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29 fantastic activities for the February 2023 half term holidays

February activities 2023
Go crime-busting with Sir Isaac Newton, join a fearsome berserker bootcamp, or even meet a 26-metre-long Diplodocus – with our top pick of 29 fun activities for you and the family to enjoy this half term!
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February 2023 half term holiday family activities in England

Main image credit: Imagine Festival, Southbank Centre 

Pure imagination
What: Imagine, the annual arts festival for under 11s, returns to London’s Southbank Centre for its 21st year this February. With more than 100 events, it covers everything from street art to steam trains, balloons to beatboxing and dinosaurs to dance battles. Highlights include a modern retelling of Rapunzel by BalletLORENT, talks by top authors Cressida Cowell and Michael Rosen, a daytime rave with the world’s youngest DJ as well as magic, astronomy, hip-hop and comedy. 
Where: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
When: 8-18 February
Need to know: Half of the events are free, prices vary for others. 

Heavens above
What: Reach for the stars at Butser Ancient Farm in Hampshire and enjoy a time-travelling day out, discovering more about ancient astronomy. From Stonehenge to the Pyramids, prehistoric people found meaning in the night sky, and you’ll be able to uncover how they viewed the stars with a special starlight trail, get stuck in with some hands-on skills like spinning and carving chalk, and learn how Stonehenge was built too.
Where: Butser Ancient Farm Chalton Lane Hampshire, PO8 0BG
When: 11-19 February, 10am-4pm
Need to know: Activities free with admission, family ticket £30.50.

Victorious Vikings
What: Take part in the largest Viking celebration in Europe with JORVIK Viking Festival in York this February. The eight-day city-wide extravaganza covers everything from giant feasts, marching armies, and battle spectaculars to a best beard competition and poo day! Visit traditional traders, master ancient crafts like pottery and broach-making and even pick up some fighting tips from a special berserker boot camp. To mark the release of her third book in the Two Terrible Vikings series, bestselling author Francesca Simon will also be there to share some fearsome tales too!
When: 11-19 February, times vary.
Need to know: Pre-booking essential. Battle spectacular costs £20 for adults and £16 for children. Horrid Vikings and Berserker Book camp events, £5 per child. Many events free.

Deeply Dippy
What: Something big is definitely stirring in Coventry this half-term, as Dippy the Diplodocus stomps into the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum. Fresh from a quick return home to London's Natural History Museum, the 26-metre-long Jurassic giant will remain as dino-in-residence at the Herbert for at least three years. To celebrate his arrival there’s a whole host of dino-themed activities on offer, including some drop-in dinosaur and volcano sculpting, expert talks on fossils in the collection and a fossil and folklore trail to follow too.
Where: Herbert Art Gallery & Museum Jordan Well, Coventry CV1 5QP
When: 20-25 February, 10am-4pm
Need to know: Museum entry and tickets to see Dippy are free, but need to be booked online.

Castle capers
What: Join characters from the past for some historical hijinks and hands-on shenanigans at Dover Castle. Be transported back in time by medieval storytellers, before enrolling into swashbuckling sword school. You can also discover the story of Dunkirk in an immersive exhibition, relive the tension as medics try to save an injured pilot on a tour of the Underground Hospital and get hands on in the Port War Signalling Station using Morse Code to spot enemy ships.
Where: Dover Castle, Castle Hill, Dover, Kent CT16 1HU
When: 11-19 February, 10am-4pm
Need to know: Family ticket from £62.40.

Festival of fun
What: Get ready to party with a week of Feb Fest – featuring a spectacular selection of performances, crafting, music, and storytelling taking place across the city of Luton. You can explore Brazilian music by learning how to drum a samba, stand up to the terrifying Miss Trunchbull at a Matilda musical theatre workshop, or help curious investigators Scribble and Clipboard in a new family show.
Where: Venues across Luton.
When: 13-17 February, times vary.
Need to know: Prices vary with event.

Grand designs
What: Build better with these fun creative design workshops from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London. You’ll learn about building design, develop model making skills and problem solve your way out of construction conundrums whilst working individually and as part of a team. Explore how to make housing work for future generations with sustainable homes and eco-friendly materials and learn about at-risk and unused buildings where you decide what’s best - keep, repurpose or demolish?
Where: RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD
When: 15 February, Design Time workshop, and 17 February, Design Quest workshop, both 11am-4pm.
Need to know: Workshops from £33-44 per child. Design Time workshops suitable for ages 11-14 and Design Quest workshops suitable for ages 7-10.

Blooming marvellous
What: Have your pen poised for some doodletastic adventures with Tom Gates at the Eden Project, bursting with creativity, colour and imagination. Inspired by the popular book and TV series by Liz Pichon, you can make your mark on the wacky food sculptures in the Med Biome before following a brilliant bug trail through the rainforest leaving no leaf unturned! Settle down with a Tom Gates classic in the cosy reading nook, before getting creative in a super drawing and illustrating workshop in the Tipis.
Where: Eden Project, Bodelva, St Austell, Cornwall, PL24 2SG
When: 11-19 February, 9.30am-6pm
Need to know: Most activities free with admission. Tickets, £32.50 adult. For half term only (11-19 February) children under 16 go free up to a maximum of one child per adult. Drawing workshop extra £1 for child and adult ticket, must be pre-booked.

Garden party
What: Get set to grow crazy this holiday as you pay a visit to the beautiful gardens of RHS Hyde Hall in Essex. You’ll be able to get creative as you design your own cress characters, join in with face painting, craft colourful paper flowers, or set off on an adventure around the gardens as part of an interactive storytelling journey. 
Where: RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Creephedge Lane, Rettendon, Chelmsford Essex CM3 8ET
When: 13, 14 and 16 February, 10am-4pm, dates and times vary by activity.
Need to know: Family ticket, £32 online. Additional charges are face painting £5, craft flowers £2, and cress head £1.50 per child – all must be pre-booked.

Mystery at the Mint
What: Meet Isaac Newton, the new Warden of the Royal Mint at the Tower of London. The year is 1696 and he’s arrived at his post to find a mismanaged tangle of deceit and fraud. The Mint is awash with troublesome gang members forging, clipping, and stealing coins, and he’s determined to crack down on all the corruption. You’ll meet Newton himself, find out what he thinks of his new job, and witness some of his most famous experiments. As he sets out to bring order, can you help him with his quest?
Where: Tower of London, London, England EC3N 4AB
When: 11-19 February, 11am-2.30pm
Need to know: Event free with admission. Family ticket from £82.10 online.

Go potty!
What: Travel back in time with Stonehenge’s historical pottery expert and see how fantastical Japanese ‘Flame Pots’ were made. Have a go at making your own mini ‘Dogu’ (a clay figurine) to take home and follow the family trail to explore the Circles of Stone exhibition to discover more about the fascinating connections between Stonehenge and prehistoric Japan. You can also come face-to-face with a 5,000-year-old man, step back in time in the Neolithic village and see if you have what it takes to move the mighty Sarsen stone. 
Where: Stonehenge, Near Amesbury, Wiltshire, SP4 7DE
When: 11-19 February, 10am-4pm
Need to know: Included with admission, family ticket from £56.60 online

Power play
What: Get ready player one at Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum with the return of Power UP, the ultimate hands-on, interactive gaming experience. Play the very best video games from the past five decades and try out more than 100 different consoles. There's something for everyone, from Pong to Pac-man, Sonic to Street Fighter and Mario to Minecraft, plus a selection of games created in Manchester. Face off against friends and families in multiplayer showdowns, rediscover your childhood favourites and test out some of the latest virtual reality experiences. Game on!
Where: Museum of Science and Industry, Liverpool Road, Manchester M3 4FP
When: 11-26 February, 10am-5pm
Need to know: Adults, £8, 4-16s, £6. Under 16s must be accompanied by a paying adult. Museum admission comes free with paying Power UP ticket.

Ready, get vet, go!
What: Animal lovers will be able to experience what it takes to be a vet at the UK's largest zoo, as Whipsnade gets ready to reveal the secret lives of the people keeping its collection of animals happy and healthy. After arriving for work at the Zoo’s specially-recreated vet centre, junior vets will be prepped with hairnets and masks before helping experts examine, diagnose, and carry out treatments on soft toys, experiencing first-hand the huge variety of work carried out by the Zoo’s vets, nurses, and zookeepers – from a lion health check to caring for a rescued turtle. 
Where: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU6 2LF
When: 11-19 February, 10am-5pm
Need to know: Events free with admission. Adult ticket from £25.91 online, child £16.86.

Bright sparks
What: Returning to Leicester this February, the Spark Arts Festival offers up a host of artistic activities for the whole family to enjoy, from spectacular theatre, cinema and live music performances to creative crafts and peculiar puppets. You’ll be able to produce your own fabulous costume before boogying away at the family disco, unleash your inner Banksy in a graffiti workshop, help to write a play and see it performed live on stage, or even learn how to create your own beats in the DJ workshop.
Where: Various locations in and around Leicester and online.
When: 14-19 February, dates and times vary.
Need to know: Prices vary, many events free.

The play’s the thing
What: Get set to enjoy the beauty of the bard with some storytelling sessions and workshops from the historic Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. All the interactive sessions are led by experienced actors, teachers and directors exploring the magic of Shakespeare’s stories through the language, characters, and themes of his plays – from the bloody hurly-burly of Macbeth to the eternal romance of Romeo and Juliet – with plenty of fun activities and games along the way.
Where: Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT
When: 12-19 February, times vary.
Need to know: Storytelling, £15 per person; workshops, £10 per person.

Get animated
What: Get in the frame with this new exhibition at Manchester’s Waterside Arts celebrating 30 years of renowned local animation studio Mackinnon & Saunders. The exhibition features original models, puppets and props the Altrincham-based animators created for some of the biggest TV shows and films from the past 50 years, including Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie, Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox, family favourites Raa Raa the Noisy Lion, Twirly Woos and Bob the Builder, as well as puppets and models made for Guillermo del Toro’s new Netflix film, Pinocchio.
Where: Lauriston Gallery, Waterside Arts, 1 Waterside Plaza, Sale, Trafford, M33 7ZF
When: Until 25 February, Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm
Need to know: Free entry.

Night lights
What: Prepare to be dazzled as the Medway Light Nights festival transforms historic landmarks across Chatham into beautiful, illuminated works of art. The dazzling series of displays and illuminations will be launched with a giant lantern procession through the streets of the town, with highlights including a magnificent light-up ship display paying homage to Chatham’s naval heritage and Pixels, a 2-story high interactive installation.
Where: In and around central Chatham.
When: 10-11 February, 6-9pm
Need to know: Free. 

Hide and tweet
What: Go wild at Slimbridge Wetland Centre with The Big Hideout this February. Join expert birdwatchers to look for all your feathered friends and see if you can find all 10 species on the spotter sheet. Climb the Estuary Tower to see ducks, geese and swans feeding by the River Severn and learn why the habitat is so important to them. You can become an arctic adventurer, take part in great migration game and have a go at bird ringing, or get crafty creating your own pair of binoculars or Bewick's swan bill pattern.
Where: Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Bowditch, Slimbridge, GL2 7BT
When: 11-26 February, 10am-4pm
Need to know: Tickets from £15 for adults, £8.63 for children. Free admission for under 4s.

Eco invention
What: Go green this half term with some engineering make and do at Coventry’s Transport Museum. Focusing on sustainability, you’ll be to explore natural resources and alternative energy in your creations using the power of light, wind and water. Use real tools to construct, deconstruct and adapt everyday items to design new solar-, wind- and water-powered vehicles and get creative by upcycling waste into new inventions in the Junk Modelling Maker Challenge too.
Where: Coventry Transport Museum, Millennium Place, Hales St, Coventry CV1 1JD
When: 18-25 February, 10am-4pm
Need to know: £4.50 per child, book online.

Just for laughs!
What: Lift your spirits this February with some seriously chuckle-worthy comedy at one of the gigs and workshops run by Comedy Club 4 Kids - all specially-designed for a family audience. Running since 2005, these gigs feature top stand-up comics and sketch acts – and have included Nish Kumar, Josh Widdicombe and even Phil Jupitus dressed as a panda in their line-ups – but all make sure none of the jokes have any rude words in!
Where: Venues in Leicester, Kendal, Barnes, North Finchley, Brighton.
When: 11-25 February, times vary.
Need to know: Tickets from £8 each.

Take heart
What: Celebrate Valentine’s Day at the Centre of the Cell with a special performance of In a Heartbeat show, investigating the science of the heart. You’ll be introduced to the topic by one of the presenters, taught the essentials you need to know, and then set free to explore a set of activities to find out what blood is made of, how blood travels around the body and how circulatory systems in the animal kingdom vary. You can then share your findings before leaving as an expert heart scientist!
Where: Centre of the Cell, Blizard Institute, 4 Newark Street, Whitechapel London E1 2AT
When: 13-17 February, 2-3.30pm
Need to know: Family ticket, £24.50. Book online or call 020 7882 2562. Suitable for 8-11.

Ship shape
What: Ahoy shipmates! Find your sea legs and take charge in this interactive adventure on HMS Belfast. It’s 1942 and HMS Belfast is ready to set sail – help the crew plot the course for the upcoming mission and make sure everything is ready to go. Hop on the balance board to test how steady you’ll be on choppy seas, figure out how to feed 950 men on board with limited rations and even find out what kind of supplies you’ll need along the way and discover for yourself what life was like for the ship’s company during the Second World War.
Where: HMS Belfast, The Queen's Walk, London SE1 2JH
When: 11-19 February, 10am-4pm
Need to know: Drop-in, free with admission: tickets £24.50 adult, £12.25 child. Under fives free. Suitable for ages 7+

TheSchoolRun & Lovetovisit.com

TheSchoolRun has partnered up with Lovetovisit.com to help expand your options for school holiday activities and keep things affordable. So, as well as the 29 activities in the list, you can also find plenty of events and activities in your area at discounted prices or even for free.

February 2023 half term holiday family activities in Wales

Out of the dark
What: Transport yourself to an alternate reality with this special exhibition celebrating the award-winning BBC adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s classic His Dark Materials trilogy at Glynn Vivian art gallery. Find out how the six giant stages of Cardiff’s Wolf Studios were transformed to create the show’s many worlds, from the frozen North to the mysterious streets of Cittàgazze, and see original props including the alethiometer, subtle knife and amber spyglass, alongside costumes, behind-the-scenes footage and original concept art.
Where: Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Alexandra Road, Swansea, SA1 5DZ
When: Until 23 April, 10am-5pm 
Need to know: Free entry. 

Glorious mud
What: Be prepared to get messy as you discover there’s more to mud than meets the eye at WWT Llanelli. Learn about the different birds and minibeasts that make mud their home, before enjoying plenty of squelchy and sludgy activities, including mud obstacle courses, mud birds’ nests, mud-slinging and even marvellous mud kitchens – just make sure you don’t forget your wellies! 
Where: Llanelli Wetland Centre, Llwynhendy, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, SA14 9SH
When: 18-26 February, 9.30am-5pm, last entry 4pm. 
Need to know: Events included with admission. Family ticket from £26.27.

Off you pop
What: Join Becky Kitter (as seen on CBeebies) as she hosts this interactive live show for all the family, filled with music, magic, mime, and lots of balloons. Be amazed as the humble balloon is transformed into an alien, helicopter or scuba diver as the two balloonatics show off their skills – you might even get the chance to become turned bizarre balloon creature yourself!
Where: National Waterfront Museum, Oystermouth Rd, Maritime Quarter, Swansea SA1 3RD
When: 18 February, 1pm and 2.30pm
Need to know: Tickets £2.50 per child.

February 2023 half term holiday family activities in Northern Ireland

Spectacular science
What: Discover how science affects you, the universe, and everything at the NI Science Festival – a huge celebration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics returning for its 9th year. There’s tons of shows, talks, and workshops on offer – meet science superstars including CBeebies’ Grace Webb, Stefan Gates and Dr Xand van Tulleken, watch a robo-submarine in action, explore the squashed solar system trail at Crawfordsburn Country Park and discover the incredibly edible science of ‘bakineering’. Plus, if you can’t make it in person, there’s a library of popular past events available to watch on demand.
Where: Various locations throughout Northern Ireland, and online.
When: 16-26 February, dates and times vary.
Need to know: Prices vary with event, some events free.

Creature feature
What: Enjoy a unique and fabulously fluffy experience this February as you take a stroll with some friendly alpacas in County Down. Enjoy the stunning scenery as you wander to the seashore for some fun on the beach, before enjoying some refreshments for you and your new furry friends. 
Where: Cranfield Alpacas, 35-37 Cranfield Road, Kilkeel, County Down, BT34 4LJ
When: Every Saturday, 10.30-11.30am (field walk) or 1.30-3.30pm (beach trek).  
Need to know: Family ticket for beach trek £55, not suitable for under 7s. Field walk £25, for two guests and one alpaca.

February 2023 half term holiday family activities in Scotland

Bright ideas
What: Scottish winters are known for being dark and gloomy, but Aberdeen’s Festival of Light, SPECTRA is back to illuminate the chilly skies. The three-day festival features works by some of the world’s leading visual artists with a series of eye-catching interactive installations all based around the theme of Home. Highlights include jellyfish-like trees that flash and pulse in response to sounds, a massive musical instrument with 200 different illuminated chimes that responds to touch, and a parade of glowing giants from another world.
Where: Various locations in and around Union Terrace Gardens, Aberdeen AB10 1NJ
When: 9-12 February, 6.30-10pm
Need to know: Free event

Spaced out
What: It’s all systems go at the National Museum of Scotland with this selection of out-of-this-world space activities. Find out about electronics as you try your hand at soldering and construct your own sonic screwdriver or light-up alien, visit the pop-up planetarium, with three separate shows on offer for different ages, craft a silly space monster, or drop by the Spark Cart for interactive science demonstrations and object handling. 
Where: National Museum of Scotland, Chambers St, Edinburgh EH1 1JF
When: 13-18 February, 10am-4pm
Need to know: Soldering workshop £15 per child (aged 7-14), planetarium show £2.50 adult, £2 child. Other activities and admission free.