May Half Term 2022 – sorted!
School holidays crept up on you again? No fear. Your trusty Muddy guide has the low down on what to see and do locally with the kids this Half Term.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Marina Theatre Lowestoft on the 3rd June for a brilliant springtime show – The Wizard of Oz. KD Theatre Productions have turned L. Frank Baum’s much-loved story into a spectacular Spring Pantomime packed with jokes, songs, dance routines, and eye-catching scenery. There are showings at both 2.30pm and 6pm.
Peterborough’s Key Theatre have three family-friendly shows too – Matilda Jr. the Musical, Terry Deary’s Twisted Tales and the musical version of Rapunzel. Find out more here. If you’re nearer Ipswich, there’s a Palaver Party at The New Wolsey on the 28th May. What’s a Palaver Party I hear you ask? Children aged 3 – 8 and their adults join a spectacular line-up of drag and cabaret performers for a bit of everything including music, performances, DIY costume-making, party games, sing-a-longs, glitter, and a rainbow disco.
Back over towards Peterborough and there’s some outdoor theatre to be enjoyed at Sacrewell Farm. Quantum Theatre, a travelling theatre company are putting on an al fresco adaptation in the Mill Stream Area of The Reluctant Dragon. It’s suitable for all ages, and tickets include access to Sacrewell from 3pm on 4th June with the show starting at 5pm. One more important detail – tickets also include a free scoop of ice cream in the interval!
CRAFT AND LEARNING ACTIVITIES
Cambridge’s Museum of Zoology is always a good place to visit during the hols, so while you’re there make the most of your trip and get your little ones involved in their free drop-in Animal Faces in Wild Spaces event on 31 May from 12pm – 4pm. Kids will get to colour in their chosen animal or draw their own and then add them to the local habitats that are being built around the museum.
Crafty kids aged 6 and over will love the Sketch to Screen Print Workshop at WWT Welney Wetland Centre on 29th May. Kids will get the chance to learn new art skills from Nicola Bramley, (as featured on BBC Countryfile no less!), who will show them how to make a field sketch, design and cut paper stencils, then screen print onto fabric. They’ll come home with a completely unique tote bag to show off to their friends.
Kids can get hands on at Cambridge Science Centre over May Half Term with their All About Engineering days. Activities include building bridges and making electricity. There are also shows to watch throughout the day as well as crafty workshops like making a car out of recyclable rubbish and how to make cogs turn using cardboard and metal pins. Half Term week also sees the start of Cambridge Nature Festival, and the centre is supporting this with nature-inspired activities, such as making bird feeders and paper beetles.
Need a holiday club to help you get through half term? Inspire Suffolk still has some spaces left on its three holidays clubs in Ipswich that run from 8:30 – 3:30 (or 4:30pm if you choose the extended day). Crafty kids will love Reach for the Stars Holiday Club (crafts and fun for budding artists) and there’s also Shooting Stars for more active children (games, sports, and high-octane fun). Finally All-Stars Holiday Club caters for children who are creative and love to dance.
The Little Gym in Milton are also running holiday camps for 3 – 12 year olds on the Tuesday and Wednesday of half term. Each camp is themed and kids will be kept active all day with access to fun gym equipment (think Tumble Tots for older kids), sport and creative activities.
For older kids who love computers and coding, there’s a brilliant Code Ninjas club at Chesterton Community College. There’s an Intro to Roblox Development day on the 31st May, Composing with Code and Robotics with Lego on the 1st June, and a Minecraft Day Camp on 4th June.
Cambridge’s Botanical Gardens is a lovely place to spend a day during the holidays, especially when they’ve got an activity to take part in. Their own take on the Jubilee takes place on 4th June and is called The Queen Bee. Kids can make a queen bee and take her on a journey to visit the royal plants in the garden. It’s a free event, so simply drop-in to the Schools Garden between 10am and 1pm.
Wild Play Suffolk have an Explorers Holiday Club running for children between the ages of 5 – 11. Children will spend all day in the woodland taking part in outdoor learning and forest school experiences. They’ll come home exhausted and grubby!
Just over the border into Essex Audley End Miniature Railway is well worth a visit. From 28 May to 5 June it’s Wildlife Week, with lots of activities revolving around the Nature Corner. Kids will learn about all about the different habitats, insects and creatures you may find in the wild, with a chance to look at bug hotels, wormeries and bird boxes. There are also shows throughout the day in the Stage Area and everyone gets a ride on the miniature train as part of the experience, as well as access to the Fairy and Elf Walk and the Adventure Play Area.
South Angle Farm Park near Soham doesn’t have any specific half term activities, but there’s so much to do here that it definitely deserves a mention in our guide. Animal loving children will jump at the chance to see and feed the animals by hand, including llamas, pigs, goats, chickens, ducks and geese. The farm also has rabbits, guinea pigs, donkeys and tortoises to see and over 17 acres farm walks and trails that are guaranteed to wear out little legs.
Don’t live near the seaside? Don’t worry, you can still take the kids to the beach! The Beach at Bury Lane Fun Barn near Royston is now open – a giant sandpit, with deck chairs for mums and dads and a cool adventure zone with climbing boulder, giant chess and mini diggers to explore for up to 10 year olds. From 28 May the bungees and go-karting will be open, too, for older kids.
The Queen might be celebrating 70 years, but Kentwell have gone one better this half term by celebrating over 2000 years of history in one day, with over 200 actors playing everything from a Neolithic Hunting Band to 80s Punks. You can get involved in Kentwell’s History Festival from 2 – 5 June, with the chance to see incredible sights like a Victorian Travelling Show followed by a 1920s Croquet Party and a 1960s Peace Camp. A whirlwind history lesson that kids will love.
Framlingham Castle always has something for kids in the holidays and this year is no exception. They’re running a Jubilee-inspired event with Queen Mary Tudor returning to the castle with the chance to find out why she got her gruesome nickname, ‘Bloody Mary’.
The Suffolk Show is at Trinity Park, Ipswich over half term from 31 May – 1 June and it’s a brilliant, if a little exhausting, day out for the whole family. This year there’s a special ‘Suffolk the Platinum Years’ area and you can walk down the new Jubilee Avenue – home to 70 Acer Campestre ‘Queen Elizabeth’ trees planted in celebration of the The Queen’s 70 year reign. There will also be a Festival Pageant in the show ring on the second day. Not to be missed!
Back over at Sacrewell Farm there’s a four-day Jubilee Event during May Half Term too. Kids will love throwing themselves around the inflatable assault course and there will also be live music, a special Jubilee trail to follow and a tractor display from the start of the Queen’s reign to modern day. There’ll be plenty of food and drink in the Artisan’s Courtyard as well as crafts and street art. Once they’ve exhausted themselves on the assault course, kids can calm down with games and crafts such as hopscotch, hoopla and helping to create a silhouette window display in celebration of the occasion.
From 27th May there’s a brand new object trail at IWM Duxford charting British and Commonwealth aviation during The Queen’s 70-year reign, alongside a large-scale projection of recently digitised film from IWM’s archive which traces The Queen’s personal experience of war.
Smaller ones might be more interested in IWM Duxford’s chocolate themed edition of Story Seekers. Before they get their hands on the sweet stuff they can take part in a guided, family mission, to learn about the importance of chocolate both as a morale and energy booster for the troops, and how trade and rationing played such an important role to the UK during the Second World War.
Other half term events include: Flight Academy (where you make the world’s best paper plane and test run it on a research runways in the Conservation Hall); Cockpit Control )fun and interactive family game is based on the technological developments seen in the American Air Force in the late 1940s); and a D-Day edition of a Family Mission Day.
Easton Farm Park have a brilliant take on the Jubilee events from 2 – June. Instead of your little ones having to behave like princes and princesses they can join in the mayhem of the Rowdy Royals by meeting some dubious Kings and Queens through the ages. Activities at this Jubilee extravaganza include musical theatre, birds of prey displays, street parties, pony pageants, and the chance to be knighted in the throne room.
FOOD AND DRINK
Nene Valley Railway has a very tasty day out this May Half Term with a Family Fish and Chips Express day on the 3rd June. Fish and chips will be served to you as you steam down the line taking in the views on the 2.20pm train out of Wansford. There’s a children’s menu too and alternative options for any fussy eaters or veggies.
If you love sushi then get your budding chef booked into Cambridge’s Sticks’n’Sushi’s Kids Sushi Class on 29th May. Suitable for 8 – 12 year olds, it’s win-win for parents – kids are entertained and they might even make you sushi at home afterwards!
BOATS & BIKES
Getting super active is always a good idea, ensuring maximum fun and then maximum guilt-free relaxation/ TV time when you get home. Milton Country Park, north of Cambridge, is open for bike hire/tours and water-based activities, including organised wild swimming in the lake (might need a wet suit – brrr) or try paddle boarding and kayaking/canoeing for a warmer option. Book online here.
Stour Valley Adventure Centre , based in Sudbury Suffolk and spilling over into Essex, has over 1,000 miles of beautiful countryside to entice you with walks bike trails and paddle sports. Chose from different options, including the Wellness Paddle (£25 per canoe) where you can get out on the water with two under 10s for a tranquil float around. If you have older teens, you could try a more rigorous trip, and kayak for a whole day in a tandem kayak (£110 for the day). Paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks are all available to hire.
You also have the wonderful Grafham Water in the East Cambridgeshire, a few miles from Huntingdon, England’s third-largest reservoir in 1,500 acres of countryside. Fishing, sailing, windsurfing, wild swimming, and cycling- there is plenty to do here. Check out Grafham Water Centre, and book in for a family day of activities including kayaking and sailing, running on Sun 5 Jun, £30.00 pp.
For a proper ‘messing about in boats’ day out, head to the Suffolk coast and Thorpeness Meare – a boating lake that has been attracting tourists since the 1920s. Choose from sailing boats, rowboats, dinghies, kayaks and canoes – there’s a great tea room too.