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May Half Term

But Easter was only yesterday I hear you cry! Don't worry, Muddy has you covered with the best family-friendly things to do over May half term in Kent and beyond.

Bewl Water Aqua Park, Opening 25 May 2019

Excitng News! Bewl Water has announced the plans for a brand new Aqua Park which will be open from May 2019. The 3000sq meters of floating inflatable fun will consist of two trampolines, monkey bars, flippers, slides, hurdles, springboards, overhang climbing frame, giant iceberg… you get the idea. Kids must be aged eight + and be more than 1.2 metres tall (3.9 feet). There will also be special sessions for six and seven-year-olds. Youngsters aged from eight to 15 must have a responsible adult on the shore for the duration of the session. There’s also plenty of food and drink options courtesy of the Waterfront Café and Boat House Bistro on the water’s edge. Adjust swimsuit and summer-time fun, here we come. bewlwateraquapark.co.uk

Wingham Wildlife Park, Open throughout half term

Wingham Wildlife Park, near Canterbury, is fast becoming one of the most popular family attractions in Kent. Having first opened its doors as a bird park over 20 years ago it now boasts more species than any other zoo in Kent. It’s a brilliantly manageable sized park set in a picturesque region of the county. Not only does it boast more species than any other zoo in Kent (including a variety of primates, big cats and penguins, lemurs, meerkats and otters to name a few) there’s a Dinosaur Zoo too for any Jurassic-mad mudlets. winghamwildlifepark.co.uk

Edwardian life, Hever Castle, Sat 25 – Sun 2 June

During May half term at Hever Castle you can meet costumed characters from the Edwardian era and play traditional games of the period. Step back in time to the early 20th century when the Astor family were in residence for half term family fun at Hever Castle with Edwardian Life. Enjoy a traditional Punch and Judy show as well as games from the period including hoopla, tin-can alley, boules or enjoy a leisurely game of croquet on the lawn. Then join famous author and friend of the Astor family, Arthur Conan Doyle (British writer of the Sherlock Holmes books) in the garden as he investigates reports of fairy sightings. Let your kids learn about Edwardian inventions, interactive exhibition of the Astor family’s ‘rags to riches’ story, interviews with former staff on old-fashioned telephones and watch rare achieve home movies from the Astor’s collection. Besides bringing the captivating ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ years of the period vividly to life, the event is a great opportunity to enjoy some old-fashioned family fun in the magnificent grounds of this former Edwardian home. hevercastle.co.uk

Half-term fun at Wildwood Trust, Herne Bay, Sat 25 – Sun 2 June

Go wild in the woods this May Half-Term holiday at Wildwood! There’s plenty of FREE activities to entertain both adults and children including daily talks/feeds, meet an animal sessions, touchtables, Wildwood Watch, Ice Age Day and the Wildwood Detective Trail with prize draw. Not forgetting the new Red Squirrel Walkthrough, the Bear Bridge and their exciting adventure playpark – all wrapped up in 40 acres of ancient woodland! Phew! For the full programme of events and timings: wildwoodtrust.org 

Big Forest Find, Bedgebury Pinetum, Sat 25 May – Sun 2 June

Take part in the largest ever survey of forest wildlife at Bedgebury National Pinetum this May! Bedgebury is home to Forestry England’s National Conifer Collection and the tree collection is internationally known for its beauty and the great diversity of species. From birds and butterflies to insects and plant life on the forest floor, the information recorded will paint a better picture of England’s forest biodiversity today. These records will increase over time, helping the Forestry Commission to enhance its forests for wildlife for generations to come. Join in a range of activities over Half Term such as an aquatic wildlife, birdsong and small mammal discovery walk! Even a family bat walk! It’s fun for all the family and an excellent chance to learn and discover at Bedgebury.  forestryengland.uk

Medieval Jousting, Leeds Castle, Sat 25 – Mon 27 May 

Thrill at the sight of armoured knights representing both countries competing for the Leeds Castle International Cup on powerful combat horses across four challenging events! Competing over three days for the coveted Leeds Castle International Cup, a team of five skilled fighters from France will battle against five brave competitors from England, each with their own horse and precious armour. Points will be accumulated across all three days, with the Cup being awarded to the highest scoring team. The tournament consists of four challenging events, each demonstrating strength and ability. Something different to do this half term… leeds-castle.com

Medieval Story Garden, Canterbury Tales, May half term

This half term The Canterbury Tales visitor attraction will reopen the gates to its Medieval Story Garden where families will join in the Knights Tournament! Children and grown-ups alike can practice their battle skills through a series of activities. Sword skills, mock jousting, medieval remedies and more will all be explored during this fun family activity. Are you battle ready? canterburytales.org.uk

PIRATES! The Historic Dockyard Chatham, 25 May – 2 June

ARRRRRR! Climb on-board HMS Gannet, all transformed into our very own pirate ship this May Half Term. It’s swashbuckling fun with their pirate crew! For one week only The Dockyard will be filled with Pirate activities for 3-5-year olds and 5-10-year olds. Young buccaneers will begin their Pirate journey by creating their very own Pirate compass. This compass will reveal their five Pirate missions to complete, in order to meet the Captain to receive their reward! Will you be able to make a treasure map, a flag, use a telescope and more? (it’s all included in your annual ticket if you have one.) thedockyard.co.uk/whats-on/pirates/

Howletts Wild Animal Park & Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, Sat 25 May – Sun 2 June

Visit Howletts, Kent’s original wildlife sanctuary, can enjoy amazing animal themed days out this May Half Term. Visitors to the Animals of the Ice Age outdoor exhibition will be able to walk amongst these fantastic creatures and learn incredible facts, telling the story of the animal kingdom as it was, over 2.6 million years ago. Expect to be taken by surprise as you keep discovering these amazing beasts along the trail keeping kids and parents on their toes and on the lookout. aspinallfoundation.org/howletts

Or visit Port Lympne where visitors can jump on board a safari truck, (included in their entry price), and journey through the Reserve’s South American, Asian and African Experiences to see amazing wild animals. Highlights will include Kent’s only giraffes and spectacled bears, alongside Bactrian camels, tapirs, zebra, wildebeest and many more. aspinallfoundation.org/portlympne

Tonbridge Food & Drink Festival, Sat 25 & Sun 26 MayTry, taste and buy from more than 70 stallholders selling a delicious range of food and drink produced in and around Kent and from across the globe. There’s lots of fun activities planned to entertain the whole family including a programme of cooking demonstrations from local chefs, food producers and local food writers, the Great Tonbridge Cafe Off and there’ll be over 30 brews over by the Beer & Cider Festival, perfect chance to try out something new. Open 11am – 6pm, free entry. Go and try out this fun-packed, tasty foodie weekend! facebook.com/events 

Chelsea Flower Show themed Afternoon Tea, Raspberry Room, Sat 25 & Sun 26 May 

Inspired by the famous flower show, the Raspberry Room Team are putting together a Chelsea Flower Show themed tea available this May. Capturing the essence of spring and to celebrate the vitality of the world’s greatest gardens, delicacies will include sweet and savoury delights confettied with flowers. Guest will indulge in small parcels of smoked salmon carefully wrapped to resemble swelling roses; egg mayonnaise filling encased in petal-shaped pastries and indigo macaroons with chocolate-lipped smiles and little purple flowers for hats. Priced at £26.95 per person, two sittings will be available 12-2pm and 3-5pm. Pre-booking is essential, telephone 01959 928753 to reserve a table. raspberryroom.co.uk

Ellie’s Mini Marathon, in support of ellenor, Gravesend, Sun 26 May 

ellenor’s mascot Ellie is calling children aged 5 – 16 years old to take to the tracks at the cyclopark in Gravesend for the best children’s Fun Run in town. On Sun 26 May, your kids can walk, jog or run the. 2.62km route. Registration is £7.50 per child and they’ll receive a medal and certificate. Ellie’s mini marathon is a fun-filled challenge for local childrens, with their friends and family supporting them as they run in support of hospice care. If you’d like to join in, here’s more details: ellenor.org

Dumbo, Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Sat 27 & Sun 28 May 

Dumbo can fly! Don’t miss this brand new Disney film showing at Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells, escape the crowds and relax at the bar. Take the kids or go with your girlfriends – c’mon, how cute does he look?  trinitytheatre.net 

Green Fingers Half Term Holiday Club, Bore Place, Chiddingstone, Tues 28 May 

Pick up tools from the garden shed, get your gloves and wellies on and head for the veg beds and polytunnels to revisit the organic gardens to tend to the wild flowers and vegetables the children sowed in Spring. Kiddies will take a closer look at pollinators – butterflies, beetles, and bees and more, and play games and have lots of fun along the way. They’ll make a solitary bee hotel to take home. Finish the day 9am – 4pm) by setting up camera traps, humane small mammal traps and moth traps to find out about nocturnal wildlife the following day. Enjoy your picnic lunch around the campfire in the Green Man Glade (Suitable for children aged 6-11 years.) Just brilliant. boreplace.org/whats-on

Summer Cooking Course, Kent College Pembury, Weds 29 May

Using Kent College’s newly refurbished Food Technology kitchens, this class will help children create sweet and savoury summer treats. Students will learn a whole host of invaluable cooking skills which can be transferred to the kitchen at home. This is a hands-on, fun and informative experience and will involve making delicious treats such as quiche, summer salad, pavolva and lemon curd ice cream. Suitable for girls and boys in Years 7, 8 and 9. Limited spaces available! The course is £75 for all the ingredients, a take-home recipe folder and a box of homemade goodies. Email to book: events@kentcollege.kent.schu.uk.

Horrible Histories, The Marlowe Theatre, 30 May – 2 June

We all want to meet people from history – the trouble is everyone is dead! Horrible Histories is coming to The Marlowe Theatre this May with two amazing shows, Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians. Using actors and ground-breaking 3D special effects, these two astounding shows are guaranteed to thrill you and your children. Historical figures and events will come alive on stage, find out the fate of Henry’s headless wives, meet Pharaohs and discover the power of the pyramids. It’s history with the nasty bits left in! Book your tickets here: marlowetheatre.com

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Sat 25 May – Sun 2nd June

If you’re in the Sevenoaks and surrounds area then seek out some Bank Holiday and Half Term Family Fun at this lovely local venue – a smaller, boutique family day out with a garden café and shop. Take up the Make a Monster challenge and create new friends for the Yeti! Note: It’s closed on Tues 28 May.

 

FURTHER AFIELD… 

 

New Children’s Garden, Kew Gardens, London 

As if it wasn’t already a prime spot for day tripping, the clever sausages at Kew Gardens have added a brand new Children’s Garden just in time for May half term. Two years in the making, the interactive garden (aimed at ages 2 – 12) has over 100 varieties of mature trees, bamboo tunnels, hammocks and in-ground trampolines all under the cover of a huge 200 year old oak tree.

Beasts of London, Museum of London, Fri 5 May – Sun 5 Jan 

This looks amazing- a fully immersive, digital installation (see above for a sneak preview) exploring the role animals have played in the shaping of London, from the Roman era all they way up to present day. The interactive show uses video projection mapping to bring the beasts, from rats to lions, to life as they narrate a virtual tour of London. There are some major British celebs involved too, with Kate Moss, Brian Blessed, Pam Ferris and more voicing the beasts. museumoflondon.org.uk

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