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10 half term courses for kids

Need to get your little angels out of the house/your hair? We’ve curated the best nine courses to keep them quiet, whatever their hobby…

Family Cookery School, Waddesdon Manor, Bucks, 12-16 Feb

If you’ve got a mini masterchef in your household, this one’s for you. The one-day cookery course (11.30am – 3.30am, Mon-Fri) is run by the Manor Restaurant’s chefs and includes lunch, all ingredients and a goody box to take home. Suitable for 7-11 year olds, it costs £25 per person, with all children needing to be accompanied by an adult. If it means they’ll cook the Sunday roast from now on while you relax with a G&T, that’s a good investment right?


Dance and drama week, Chipping Norton Theatre, 11-15 Feb

Pack off your resident drama queen/king to learn stagecraft, acting and ballet at Chippy Theatre’s ‘play in a week’ based on Noel Streatfield’s Ballet Shoes (runs Sun to Thurs, suitable for 8-16 year olds). Or there’s a ‘play in two days’ for 5-7 year olds (Thurs and Fri) or 8-12 year olds (Mon and Tues) – at the end they get to perform their work to an awe-struck audience (ie you).


Technical theatre workshop, Milton Keynes Theatre, Fri 16 Feb

This three-hour session gives your teenager the opportunity to be a mini light and sound technician for the afternoon. They get to fiddle with mixing desks, microphones and lasers – how cool is that? Suitable for 12-18 year olds. Tickets here.


Cinderella Youth Dance Workshop: New Adventures, Milton Keynes Theatre, Sat 17 Feb

Also at MK Theatre but on a totally different note is this dance workshop, based on Matthew Bourne’s acclaimed Cinderella and run by the charitable arm of his company. 8-13 year olds attend the morning session, 14-18 year olds the afternoon, and they welcome all abilities. Tickets here.


Animation Triathlon, Film Oxford, Oxford, 13-15 Feb 

This three-day animation workshop is run by Aardman-trained animator Joanna Brooks. Children learn the basics of animation walking and talking before creating their own piece. Suitable for 10-16 years olds. Watch out Wallace and Gromit, you’ve got competition.


Put On A Play In A Week, Creation theatre, Oxford, 12-16 Feb

A 5 day workshop in which children – guess what? – put on a play in a week, under the watchful eyes of the always-ace Creation Theatre team. The resulting masterpiece is performed on the Friday afternoon. Hours run a working-parent friendly 9am – 5pm.


YO! Sushi Making Classes, Oxford & High Wycombe, 15 Feb

Hiyah! These cookery classes will have your ‘mini ninjas’ rolling like a pro. With the help of local Yo! staff (Oxford or High Wycombe), kids will make three types of sushi and receive a certificate for their efforts. Classes are £15 for an hour and suitable for 5-12 yr olds – but parents are required to stay so no making the great escape.


Masterclass: Acting For Screen, National Youth Theatre, London, 12-17 Feb

If your teen is hellbent on film/TV acting, this course looks like a solid investment. Taking place at Greycoats School in Westminster, this six-day masterclasss includes a mock screen test and a Q&A with industry insiders. Suitable for ages 15+.


Architecture workshops, RIBA, London, 14-16 February

Got a budding Zaha Hadid on your hands? Teens age 15+ can attend their choice of three one-day Skill UP workshops at the Royal Institute of British Architects HQ, no less. Tuesday’s theme is House Of Tomorrow, Wednesday’s is Style Wars and Thursday is about Contested Space.


Ninja Camp, Mini Engineers, various London locations, 12-16 Feb

A two day course (the South Kensington and St Johns Wood locations are most convenient for us Bucks/Oxon dwellers) where children travel to Japan (not literally, don’t worry) to become ninjas, build a dojo and learn sabotage, spying and assassination skills (again not literally, phew) amid the cherry blossom. Suitable for primary school age children.



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