What’s on in Warwickshire for children and families this February half-term
Hatton Adventure World, Hatton
There’s a new pantomime this half-term to entertain the children as Dick Whittington and his cat head off on a rags to riches trail full of fun.
The show, which is from 10th-18th February, is 40 minutes long and is held indoors, so there is no need to worry about the weather causing any disruptions.Johnnie Arkwright, owner of Hatton Country World, said: “We’re delighted to host Dick Whittington, which is a new pantomime adventure for all the family.“This is the third year we have hosted a pantomime and it’s great that children can take part in such an iconic British tradition. Whatever the weather, there’s plenty of animals, action, and adventure to keep the whole family entertained at Hatton.”Tickets to watch the pantomime are in addition to the entrance fee to Hatton Country World, which includes laser combat games, the guinea pig village, lots of animals, a family show as well as an indoor soft play area.
For more information, visit www.adventure.hattonworld.com.
Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Stratford
They’re back. This February half-term visitors to Shakespeare’s Birthplace will be able to experience performances from the Bard’s most famous, female characters, as a troupe of actors returns.
From 10th-18th February, visitors to the Birthplace will be able to see the talented team from Events from History perform some of Shakespeare’s most famous scenes, some of a female twist.From Lady Macbeth and Cleopatra to Juliet and Rosalind, visitors can listen as the team perform scenes from these much-loved characters, bringing their voices to life, in the place where Shakespeare once called home.Rachael North, director of museum and public programmes, said: “All the World’s a Stage forms part of a special programme of events and activities taking place across the Shakespeare’s family homes in Stratford as we celebrate and shine a light on the women who contributed to shaping Shakespeare’s legacy and explore how gender has been portrayed across the centuries.‘’The actors were a hit with visitors last year, so our team is excited to welcome them back to the Birthplace as Shakespeare’s fascinating female characters are brought to life.”Also, in time for February half-term, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage will be open.
l For more information, visit https://www.shakespeare.org.uk
Bear Pit Theatre, Stratford
Stratford Youth Theatre (SYT) are performing the very first stage adaptation of The Spiderwick Chronicles.
With over 1.5 million copies in print in the UK alone, the book by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black has been beloved by kids and their parents for more than 20 years.A group of young people from SYT have been meeting to rehearse every weekend since Christmas in preparation for this show. They have been busy learning lines, puppetry and stage combat, not to mention how to act like goblins and elves. The cast of 20 will bring the Spiderwick characters to life to create a magical show that will leave the audience spellbound.
The show runs from 14th-17th February.
Visit website: www.thebearpit.org.uk
Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall, Stratford
This February half-term is all about birds.
Visitors will be able to join in some bird watching and a bird crafting activity – both will take place from 10th-25th February.The Twitchers Museum Adventure is organised by Kids in Museums and Walker Books to celebrate the release of Feather, the latest book in the series from author M. G. Leonard. The story’s setting is a museum which is why Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall is one of 50 museums across the UK that is helping to bring the themes of the book to life for visiting families.Eagle-eyed visitors will be challenged to help Twitch and his friends find some missing bird exhibits, with the hunt taking place in the Court of Record, Georgian Classroom, Tudor Schoolroom and Master’s Chamber. There is a free activity sheet to complete and a sticker for every young visitor.Visitors can also decorate their own wooden bird, with a variety of colourful materials to choose from. Then they can fly their creation home or add it to the perch in the Master’s Chamber. Birds of Shakespeare kits are priced at £2.
For more information, visit shakespearesschoolroom.org.
Stratford Butterfly Farm, Stratford
The Stratford attraction has welcomed a new spider to its collections – a Chilean Rose Tarantula which will be on display in the Discovery Zone this half-term.
Best known for their lovely pink colouring, the tarantulas are found in desert or scrubland regions of Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia. They are docile in nature and commonly kept as pets.They have tiny hair-like barbs that can be used as a defence by flicking the bristles at a predator, causing an irritating, itching sensation.As well as spiders, there are insects, reptiles and, of course, a room where butterflies roam free.Jane Kendrick, marketing manager at Stratford Butterfly Farm, said: “Find a tranquil place and take in the beautiful, lush surroundings whilst hundreds of tropical butterflies dance around you. With temperatures of 25C, the butterfly farm is also the perfect place to escape the cold this half-term.”
Our World from Space is the family show taking place at the Thinktank Theatre over February half term.
A Thinktank spokesman said: “Build the Sun, Moon, and Earth out of people to see how they move in space, discover how rockets take off, recreate the orbits of satellites, and learn how they pay a big role in wildlife conservation.”The event is included in the admission price.
l Visit, www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/thinktank
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
Not The Gruffalo, but The Gruffalo’s Child is the Coventry theatre’s offering for younger children during the half-term.
Tall Stories’ enchanting adaptation of the much-loved picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler follows one wild and windy night when the Gruffalo’s Child ignores her father’s warnings about the Big Bad Mouse and tiptoes out into the deep dark wood.
It’s on 16th-18th February.
Coughton Court, Coughton
The National Trust property is back open to visitors.
New displays give details of the building’s 600-year history while springtime visitors can hit new heights as they venture up the scaffolding that’s in place during refurbishment work on the roof. Not only will guests be able to admire the astonishing views across the Alcester countryside but witness some of the roof work taking place for themselves.Gurminder Kenth, National Trust’s general manager for north Warwickshire, said: “At Coughton Court we want all visitors to feel welcome and February is the perfect time to get outdoors together with friends and family, from spotting birds on the riverside walk; discovering ancient woodland, playing garden games and spending quality time together, there is lots to see and do.”
Magic Alley, Stratford
Step into the realm of WonderWorld, a unique puzzle-based adventure for children over six as well as adults.
As you navigate through an intricate maze of puzzles and challenges, you’ll encounter incredible creatures – from the mighty dinosaurs that once roamed the earth to the majestic dragons soaring through the skies.As spokesperson said: “This experience is designed to spark creativity and wonder in every visitor. Whether you’re a family seeking a fun day out, a group of friends looking for an exciting new challenge, or a group of adults passionate about fantasy worlds looking for something different to do for Valentine’s, WonderWorld offers something special for everyone.”
Compton Verney, near Wellesbourne
Head out at night with the children for a wonderful stroll among Compton Verney’s grounds which are filled with an array of lights and sounds.
The art gallery’s Spectacle of Light is back for its third year and includes the new installation, Wave, as well as some old favourites and splendidly lit trees.There also a variety of food and drink on offer from a changing menu of food trucks.It all happens after dark and tickets must be booked ahead – no tickets are available on the gate. It runs until 18th February.
British Motor Museum, Gaydon
Between 10th-25th February, the museum is inviting families to switch on to the future of energy. All over the world, car manufacturers are realising the need to consider alternative forms of energy when designing their new cars. The museum’s exhibition, Transitions: The Impact of Innovation, has inspired its February half-term activities which include a science show, the chance to make your own car of the future and STEM activities run by MoD Kineton.
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum,Coventry
If you’ve not been to see him yet, then head to Coventry for an encounter with Dippy, the huge dinosaur on loan from the Natural History Museum in London.
While Dippy is free to visit (great for parents’ pockets) you can, for a fee, also get the children immersed in a 175-million-year journey of the Herbert’s ichthyosaur skull and experience the power of interactive storytelling, with a VR experience.The museum is also hosting the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. It’s another paid-for element but should be good.
Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
A famous pig, a hunt for a bear and a trip to the library will be ensuring families are entertained this half-term.
The centre will have a range of performances starting with the much-loved picture book by author Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt (10th-13th February).Peppa Pig is up next in Peppa’s Cinema Party (14th-18th February), which celebrates the 20th anniversary of this hugely popular character. The show includes 10 never-before-seen Peppa Pig episodes, plus new songs and 11 interactive shorts – with Peppa and her friends leaping from the screen to play, dance and sing in the real world too.My First Concert: Come To The Circus (15th February) is a relaxed and interactive concert designed especially for babies, children and their adults. Suitable for ages up to seven.Staying with the circus theme, Cirque: The Greatest Show (11th February) is a colourful variety spectacular that combines showstopping West End and Broadway hits with breath-taking performances, amazing aerialists and thrilling feats of agility and flair.Lastly, Luna Loves Library Day: The Musical (18th February) is based on the critically acclaimed book by Waterstones Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho and illustrator Fiona Lumbers. Join the young Luna as she discovers magic among the library shelves.
Cadbury World, Birmingham
There’s a new show at Cadbury World for half-term (10th-18th February), Freddo’s Treasure Trove. Set sail with firstmate Freddo and discover all of Freddo’s treasures and learn what it takes to become a pirate on the seven seas in this 15-minute adventure.
And then there’s all the usual attractions. And chocolate. Yummy, yummy chocolate.