Struggling for things to do with the family in February? It’s a tough month but at least the end of winter is not too far away now! There’s a half term week too, which is great news as the museums usually have holiday activities to keep you and your family occupied.
As my January post was very popular I’ve decided to continue with a monthly round up of ideas for family outings. I’ve trawled the web for inspiration but if you have any more suggestions please do add them to the comments section. If you’d like to receive future round ups, and my other weekly posts about our family days out, please do subscribe to receive email updates.
1. Jorvik Viking Festival, York
This describes itself as the largest Viking festival in Europe and it certainly sounds like fun. Running from 15-23 February it has events for all ages. I’m pretty sure my son would enjoy the ‘Have-a-go sword combat’ (£3 per child) whilst my daughter would choose the animation workshop (£8.50 per child). There’s also a Viking Warrior Challenge, a child friendly translation of Beowulf (gulp!) and a live battle spectacular finale. Some events need to be booked in advance, more info can be found here.
2. Chinese New Year
Although Chinese New Year falls on the 31 January, there are nationwide events taking place across the first weekend of February. In Manchester, the Dragon Parade takes place on 2 February, and incorporates a 175 foot paper dragon, a lion dance and firework display. There’s a similar parade in London through Trafalgar Square on the same date. I’ve been to the London festivities before and they’re great, but very crowded so avoid taking a pushchair if you can as it won’t be pleasant!
3. Half-term castle trails
English Heritage are running half term family trails across a variety of its properties. These include Framlingham Castle in Suffolk, Pendennis Castle in Cornwall and Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire. Entry is free to English Heritage members, otherwise a family ticket to the castles costs around £15-20.
4. Imagine children’s festival, London
The Imagine children’s festival is a mix of comedy, theatre, dance and art and takes place at the Southbank Centre, London from 10-23 February. There are activities for all ages, including a comic making workshop, a micro-photography expedition, circus skills and loads of story telling. Ticket costs vary in price but the events I’ve looked at are around £4-8 per child, you’ll need to book in advance for some of the events. Further details here.
5. RAF museum Cosford
The RAF museum at Cosford is running model making sessions throughout half term week, 17-21 February. These run from 11am-3pm, and you’ll get to make your own Airfix model to take home. Afterwards check out the 70+ aircraft on display throughout the rest of the museum. Entrance is free although there is a parking charge. The model sessions cost £3 per person, this includes all materials. Further details here.
6. Showzam! Blackpool
This is a ten day festival of circus, magic and variety. Events run from 14-23 February, and include street theatre, kids dance master classes and acting workshops for teens. You can also get tickets for the Sooty Show (didn’t know that was still around), Hysterical Histories and the Underwater Bubble Show. Further details are here.
7. Museum of Natural History, Oxford
The Museum of Natural History in Oxford has been shut for the last 14 months whilst its roof has been restored. It re-opens on Saturday 15 February with a special dawn to dusk open day. Throughout the day there will be live bands, live bugs and spotlight specimens for the public to see. They’re also opening a new cafe, which will be most welcome!
8. The Yorkshire Brick Show
The bricks are Lego! Held at the National Coal Mining Museum on 22-23 February, come along to see some amazing Lego models. This is the first event of its kind at the museum, but I’ve been to a similar one elsewhere and it was very impressive. Models include city layouts, Star Wars and railway scenes. They’re made by adult modellers, and will have taken months to design and build. The show is free to attend, as is the highly rated museum. Further information can be found here.
9. WayWord festival, Chester
This is a brand new festival for 4-24 year olds which takes place in Chester from 14-22 February. Theres’s a wide variety of events including poetry, acting workshops, a film making festival plus lots of authors and story telling sessions.There’s also a Fire up your blog session for 12+, a Wimpy kid show for 7+ and Tracing your family tree for 10+. Some events are free, other require tickets which cost £5-10 per event. More info here.
10. National Trust half-term events
The National Trust website lists family friendly events over February half-term. Events that caught my eye were Terrible Tudors at Winchester City Mill, the Big Tree climb at The Vyne and Family Felt at Buckland Abbey. Some activities require pre-booking, most have a small additional cost.
I hope there’s something in the list above to suit most families. Before setting out please remember to check opening times and event details. Do leave a comment if you manage to visit any as I’d love to hear how you get on.