monday 13th – Friday 17th February   Snowdrop Week Park and gardens open to view the snowdrops.Open daily from 1-5pm  Cost: Adults £5 children free 

 Sunday 19th February   Snowdrop Day Park and gardens open to view the snowdrops. 1-5pm  Cost: Adults £5 children free

 Sunday 26th February   Snowdrop Day Park and gardens open to view the snowdrops. 1-5pm  Cost: Adults £5 children free

Mon 13th February   Tracks and Signs (4 – 7 years)Find out more about animal footprints and poo! Crafts, activities and trails. 10 – 12noon or 1pm – 3pm  Cost: £7.50 per child

 Wed 15th February   Toddler Trails and Tales (2 – 4 years) Enjoy the story of Going on a Bear Hunt and go for a walk around the park to bring it to life.10 – 11.30am or 1.30 – 3pm  Cost: £7.50 per child

 Fri 17th February   Toddler Trails and Tales (2 – 4 years) Enjoy the story of Tiddler and go for a walk around the park to bring it to life. 10 – 11.30am or 1.30 – 3pm  Cost: £7.50 per child

All activities must be booked in advance, unless otherwise stated. Children under eight must be accompanied by an adult. 01737 649068. Book online at: www.gattonpark.com



Sea Life Brighton

‘The Snail and The Whale’ activities One of the South Coast’s most loved visitor attractions, Sea Life Brighton, has unveiled a packed events calendar for 2017 with adventures in store for visitors of all ages.  From 11 February until 05 March, visitors will be able to put on their snail hats and experience the beloved children’s book like never before as they follow the story around Sea Life Brighton, through an amazing underwater world.  Looking further ahead to April, Sea Life Brighton will unveil a thrilling, but currently top secret, new attraction which the aquarium is sure will quickly become a family favourite.

The year’s fun does not end there, with a raft of exciting events in store including its ever-popular Pop Badge swaps. The aquarium will also be hosting interactive events across school half terms throughout the year – making it the perfect place to entertain youngsters during the holidays.

To be the first to hear about forthcoming events at Sea Life Brighton, keep an eye on its social channels: https://www.facebook.com/sealifebrighton/ and https://twitter.com/sealifebrighton.   Sea Life Brighton is open from 10am every day apart from Christmas Day. For current closing times or further information, please visit www.sealife.co.uk/brighton.

Port Jackson sharks - some of the creatures that have lived in the seas unchanged for millions of years - and an interactive display that includes being charged by a Megalodon delight visitors as the new Jurassic Seas display opens at SEALIFE Brighton. photo ©Julia Claxton

photo ©Julia Claxton



Alton Towers Resort

Ahoy there – treasure this February half-term at fun-packed event! Pirates and Princess themed takeover event for families. Includes deep sea adventure, waterpark access, den building and sword making experiences, themed live entertainment and treasure hunt

February 11th to Sunday February 26th, join the crew and discover the underwater world of Sharkbait Reef by SEALIFE, den building experience for all the family, sword making workshop and fun-filled treasure hunt for budding buccaneers!

Waterpark, include Lagoona Bay, Lazy River and Master Blaster. New for 2017 will also see the launch Octonauts Swimming Certificates for young children with trained STA qualified instructors. Many of the Resort’s CBeebies characters will also join the fun and be on hand to meet and greet families during their stay.

www.altontowers.com where prices start from £160 for a family of 4 sharing a family room.

Pirates and Princess - Alton Towers Resort 1

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