Half Term Ahoy!
Your indispensable guide to surviving the hols (which snuck up on us, don't you think?)
Are these the trickiest hols of the entire year? With no Easter egg hunts, Halloween shenanigans, warm weather or festive cheer to help us along, I reckon so. Fortunately, we’ve scoured the county to pick out the best things to do over half term, rain or shine. Happy half-term! x
Lambing Live, The Big Sheep, Bideford, Sat 16 – Sun 24 February
Fancy meeting the first lambs of the season at The Big Sheep? Expect cuteness overload, along with a daily programme of sheep-based events, from shearing, to bottle-feeding the lambs, and cuddling the small animals in pets corner, plus a whizz around on some of the rides, still open for the winter season.
Family Feb Fest at Crealy Adventure Park, Mon 18 – Fri 22 February
Crealy’s Feb Fest brings a series of acts to the stage in the arena each day, including The Sooty Show, perfect for entertaining the smalls and Little Chix, for all the wannabe pop stars in the family.
Feb Fest tickets £10, must be booked in advance. crealy.co.uk
Eco Superhero’s at RHS Rosemoor, Great Torrington, Sat 16 – Sun 24 February
All week at RHS Rosemoor, kids will be able to get their hands dirty and enjoy a programme of all-weather activities, with something different each day. Monday is building Bug Hotels, Tuesday is creating plants for wildlife using eco pots and there’s pebble painting later in the week, too. Get the waterproofs on and dive in!
Horrible Histories: Awful Egyptians & Terrible Tudors, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Tues 19 – Sat 23 Feb
Family favourite Horrible Histories is en-route to Plymouth this month just in time for half term, with shows Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians bringing us mummy-making, tomb excavations and an Armada sailing into the audience.
Family Workshop with Nature Make, Gara Rock Hotel, East Portlemouth, Wed 20 Feb
Why should all the fun be for the smalls? Here, you can enjoy some grown-up sophistication first, at one of Devon’s spankiest hotels! Indulge in a gorgeous 2 course lunch, overlooking the dreamy views and then get involved in a creative family workshop. And there’s always a nice bracing walk along the coast path if you really want to tire them out – hot chocolates to warm up afterwards essential.
Lunch from 12 noon, workshop 3-5pm (free when taking lunch). Booking essential: 01548 845946 ext 2. gararock.com
Children’s cookery courses at Exeter Cookery School, Wed 20 & Thurs 21 February
Choose from a selection of fab half-day courses at the brilliant Exeter Cookery School, down on the Quayside. 9-11 year-olds can try out baking Victoria sponge, or mini pasties and shortbread in the mornings, while the older ones (12-14), can bake doughnuts on one afternoon, or pasta and chocolate fondants the next. Either way, you’re onto a winner, because you can drop, go and drink coffee and then enjoy sampling what they make later!
For all course details and timings, visit exetercookeryschool.co.uk
Golden Carrot Hunt at The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, during half term until 5 April.
It’s The Donkey Sanctuary’s 50th anniversary this year (wowser) and, to celebrate you can expect a whole programme events through the year, starting with half term’s golden carrot hunt. Follow clues around the sanctuary to find a treasure chest full of golden carrots. Each clue relates to life with the donkeys over the past 50 years. It’s always a decent day out here, plus the Kitchen cafe is blooming lovely! I shall dangle that, err, carrot and leave it there.
Available 9am-5pm daily, cost of trail £3 to include ‘golden’ prize. thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk
Sea the Difference at The National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth, throughout half term.
Pop into the Aquarium during half term and get involved in the programme of family fun, games and activities with local heroes. Live talks, feeds and shows happening each day. It’s always a good all-weather option for a day out, plus you can pop to nearby Rockfish for a bite when you’re done. Winning!
The Zog Activity Trail, Haldon Forest Park, Kennford, throughout half term
I love these little trails, updated each year with a new character. This half term, head to Haldon Forest and get stuck into the Zog Trail. Pick up a pack and follow the route, to encounter magic panels that will need uncovering to reveal a creature and learn about life in the forest while you’re at it. Just the right amount of activity to keep them enchanted while walking!
A Woodland Adventure in the Deer Park, Dartington, Thurs 21 February
This one’s all about recapturing your adventurous spirit, through play, messiness and lots of mud – sounds right up our street, then! The Paddleboat Theatre Company will be in residence in the Deer Park for an outdoor show, as well as Arts Lab and Mud Tots, offering lots of workshop for kids aged up to 12 years. Added fun with tractor and trailer rides and hot food, too.
Morning session 10am-12pm, afternoon 1.30-3.30pm. To book visit dartington.org