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25 things to do with kids this half term

A bit last minute with your half term plans? What you need is the impeccably curated Muddy guide with the top 25 children’s activities in Surrey and beyond.

Mud & Machines
■ RHS Wisley, Woking ■ until Sun 18 Feb

It’s time to get down and dirty, take off your muddy stilettos and put on your sensible wellies! Over the half term, Wisley Gardens are giving your little ones lots of opportunities throughout the week to get their hands dirty. From a great British mud pie off, to mud arts and crafts and making a seed bomb. There will be storytelling for tales of magical mud and mysterious rocks and a photo opportunity with a high visibility jacket and safety hat with some giant machinery.


Imagine Children’s Festival
■ Southbank Centre, London ■ until Sun 18 Feb

12 days of jam-packed half-term fun in this brilliant annual festival by kids for kids. Aimed at 0-12 year olds, there’s a mind-boggling array of activities and events, including a whole clutch of free possibilities in The Clore Ballroom, Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, dance-theatre Tidy Up, Fun DMC, Bedtime stories, plus debut authors comedian Harry Hill and Radio One’s Greg James.


Half Term at Hampton Court
■ Hampton Court ■ until Sun 18 Feb

Recruitment call: young Lords and Ladies required to join the court of King Henry VIII’s children. Do you have what it takes to join Prince Edward and Lady Elizabeth? During half term, the palace will travel back in time to 1547, where King Henry V111’s reign is about to come to an end and the palace will once again be a place of fun and romance for his young family. Activities will include: meeting members of the court, as they wait for news and share their own ideas of what happens ‘After Henry.’ There will also be a demonstration of the courtly art of dance and the opportunity to try out Tudor music, song and courtly skills.


Fantastic Foxes children’s event
■ Gatton Park, Reigate ■ Mon 12 Feb

At the Fantastic Foxes Children’s event, take part in a giant collaborative artwork, follow a smell trail and discover all about these clever creatures. Aimed at children aged 4-7. Time 10am-12 noon and 1.30pm-3.30pm.


■ Battersea Power Station ■ Mon 12 – Wed 14 Feb

StoryStock is travelling circus bowling up at Circus West Village, one of the first developments in the new Battersea Power Station quarter. It’s an all-singing kids bookfest, with workshops including one inspired by Roald Dahl’s The Enormous Crocodile, an interactive storytelling session based on Lauren Child’s Charlie and Lola and Dr Seuss’s ‘The Cat in the Hat, yoga with the Gruffalo and visiting authors.


LCA Oxted Half Term Musical Theatre Workshop
■ Oxted School drama studio ■ Tues 13 Feb

Theatrical kids will love this full-day musical theatre workshop in Oxted where they’ll spend the whole day singing, dancing and acting. It’s for kids aged 6-11 and the cost is £30 per child. It’s on from 9am-3pm.



Half Term at the Lightbox: Landscapes Week
■ The Lightbox, Woking ■ Tues 13 – Fri 16 Feb

Get inspired by JWM Turner’s journeys through Surrey with workshops at the The Lightbox this half term. Running alongside the exhibition Turner in Surrey (which ends of 4 March), Landscapes Week will give children the chance to paint watercolours like Turner. There are free workshop drop-ins on Wed 14 Feb  and Fri 16 Feb (both from 1.30pm-4pm, and suitable for kids aged 4+). Alternatively, there are book ahead workshops on Tues 13 Feb (Riverbank Landscapes, for kids aged 4-8, £8 per child) and Thurs 15 Feb (Learn to paint with watercolours, for kids aged 8-11 at 1-2.30pm and kids aged 12-16 3pm-4.30pm, £8 per child).


Woolly Week
■ Godstone Farm, Godstone ■ until Sun 18 Feb

Godstone Farm celebrates the first signs of spring this half term! The first lambs will be arriving and the farmers will be running sessions to tell you all about it throughout the week. There’s also crafts and quizzes to keep kids entertained, as well the fluffy chicks for cuddling.


Half Term at The Living Planet Centre
■ The Living Planet Centre, Woking ■ Tue 13 Feb & Thurs 15 Feb 

At the Living Planet Centre Make a beautiful green heart themed greeting card, in support of climate change and celebrate the wildlife and the places you love and cherish (Tue 13 Feb.) Or watch a short inspirational film, then create a beautiful wishing wand with the powerful promise to make a change and protect our planet (Thurs 15 Feb.) All workshops are bookable and are 45 minutes long.


Half Term at the Watts Gallery
■ Watts Gallery, Guildford ■ Tue 13 Feb- Sun 18 Feb

There are plenty of fun activities at the Watts Gallery to get your kids creativity running wild. They can become a paper architect, creating a paper house, with the use of simple net templates, personalised with fabric and paper. Or swap the paper for terracotta clay to create their very own 3D cottage and use their creation as a tealight cover, and watch the light glimmering in the windows. Step into the world of a Helen Allingham painting in a multi-sensory space, filled with sounds, smells, costumes and props. There will also be a chance to be transported back in time and explore the Arts & Crafts house where George and Mary lived.


Guildford pancake race
■ Guildford High Street ■ Tue 13 Feb

How flippin’ fun! Choose from a variety of pancake races to get involved in, including a mixture of sprints and relays for both adults and children in aid of The Prostate Project. Highlights include a race between Guildford and Waverley Borough Councils, the Housewives’ Race and the ever-popular Mascots’ Race.  Head to Guildford High street, where the races will be starting at 11.00 am to prove that you’re Guildford’s best pancake flipper.


Fantastic Flags at Haslemere museum
■ Haslemere Museum ■ Tue 13 Feb

Enjoy a morning learning about the variety of different flags from around the globe at the Haslemere museum family drop-in day. Afterwards, design your very own special flag. Members: £2. Non-members: £4.  Time: 10.30- 13.00.


The Imagine Children’s Festival is at the Southbank Centre, London, until Sun 18 Feb.


Wet and Windy
■ Surrey History Centre, Woking ■ Tue 13 Feb- Sat 17 Feb

Discover the ways that wind and water have been used for energy throughout the years at the Surrey History Centre. They will be holding free arts and crafts and family drop in activities throughout the week. You will also have the chance to make your very own windmill and watermill. Activities run during opening hours. Children must be supervised.


Wild Woodland camp at Painshill
■ Painshill, Cobham ■ Tue 13 Feb-  Thurs 5 Feb

Unleash your children to run wild in the great outdoors at the Wild Woodland Camp.  From Tuesday to Thursday, a range of exciting adventure experiences are to be seized. On Tuesday (cosy dens), build a den and roast marshmallows around the campfire. Explore the woods and take the secret paths and forgotten tracks on a scavenger hunt to find treasure. On Wednesday (winter feast), play exciting woodland games and team challenges. Build a fire and munch on tasty treats, including toffee apples, popcorn doughnuts, and of course the campfire classic whippy hot- choc. Thursday (winter bushcraft) is your chance to get creative with an afternoon of bush crafts. Make items out of wood, including mallets, tent pegs and toys. Suitable for ages 8-13 years. Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Advanced booking required.


Drop in day: Animal Antics!
The museum of Farnham Wed 14 Feb-Thurs 15 Feb

Too much monkeying around? Let the kids express their inner animals and create a collection of amazing animal art and crafts. There will also be storytelling, inspired by the theme of ‘Animal Antics.’ These drop-in sessions are open every day from 10.30am-12.30am and 1.30pm-3.30pm and are suitable for ages 3- 7. Children must be accompanied by an adult.


WW2 A children’s war
■ Bourne Hall Museum, Ewell ■ Wed 14 Feb

At Bourne Hall Museum, transport your children back to a time before iPads and Xbox’s. Immersed in 1940’s they will partake in gas mask training and air raid drills, discover how to put out a fire bomb, play fag cards like wartime children, discover the size of their sweet ration, and master a paper puzzle to find the hidden pig! After being evacuated, children will write a postcard home. Time: 2pm to 3.30pm. Cost: £5 per child.


Reptile Show at Aldershot Library
■ Aldershot library ■ Wed 14 Feb

Get up close and personal with a variety of reptiles at the Reptile show. Pete from Pete’s Pet Emporium will be introducing his scaly friends and sharing facts and handling tips. Time: 10.30am. Tickets: £4 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-booking is essential. Suitable for children aged 4 years and older.


Forest Fun children’s event
■ Gatton Park, Reigate Thurs 15 Feb

Have fun in the forest, exploring Cedar Wood. Make woodland crafts and enjoy a snack around the fire Forest School area at Gatton Park. Aimed at 4-7-year-olds. Time: 10am-12 noon and 1.30pm-3.30pm. Tickets: £7.50.


Bonkers Bake-Off: Creative Writing with Rachel Barnett
■ G Live, Guildford ■ Fri 16 Feb

Youngsters have the chance to write some Ridiculous Recipes with playwright Rachel Barnett. In the footsteps of Roald Dahl and Lewis Caroll explore funny food and create your own Bonkers Bake-Off experience as a group of young writers. Tickets cost £35 each.  Suitable for ages: 7-11.


Comedy club for kids
■ G Live, Guildford ■ Sat 17 Feb

Comedy for the whole family without any of the rude bits! Comedy Club 4 Kids gives you cracking entertainment from the best comedians from the UK and world circuit suitable for everyone to enjoy. Recommended for ages 6-11 years and their parents. Tickets: £10 each.


StoryStock Battersea literary festival February Half Term

The StoryStock kids’ book festival is as Battersea Power Station until Wed 14 Feb.


Winnie The Pooh exhibition and activities
■ V&A museum, London ■  all week

AA Milne’s enduring bear is the subject of this charming exhibition (the V&A’s first ever family show), which features letters, sketches, ceramic, photographs and fashion. There’s a free pop-up interactive performance each day at 11am, 1pm and 3pm includes role-play and story-telling. Children are encourage to dress up as their favourite character or bring their favourite cuddly toy.


Knight School
■ Tower of London ■ all week

Enrol your little Mike The Knight to train as a page, then squire before eventually graduating to full knight status (No darling, you can slay your brother with that sword.) They get to create helmets and shields, complete with family coat of arms., defend the tower and all sorts of fun, fighty, knighty stuff.


Winnie-The-Pooh: Exploring A Classic
■ V&A Museum ■  until Sun 25 Feb


You loved the Balenciaga exhibition. we all adored the Bowie one. Now take the kids to see Winnie-The-Pooh – a show that invites you into the world created by AA Milne and EH Shepard, in which a tubby teddy and his friends stumble over life lessons. It’s multi sensory and playful exhibition that adds to the magic of this timeless classic.


Orchid Festival
■ Kew Gardens, Richmond ■ 10 Feb – 11 March


Things are going totally tropical this month at London’s gorgeous Kew Gardens. Their annual orchid festival takes in Insta-friendly displays of the vibrant Thai blooms, Thai street food and musical performances, workshops on how to grow these notoriously tricky flowers and Thai afternoon tea at The Botanical restaurant. King prawn, lemongrass and coriander tartlet followed by Thai sticky coconut cream rice with mango salsa? Yes please.


Butterflies in the Glasshouse
■ RHS Garden, Wisley, Woking ■ until Sun 18 March

I have the fondest memories of visiting Wisley’s butterflies Glasshouse a few years ago and being surrounded by these beautiful creatures, watching them flutter their intricate and colourful wings amidst the tropical plants. The cathedral- like glasshouse has more than 50 different species which fly freely among the Tropical Zone. These vibrant and exotic beauties showcase their magnificent designs in an Eden of plants including palm trees, bananas, bromeliads and climbers, as well as the aquatic plants that thrive in the warm jungle pool. Admission is available on the day or book a time slot in advance to skip queues. Free with normal garden admission.


Compiled by Alice Ridsdale

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ActivitiesHoliday fun

1 comment on “25 things to do with kids this half term”

  • Kathryn Buchanan February 26, 2018

    Hi I have moved from Bucks to Surrey and would like Muddy tips on courses for younger teenagers in the easter and summer holidays. Awkward age of 12/13/14 yr olds, can’t be left at home, but lots of holiday club things are aimed at primary school kids and are deemed “too babyish” for younger teens. Please could you consider a feature on these type of activities?


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