Bumper Muddy Half Term Guide
Loins girded for half term? Read on for stuff to do with kids off school and kicking their heels, from a Banksy street tour, through abseiling and bird-watching to putting on a ‘play-in-day’…
Castles & Fables, The Brewhouse, Taunton, throughout the week
You’ll while a good few hours with The Brewhouse’s half-term programme of workshops and activities linked to family films and shows, all with the theme ‘fables and fairy tales’. So you and your young ‘uns could be making crowns in the morning and then wearing them to watch the movie The Princess Bride in the afternoon – get the idea? Individual activities £4 per child; £6 for a same-day workshop and film booked at the same time.
Cookery courses, Bordeaux Quay, Bristol, throughout the week
The sooner kids learn to cook the better, in my book – then they can take over from me in the kitchen. The Bordeaux Quay Cookery School is running several courses over half term: you can cook alongside your child (aged 6+) to make bread, a main and a pudding from scratch (and eat it up at the end) or pop older ones into the Cook Well-Eat Well (three courses, 10-15 year olds) or Happy Home Cook (a two-session course making a two-course meal each day for 12-16 year olds) – while you go for a mooch around Bristol’s shops or galleries. From £35.
Montacute TV and Toy Museum, Montacute, all week
Daleks, Cybermen, Dr Who …and Kojak! Drag them away from the TV and let them roam around this eccentric, tardis-like museum devoted to everyone’s fave TV programmes and all the paraphernalia that goes along with them. You might enjoy it as much (or more) than they do. There’s a good cafe too. Kids under 4 free; aged 4-16 £4.99; adults £7.99; family ticket £22.99.
Beneath the Blizzard, the egg, Bath, Fri 10-Tues 14 Feb
The Theatre Royal’s dedicated children’s performance space turns into an underground bunker, resistance headquarters and secret haven of cheer for a fantastical crew of rogues and rebels living there after the ‘Disaster’ has made living above ground impossible. The blizzard-ravaged city may be forgotten but in their bolthole, the music – and the humour – beats on…
Bird watching for beginners, Steart Marsh, Bridgwater, Thurs 16 Feb
Let the experts explain how to tell a wigeon (not a typo) from a pipit over at one of the UK’s largest coastal wetland reserve. Suitable for 8-14 year olds, the session runs from 10.30am-12.30pm £10. Equipment provided and booking is essential: 01278 651090.
Banksy street tour, Bristol, throughout the week
Probably best to leave your spray can at home but you can discover what a Bristol boy did with his on a tour around the streets of Bristol. Where the Wall run two Banksy tours : the Bristol Street Art Tour covering the story of Banksy, street art and graffitti from the 1980s to the present day; and the Banksy & Historic Harbour Tour which includes a trip on a ferry boat as well as five of the Bristol scribbler’s famous works. Under 16s £4.50; adult £9.20; family of 4 £24.80.
Play-in-a-day workshop, Merlin Theatre, Frome, Tues 14 Feb
Spend a day at the Merlin Theatre creating a new piece of theatre to be performed to parents and friends at the end. The workshop’s being organised by the Tri.Art Theatre School and Dance Academy and it runs 10am-3pm. £20 first child; £10 for siblings.
Abseiling, grass sledging, mountain biking and more, Kilve Court, nr Bridgwater, all week
Tire your kids out on an action-packed activity day Fat the brilliant Kilve Court Activity Centre up on the north Somerset coast. The Muddies are still raving about the activities on offer here after a school residential years ago. Lots of different stuff each day, which may include abseiling, archery, circus skills, grass sledging, high ropes course, mountain biking, stream walking, pond dipping, mountain boarding, rifle shooting and walking on the Quantocks, all under the supervision of their expert instructors. The days run from 9am-5pm, are suitable for kids aged 6-16 and cost just £26.
Nzingabeth! Or when Ana met Virginia, The Brewhouse, Taunton, Fri 17 & Sat 18 Feb
A musical tale about what happens when great warrior queens Queen Elizabeth I and Anna Nzinga of modern day Angola meet. The queens clash over discussions of politics, femininity, race, culture – as well as make-up, men and song – accompanied by the intriguing combo of African drumming and Tudor court music. There’s a free hour-long workshop about the music before the Saturday performance. Tickets £8 kids/£14 adults. Another show worth a look on the last day of half term – and with a special offer of buy one ticket (£8.50), get one free – is A Pocket Full of Grimms, a whistlestop tour around some of the best fairy tales ever told.
Trampolining, Flip Out Bristol, all week
My trampoline’s bigger than your trampoline: Flip Out trampoline park in Bristol has 1000 sq metres of bounciness with 51 trampolines, one wall runner, three Olympic trampolines and two foam pits. £10 for an hour’s boinging. Best to book ahead.
Calligraphy workshop, Wells Cathedral, Weds 15 Feb
Drop in, pick up a quill and learn how to write like a medieval monk. The cathedral’s own illuminated manuscripts are there to admire and inspire. The two workshops (10.30am and 2pm) are free although donations to cover costs of materials gratefully received.
Wild Academy, Secret World Wildlife Rescue, West Huntspill, nr Highbridge, all week
A week of wildlife workshops for 7-11 year olds – make bird feeders, discover how different animals attract their mates (and create an animal valentine), as well as a peep behind the scenes at the animal rescue work of the Secret World Wildlife Rescue – one for budding vets? Sessions are 2pm-4pm each day and cost £5 per session or all five for £20.
The Chris and Pui Show 2017, The Octagon, Yeovil, Tues 14 Feb
The toothsome twosome from Show Me Show Me along with Wincy, Twinkle, Momo, Teddington, Stuffy and Co have their very own stage show. Songs, sketches, magic, the whole caboodle. Kids’ tickets £11; family saver £44.
Try skiing, Mendip Snow Sports, Churchill, all week
Get the kids away from the The Jump and onto the slopes without leaving Somerset. There are beginner’s skiing lessons all week for adults and kids aged 8+ (£20) minis ski lessons for 5-8 year olds (£26) and tobogganing for 8-12 year olds (5). There’s a rooftop Alpine Cafe for the all important apres ski. If you want to break for the border, there’s a dry ski slope with ringos (giant rubber rings) and skibobs (sort of toboggans) at Warmwell in Weymouth and at the ultra impressive Snowtrax in Christchurch, which has an innovative synthetic wet slope that retains water to mirror the effect of real snow (so it’s even better in the rain…luckily).
The Lego Batman Movie, cinemas across Somerset, from Fri 10 Feb
Long awaited (at least in the Muddy household) the little brick superhero comes to a cinema near you. More than just an extended promo for two huge brands (though do expect requests for Batman’s new Scuttler ship – a snip at just £84.99), it’s irreverent, self-satirising and apparently hilarious, even for adults. I’ll able to tell you after the weekend.