Dusty Duck will be hosting the North East Puddle Jumping Championships this February half term – an event mysteriously overlooked for inclusion as an Olympic sport. The rules are simple: don your wellies and prepare to make a big splash – prizes will be awarded across a range of categories including height of splash and creativity. The event runs daily throughout half term with prizes given at the end of each day’s competition, as well as a special prize awarded to the Champion of the Week on Sunday. Be sure to follow #wwtbigsplash to be kept up to date. On top of the main event, there will also be crafts in the Barn and Discovery Centre to join in with.
Washington Wetland Centre,
Washington NE38 8LE
0191 4165454 www.wwt.org.uk
18–26 February: Puddle Jumping registration from 2pm daily; crafts run from 1–3:30pm each day.
Puddle Jumping included in admission; small costs may apply to craft activities.
Is your child a bit of a steampunk? A budding fashionista? Bring them along to one of these workshops to let them give their outfit an eclectic makeover with the help of the Discovery Museum’s inventors. No experience is necessary – just enthusiasm and an item of clothing to punk up. This event is intended for children aged between seven and 11 where they can learn about costume design and create an unusual piece of clothing to take away.
Discovery Museum, Blandford Square, Newcastle NE1 4JA
0191 232 6789 www.discoverymuseum.org.uk
18 February: 11am–1pm and 1:45pm–3:45pm
£5 per child (plus booking fee), £1 per accompanying adult (plus booking fee), children under two go free with the purchase of a full price child ticket.
AWESOME ANIMALS, POWERFUL PYRAMIDS AND CRAZY CLOCKS
There are some great exhibitions happening at Durham University’s Oriental Museum during half term. The first is on animals in art where kids can make their own animal mask to take home. Another focuses on the Ancient Egyptians, where intrepid young explorers can have a go at building their very own pyramid, and the third, on Chinese astronomical clocks, includes an exciting timepiece-making activity.
Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill, Durham DH1 3TH
0191 334 5694 www.dur.ac.uk
Awesome Animals – 18 February: 1–3:00pm, suitable for children aged five to 11, included in museum admission price.
Powerful Pyramids – 22 February: 1–3:00pm, suitable for children aged five to 11, included in museum admission price.
Crazy Clocks – 25 February: 1–3:00pm, suitable for children aged five to 11, included in museum admission price.
Thought you were through panto season for another year? Oh, no, you’re not. Tom Rolfe Productions will be bringing Sleeping Beauty to life at the newly refurbished Majestic Theatre in Darlington. Coronation Street’s Steven Arnold will be appearing as King Ashley, alongside his excellent fellow cast-members and the Aycliffe Dance Academy. Get along for a family night out at the theatre.
The Majestic Theatre, Bondgate, Darlington DL3 7JT
01325 482848 www.majestic-theatre.co.uk
23–26 February: tickets £10.
THE JUNGLE BOOK
Another children’s classic is being brought to life on the stage this February half term: Oddsocks will be telling the story of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book at the Middlesbrough Theatre. Expect all your favourite characters – from Mowgli and Baloo to Bagheera and Kaa – memorable music and madcap monkeys in what promises to be a fantastic production. Gather your wolf-cubs and get along.
Middlesbrough Theatre, The Avenue, Middlesbrough TS5 6SA
01642 815181 www.middlesbroughtheatre.co.uk
23 February: 2pm and 7pm, tickets £12.50 for adults and £10.50 for children.
SHOOTING, CLIMBING AND SWINGING
There’s all sorts going on at Kielder this half term – activities include laser clay shooting and archery, a High Ropes Day and a Swing and Climb Day. Whether your child wants to test their aim, swing like Tarzan or shimmy up a cargo net, they’ll have great fun here.
Kielder Water and Forest Park, Hexham NE48 1BS
01434 250232 www.visitkielder.com
Sharp Shooters Day – 19 February: 10am–3pm, tickets £10.
High Ropes Day – 22 February: 10am–3pm, tickets £10
Swing and Climb Day – 25 February: 10am–3pm, tickets £10
HALF TERM STORYTELLING
One for the little ones in Barnard Castle – The Witham’s fabulous storytelling chair will be being put to good use this half term as its occupants tell enchanting stories. Head online to reserve your child’s place.
The Witham, 3 Horse Market,
Barnard Castle DL12 8LY
01833 631107 www.thewitham.org.uk
21 February: 10:30am–12pm, suggested donation of £2.
In honour of artist Thomas Bewick, there will be an artistic theme running through Cherryburn’s half term activities this February. Natural materials will be used in a variety of craft projects and things may get a little messy so be sure to dress children appropriately.
Cherryburn, Station Bank, Mickley, Stocksfield NE43 7DD
01661 843276 www.nationaltrust.org.uk
18–24 February: 11am–3pm daily, activities included in venue admission price.
19TH CENTURY MINI ARCHAEOLOGISTS
If your child is a budding Indiana Jones, take them to the 19th Century Mini Archaeologists activity along Hadrian’s Wall this half term. Two Victorian characters will be on hand to help youngsters learn all about excavation through highly informative talks and tours.
Chesters Roman Fort and Museum, Hadrian’s Wall, Chollerford, Hexham NE46 4EU
0870 3331183 www.english-heritage.org.uk
18–26 February: 11am daily. Tickets are available online, by phone or on the day: £6.20 for adults, £3.70 for children aged five to 15 and £5.60 for concessions.
Get creative with your kids down in Sunderland this half term by creating your own glass owl at the National Glass Centre. You’ll go through the whole process: making a mould, adding colour and decoration, then watching the studio team pour molten glass into your mould to make your owl. A brilliantly crafty half term activity. Be sure to book in advance though as sessions are limited to a maximum of 10 people.
National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland SR6 0GL
0191 515 5555 www.nationalglasscentre.com
20, 23 and 25 February: 9:30–10:30am and 10:30–11:30am, tickets £15, available online.