Half-Term Survival Guide
Here's your Muddy guide to surviving the February half-term with activities, clubs and events to see you through the week.
Ahhh, they’re out again for another long, looooong week. If you want to make through all seven days unscathed why not take a look at some of the activities that are going on during the half-term break. Best of luck!
Flora’s Kitchen, nr Alton, Wed 19 Feb & Fri 21 Feb
If you have a budding Masterchef in your household then one of Muddy’s favourite culinary teachers will be able to whip them into top cordon blue shape by the time half-term is out. Flora is holding two cracking kids culinary masterclasses this week with a juniors’ Asian Inspired course on Weds 19 and a teen class on Fri 21, where they can make a range of things from sushi to teriyaki.
FAMILY: Shipwreck Explorers: Royal Romance, The Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth, Sat 15 – Sun 23
Henry VIII was known for his erm… love affairs and this half-term sees a very special Shipwreck Explorers all about Tudor lurvveeee. Find out about the love tokens they gave each other, how they celebrated V. Day and what was the best way to keep your head if you were married to the King (Clue… it involved having a son).
Winchester Science Centre – Mon 17 – Fri 21 Feb
The Science Centre can always be relied upon to keep the sproglets busy and secretly learning (we won’t tell, don’t worry) with their holiday activities.
This half-term they are running their super popular Holiday Club with Bright Sparks. Suitable for ages 5-9, for a week’s tuition of £140, you can drop them off in the morning to expand their minds with sciencey activities, safe in the knowledge they won’t destroy your kitchen with their tinkering. What’s even better they also offer a breakfast and afternoon session if you need some wraparound care.
If you want to stick around the kids then check out their Simply Space live show throughout the week along with plenty of other out-of-this-world activities and screenings.
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Romsey – Mon 17 – Fri 21 Feb
For those who want to force… err, encourage the kids into the outdoors then the activities on offer at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens should suit. With activities such as Family Bushcraft where you can bake sweet treats on an open fire (Mon 17), an outdoor adventure club (Mon 17 and Fri 21), and archaeology (Tues 18) they’ll have so much fresh air they’ll be exhausted and you’ll have a nice relaxing evening to yourself.
The Vyne, Basingstoke – Sat 15 – Sun 23 Feb
The National Trust always comes up trumps when it comes to the school hols and this half-term is no exception. The Vyne in Basingstoke is a Tudor palace that is bursting with things to do with the kids. From the Garden Discovery Trail which is perfect for exploring the gardens, Dress Like a Victorian where you can suit and boot like its 1869 and the chance to earn a Conservation Award (ideal for any budding Greta Thunberg ), you’ll make the most of that membership or just have a fun-filled day out.
Marwell Zoo, nr Winchester – Ongoing
Marwell in itself is always a good day out, with a chance to see tigers, flamingos and other bonkers exotic animals in one hit. And for the whole of 2020 you can get the kids on the hunt with their Explorer’s Trail. For a suggested donation of £1 you can get the kids actually paying attention to the exhibits and hunting down the clues before receiving the most coveted of prizes, A STICKER (kids love a sticker) from the cafe at the end.
Beaulieu, New Forest – Sat 15 – Sun 23 Feb
Brrrm brrrrm, it’s Hands-On Half-Term at Beaulieu. Put them to work with the interactive Medieval Builder exhibition, or put on your detective cap and work out what the weird and wonderful gadgetry is contained within the Palace House Kitchen. Then if the kids start to tire of all that grafting (ha!) you have full roam of all the exhibits. Race ya!
New Forest Activities, Baileys Hard, Beaulieu – Sat 15 – Sun 23 Feb
For your little Rambos and Rambettes, then get the face paint on and dig in as the New Forest gets ready for battle. Ok, so maybe a little less gory and a little more laser-taggy, but dashing around the trees shooting the bad guys (their siblings) will be more fun than they can shake a stick at. Plus the grown-ups can have a go and get rid of some of that stress. New Forest Activities also offer winter paddling in canoes and on the River Beaulieu for something a little bit more relaxed.
The D-Day Story, Southsea – Tues 18 Feb
The D-Day Story museum in Portsmouth gets a huge sticky makeover this half-term with their Airfix Extravaganza. Here you can let the kids run wild with model building and painting, safe in the knowledge you don’t have to clean up afterwards.
Fort Nelson, Fareham – Mon 17 – Sat 21 Feb
If half-term always feels like a battle, then how about putting some of that strategic knowledge into use as Fort Nelson holds its very own War Games Week. With a Minecraft Challenge, strategy games to take part in and the chance to create your very own board game using arts and crafts, you can divide and conquer half-term in one fell swoop.
Snowdrop Week and Love Birds Trail at Gilbert White’s House, Selborne – Sat 15 – Thurs 20 Feb
Gilbert White’s House is getting into the swing of February half-term with two events that the kids will love. First off is the return of the annual Snowdrop weekend where you and the sprogs can hunt down the pretty white blooms dotted around the home of the famous naturalist. Then leading into half-term week itself, Love Birds gives kids a chance to take a look at real-life bird nests and find out more about the ornithological world of the UK.
Spirit of the Orient, Robin Hill Country Park – Fri 14 – Sat 22 Feb
The Electric Woods return to Robin Hill with some oriental flair. As the woodlands and hills get transported to China, you can see amazing light shows inspired by Chinese culture, digital displays featuring dancing lions and things to glare and gawk at every turn.
Monkey Haven, Newport – Thurs 14 – Sun 24 Feb
It’s Love Week at the Island’s Monkey Haven and all the simians are getting involved in the action. With heart-warming animal rescue stories, plenty of fluffy monkeys and feathery owls to meet and coo over, plus Love Shakes in the cafe you’ll be all aflutter with these cute little critters.
Paulton’s Park, Ower – Sun 17 – Mon 25 Feb
They may be closed for the winter but Paulton’s Park and Peppa Pig World are open for one week only during the half-term. Ride the Velociraptor or the Cobra, or jump on Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club and generally just fill the kids with adrenaline and sugar for a fun day out.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard – Sat 16 – Sun 24 Feb
The Dockyard is rammed with things to do this February. From meeting the famed Captain Hardy (Tues 18 Feb) and Lego Shipbuilding (Thurs 21 Feb). It’s also still home to the super cool and, somewhat gory, Horrible Histories Pirates exhibition. Definitely one for all swashbucklers.
The Lights Theatre, Andover – Mon 17 Feb
One for the littlies now and if they’ve ever dreamed of being Spiderman or Batman then head along to The Lights in Andover for the Superhero for a Day workshop. As well as honing those all-important superhero moves, the kids can also craft their very own masks and play games to help them save the world.
The Berry Theatre, Hedge End – Mon 17 – Tues 18 Feb
More theatre frolics for the small ones with two events at the family theatre, The Berry. In Shark In The Park, Timothy Pope is having a gander through his telescope and spots… is it? A shark? In the park!?? With three adventures within one show, all written by kids author and illustrator Nick Sharratt, this is a must-see for any small ones. And featuring everybody’s favourite Disney princess and queen *groan*, Frozen II is being screened on Fri 21 Feb if your kids want to see it for the 45th time (spoiler alert, they will).
Milestones Museum, Basingstoke – Sat 16 Feb – Sun 28 April
Fancy a trip into space this half-term? Not enough time, money or access to a spaceship? Don’t be silly. If you pop to the Milestones Museum in Basingstoke you can have a quick nip around the galaxy in a single afternoon. Oh, but the universe is made of Lego… and is being invaded by aliens. But’s, practically the same if you ask me. Also, while you visit you can have a good look around this fab museum with living exhibits such as a 1940s sweet shop and a penny arcade.
West End Centre, Aldershot – Tues 19 – Fri 22 Feb
The Hampshire Cultural Trust has a huge calendar of events for their Children’s Festival this week. Some particular highlights at the West End Centre in Aldershot include pottery classes called Pots for Tots (Tues 18 Feb), a street dance workshop (Tues 18 Feb) and a chance to meet some slithery snakes (Wed 19 Feb).
The Spring, Havant – Mon 17 – Fri 21 Feb
Get ready to save the world with The Spring in Havant‘s Family Festival. With a huge range of eco-themed activities, arts and crafts, games and more, you and the kids can rescue the planet and have some quality family time with these morning sessions throughout the week.
The Kitchen, Chewton Glen – Tues 18 Feb
Get them in the kitchen and learning some practical skills this half-term with the fantastic Teen Masterclass at The Kitchen at Chewton Glen. Aimed at 12-16 year olds, this course will help them learn the basics of cooking chicken including how to cut it, prepare it and even make a kiev or cook a roast.