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Half term with the kids

Sat 10 Feb

levitating woman magician

Gasp in amazement as master magician Micheal Jordon do things like this in High Jinx at The Brewhouse in Taunton. Well, I’m impressed.

Go on the Heads & Tails trail at the Bishop’s Palace in Wells – then finish off with a scramble on the Dragon’s Lair. On everyday. Lunch or a snack at the very good Bishop’s Table cafe.

A child discovers a mouse sleeping in the snow and they have musical adventures together in Snow Mouse at the egg theatre in Bath, Sat & Sun (0-4 years).  Nice cafe too.

Watch live lambing! There are 20 ewes ready to lamb twins and triplets (aaw!) every day over the half term week in the indoor animal handling barn at the 90-acre riverside Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park in Keynsham.

Fireworks at sea at Weston-super-Mare’s Grand Pier.

Sun 11 Feb

civil war soldiers

Castle Day at the Museum of Somerset in Taunton, where kids can join a knight school, watch Taunton Garrison’s re-enactments of the Civil War or try out various crafts and stuff. Free entry!

It’s been on since the end of last year but this weekend is a good time to go and have a gander at the 100 spectacular wildlife images – frozen wastelands and peculiar species, to tropical paradises and fascinating animal behaviour – in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at M Shed.

East meets West at the egg theatre in Bath. CBeebies and CBBC star Haruka Kuroda and fellow Japanese actress and dancer Natsumi Kuroda use origami puppets, animation and music to tell the story how a little ball of rice runs away to seek his fortune in Japan in The Little Mochi Man.

Go down one of Somerset’s coal mines  – virtually. You didn’t know Somerset once had a coal industry? You’d better get yourself on a virtual reality ride then and go deep into the earth (60 feet a second) and watch miners at work at the Radstock Museum.Not suitable for under 6s.

Mon 12 Feb


Calling all kids! Yes, you big ones too! Bring a present for the primates and kids get in for only £1 at Monkey World in Wareham. Throughout half term.

Make rainbow pasta, edible putty, multi-coloured grilled cheese and other culinary fun at Cooking It’s Mad Science cookery workshop for for 6 to 9-year-olds in Bristol. There’s an edible Valentine’s gift workshop on Tues 13 Feb.

Trip up to London for a mind boggling array of events at the Imagine Children’s Festival on the Southbank. 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.

Millfield School’s Olympic-sized swimming pool has its suitably giant infatable and zorbs out all this week.  Def the best one we’ve come across. Admire the pix of the school’s Olympic swimmers lining the walls while you’re there. Street.

Tues 13 Feb

dragon knight

Kids aged 7 and over can make one of these at a shadow puppet theatre workshop– if you buy a ticket to see the screening of the classic movie E.T., you can get both for £6. Bargain at The Brewhouse, Taunton.

Are you a tosser? Then you might want to join in the big Pancake Race at the Bishop’s Palace in Wells.

Get some sticks and twigs and build a den at National Trust’s Barrington Court.

Black Panther, the latest big-screen super hero movie – and the first ever black super hero – from Disney and Marvel opens today. Find a cinema near you.

Go and see Dippy the Dinosaur at the Dorset County Museum. Fresh from the Natural History Museum and on the first stage of his national tour, the 26-metre-long, 4.3 metres wide and 4.17 metres tall,  diplodocus cast will be an awesome sight.

Weds 14 Feb

boy crown king actor

Photo Jack Offord

Become one of Shakespeare’s daring do heroes or darstardly baddies at the Tobacco Factory’s Heros and Villains half day workshops for 5 to 7-year-olds in Bristol. Also on Thurs 15 Feb.

Become a wildlife and conservation warden for a day at Westhay Moor, near Glastonbury. Part of a programme of activities designed for 12–17 year olds; this one involves help clearing scrub with hand-tools and burning brash (what’s that?) to restore grassland and mire habitats on this fantastic wetland reserve.

Meet Isabella the bicycling botanist in her travels around the world – storytelling, illustrations and a handsome Story Bicycle called Dilys – in How to be Brave, at The Brewhouse, Taunton.

Learn how to snowboard, ski or just have a go at tobogganing at the Mendips Snowsports Centre in Churchill, north Somerset.

Thurs 15 Feb

recycled upcycled junk modelling metal robots

Make a tin can robot using magnets, junk metal and other recycled stuff – and then (most appropriately) settle down to watch Wall-E, the small waste-collecting robot who accidentally embarks on a space journey that will decide the fate of mankind (gulp). Tinpot Robert Workshop suitable for 7+. Combined ticket to both £6 at The Brewhouse.

Join baker extraordinaire Phil Nicodemi from Lievito Bakery at the Roth Bar & Grill/Hauser & Wirth Somerset in Bruton, to learn how to make, bake and sample artisan bread in a wood-fired wood fired oven (sorry, a functioning artwork).

Fans of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, creators of The Gruffalo, will want to catch Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales at the Bristol Old Vic. The other terrific tales are Monkey Puzzle, The Smartest Giant in Town and A Squash and a Squeeze. Until Sun 18 Feb.

Find out how neolithic people cooked their grub – and taste some yourself – at Stonehenge.

Get up close to birds of prey at the Pitcombe Falconry in Bruton. Two sessions today. Call 07525065829 to book.

Fri 16 Feb

Grab your BMX, scooter, inline skates or skateboards – and tell the kids to grab theirs – and scoot over to Dorchester’s free, state-of-the-art skate park.

Leap of faith, an outdoor climbing adventure with 12 amazing different climbing challenges and a 25′ swing, at the Wild Place Project, Bristol’s animal and wildlife conservation attraction. There are all sorts of animals here too – from Madagascan lemurs to grey wolves of Europe.

Ride on a steam train to discover a hidden valley on Exmoor filled with snowdrops (until 25 Feb).

Sat 17 Feb

Traditional live firecrackers, lion dance and kung fu celebrating Chinese Year of the Dog at the Wai Yee Hong supermarket in Bristol (a good chance to stock up on your sweet chilli sauce and noodles too).

History with the nasty bits left – the Horrible Histories More Best of Barmy Britain are on at The Playhouse in Weston-super-Mare.

Hear the story of the Wizard of Oz from the witches’ perspective. Hit musical Wicked on is on at the Bristol Hippodrome, matinees Weds, Thurs and Sat.

Puppeteer Frank Stein creates a strange little fella that will change his life forever in Little Frankenstein at the Merlin Theatre in Frome.

Sun 18 Feb

DJs spinning club classics, glow sticks and festival-style face painting at a Family Rave  for the under 8s at the Red Brick Building in Glastonbury.

Over 10,000 creepy crawlies – tarantulas, scorpions, stick insects, millipedes and the like * shudder* – at Nick Wadham’s Bugfest at Westlands in Yeovil.

Birdwatching for beginners on the Steart Marshes near Bridgwater – there’s an early start; bring your binoculars at 8.30. All ages, though under 16s need to be accompanied.





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