What’s on for Half Term
School holidays incoming! Don't panic - pop the kettle on and digest our guide to keeping the kids under control (um, we mean entertained) this Half Term.
Half Term at the Radlett Centre in Herts kicks off with the Tiny Mites production of Peter Pan on 29 May. Always a hit with pre-schoolers and older kids alike, this one-woman show involves puppets, voice overs, live music and all the usual suspects from Tinkerbell to Captain Hook. Then on 1 June Captain Calamity explodes onto the stage. He’s somewhere between a mad scientist and an unlikely superhero… Check out his Youtube channel here.
Littlies faves Sarah & Duck are coming to Watford Palace Theatre with a weird and wonderful show, from 3-4 June, and the fab Widdershins Theatre are bringing The Gingerbread Man to the Quarry Theatre in Bedford on 5 June. Meanwhile at Hertford Theatre, intrepid explorers can join the Big Herts Hero Hunt on 3 June to discover historical heroes from the county and uncover new ones by cracking the clues with Pakiki Theatre.
Also check out the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival in St Albans, where the Maltings Theatre and OVO are putting on a summer programme, including Peter Pan from 28 May – 27 June and Little Red Riding Hood and the 3 Funky Pigs on 1 June.
It’s dino crazy this Half Term! Throughout the week (29 May-6 June) there’s the Big Dinosaur Day Out at Lee Valley Animal Adventure Park and Dino-venture at Willows Activity Farm. Both involve meeting some roarsome friends, learning some Jurassic facts and digging for fossils. Or head to Mead Open Farm for Dino Week, where there’ll be Jurassic tractor rides, dinosaur races and a Caveman Rock Show.
Over at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, there’s an awesome new Hullabazoo outdoor play area. Expect bridges, swings, climbing frames, a sit-on crocodile, tunnels, water and sand play, tunnels, boats and mini safari Jeeps (see above)! Entry is free with your zoo ticket (book in advance).
There’s masses going on for all ages at the annual St Albans Sustainability Festival, running until 6 June. The highlights for kiddies include: an interactive ‘meet the engineer’ Zoom session where future Elon Musk’s can design wind turbines and robots on 27 May; a spring butterfly walk at Heartwood Forest (free for under 8’s) on 29 May; making wildlife homes with the Herts Wildlife Trust on 1 June; the sustainability circus in Harpenden on 6 June; and a neighbourhood scavenger hunt (ongoing throughout the festival). Download the full festival programme here.
Mini Attenboroughs in the making will love getting involved with the Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild campaign. The idea is to commit to doing one wild thing a day throughout June, from litter picking to seed planting, and kicking off with a Big Wild Breakfast outdoors. Sign up now to receive a free postal or digital pack to inspire your Random Acts of Wildness.
For those with a spirit of adventure, check out the Mud and Guts Activity Days, taking place At Home Farm Live from 31 May – 2 June. The three-hour workshops for resident campers and day visitors to the festival include shelter building, campfire skills and fun and games. Groups are split into age 7-9 and 10+ and sessions cost £30 per child.
Audley End Miniature Railway is hosting a brand new Wildlife Week from 29 May – 6 June with talks and interactive shows all about creepy crawlies in their new nature corner.
Kids Rule at historic Wrest Park promises a week-long programme of performances, storytelling and family fun, from 29 May – 6 June, and also running all week long is the Enchanted Fairy Trail at Hertford Castle, where there’ll be hidden treasures to uncover within the castle walls. Hatfield House re-opens its doors to the public on 3 June for the summer season – book a tour and older kids might actually learn something too!
And how about a family day out at Stone Age encampment, Celtic Harmony, where you’ll ‘hunt’ mammoths, learn some prehistoric crafts, go on a woodland quest, and enjoy some Celtic music and stories. Book now for 29-31 May or 4-6 June.
Oh how we’ve missed the cinema, not just for ourselves but for an hour or two of quiet time where the kids don’t demand our constant attention! Book one of these screenings – there’s Paddington, Moana, Farmageddon and The Secret Life of Pets – at Rothamsted Conference Centre and sit back and relax (earplugs and eyemask optional!)