The Muddy Kent half-term survival guide, Feb 16
It’s half term already. I know, it’s hard to believe. Five minutes ago, we were picking pine needles out of the carpet – now it’s time to figure out how to keep the little darlings amused for a whole week again.
Lucky for us, there’s loads of fun stuff going on across the county and beyond. Indoors, outdoors, crafty, sporty, musical, you name it. So, time to get planning. Busy kids are happy kids, right? Or ready for early nights, at the very least…
Living With Birds, Hever Castle, 13 – 21 Feb
Have fun learning about our feathered friends as part of National Nest Box Week. Build your own nest box to put in your garden and follow a bird-themed trail around the castle grounds. You can also feed the resident birds and splash out on a bag of bird food from the information centre for 50p. If you’ve got time wander to the Snowdrop Walk (open throughout Feb and March) bulbs are already popping up all over.
Build a wooden bird box workshops run regularly throughout the day, cost £5.00 on top of normal admission price
Make It Workshops, Maidstone Museum, 15 Feb – 19 Feb
Whip up wind chimes, design T-shirts or create your own superhero mask – depending on which day you turn up to these activity workshops. Combine the workshops with your last chance to catch the beautiful and rather quirky collection of masks and puppets from around the world (everything from Punch and Judy to film animatronics) – as this is the final week for this exhibition.
Workshop prices vary, entry is free to the exhibition
The Best of British Bugs, Beetles and Beasts, Penshurst Place, 13 Feb – 21 Feb
If your small wriggly ones are into all things even smaller and more wriggly than they are, take them along to ogle the display of British beetles and insects (as well as some from further afield), on this garden trail. Visit on the 13th or 14th and you can see the Beasts Roadshow put on by The Hawking Centre.
Beastie Day, Brogdale, Faversham, 15 Feb
Sticking to the creepy crawlie theme, young naturalists can pull on their wellies and hunt for bugs in the orchards of this national fruit collection farm. Meet the Bug Roadshow’s impressive collection of Mega Bugs and get creative and build your very own bug to take home with you.
Mister Maker, The Orchard Theatre, Dartford, 15 Feb – 16 Feb
High energy family fun from that master of arts Mister Maker for his first-ever live theatre tour. They’ll be singing, dancing and, of course, loads of amazing crafty creations. And, yes, the dancing Shapes.
Mon 15 Feb, 1.30pm and 4 pm / Tues 16 Feb, 10 am and 1:30pm, tickets Child £11.00, Adult £14.50
Beauty & The Beast, Stag Theatre, Sevenoaks 13 Feb
If your little ones love a sing-a-long treat them to this musical stage adaptation of the hit Disney film, complete with the title song and the catchy ‘Be Our Guest’ performed by a stage full of frolicking furniture.
Performances at 2pm and 4.30pm, tickets £12
Family Fun Dog Show, Ash Village Hall, Ash, near Canterbury, 21 Feb
Find out if you own an award-winning pooch by entering your dog in the Family Dog Show. No need to book in advance – just pop your head out the window, see if it’s a scampering-ouside-sort-of-day and then turn up. Shows start at 10.30am but if you want to register your clever / cute / crazy canine, you’ll need to get there for 9.30am.
Charlie’s Chocolate Adventure, Leeds Castle, 13 Feb – 21 Feb
Whether you’re young or old – make your fun chocolate-themed and you can’t go far wrong. That’s always been my theory. Loving the sound of this mini adventure through the magnificent estate grounds, solving riddles and seeking out giant chocolate bars. Each bar has a different coloured wrapper inside which you match to the stickers that come with your trail card. Choccie prizes at the end! Wet wipe anyone?
Charlie’s Chocolate Trail is £1 per person to enter on top of normal entry cost
Karma Academy Sessions, Karma Climbing, High Brooms, 15 Feb – 19 Feb
An idea for any slightly older offspring – to stop them climbing up the wall (boom boom). Try out these instructed courses for junior climbers every weekday morning (Mini Karma, age 5 – 7 and Little Karma, age 7 – 12) with Karma Academy (age 12 – 16) running in the afternoons. Under 12s are expected to leave the Centre by no later than 14:00. Book as soon as you can – spaces are going fast.
Gravity Trampoline Park, Lockmeadow Entertainment Centre, Maidstone
Another option that’s perfect for older and younger kids alike is the brand new Gravity Trampoline Park in Maidstone’s Lockmeadow complex. Muddies little and large can bounce on the wall-to-wall trampolines until they’re all tired out – while you enjoy your Latte as you watch from the balcony upstairs. Do book in advance as it gets very busy in the holidays.
Go Ape, Bedgebury Pinetum, Cranbrook, 13 Feb – 21 Feb
Children 10 years-old and above (minimum height 4ft 7″) can attempt the zip slides, rope bridges and Tarzan swings on the Tree Top Adventure at Bedgebury Pinetum (if you have younger kids too there is an easier Junior trail). The course takes 2 to 3 hours and you’re required to have one adult for every two kids.
Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip (Cert U), Released 12 Feb
Kids just love these naughty singing chipmunks – maybe it’s because the furry heroes also love to cause chaos or maybe it’s because of the way the nerve under Mummy’s eye twitches at the sound of those squeaky voices. Either way this new instalment is a good one to have up your sleeve for any rainy days.
The Adventures of Pinocchio, Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, 14 Feb
You know the story… it’s that classic – old man makes puppet of small boy, small boy comes to life and starts misbehaving, his nose grows, he gets eaten by a giant fish – type of yarn… This weird and wonderful tale is coming to the stage for one day only this half term so Geppetto get a move on and book your tickets (*groan* – sorry couldn’t resist).
Performance is at 2.30 and tickets cost £7 for all ages
The Remarkable Tale of Oliver Twist, Theatre Royal, Margate, 25 Feb, 6.30pm
Come on, sing it with me… ‘Oom-pah-pah, Oom-pah-pah, That’s how it goes!’… Now this is one I’d like to see – it’s got drama in all the right measures – from comedy to tragedy. And the songs! ‘Consider yourself…at home! Consider yourself…one of the family!…’ More? You want MORE?! No? Oh, okay I’ll be quiet then.
Tickets £10 or £30 for family of four. Suggested age for children 8 years and over
Kent Schools Orchestra Spring Course, Ashford School, 19 – 21 Feb
Children who play a string instrument and have achieved Grade 3 to 6 are eligible to join this 3 day course which culminates in a public concert taking place at Ashford School. Young talented music lovers should hop on the website and download an application form to apply.
Sofa, At home, with a glass of wine, Sun, 21 Feb
Put your feet up. It’s been a long week – and they’re back to school in the morning…