Bursting with ways to keep the kids busy and plenty of new places to explore, SoGlos has handpicked some exciting things to do this May half term.
Spanning Monday 30 May to Sunday 5 June 2022, it’s an extra special school holiday too, with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to celebrate.
The Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham is hosting a range of family-friendly shows this May half term, with a series of stage productions running during the school holidays, from Monday 30 May to Sunday 5 June 2022.
There’s something for all children of all ages this May half term at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham.
Little ones can follow the brave Mouse on an exciting adventure through the dark woods in Tall Stories’ musical adaptation of The Gruffalo, with monstrous entertainment for the whole family – after all, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo, is there?
Dino-mad kids can meet dangerous dinosaurs and explore pre-historic lands during the Dinosaur World show, direct from London’s West End.
Join Hansel and Gretel in a new stage adaptation of Grimm’s magical fairy tales in Box Tale’s Little Grimm Tales or, for slightly bigger kids, see the official sell-out show from the Edinburgh Fringe 2019, as Box Tale’s Great Grimm Tales hits the Cheltenham stage.
The Everyman’s Café Bar will be open during show days, offering the chance for kids to tuck into cakes, soft drinks and sandwiches as an extra May half term treat.
Dinosaur World will be on stage from Monday 30 May to Wednesday 1 June 2022 with tickets costing £16 per person, The Gruffalo will run from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 June 2022 with tickets costing £16 per person, Box Tale’s Little Grimm Tales will be on stage from Tuesday 31 May to Friday 3 June 2022 with tickets costing £11.50 per person, and Box Tale’s Great Grimm Tales will be on stage from Wednesday 1 to Friday 3 June 2022, with tickets costing £11.50 per person.
For more information, and to book tickets, visit everymantheatre.org.uk.
The Brewery Quarter in Cheltenham has a host of family fun lined up this May half term.
Kicking off half term, Cheltenham Children’s Festival comes to The Brewery Quarter on Saturday 28 May 2022, with live music and dance performances from a variety of children’s groups from across the town. There’s also costume characters to snap a selfie with, as well as stilt walking and juggling from Mark Russel’s Solo Circus.
There’s tonnes more family fun to be had at The Brewery Quarter throughout the week, too. Let little ones run wild at the The Play Farm, hit the lanes at Hollywood Bowl, play a round or two of adventure golf at Mr Mulligans, pit your wits against the puzzles at Escape Hunt, ideal for older kids, or grab some popcorn and enjoy Movies for Juniors at Cineworld.
For the grown-ups, rounding off the half term week in style, The Brewery Quarter is hosting its Jubilee Jam on Saturday 4 June 2022. Promising ‘a right royal knees up’, there’s live music from the Roguey Roads and the Mark Walby Band, an outdoor bar from Brewhouse & Kitchen, and a host of delicious places to dine – with Pho, BrewDog, The Alchemist, The Botanist and Prezzo all offering alfresco dining where you can soak up the lively atmosphere.
Cheltenham Children’s Festival takes place on Saturday 28 May 2022 from 11am to 1pm; and the Jubilee Jam takes place on Saturday 4 June 2022 from 3pm to 7pm. Individual activities and restaurant tables can be booked online in advance.
For more information, visit thebreweryquarter.com.
Cotswold Farm Park in Guiting Power is open from 9.30am to 5pm every day this May half term, with bottle feeding opportunities at 11.30am and 3.30pm daily.
Little visitors can lend a helping hand on Adam Henson’s famous farm during the school holidays, pitching in to give the newest members of the herd their bottles – with plenty of spring lambs and goat kids to feed.
Creating special memories for animal lovers, bottles are available twice a day on a first-come, first-served basis; while there’s the chance to stock up on animal snacks to share with the older Farm Park residents, too.
The warmer weather means it’s also time for sheep shearing, with daily live demonstrations in the Animal Barn throughout May half term as the senior members of the flock are relieved of their thick woolly coats.
As well as hundreds of fuzzy lambs and characterful kids, Cotswold Farm Park has recently welcomed a bundle of baby bunnies that visitors can meet in the Discovery Barn this May half term.
Bottle feeding activities are included in the cost of admission. Tickets to Cotswold Farm Park cost £17.50 per adult, £16.50 for children aged four to 15 and £12.50 for toddlers aged two to three. Babies aged one and under go free.
The Corinium Museum in Cirencester is hosting an assortment of activities for little ones during the school holidays, with additional events taking place every day from Monday 30 May to Thursday 2 June 2022.
There’s a brand-new trail at the Corinium Museum to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, featuring hidden characters from Steve Anthony’s ‘Queen Series’ around the museum – with a special sticker prize for the keen explorers that find them all.
Meanwhile, young archaeologists can complete their own mini excavation report in the museum’s dig pits, measuring the objects they unearth, identifying them and having a go at drawing them, too.
For arty kids, there’s a children’s craft workshop inspired by the museum’s Roman mosaic collections, where participants will get to create their own animal mosaic to take home. Or, step up to the Roman military handling table, where mini historians will be able to feel their weight of a Roman helmet and hear all about the brave soldiers.
Alongside the other brilliant activities taking place during the school holidays, families are invited to draw their own picture on the Hare Gallery window to commemorate the Jubilee – plus, Steve Antony will be joining the team at Cirencester Library for free story sessions and craft activities.
The Queen’s Hat Jubilee Trail, Jubilee Art Event with Steve Antony, Dig Pit and Roman Military Handling Table are all free with admission to the museum which costs £6.40 per adult, £3 for children aged five to 16 and free for under 5s.
The Animal Mosaic Children’s Craft workshop is suitable for ages eight and above, costing £15 per child.
The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and on Sundays from 2pm to 5pm.
For more information, and to book tickets, visit coriniummuseum.org.
Westonbirt Arboretum near Tetbury is open every day this May half term, welcoming visitors from 9am to 5pm – with free family activities and guided walks taking place throughout the week, too.
Helping visitors to connect with nature, Westonbirt Arboretum is hosting four types of guided walks this summer. This May half term, families can discover the arboretum’s hidden gems with the Silk Wood Guided Walk on Saturday 28 May; wander through the wildflowers on Tuesday 31 May; or get under the skin of Westonbirt’s wonderful trees with Focus on Bark on Saturday 4 June 2022. Guided walks of the Old Arboretum take place at 11am each day, too.
Meanwhile, young explorers can head out on a Minibeast Safari, searching Westonbirt for critters of all shapes and sizes and collecting them by using gentle techniques like sweep netting and branch shaking.
With a microscope set up in the Great Oak Hall, bug hunters will be able to inspect each insect closely – and enjoy some minibeast finger painting as well.
Wriggle over to the Old Arboretum and follow the interactive Superworm activity trail for more bug-themed fun; or go searching for Gruffalo sculptures, wander along the sky-high STIHL Tree Top Walkway and discover the mystical troll bridge along the natural play trail – with plenty for families to do at Westonbirt Arboretum.
Tickets to Westonbirt Arboretum cost £11 per adult and £4 for children aged five to 18. Pre-booking isn’t essential, except for anyone visiting from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 June 2022 for the bank holiday weekend.
Guided walks, including the Silk Wood Guided Walk and Focus on Bark are free after admission, but there’s a £1 booking fee for the Wild Flower Walk, with visitors encouraged to pre-book their place online in advance.
The Minibeast Safari and Superworm trail are also free after admission, with Superworm activity packs available to purchase from the Westonbirt Shop for £3.50.
For more information and to book tickets, visit forestryengland.uk/westonbirt.
With several visitor sites in the Forest of Dean, Forestry England manages some of the county’s favourite picnic and outdoor activity spots, including Beechenhurst, Wenchford, Symonds Yat Rock and the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre.
Little ones can learn all about the small but mighty creatures of the forest, donning their superhero mask and following the Superworm activity trail at Beechenhurst, this May half term.
Starring the creepy crawly characters from Julia Donaldson’s popular storybook, the self-led trail features fun facts and interactive activities to help youngsters discover more about the Forest of Dean’s hardworking minibeast population.
While over at Beechenhurst, children can check out the newly-refurbished play area too, which has a brand-new zip line, basket swing and climbing frame.
Home to picnic spots galore, the Forest of Dean is a wonderful place to soak up the sunshine this May half term. Wenchford is ideal for sunny days, with a shallow brook for paddling and shaded picnic tables; while grill masters can hire a barbecue at Beechenhurst for an alfresco cook out.
The Superworm trail starts at the visitor centre at Beechenhurst and takes approximately one hour to complete. Trail activity packs are available to purchase at Beechenhurst Café and the ranger hatch for £3.50.
It costs from £30 to hire a barbecue site at Beechenhurst.
Go Ape has two sites in the Forest of Dean, with a challenging high-ropes course and Segway safari at Mallards Pike and treetop adventures for smaller children at Beechenhurst. Both sites are open throughout May half term.
Little monkeys can find their footing at Go Ape’s Treetop Adventure, located at the Beechenhurst site, while more confident climbers can take on the Treetop Adventure Plus course for a slightly harder challenge.
To really get their adrenaline pumping, head over to Mallards Pike for the Treetop Challenge, where adventurous kids and grown-ups can climb 15 metres into the canopy for the ultimate high-ropes experience, with wobbly crossings, obstacles and an epic zip wire finale.
If heights aren’t your thing, Go Ape also offers an exhilarating, all-terrain Segway experience at the Mallards Pike site, where families can explore the Forest of Dean’s bumpy trails and spot wildlife as they zoom through the woodland on a stealthy electric Segway.
The Treetop Challenge at Mallards Pike is suitable for anyone over 10-years-old and 1.4 metres tall, costing £33 per person. Meanwhile, the Forest Segway experience is suitable for all ages, with a minimum weight of 45 kilograms, and costs £35.
At Beechenhurst, the Treetop Adventure is suitable for all ages over one metre tall and costs £20; while the extended Treetop Adventure Plus course is designed for adventurers aged six and above, who are taller than 1.2 metres, and costs £25.
For more information, visit goape.co.uk/forest-of-dean.
Dean Heritage Centre in Soudley is inviting families to travel back in time with a host of traditional activities from Monday 30 May to Saturday 4 June 2022.
Families can immerse themselves in the Forest of Dean’s rich past this May half term, taking part in the ancient charcoal burning tradition at Dean Heritage Centre.
From helping volunteers to build the stack to watching it burn and harvesting the charcoal, visitors can learn all about the historic process, which was an important part of the area’s iron industry, from Thursday 2 to Saturday 4 June 2022.
Plus, step inside the Victorian schoolroom for class with Miss Wright and wander around the replica Forester’s cottage to get a flavour of what life used to be like in the Forest of Dean.
Every school holiday, Dean Heritage Centre offers a range of hands-on activities for visitors to try in its dedicated Craft Hut – with the opportunity to have a go at fire lighting and pyrography this May half term!
With Gift Aid, admission to Dean Heritage Centre costs £8 per adult, £6 for children aged three to 16-years-old and is free for children under three.
For more information, visit deanheritagecentre.com.
Dropping anchor at Gloucester Docks from Friday 3 June to Sunday 5 June 2022, Gloucester Tall Ships Festival is a fantastic way to sail-ebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Gloucester Tall Ships Festival offers three days of seafaring fun, with historic boats pulling into port for visitors to admire and even step aboard; sand sculptures to see; flyboard stunts to wow spectators; battle re-enactments; and a vintage fairground – not to mention live music performances of everything from sea shanties to local bands.
The Canal and River Trust is offering paddling sessions and boat trips throughout the weekend, plus there’ll be a market with more than 130 traders showcasing the very best local produce and artisan arts and crafts on High Orchard Street, Llanthony Road and Orchard Square, just outside Gloucester Quays.
There’s plenty more going on in Gloucester across the May half term, too, including Gloucester Guildhall’s free art exhibition ‘Scintillating Birch Forest’; the #BouncingBack Urban Art Nature Trail across Gloucester city centre; and plenty of activities at the Museum of Gloucester, from Reggie the Raptor's Trail Through Time, sketching and sewing sessions, to the International Photography Exhibition.
The Tall Ships Festival is free to attend and, new for 2022, it is offering boarding passes for admission to the ships costing £5 each, or £7.50 to include admission to the National Waterways Museum, too.
Taking place from Saturday 28 May to Sunday 5 June 2022, the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum will be offering guests plenty of family fun, alongside insight into the lives of local servicemen from the last 300 years.
Packed with interactive exhibits, little ones can explore the sights of the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum – plus, take part in a special May half term pirate trail.
X marks the spot for the young sea wolfs as they are tasked with finding items hidden around the museum. By navigating a map to locate the booty, successful treasure hunters will be rewarded with a special pirate prize!
Plus, there’ll be the chance to meet some of Britain’s most incredible predators on Birds of Prey Day at the museum on Saturday 28 May 2022 – where a variety of birds will be on display, including barn and tawny owls and even a buzzard.
There’s always something new to see at the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, with regularly changing exhibitions, the soldiers of the month display and more. During half term, on Wednesday 1 June 2022, there will also be the opportunity to learn about the history of the Gloucestershire Regiment, told through the stories of the weapons they used.
The half term pirate trail, birds of prey day and a history of weaponry exhibition are free with paid admission to the museum which costs £5 per adult; £3 per child; and £12 per family ticket.
For more information, or to book tickets, visit soldiersofglos.com.
Spring to life at Slimbridge Wetland Centre this May half term, open every day of the school holidays from 9.30am to 5.30pm.
From meeting feathered friends and the resident otter to spotting watery wonders in Toad Hall, there’s a world of wetland wildlife to discover at Slimbridge Wetland Centre this May half term.
Families can make the most of the warmer weather and spot wildlife from the water on a canoe safari; soak up the scenery of the Severn Estuary along the wheelchair-accessible Summer Walkway; and explore the Hawaiian landscape at Mission Possible, which is home to the world’s rarest goose, the nene.
Kids will love cooling off with a splash about in Welly Boot Land and seeing Sprout the pelican star in a live bird demonstration at the Living Wetland Theatre. Plus, keep your eyes peeled for spring babies, with adorable chicks, ducklings, goslings and cygnets waddling about the site.
Visitors can experience Slimbridge Wetland Centre in a whole new way by downloading the free, family-friendly Wetland Heroes app. Created by Aardman, the interactive app encourages visitors to delve a little deeper into the wetlands and discover Slimbridge’s lesser-known areas, exploring the attraction through engaging fact-finding missions and challenges.
Tickets to Slimbridge Wetland Centre cost from £15 for adults, £8.63 for children aged four to 16, and are free for children under four.
For more information and to book tickets, visit wwt.org.uk/slimbridge.
Wednesday 18 May 2022
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