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Half Term courses – book em in, boot em out!

For once we’re out of the starting blocks earlyish on Half Term, and rather than an exhaustive calendar of stuff to do, plus lots of scrolling through this and that, we’re scaling it back and really curating hard so that you can clearly see the very best in courses, day out locally, day trips away, adult stuff to do (nothing X-rated I’m afraid *sniff*) and suggestions for rainy days. All the top tips will be up on the blog in the next few days AND also accessible from the KIDS drop down menu at the top under the Half Term category. Yeah I know, Muddy amazeballs!

First out of the blocks, because you need some time to book these suckers are..

HALF TERM COURSES FOR KIDS

1/ COOKERY COURSES

Chocolate Lollypop Making for Kids, Rumsey’s, Thame, Weds 15 – Fri 17 Feb. Two session per day at 3pm & 3.30pm. £6 includes lollypop making and taking away and a kid’s hot chocolate. Book in advance on 01844 260303. Suitable for: Ages 5 + rumseys.co.uk

Family Cookery School, Waddesdon Manor,  Mon 13 – Fri 17 Feb. There is the promise of ‘family fun’ making sweet treats in the Manor Restaurant this half term. Includes lunch, all ingredients and a goody bag to take home with you. 7-11 year olds. waddesdon.org.uk

Jericho Kitchen Cookery School. This fantastic new central Oxford cookery school is offering Chocolate making on  Mon 13 Feb and pizza making on Thurs 16 Feb. Suitable for: ages 5-10 jerichokitchen.co.uk

Winter Warmers Workshop, Beverley Glock Cookery School, Princes Risborough, Mon 13 Feb. A warming soup and homemade bread with a pudding, that the kids can bring home and forcefeed – I mean offer – to their grateful families. Suitable for age 6+. bevereleyglock.com

One Day Cookery Course for Kids, Jamie Oliver Cookery School, Shepherd’s Bush, London. Jamie fans can usher their kids into London for Junior Sushi Master (Weds 15 Feb), Pizza For Pros (Thurs 16 Feb), or Become a Pasta Master (Fri 17 Feb). Suitable for ages 8 -14. jamieolivercookeryschool.com

2/ THEATRE & DANCE

A Play in a Week with Creation Theatre, Mill Arts, Banbury, Mon 13 – Fri 17 Feb. Join the Creation Theatre team as they put on their regular holiday A Play in a Week, teaching new drama skills from Mon-Thurs before inviting friends and family for the final performance. £150 for the week 10am- 4.30pm daily. Suitable for: ages 8 – 12 themillartscentre.co.uk

A Play in Two Days, The Theatre Chipping Norton, Mon 13 – Tues 14 Feb. Two days of practical workshops, with drama games, improvisations and a play to put on in front of family and friends on the professional Chippy Theatre stage. Suitable for: 8-12 years. Bring lunch. Performance Tuesday at 3.45pm. Also on Thurs 15-Fri 16 for 5-7 year olds with the performance on Friday at 12.45pm. chippingnortontheatre.co.uk

Half Term Drama, Cornerstone Arts, Weds 15 Feb. A relaxed class where kids can create and make their own theatre and drama pieces through script and physical theatre. Suitable for: 5- 10 years. cornerstone-arts.org

Three-Day Dance Masterclass, North Wall, Oxford. A rare opportunity to join James Wilton Dance for an intensive three-day dance masterclass this February half term. Kids 12-17 can learn the the dynamic, fast-paced floor techniques used in the company’s highly distinctive repertoire and will also create their own choreography, resulting in a new piece of dance to accompany their latest touring work LEVIATHAN. Two weeks later, at the opening event of Dancin’ Oxford – your child will perform this  curtain-raiser to LEVIATHAN at Pegasus Theatre on Friday 3rd March.Suitable for – ages 12 – 18, those who live locally and have had some experience in dance. thenorthwall.com

Contemporary Dance Workshop, Cornerstone Arts, Sat 18 Feb. Ideal for older kids with some dance experience. This workshop focuses on musicality, accents, definition and clarity of movement. Kids need to bring comfortable clothes, no need for shoes (though they can bring socks!). Suitable for: Ages 16-18. cornerstone-arts.org

Creative Dance Workshop, Cornerstone Arts, Tues 14 Feb. A creative dance class for younger children with the emphasis on fun – jumping, turning and so much more through stories, magical themes and music. There will be a small dance to show at the end of the workshop. Suitable for: Ages 5-7. cornerstone-arts.org

Red Shoes Half Term Dance Course, Milton Keynes Theatre, Mon 13 – Thurs 16 Feb. Over this residency, dancers can explore themes and choreography from Matthew Bourne’s brand new production of The Red Shoes. Each day will consist of a warm up class followed by the opportunity to learn repertoire from the show, culminating in a short piece that will be shared on the last day. Includes a ticket to watch the show on Thursday afternoon. Suitable for:  ages 11+. There are also two shorter workshops on the Saturday – Red Shoes Youth Dance Workshop.

Sat 18 Feb 9.30-11.30am | Ages 8-12 | £30pp

Sat 18 Feb 12-2pm | Ages 15-18 | £30pp. atgtickets.com

A Play in a Day: RSC, Stratford. Thesp deluxe! Kids can spend a day creating a shortened version of one of Shakespeare’s plays.Working as an ensemble theatre company, the children will devise, direct and act in a 20-30 minute reworking of a Shakespeare play that will be performed to family and friends. The play for February Half Term is Julius Caesar. £25. Mon 20 Feb –  ages 9 – 11 years; Tues 21 Feb  – ages 12 – 14 years; Weds 22 Feb –  ages 15 – 17 years. rsc.org.uk

3/ SPORTS COURSES

There are sooooo many sports courses but these are the ones that really stood out.

Snozone, Milton Keynes, Children’s School Holiday Camps. Whether your lucky kids need training for their bi-annual trip to the snow, or the Snozone is the closest they’ll get to the real thing, no matter – it’s an amazing local resource. Kids 7-15 can keep fit, improve their skiing/snowboarding, scoff refreshments on Snowzone and do an outdoor activity from £59.99 for one day to £269.99 for the full week. snozoneuk.com

Oxford Ice Rink, Holiday Courses. ‘Skate Basics’ classes are offered at Oxford Ice Rank for children and their parents (yes you, let go of the outside rail!). Classes are taught over five consecutive days and last for 30 minutes each day, in groups of up to 15. If you’re further north in the county, there are also Half Term courses at Planet Ice in Milton Keyne.

Longridge Activity Days. Just outside Marlow and a brilliant way for your kids to try different sports (and get them out of the way for the day). Activities vary daily but could include climbing wall, outdoor go-karting, water orbing and laser tag. An activity day starts at 8.30am and either finishes at 4pm and costs £40 for 4 activities or 5.30pm and costs £50 for 5 activities.

Half -term Holiday Camps, Halton Village nr. Aylesbury, Bucks. The best tennis camp in Bucks. Low student to coach ratios, and a national centre of sporting excellence (yup really!) – hour long groups for 2.5 – 4 years, mornings for 4-7 and full day courses for 7-10, 10-14 and 14-17 year olds. The cost includes lunch and, for those players attending a full camp, video analysis of all strokes, graduation certificate, and written camp report. haltontennis.co.uk

Wycombe Wanderers Football Club. Offering 5 day courses at 3 different venues – Beaconsfield, Wycombe and Amersham – for £75 for the full 5 days which is amazine value. 10am – 3pm for 4-12 year olds. [email protected]

4/ OTHER BRILLIANT STUFF

Half-term Film Workshops, Film Oxford

Animation Triathlon – Feb 13 – 15 (10am- 4pm) – Animation workshops run by NFTS and Aardman trained animator Joanna Brooks. Over 3 days learn about the basics of animation movement and talking – and then conceive and create your own short masterpiece. Aimed at young people (10 – 16 year olds). £120 for 3 days. Suitable for: ages 10 – 16. filmoxford.org

Cartoon Museum, London. Half-term workshops with different themes each day include Manga, Superheroes, Comic Art and Design a Beano cover. Suitable for: mostly ages 8-12 & ages 12-16 for experienced young artists interested in the Comic Art Masterclass. cartoonmuseum.org

Art Holiday Courses, Lisa Jayne Art Studio, Bletchingdon. The former Head of Art at Rye St Anthony School now holds private lessons for children and adults in Bletchingdon, Oxfordshire. The holiday art courses run for 5-7 years (2 hours max) and 8-teens (2hours up to all day). lisajayneuk.com

Ultimate Activity Camps, Holiday Childcare Camps, Various Locations. A range of sport, art, creative and games activities for children aged 4 to 14 years, from swimming and fencing to art and initiative games. Kids can attend from one day to the whole week (Mon-Fri), with flexibility for working parents – you can drop kids at 8am and collect at 6pm!! ultimateactivity.co.uk

Amazing Animation Taster Day, Didcot, Fri 17 Feb. A one day taster animation workshop for those kids who’d love to make a mini Lego Movie, Wallace and Gromit or Cut Out Animation. Suitable for : Ages 7 – 13 cornerstone-arts.org

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