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Half-term saviour! 40 things kids will love

Your half-term survival guide is here! How about 40 brilliant things to do with the kids across Glos and Worcs? From kayaking and zip-wiring to alpaca treks and sports clubs, your wish is our command. Find them all here.

Half-term, you won’t crush our souls (*repeat as necessary*) Why not? Because we have created an indispensable guide to surviving the school holiday.

Boutique cinema arvos, baby lambs, giant 3G swings, puddle-jumping Olympics? Tick, tick, tick! So whether you’re rocking in a corner dreading the lack of routine or excitedly ushering in a slower pace of life, read on for minimising the grey hairs and maximising shed-loads of fun.

ANIMAL MAGIC

What beats springy lambs at this dreary time of year? Exactly. NOTHING. So we have an absolute treat for you down at the brilliant Cotswold Farm Park’s Live Lambing Event in Guiting Power, near Cheltenham. Settle yourselves down in the Animal Barn and keep your eyes peeled as the resident flock of ewes beds in for birthing season. With any luck you might see a lamb popping into the world. Open from 14 February.

Kids will love the daily talks with keepers – and yes – let them tackle all those awkward questions for you. They can also have a go at bottle feedings (hold on tight, they get hungry) and if that’s not sufficient cuteness overload, you can go to the chick hatching room next door to stroke newly born, fluffy baby chicks. Younger ones will also love the Adventure Barn, Dolly’s Den soft play area and Farm Safari rides. Or check out Cotswold Wildlife Park nearby, where you can see Penguins and Lemurs being fed along with a whole host of other animals and activities.

Next up, how about some quality time with some llamas? Glos is llama nirvana. Who knew? With several alpaca farms dotted all over the county. Walk a woolly camelid through the picturesque lanes of Painswick with the warm and welcoming lot at Tibbiwell Alpacas from as little as £20 (children welcome). Pick your fave from the bunch for the experience, will it be Dumbledore, Pablo, Apollo or Salvador?

Or head to the hills and woodland with your trusty (llama) stead at Briery Hill Llamas in Newent, Glos (below). They have 26 llamas to choose from – all gentle and calm animals that are sociable and happy to walk at a gentle pace through the woodlands and fields.

Advance booking is a must for treks which are available from £35 per person for a 90-minute session. Suitable for children over 8 years old. Finish off with afternoon tea on site – all freshly made at Briery Hill.

Little ones will also love a trip to Atwell Farm Park in Beoley, Worcs. A fully working farm which holds regular talks and handling sessions, take them on a farmyard trail or to the petting barn which is home to rabbits, chicks, Guinea pigs, rheas and many more. There are also electric tractors for the tinnies and indoor play areas if it’s chucking it down.

SPORTY SHORTIES

They can burn off ALL the energy at one of these iCan holiday sports camps with dates throughout the half term. Book them in to sessions at Deer Park School in Cirencester and Ashton Keynes Primary School from 22 February to 24 February. This popular multi-sports club will be perfect if you’re little one has tons of energy! They play a range of sports, games, and activities all tailored to the ages and abilities of the groups.

For some free sporty fun head to Cirencester Skatepark (located next to Kingshill school) or Stroud Skate Park (located inside Stratford Park). Whether you are just beginning to learn or honing your skills, these great ramps are super fun for all ages. Go along to learn some new tricks or just have a free scoot around.

Did you know you can play tennis at the Imperial Gardens Tennis Courts in Cheltenham? The park has six courts in Montpellier Gardens and three in the fun Pittville Park, just down the road. You can book online as a pay and play option from just £3.45. Click here to get your Wimbledon vibe on. There’s also the lovely Montpellier Garden Cafe and Boathouse Cafe nearby for much needed flat whites or milkshakes. And if you are nearer Cirencester, hit the asphalt at doggy-free St Michael’s Park, where you can pitch up and play for just £4.50 an hour.

Muti-sports and rugby camps will be on at Gloucester Rugby, (stay tuned for dates) sports to try including basketball, rugby, dodgeball, Gaelic football, rugby and cricket to name but a few. Click here to book them on to a place and get some feet-up time for you. Locations include Stroud, Stonehouse and Gloucester.

And a good tip for if it’s bucketing down, is to head to the super fun Mr Mulligan’s Crazy Golf in Cheltenham, to play one of two 18 hole courses (£29 per game). There is no age limit and kids will love whacking balls into lurking dinosaurs and wide-eyed whales in this Lost World paradise. After that have a go at pool, electro-darts, shuffleboard and ping pong.

LITTLE FOODIES

Daylesford does it again with the cookery class they’ll pretty much all want to do. Book in for their Budding Chefs Cookery Class at the fabulous organic farm shop in Kingham. For £55 per child on 23 February, this three hour masterclass with expert cookery tutors provides the perfect introduction to cookery for children aged between 5 and 8 years old.

Plus, book in and the grown ups get a treat too with 25% off in the Farmshop afterwards. At least you’ll have ticked off one vegetable in 7 days – that’s a half term win.

There’s also tons of culinary fun to be had the Harts Barn Cookery School. Located in Longhope near the Forest of Dean, they will learn how to make a simple dishes then have fun eating them! All ages welcome but children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult.

We highly recommend a class at the wonderfully friendly and fun Cotswolds Baking Workshop too – they have face to face and online classes. We love the sound of Delectable Doughnuts on 19th February. During this busy class, you will make, fry, and fill jam and custard doughnuts and learn lots of techniques and ideas to recreate them yourself. There will be plenty of doughnuts to take home too! (2 hours, cost £50)

Want to take the kids for a treat? (and yourself, you’ll have earnt it!), head to the gorgeous Queens Hotel in Cheltenham over half term, from Monday 21st to Friday 25th February, book in for afternoon tea and the kids eat FREE!

Valid for up to two children when there are two paying adults, priced at £25 per person, the Queens Tiffin Afternoon Tea menu features traditional favourites including smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches, warm scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, as well as a delicious selection of mini cakes and a champagne upgrade available for the adults. While little ones can enjoy a cheese or ham sandwich, plain scone with clotted cream and jam, and a chocolate brownie – it’s sure to impress even the smallest critic.

SHOW TIME 

Book in for a great show, as a mid-week pick (you!) up, Glos and Worcs are bursting with kid-friendly shows this year, here are a few of our favourite picks.

See Shrek The Musical at the grand Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham from 22 Feb — 26 Feb. Seeing a show here is always a thrill and this box office smash hit is chock full of great songs, hilarious characters and fairytale magic.

It’s puppet magic at The Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury on 23 February. Norwich Puppet Theatre are putting on an exciting re-imagining of classic Italian fairy tale Pinocchio. It’s a fast-paced journey of discovery with hints of danger, slapstick humour and a playful exploration of identity suitable for young audiences.

This joyfully visual production features puppetry illusion and object theatre as well as a lively soundtrack and… there’s a very big fish!

Take them to see something a little different at Circus Spectacular at the Bacon Theatre in Cheltenham.

Join the troupe for the Greatest Show on Earth – featuring international circus acts, amazing magic and lots of laughs. Every show is unique and during the ‘what’s next?’ part of the show, the audience chooses which act they’d like to see next with both sets of artistes fighting it out for the audiences vote! The show will be seamlessly linked together, culminating in one ‘slosh’ style finale, but not to panic as the first four rows shall be provided with rain macs! A super, old fashioned circus style variety show.

NUTS FOR NATURE 

Let them flood those wellies to their heart’s content at the ingeniously thought-up South West Puddle Jumping Championships at WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Glos. Running from 19 Feb – 27 Feb, will they win one of the categories up for grabs? From biggest splasher to most stylish jumper. Have a go at practice puddles across the park then have a go at the daily 2pm Puddle Olympics in Welly Boot Land (of course). There are prizes up for grabs. From 9.30am – 5pm.

Plus for 2022 there is a special Young Birder Session. Cost is £6 per person and for ages 13-18. Get to grips with bird identification with the help of one of the experienced reserve wardens. Join them for a morning visits to the hides to see what birds are around and get help identifying a variety of species including waders, ducks and passerines. Discover why wetlands are amazing and turn them into naturalists of the future.

For lungfuls of fresh air head to the magical Forest of Dean & Wye Valley. It’s a perfect way to beat boredom whilst exploring one of Britain’s largest forests, as well as miles of picturesque riverside tracks and panoramic viewpoints overlooking as many as seven different counties. Kids will love the zip wires, sculpture trails, kayaks and biking routes as well as Perryvale steam railway.Head to the ancient woodlands of Puzzlewood, which starred in The Secret Garden and Star Wars. Find all the details here.

Westonbirt Arboretum is always a great visit in half term, Kids can run around like crazy things in the open air whilst you take a lovely stroll, or take along a warming picnic with flasks of hot chocolate to enjoy whilst they play hide and seek. Adults entry to the Arboretum is £7 and kids £3. Under 5s go free too. Keep checking in for special activities to book into nearer the time. Kids scooters and bikes all welcome.

Caving in Glos? Nooo… why yes. The absolutely awe-inspiring Clearwell Caves are due to reopen for half term in the Forest of Dean. Check in nearer the time for exact opening hours. And check out these incredible ancient iron ore caves where explorers can head 100 ft below ground. Entry to Clearwell Caves is £25 for a family of four or £8 per adult and £6 per child (ages four to 16).

ADRENALINE JUNKIES 

Right, step up to the plate adrenalin junkies, because there’s a special half term 50% off at the National Diving and Activity Centre (17 Feb – 21 Feb) at Tidenham, Glos.  Who’ll buckle first? You or the kids! (Show no fear we say).

Fly like nature never intended on a knee-wobbling zipwire 700m above a flooded quarry or swing (with your eyes firmly closed while they scream with joy) on the giant 3G sky swing which launches its lucky riders 75m over the edge of a steep quarry. Activities are recommended for ages 12 and upwards. For younger ones, check in to the fabulously fun aqua adventure park here – for ages 8 upwards.

There’s a whole heap of inflatable fun to be had at the Cotswold Country Park & Beach Aquaventure Experience. Located at the lovely lakes complex near South Cerney in Cirencester, it’s one big giant pimped-up waterpark, and wipe-out style day out. Climb, bounce or (if you’re us) slide, your way around attempting not to fall into the lake, wetsuits and life jackets are provided. Prices start at £15 per person and kids must be six or over.

Plus, over in Worcs check out Aztec Adventure, another super fun adrenaline course, aswell sa boating and kayaking fun available.

Prepare yourself for major parenting brownie points for this one. They can now play laser tag outside. The new Battlesports Glos Kid’s Outdoor Laser Tag and Paintballing in Newnham in Gloucestershire is spot on to burn off energy. Basically a winning combo of real life videogames and lots of fresh air.

Players are issued with a cap, team bib, and camo face paint and get the choice of a laser guns, from a small pistol to a large machine gun. Ammo is unlimited too. The best bit? The big kids (aka adults) are allowed to join in too and purchase smoke grenades to add an extra surprise to the game. Can this get any better? Click here to book. From £10 per person for a one hour session.

Got a head for heights? Then take them to the brilliant Go Ape Treetop Challenge at the Wyre Forest in Worcs. Ascend to the highest canopies (if you dare, or just wave at them from the ground) and have a go on the obstacle course and fast zip wires.  Set in one of Britain’s largest remaining ancient forests, with its enormous Douglas fir trees  – they don’t call the Wyre the Valley of the Giants for nothing. Perfect for thrill seekers and fearless mini-bouncers.

HISTORY HOUNDS

There’s tons of Roman-themed fun at your local, friendly Roman villa in Chedworth, Glos (the grandest in Britain we’ll have you know). Follow their seasonal trail around the site, dress up as a Roman or play with some Roman toys, get creative with historical crafts and get a glimpse of Roman life with Chedworths’ Romans.

If you’re peckish, there’s also a café, serving sandwiches, cakes and snacks and a shop with Roman-themed souvenirs, books and games for plundering. Be sure to wrap up warm and bring your boots or wellies with you to walk around.

Head to the Corinium Museum in Cirencester on Sat 15 Feb from 10am – 5pm (until April) for a Stone Age People Trail. Little knitted cavemen and women have been hidden all around this brilliant and fascinating museum. All they have to do is find them amongst the exhibits, and older children get to answer quiz questions too. Cost is £1.50 per child and includes a prize.

LITTLE LUVVIES

It’s back by popular demand, book in for a Theatre Workshop at the Malvern Theatre in Worcs on 22 February. From 10:30am – 12:30pm and for ages 4 – 7 years is costs £8. Come along and join a fun-filled two-hour workshop introducing children to drama in a fun and playful way. Developing creative techniques through drama games, role-play and storytelling. If your child has a passion for drama, then this enthusiastic and energetic workshop is not to be missed.

CRAFTY KIDS

Hub of creativity the New Brewery Arts Centre in Cirencester has brilliant craft workshops to keep them busy and out of your hair throughout half term and the year. Keep checking back for class details, or book into All Together Art for ages 5 – 16. All materials are included and they’ll have fun with small rollers, printing ink, paper stencils and beyond.

Let them get their hands dirty at the brilliant Dixie Dot Crafts in Quedgeley, Gloucester – winner of the best Children’s Activity Destination in the Muddy Glos Awards 2021! They can paint their own pots or go along to the Monster Mug and Plate set day on 22 February (£15). They will take you through every step of the way creating your own design of monster, using different techniques to make something really unique. 

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