23 Family fun activities for half term
Half term incoming! But how to keep the kids entertained and from climbing the walls you ask? Your bespoke Muddy Guide of course. Read on for the coolest stuff for them to do across Glos & Worcs.
Whether you have little ones wanting to blow off some steam or hard-to-please teens, we’ve got you covered with these 23 super-fun ideas.
The Hooley, Sudeley Castle & Blenheim Palace, 27 May – 07 June
Roll up, roll up! Postponed from last year’s cancelled show, The Hooley will be the biggest celebration of circus you’ve ever seen. Touring all over the Cotswolds and Glos from Stroud and Chippenham to Sudeley Castle and Blenheim Palace, it’s going to a riot of soul-lifting laughter. And now with new socially distanced seating too. Children under 11 don’t have to wear masks. And you won’t be plucked from the audience to do anything embarrassing this year either! (Covid rules).
Warwick Warriers & Archery, Berkeley Castle, 30 May – 2 June
Take a trip to Glos’s Berkeley Castle for an action-packed day. Warriors from Dressed to Kill will descend upon the Castle to impart their expert sword fighting skills. Learn how knights were trained in the 15th Century and watch breathtaking sword fight shows. And on 1 – 2 June they can try their hand at archery on the Queen Elizabeth I Bowling Lawn and watch archery shows throughout the day.
Handmade Pop-up, The Painswick Centre, Painswick, from 28 May until 31 August
Fancy browsing local artisan goodies in one of our most beautiful villages? Then head to this brand new pop-up shop at the Painswick Centre. Bringing talented local businesses together under one roof, you’ll find lovely products made by artists and artisans in the Painswick Valley. Look out for honey and beeswax goodies from the Painswick BeeKeeper, paintings from superb local artist Rupert Aker, and handmade baby hats spun from wool from Tibbiwell Alpacas right in the village.
Longborough Festival Opera, Moreton-in-Marsh, 01 June – 31 August
This is legit Glos’s very own opera extravaganza! The Longborough Festival Opera is the most soul-lifting, spectacular intro to opera if you’ve never experienced it before. New for 2021 is it’s fabulous Greatest Showman-vibe Big Top venue (see above). Three of the festival’s 2021 productions will take place in this new venue: Cosi fan tutte, The Return of Ulysses and The Cunning Little Vixen. Perfect for a balmy summer evening when you fancy a bit of high culture (don’t worry there are subtitles too!). You can order a bespoke picnic hamper for £40 (including vegetarian) which comes with cutlery, plates and napkins and enjoy your feast with stunning views over the Cotswold hills before the show.
Kingfisher Trail, all over the Cotswolds, from 31 May
Take the kids on this wonderful new sculpture-seeking trail across the county, with each kingfisher designed by a celebrated national or local artist. Check out the website for a downloadable map of where to find all 21 of them from Chipping Campden in the north right down to Bath in the South (we hear there’s one at the brilliant Bibury Trout Farm too). Will you find them all? Do tell us if you do!
Kids Half Term Courses, New Brewery Arts, Cirencester, 03 – 04 June
Want to find a fascinating experience over half term that will have them off their screens and up to their elbows in fun? Head to New Brewery Arts in the heart of Cirencester. Pick from ‘Watercolour and Wax Resist’ Junes (for ages 5-11) on 3 June, ‘Birds of Paradise Sculptures’ (ages 5 – 11) on 3 June, £40 or Mixed Media Sea Life Sketchbook (ages 5 – 11), £40, on 4 June. A fun and friendly place to learn new skills.
Marvellous Macaroons Baking Class, Cotswolds Baking Workshop, near Moreton-in-Marsh, 29 May – 05 June
Ever wondered how to achieve the perfect macaron, complete with a smooth shell and frilly feet? Come to the Marvellous Macarons class and find out. A fun couple of hours creating perfect macarons with lots of room for creativity with the lovely Susie Whitfield. You will leave with the recipe, lots of tips, and of course, a box of your gorgeous macarons. Class lasts two hours, from 2pm to 4pm. Or. book in for her Afternoon Tea Treats masterclass on Sat 05 June – where the whole family can learn how to make buttery scones and scrumptious cakes.
Cotswold Forest School, South Cerney, Cirencester, 01 – 04 June
If you go down to the woods today – you’re sure to find a LOT of fun. At this brilliant fresh activity they can learn den and shelter construction, fuel foraging, bush craft, bow-making, woodland survival skills and even fire starting! The workshops will be run during the mornings between 10.00 am and 12 noon and in the afternoon between 1pm and 3pm. The cost of each half day session is £14 per child, and £30 for the whole day. Book them on today.
Eastnor Steam and Vintage Fair, Eastnor Castle, 30 – 31 May
Big machines with steam! Promising two days of nostalgic family fun Eastnor Steam Weekend brings you everything from classic cars to steam engines all with the backdrop of grand Eastnor Castle which you can explore with your ticket. Located a short hop over the border into Herefordshire the kids will also love the zip wires and obstacle course, and Eastnor’s resident entertainer who’ll be popping up around the grounds. Refuel on hot dogs and nachos which will all be available from a gazebo in the courtyard.
Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Slimbridge
This Best Family Attraction Muddy finalist boasts some wonderful watery trails where you can spot dragonflies, kingfishers and water voles to name but a few. And don’t miss the super cute otters who will melt your heart when they come out to feed. The playground is brilliant and has been recently revamped with a tower and wobbly bridge and there’s also an indoor soft play area.
This wonderful open air pool in the heat of Cirencester is spring-fed and heated to a balmy 27 degrees. Kids wll love the slide and there is an onsite tuck shop to keep them happy too. Check the website for details and book ahead. Or, head over to the lovely Sandford Lido which is a huge heated pool in the heart of Cheltenham.
Go Ape, Mallards Pike Lake & Beechenhurst Lodge, Forest of Dean
You’ll find not one, but two Go Apes, the treetop adventure playground for Tarzans and Janes, in the Forest of Dean, England’s largest oak woodland. The site at Mallards Pike Lake is home to the original Tree Top Adventure and Forest Segway, while three miles down the road, Beechenhurst Lodge is the place to go for a Tree Top Junior Adventure. It includes new obstacles including the Tank Trap, The Shuffle, Net Bridge and Itchen Crossing among the zip wires, Tarzan swings and rope ladders. And if you need a bit of rest after all that but still want to explore the leafy surroundings, you can hop on a forest Segway and go in search of deer and birds of prey.
Family Cooking Experience, Harts Barn Cookery School, Longhope, 01 – 02 June
Join this brilliant family cooking experience at Harts Barn Cookery School, spend the morning cooking delicious dishes in a relaxed atmosphere. Learn new skills, teach them some essential life skills and enjoy this screen-free afternoon out. During the class you will prepare and cook a 3-course meal and then enjoy eating your creations together in the Apple Barn. Duration: 3 hours, cost £30.
Holiday Club, Mighty Oaks, Cirencester
This brilliant club at the heart of Cirencester offers kids tons of fun activities throughout half term. Rated an Ofsted Outstanding provider the holiday club HQ is The Clubhouse in Gosditch Street, just a stone’s throw from Cirencester’s iconic Parish Church, where there is a beautiful walled garden to play in massive inside spaces across 4 rooms loaded with resources and access to the Abbey Ground park just across the road. Contact them directly for more details.
Alfresco FIlm Company, Glos & Worcs, from 20 May
This cool and retro way to catch a movie (and consume your bodyweight in popcorn) is all-go for 2021. Catch an all time classic flick in Cirencester, Cheltenham, Lechlade, Bristol, Gloucester, Abberley and Redditch. We can’t wait to settle into one of the deckchairs for a showing of Jurassic Park, Hot Fuzz and Grease amongst other big hitters. This car-free cinema fest is perfect for Spring and Summer nights, book your deckies now.
Botanical Treasures: Inspiration from Nature in Porcelain and on Paper, Royal Museum of Worcester, Worcester, from 27 May to October.
Inspire them with some nature art. Visit the brand new Botanical Treasures exhibition at this interesting museum – the collab between the Museum of Royal Worcester and the Gloucestershire Society for Botanical Illustration (GSBI) features artworks by the GSBI’s talented members, many of whom are RHS medal winners, displayed alongside the museum’s beautiful collections of porcelain and original archives. Included in the exhibition will be a celebration of the life and work of Stuart Lafford, who worked at Royal Worcester potteries in the 1980s as a painter. Under 16s go free – a top Spring vibe exhibition.
Treasure Island, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, 02 June
From the company who brought you the critically acclaimed The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (4 STARS The Stage) and audience favourite Cinderella: The Pop-Up Panto comes a bonkers adaptation of Treasure Island. They’ll love being back in a theatre after so long. Shows are at 12pm and 4pm.
Cotswold Country Park and Beach, Cirencester
Head to the largest inland paddling beach in the UK for some ‘Costa del Cotswolds’ fun. This action-packed Country Park has a large, sandy lagoon for swimming and paddling, or hire one of the giant swan pedalos, row or electric boats for some laughter on the lake. There’s an inflatable aqua adventure park you can book ahead for and mini golf and new for 2021 are the VIP BBQs. From £30 you can book a private area and BBQ overlooking the lake and beach for the whole day – with a free bottle of Prosecco on arrival (well, half term’s not just about the kids).
Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power near Cheltenham
There are all levels of farmyard cuteness going on at Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park and it’s a fabulously entertaining day out. Head for the Animal Barn where you can sit and watch lambs being born, plus see piglets, donkey foals, calves, and herds of rare breeds. Kids can interact with the animals too, including the gorgeous native Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs, then take them to burn off all their energy at the Adventure Playground, Farm Safari, Tractor School or Giant Jumping PIllows.
Aztec Adventure, Upton Warren and Lower Moor, Worcs
We’ve recently discovered Aztec Adventure and we can’t believe how much you can do here. It’s a fantastic place to keep kids entertained over half term. Take them paddleboarding and kayaking or book onto a junior sailing course. The brilliant and bouncy inflatable aqua park opened up fully from 1 May too so nab a slot now.
West Midlands Safari & Leisure Park, Bewdley
This fantastic day out is a family favourite, with more than 165 species of animal to see, a drive through safari and a mini theme park to boot. Entry to the park buys you so much fun, from Boj’s Giggle Park, the Sea Lion Show, Penguin Cove, the Aquarium, Meerkat Mayhem, Hippo Lake and much more. Watch daily feeds and animal encounters with the residents then wear the kiddos out on the 20 adrenaline rides.
All Things Wild, Honeybourne near Evesham, from 12 April
This great indoor-outdoor zoo is a super place to take the kiddos. Let them go wild at the adventure play park, beach area, pedal go-karts and the Jungle Mayhem indoor play area. There is a rainbow array of animals to meet and squeal at or ride the Dino Train. See the website for the latest on daily itinerary seasonal activities from Lemur Walkthrough, Outback Trail, bug hunting and arts and crafts.