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13 cool things to do with the kids in Half Term

children playing make believe

A bit lastminute.com with your half term plans? I hear ya, sista. What you need is the impeccably curated Muddy guide to the top 12 half term children’s activities in Bucks, Oxon and beyond. Et voilà

 

Waddesdon Manor, nr Aylesbury, all week

The Superhero treasure trail (daily, 11am-3pm) will keep your little Spider-Man or Wonder Woman happy. Costumes encouraged but no capes apparently (presumably it’s a health and safety thang). For older children, there’s a comic book workshop on the Weds (10.30am and 1.30pm) in which Jamie from the Crazy Comic Club will help them design a strip and a pair of X-ray specs. waddesdon.org.uk

 

Yana and the Yeti, The North Wall, Oxford, Tues 13 Feb

One for little ‘uns age 5+, this is a super-cute musical puppet show from the always-reliable North Wall theatre. Yana is far from home and all alone in a mysterious snowy land, surrounded by dense forest. But she soon discovers friends come from the most unlikely places. Performances at 11am and 2pm. thenorthwall.com

 

Roald Dahl Museum, Great Missenden, Bucks, all week

There’s loads going on here, from poetry workshops to parties to arts and crafts to mask-making to – my favourite – a reptile roadshow. It’ll be totally BFG*, guys! (*bloody flipping great). NB Great Missenden itself is a gorgeous village, should you have time for a stroll while you’re there and you can eat at Muddy tried-and-tested The Nags Head or The Cross Keys. roalddahl.com

 

River and Rowing museum, Henley, all week

Another pleasingly packed programme (and if you go with another adult, you can palm the kids off on them for a bit and sneak off to the new Barbara Hepworth exhibition while you’re there). Highlights include the Chinese New Year family fun day on the Thurs (with origami animals and bracelet making) and clay seahorse and clock decorating on the Tues. Plus there’s a new vibrant, guerrilla textiles exhibition called Yarn Bombing! opening on the Thursday – which sounds like a very Henley kind of anarchy. rrm.co.uk

 

Story Museum, Oxford, all week

I have a soft spot for this lesser-known alternative to Oxford’s big-hitter museums. Their half term programme includes kid-friendly stand-up from Tiernan Douieb (not a typo) who riffs on superheroes, annoying siblings and, um, bogies (Tues) and two canine-themed events – a 101 Dalmations-inspired story workshop (Mon) and a meet the author event (Sat 10th) with Andrew Cope, who writes the Spy Dog series. storymuseum.org.uk

 

Bucks Railway Centre, nr Quainton, 11, 14 and 18 Feb

Choo choo-mad nippers will love these Steaming Days (no, not that kind of steaming – hold off the wine until the evening). They can ride to their hearts’ content on the beautifully restored steam engines, check out the miniature railway, museum (love the vintage Tube carriages) and visitor centre. There’s a café so you can make a day of it.  bucksrailcentre.org

 

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 14 and 15 Feb

It’s the Chinese New Year Party celebrating the year of the dog and you’d be barking to miss it (*gets coat*). There’s all sorts of arty, crafty, story stuff going on, you don’t have to book and it’s a suggest donation of £1 per child so a good budget option. And leaves you more moolah to spend on spring rolls afterwards. ashmolean.org

 

Chocolate Fun, Rumsey’s, Thame, 14 Feb

This sweet (in both senses) chocolate shop and café in Thame is running a kids’ chocolate heart lollipop making event on Valentine’s Day, with sessions at 2.30pm and 3pm. Obviously they should hand it over afterwards to the love of their life (ie you). See their Facebook page for more info.

 

StoryStock, Battersea Power Station, Mon 12 – Wed 14 Feb

StoryStock Battersea literary festival February Half Term

StoryStock is travelling circus bowling up at Circus West Village, one of the first developments in the new Battersea Power Station quarter. It’s an all-singing kids bookfest, with workshops including one inspired by Roald Dahl’s The Enormous Crocodile, an interactive storytelling session based on Lauren Child’s Charlie and Lola and Dr Seuss’s ‘The Cat in the Hat, yoga with the Gruffalo and visiting authors. storystock.co.uk

 

Lambing, Mead Open Farm, nr Leighton Buzzard, Beds, all week

Just across the border from North Bucks, this is basically cute cuddly animal Mecca. Children get to meet tiny newborn lambs and bottle-feed bigger ones. There’s also an under-5s soft play, go-karting, Digger Village, loads of mahoosive playframes, and a climbing wall. Everything your little darling could possibly desire, basically. meadopenfarm.co.uk

 

Warwick Castle, Warwick, all week

The medieval castle has loads going on for children – you can try to shake them off  in the Horrible Histories maze, check out the Mighty Trebuchet, a medieval weapon of mass destruction and watch the birds of prey displays. If that doesn’t wear them out, haring around the 64 acres of landscaped gardens will. warwick-castle.com

 

Knight School, Tower of London, all week

Enrol your little Mike The Knight to train as a page, then squire before eventually graduating to full knight status (No darling, you can slay your brother with that sword.) They get to create helmets and shields, complete with family coat of arms., defend the tower and all sorts of fun, fighty, knighty stuff. hrp.org.uk

 

Winnie-The-Pooh: Exploring A Classic, V&A Museum, until Sun 25 Feb

Winnie The Pooh Exhibition V&A Museum London

You loved the Balenciaga exhibition. we all adored the Bowie one. Now take the kids to see Winnie-The-Pooh – a show that invites you into the world created by AA Milne and EH Shepard, in which a tubby teddy and his friends stumble over life lessons. It’s multi sensory and playful exhibition that adds to the magic of this timeless classic. vam.ac.uk

 

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