Fun on the inside
This fun-packed museum has six zones – covering topics such as the human body, nature and technology – with 400 interactive exhibits. The current temporary exhibition is devoted to digital art, and children can create their own animated creature. Over half-term, kids can enrol in Ghoul School, where terrifying teachers include Dr Frankenstein, a witch and a werewolf. Lessons cover potion-making and survival skills, and dressing up gets bonus marks. For adults, Halifax’s recently renovated, 18th-century Piece Hall is next door to the museum.
The Horniman Museum in Forest Hill, south-east London, is free and family-friendly, with lots of objects that kids can pick up, try on and play with, especially at handling sessions on Saturday mornings and some Sundays. It also has an aquarium, butterfly house, natural history collection and 16 acres of gardens with views
Cheddar Gorge Somerset
England’s biggest gorge – 120 metres deep and three miles long through the limestone Mendip Hills – has two main caves to explore, Gough’s and Cox’s. Cox’s is the setting for Dreamhunters, a 30-minute multimedia show projected on to the walls of the cave, telling the story of early humans. Gough’s is the larger of the caves, with soaring chambers, secret caverns, towering spires, and stalagmites and stalactites galore. At half-term (27 October to 4 November), there is a Halloween mystery to be solved in the cave, with Dracula, Dorian Gray and Frankenstein’s Monster hiding there (not suitable for very young children). Elsewhere over the holiday period, stone
There are more than 300 exhibits over the three floors of the Glasgow Science Centre, including spots where children can move objects with the power of their mind, run on a sprint track and feel the force in a hurricane booth. There are lots of extra activities going on over the holidays, including a live science show about gases with spectacular demonstrations using liquid nitrogen and dry ice; a session on animal camouflage; an hour of code for budding software engineers; and workshops on forensic science and DNA.
The phizz-whizzing Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden has been closed since damage caused by flash floods in May, but it reopens on 20 October, just in time for half-term. It has three hands-on galleries, including Solo, which houses his original writing hut. There are free craft sessions every day and free storytelling at weekends and in school holidays. Over half-term, there are sessions (£3) themed around Twits’ Tricks and Matilda Magic. Splendiferous!
• Adult £7, child £4.70, under-5s free, roalddahl.com 2 LUNCHES & 12 DINNERS INCLUDED (limited availability) NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT