Lacking inspiration? Ideas to make a fun-filled half-term break
AUTUMN seems to have finally arrived and half term is nearly upon us and we’ve come up with some ideas for fun activities to keep boredom from the door.
From woodland adventures through the dazzling colours of autumn to seasonal arts and crafts and magical drama, theirs is something for every age to enjoy.
» Gigantic bugs are the latest draw at Slimbridge WWT to teach children facts about the mini beasts that inhabit the wetland world.
Meet a 6ft dragonfly, 4ft buzzing bee and a 6ft hopping grasshopper, brought to life with animatronics and sound. Runs until November 4 and is included in the normal entrance price.
» Get out into the big outdoors to search the landscape around the National Trust’s Lodge Park in Sherborne for autumn treasures.
Pick up scavenger hunt sheets and paper bangs to store your finds in. Normal admission applies.
Runs from Friday to Sunday and October 26-28.
» A weekend of seasonal delights comes to Painswick’s Rococo Garden with autumnal crafts, apple bobbing and juicing, and baking the fruit on an open fire, an autumn trail around the grounds, and a Golden Apple Hunt with prizes to win.
The festival runs this weekend from 10.30am-3pm and normal admission rates apply.
» It’s going to get batty at Chedworth Roman Villa this half term, with activities themed around bats lined up to entertain.
On Sunday you can listen to expert David Endacott as he brings along some of the little critters to meet (you need to book).
All week you can take part in a bat colouring competition, have a go at a bat quiz or try a range of crafts in the Learning Pavilion, all running from Saturday for nine days.
KNIT YOUR BIT
» A drop-in activity at the Holst Birthplace Museum in Cheltenham where an experienced knitter will show you how to do those stitches.
Learn to knit or, for more experienced knitters, create some First World War comforts from old patterns.
Every Tuesday during October. Free with general admission.
» Get the kids off their consoles and trying some reallife outdoor combat gaming with the Kids Combat Club at Battlesports Glos, including a mission building workshop and the chance to try out their own ideas.
Places on the Wednesday course at Newnham-on-severn cost £28 and need to be booked in advance.
» Take the kids on a ramble around a wood, country park or arboretum to view the spectacular autumn colours, get some fresh air and use up some of their boundless energy.
Places to head for include arboretums at Westonbirt or Batsford, Woodchester Park, Robinswood Hill Country Park, Leckhampton Hill and Cirencester Park, but there are plenty of other places you can try.
» Youngsters can combine their love of dinosaurs and Lego with a Bricks2learn workshop at Gloucester Guildhall next Thursday and Friday, Oct 25 and 26. Can you help save the Jurassic Park team and save the dinosaurs from extinction? Starts at 10.15am, costs £10 and is recommended for kids aged six to 12.
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM
» Travel round the National Waterways Museum in Gloucester by torchlight at night, following a guide round the galleries, hearing spooky stories that could be fact or fiction, and meeting characters along the way.
Each tour takes 45 minutes and needs to be booked. Aimed at anyone age eight and above. Runs next weekend from Friday, October 26. Admission applies.
» A tale of magic, adventure and individuality comes to the Everyman Thea- tre in Cheltenham on Tuesday at 6.30pm. Knock Knock transports the audience to the home of a woodcutter in the heart of an enchanted forest where an unexpected visitor brings spells but also confusion.
Physical theatre with clowns and masks.
» Join children’s author and illustrator Hannah Shaw at Gloucester Cathedral next Saturday, October 27, to learn how to bring characters to life with some clever drawing techniques.
The 45-miute workshop will include storytelling and creative drawing in the Chapter House. The event is free and runs from 11am -noon.
» If Halloween doesn’t cut it for you or the weather is too wet for outside play, head to one of the county’s indoor soft play centres for a bit of bouncy fun. Choose from Oxstalls Fun Factory or Q Play in Gloucester, Cattle Country’s indoor play barn, Playfarm or Funky Warehouse in Cheltenham and Go Bananas in Stroud, among others.
» Staverton’s Jet Age Museum is home to the most incredible planes and engines in Gloucestershire, is open at weekends from 10am-4pm and doesn’t cost a thing.
» Find it on the Meteor Business Park at the north end of Gloucestershire Airport.
CLASSIC FILM FUN
» While awaiting the new Mary Poppins Returns film this Christmas, enjoy an earlier slice of magic with a screening of the original starring Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke at the Playhouse in Cheltenham next Saturday, October 27, with an afternoon screening for all ages.
The colours can be beautiful at Westonbirt Arboretum. Below, the Jet Age Museum. Right,lodge Park in Sherborne
Gloucester Cathedral is welcoming Hannah Shaw to show off how to draw. Below, the Playfarm in Cheltenham