Mon 10 - Sun 16 Feb
EXHIBITION: Paint Park, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, 8 Feb – 1 Mar
Who would have thought it was the year of ‘phygital’ painting (a combination of physical and digital, keep up!)? Alison Goodyear’s Paint Park exhibition at MK Gallery’s Project Space involves donning a VR headset, leaving you feeling like you just jumped into a painting à la Mary Poppins. A great one to take your kids to – just make sure you let them have a turn with the headset.
ENTERTAINMENT: Sinderella, Broadway Letchworth, 11 Feb
A fabulously camp take on the popular panto, Sinderella (see what they did there?) stars drag diva Stacy Layne Matthews and Divina De Campo (Ru Paul’s Drag Race) as well as Jamie Campbell (Everybody’s Talking about Jamie). A laugh-a-minute show, with glittering sets and costumes and a healthy dose of filthy fun – would you expect anything less?
THEATRE: The Ballad of Mulan, The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 12 Feb
You’ll know the kick-ass Chinese heroine Mulan from the Disney movie and now the story is coming to the stage. Michelle Yim plays the warrior legend who, for ten years disguised herself as a man to fight for the Chinese Empire.
KIDS: Billionaire Boy, Hertford Theatre 12-16 Feb
Can David Walliams do no wrong? His series of Dahl-esque childrens’ books is a right laugh and this one’s coming to the stage near you soon. It follows Joe Spud, the richest kid in the world, but he soon finds that all that dosh can’t buy him happiness or a friend… From the West End producers behind Gangsta Granny and Horrible Histories.
DINNER: Valentines Dinner and Music from Briar Rouge, The Shuttleworth Estate, 14 Feb
In the mood for romance? Enjoy a four-course dinner in the beautiful mansion house followed by an after-dinner performance by singer Briar Rouge and her pianist.
BALL: The Great Gatsby Ball, Ashridge House, Berkhamsted, 15 February
Get your glad rags on and hot foot it to Ashridge House on Valentine’s weekend for a glitz-filled evening of drinks, dinner and dancing into the wee hours. The £75 ticket includes a 3-course meal, Prosecco and wine, plus a live band and DJ til 1am.
KIDS: Lambing, Mead Open Farm, Leighton Buzzard, 15-23 Feb
Bouncy baby lambs can only mean one thing – spring is coming! Rally the kids this Half Term to meet Mead Open Farm’s newest residents, and bottle feed some of their older siblings. All together now… awwww!
KIDS: Vets in Action, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, 15-23 Feb
Got a budding vet on your hands? Bring them along to the specially created animal hospital at Whipsnade Zoo this Half Term for a hands-on experience carrying out treatments on soft toys, from checking chimps’ heartbeats to helping stranded seals from the real zookeepers. And it’s all included in your zoo entry price (suitable for ages 5-11).
FESTIVAL: Feb Fest, various locations 15-21 Feb
This arts festival dedicated to kids or all ages sounds just fab – organised by Full House Theatre, it’s jam packed with storytelling, shows, dance and workshops throughout Half Term week happening across Luton’s Culture Trust venues. Plus there’s a free creative space called The Imagination Station that you can pop in to throughout.
MUSIC: Philharmonia Orchestra – Family Concert, The Bedford Corn Exchange, 15 Feb
This family friendly performance celebrates the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, featuring film and TV favourites like Chariots of Fire and Flight of the Bumblebee. Afterwards there’ll be a chance to meet the musicians and conductor. Aimed at ages 5+.
KIDS: Mad Science at the Museum, St Albans Museum and Gallery, 15 Feb
If they love the Christmas Lectures, drop them into this free afternoon session of explosive experiments and surprises at the St Albans Museum. Fun and educational in one fell swoop (not that you have to tell them that!)
WEDDINGS: The House Wedding Show, The Shuttleworth Estate, 16 Feb
Wedding bells in the air? Find out what the Shuttleworth estate has to offer for your big day. Explore the house and grounds, including hopping on a vintage bus to the Swiss Garden, where you can book a ceremony. Plus there’ll be chance to meet local suppliers and tick those crucial things off your list.
NEW EXHIBITION: Steve McQueen, Tate Modern, London, 13 Feb – 11 May
I love this shot! This solo exhibition of London-born artist and director of Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen’s portfolio features 14 major works spanning his extensive career in film, photography and sculpture and is the first major UK exhibition since he received the Turner Prize in 1999. So, yeah, it’s a pretty big deal! The display will cover the last 25 years of McQueen’s career including personal and intimate works such as his early film on a Super 8 camera and this awesome aerial depiction of the Statue of Liberty above. The show also coincides with McQueen’s latest artwork Year 3, on show at Tate Britain until 3 May. tate.org.uk
THEATRE: Pretty Woman The Musical, Piccadilly Theatre, London, 13 Feb – 2 Jan 2021
This month I’m excited for the start of Pretty Woman’s West End stint after it’s successful Broadway premier in 2018. The production has some major creds with choreography from two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde, Hairspray), and an original score from Grammy winner Bryan Adams (yes, really!).
CONCERT: Madonna, London Palladium, until 16 Feb
Looking sultry Madge! This month you have 15 chances to see the Queen of Pop herself at the London Palladium. Dig out your 80s garb and snaffle tickets quick as it’s bound to be a sell out.