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29 fantastic activities for the February 2024 half term holidays

Zog actors on stage
Paint a fabulous mud masterpiece, join a fearsome berserker bootcamp, or even check in at the seahorse hotel with our top pick of 29 fun activities for you and the family to enjoy this half term!

Discover activities in: 

South East
South West
North West
North East 

Northern Ireland

Main image: Mark Senior / Northern Stage

TheSchoolRun &

TheSchoolRun has partnered up with 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.


Children at Shakespeare's Globe

The play’s the thing
What: Enjoy the beauty of the bard with these storytelling sessions and workshops taking place at Shakespeare’s Globe. All led by experienced actors, teachers and directors, you’ll explore the language, characters, and themes of Shakespeare’s plays.
Where: Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT
When: 6-17 February, times vary.
Need to know: Storytelling, £15 per person. Workshops and sword-fighting, £10-16 per person. Tour, £25 adults, £18 child.
©️Richard Eaton / Shakespeare's GlobeImage 

Pure imagination!
What: Imagine, the UK’s biggest children’s arts festival, will be returning to London’s Southbank Centre for its 22nd year, bringing with it over 100 events covering everything from pirates to poetry, sticky tape to saxophones and doctors to dance parties. Go on a musical underwater adventure featuring the BBC Symphony Orchestra (and all your favourite CBeebies characters), join Michael Rosen and Joseph Coelho for the launch of their latest books, celebrate Lunar New Year with a special mass-participation gameshow, or learn how to bust some moves in a hip-hop dance workshop. 
Where: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
When: 7-17 February, various dates and times. 
Need to know: Around 40% of the events are free, prices vary for others.

Crowning achievement
What: Criminal mastermind Colonel Blood and his audacious gang are up to no good at the Tower of London. But what exactly are they planning? As you explore the Tower, a collection of costumed characters will be on hand to transport you back to 1671, when the new Crown Jewels made for King Charles II were on public display for the first time. And you’ll discover, as the story of this daring historical heist unfolds, that not every curious visitor could be trusted… 
Where: The Tower of London, London, England EC3N 4AB
When: 10-18 February, 10.30am-4.30pm
Need to know: Event free with admission. Adult tickets £33.60, child, £16.80 child. Limited tickets at £1 available to those on Universal Credit and similar benefits online.

Seahorsing around
What: Step into the Seahorse Hotel at SEA LIFE London and learn all about these amazing ocean animals! You’ll be able to discover different types of seahorses from around the world, including two that can be found in the UK, before meeting some teeny-tiny seahorse babies. Afterwards, don’t forget to take in the aquarium’s other attractions, from massive sand tiger sharks to the smallest clownfish, with regular keeper talks on offer to help you discover the secrets of the deep. 
Where: SEA LIFE London Aquarium, Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB
When: 10-24 February, 10am-4pm. 
Need to know: Tickets £28 adult, £25 child. 

South East

Hand in soil

Garden party
What: Grow crazy this holiday as you pay a visit to the beautiful gardens of RHS Hyde Hall in Essex and get stuck in to some green-fingered activities. You can go for an interactive storytelling walk around the garden, design and plant your own chive-head character and learn how to look after it.
Where: RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Creephedge Lane, Rettendon, Chelmsford Essex CM3 8ET
When: 17-25 February, 10am-4pm, dates and times vary.
Need to know: Family ticket, £38.10 online. Additional charges are face painting £5 per child, crafts and chive heads, £2.50.
 ©️Neil Hepworth / RHSImage

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 explore the barracks, hospitals, bomb shelters and command posts of the underground tunnels, where an immersive exhibition will help you discover the story of the Dunkirk evacuations, and get hands on in the Port War Signal Station where you can learn Morse Code and how to spot enemy ships.
Where: Dover Castle, Castle Hill, Dover, Kent CT16 1HU
When: 10-18 February, 10am-4pm
Need to know: Family ticket from £60.

Funny business
What: Lift your spirits this February with some top chuckle-worthy comedy at the Oxford Playhouse, all specially designed for a family audience. Running since 2005, Comedy Club 4 Kids hosts gigs featuring the UK’s top stand-up comics and sketch acts, having made sure that all of the jokes are kid-friendly – so you can enjoy all the laughs of a comedy club night, but without the rude bits!
Where: Oxford Playhouse, 11-12 Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2LW
When: 12-13 February, 2pm-3pm.  
Need to know: Tickets £14 adults, £12 children. 

South West

Stars in the sky

Heavens above
What: Reach for the stars at Butser Ancient Farm and enjoy a time-travelling day out as you discover the hidden secrets of the earliest astronomers
Where: Butser Ancient Farm, Chalton Lane, Hampshire, PO8 0BG
When: 10-18 February, 10am-4pm
Need to know: Activities free with admission, family ticket £32.80.
 ©️Deepal Ratnayaka / Butser Ancient FarmImage

Seriously scientific
What: Expect a day filled with spectacular science when you visit the Eden Project this February, as the UK’s favourite science team, Ministry of Science, and popular YouTube channel, Kids Invent Stuff will be showing off tons of explosive experiments and weird and wonderful technology. See how science shapes the world we live in as you discover the potential benefits of eating insects and sample some salt and vinegar crickets, admire wacky contraptions including Maria the lawn-mowing crocodile and a slime-shooting robot, test the laws of physics and find out about weird and wonderful new materials. 
Where: Eden Project, Bodelva, St Austell, Cornwall, PL24 2SG
When: 10-18 February, 9.30am-6pm
Need to know: Most activities free with admission. Tickets from £33 adult, £17 young adult (17-25), child £11. For half term only (10-18 February) children under 16 go free, one with each adult ticket.

Blooming marvellous
What: Fall head over heels in love with nature at the Lost Gardens of Heligan this February. Follow the Love Heligan trail, collecting heart stamps as you go, to learn more about the gardens’ history and inhabitants, before heading over to the Reserve Yard for some seasonal crafting (including planet earth paper chains, love and hope dove decorations and Valentine card creations) and tasty toasted marshmallows around the fire pit. Plus, don’t miss your chance to see the Voices from the Underground exhibition, featuring interviews with the creatures beneath your feet – from the ramblings of the mole to the heroic exploits of the Tardigrade. 
Where: Lost Gardens of Heligan, B3273, Pentewan, Saint Austell, PL26 6EN
When: 10-18 February, 10am-4pm.
Need to know: Activities included with admission, family ticket £48. 


Girl at IWM

Chocks away!
What: Get ready to take your best shot at IWM Duxford as you discover the spectacular science behind cameras! Thanks to their new Spies in the Skies exhibition, you’ll be able to discover all about the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit and how they used special airborne cameras in their surveillance missions behind enemy lines. 
Where: IWM Duxford, Duxford, Cambridgeshire CB22 4QR
When: 19-23 February, 10am-3pm.
Need to know: Activities free with admission. Adult £26.80, child £13.40.
 ©️ IWM DuxfordImage

Hoo Dunnit?
What: Immerse yourself in a medieval mystery and see if you can solve Riddlequest, a new escape game experience at Sutton Hoo. Join the hunt for a mysterious object once owned by King Rædelwulf, completing fun challenges and solving real historical puzzles along the way to unlock the secrets of the past. Plus, you can join Sutton Hoo’s living history volunteers and find out how replica Anglo-Saxon clothes are made or have a go at constructing your own bird box to mark National Nest Box Week.
Where: Sutton Hoo, Tranmer House, Woodbridge IP12 3DJ
When: Riddlequest, 16-17, 23-24 February, 6-8.30pm. Costumes, 14 and 28 February, 10.30am-2pm. Bird boxes, 19, 21 and 23 February, 1.30pm-3.30pm. 
Need to know: Riddlequest, adult £15, child £6. Bird boxes, £10 per person. Other activities free with admission, family ticket £37.50. 


Children doing archery

Take flight
What: Get ready to be all of a-quiver as the Festival of Archery takes over Warwick Castle’s historic grounds. Be amazed as professional archers are put through their paces in challenging demonstrations and tournaments, before picking up a bow and having a go yourself. 
Where: Warwick Castle, Warwick CV34 4QU
When: 10-19 February, 10am-5pm. 
 Most activities free with admission, tickets £25 per person on weekdays, £28 weekends. Additional charges apply for have-a-go archery. 
Image ©️ Warwick CastleNeed to know:

Bear necessities
What: Calling all adrenaline junkies! If you’re looking for an action-packed day out for all the family, why not head to Birmingham’s Bear Grylls Adventure, bringing together 11 different dynamic activities so everyone can tackle their favourite challenge. Experience the thrill of indoor skydiving, test your keen eye on the archery range, scramble through the challenging assault course, or dive into a shark tank, with friendly Adventure Guides always on hand to help.
Where: The Bear Grylls Adventure, National Exhibition Centre, Pendigo Way, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT
When: 10-12, 14-18 February (half-term opening hours), 9am-5pm, 9am-7pm Saturdays.
Need to know: Prices start from £20 per person. Age restrictions vary by activity. 

Festival of fun
What: Get ready to party with Luton’s week-long Feb Fest – featuring a spectacular selection of performances, crafting, music, and storytelling taking place across the city. You can enjoy an interactive sculpture show where an artist brings your weird and wacky clay creations to life, have a go at building the best den ever using lots of colourful materials, watch a shadow puppet show inspired by Indian fairy tales and enjoy a dance at their post-show party, or join a mismatched pair of artists for a silly and chaotic silent comedy spectacular. 
Where: Venues across Luton.
When: 19-23 February, times vary.
Need to know: Prices vary with event, some events free. 


Mother and child making chocolate

I should cocoa!
What: If you’ve got a sweet tooth, there’s plenty to unwrap with these scrumptious events taking place at York’s Chocolate Story. Learn the skills of an expert chocolatier in a family masterclass as you learn chocolate piping and truffle rolling.
Where: York’s Chocolate Story, King’s Square, York YO1 7LD
When: Tours, 10-18 February, 9.30am and 9.45pm. Masterclasses, 13 and 15 February, 2.15pm-3.45pm.  
Need to know: Masterclass, £35 per person, tours £52.80 for a family ticket. 
 ©️York's Chocolate StoryImage

Victorious Vikings
What: Take part in the largest Viking celebration in Europe with JORVIK Viking Festival in York. 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, watch Viking games, master ancient crafts like woodwork and brooch-making and even pick up some fighting tips at a special berserker boot camp. Plus, bestselling author, Louie Stowell will be there to present her latest Norse-themed book, Loki: A Bad God’s Guide.
When: 12-18 February, dates and times vary.
Need to know: Pre-booking essential. Battle spectacular and finale event costs £20 adult, £16 child (£15 for finale). Viking games, £10 adult, £5 child. Berserker Boot camp events, £5 per child. Louie Stowell, £5 for one child and adult ticket. Many events free.

North West

Performers at the Lowry

Are you chicken?
What: Get ready for some feathered fun as Manchester’s Lowry presents a brand-new adaptation of classic farmyard fable The Little Red Hen. Join the plucky little hen as she finds her own way to get stuff done in an energetic adaptation of the much-loved story.
Where: The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ
When: 20 February, 2pm, 21-22 February, 11am and 2pm.
Need to know: Tickets, £12 adult, £10 child.
 ©️ Mark Morreaux / The LowryImage

Spectacular science
What: Discover the power of play with a programme of free, hands-on fun, games and challenges at Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum. This half-term, you’ll be able to pick up a Play Passport and discover curious pop-up activities throughout the museum, before exploring the Rust Retreat – a new sensory experience inspired by Manchester's industrial past and present – or settling down for scientific storytelling at the Story Station. Plus, you can get your game on and enjoy a curated selection of the very best video games from the past five decades, from Mario to Minecraft and Space Invaders to Street Fighter in the Power Up! exhibition. 
Where: Museum of Science and Industry, Liverpool Road, Manchester M3 4FP
When: 10-25 February, 10am-5pm
Need to know: Admission and activities free, please book in advance. Donations welcome. Power Up tickets, £8 adult, £7 child.  

North East

Zog performers dancing on stage

Dragon drama
What: Enjoy a merrily musical adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's bestselling sequel Zog and the Flying Doctors at the Northern Stage
Where: Northern Stage, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RH
When: 21-25 February, times vary.
Need to know: Adult tickets, £16.50, under 16s, £14.50.
 ©️ Mark Senior / Northern StageImage

Fully booked
What: Celebrate the power of stories at Alnwick’s annual Story Fest, a weekend-long book festival, as it returns for 2024. You’ll be able to journey through swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the thick oozy, squelchy mud with a live performance of Michael Rosen’s We’re Going On a Bear Hunt, explore mystery and magic with David Almond as he celebrates the 25th anniversary of his classic tale Skellig, or journey to Icicle Island in an interactive storytelling adventure. And no self-respecting bookworm would forget to pay a visit to festival venue Barter Books: a huge bookshop situated in a converted Victorian railway station, where model trains chug along the wooden shelves. 
Where: Multiple venues throughout Alnwick.
When: 16-18 February, dates and times vary. 
Need to know: Prices vary by event.


Child playing with toy sword

Knight time
What: If you’re looking for a truly historic experience this half-term, why not try out Cadw’s new Explorer Passes - for three days or one week, you get unlimited entry to 25 different castles and historic sites across Wales. 
Where: Multiple locations throughout Wales. 
When: Explorer Pass available now. Opening times for attractions may vary. 
Need to know: £55.95 for a 3-day pass or £65.30 for a 7-day pass. 
 © Hawlfraint y Goron / © Crown copyright (2024) Cymru WalesImage

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 painting, muddy obstacle courses, making 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: 10-18 February, 9.30am-5pm, last entry 4pm. 
Need to know: Events included with admission. Family ticket from £26.59.

Scaly spectacle
What: Get ready for a roar-some Lunar New Year celebration as Swansea’s National Waterfront Museum welcomes the Year of the Dragon. Enjoy a selection of traditional Chinese crafts and activities including paper cutting and calligraphy, learn how to perform an elaborate tea ceremony, watch a dragon dance and Beijing Opera, or take your chances with the Lucky Draw!  
Where: National Waterfront Museum, Oystermouth Rd, Maritime Quarter, Swansea SA1 3RD
When: 11 February, 11am-4pm.
Need to know: Free.


Children taking test tube

Messy medical
What: Discover the secrets of 17th-centry medicine with these hands-on workshops taking place in Mary King’s Close – a subterranean Edinburgh street frozen in time that’s revealed many secrets of the capital’s past. 
Where: The Real Mary King’s Close, 2 Warriston's Close, Edinburgh EH1 1PG
When: Saturdays throughout February, 12pm, 1.30pm, 3pm and 4.30pm. 
Need to know: Tickets from £29 per adult, £22 per child. Suitable for 5+. 
 ©️The Real Mary King's CloseImage

Let there be lights!
What: Scottish winters are known for being dark and gloomy, but Aberdeen’s Festival of Light, SPECTRA, returns to illuminate the chilly skies – and you can expect plenty of extra-special illuminations for 2024 as the festival celebrates its 10th anniversary. Highlights among the eye-catching artworks on display include a swarm of neon butterflies, a giant, glittering rotating heart, a maze of musical illuminated monoliths, and an oversized glowing ball of wool with long, light trail of yarn. 
Where: Various locations in and around Aberdeen, primarily Union Terrace Gardens, Union Terrace, Aberdeen AB10 1NJ
When: 8-11 February, 5.30-10pm. 
Need to know: Free event

Northern Ireland

Children in light tunnel

Lights, camera, action
What: Answer all your biggest questions about the world – who, what, when, where and why – with a trip to Belfast’s W5 Discovery Centre this February. 
Where: W5, The Odyssey, 2 Queens Quay, Belfast BT3 9QQ
When: 10am-4pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 10am-6pm, Friday-Sunday. 
Need to know: Family ticket from £31. 
 ©️ W5Image

Fascinating festival
What: Discover how science affects you, the universe, and everything in between at the NI Science Festival – a huge celebration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. There’s tons of shows, talks, and workshops on offer – meet CBeebies’ science superstars Grace Webb, Chantelle and Rory, help construct a giant LEGO map of the world, go on a virtual-reality caving adventure, and discover the incredibly edible science of ‘bakineering’. Or you can join in with a special birthday bash at the Ulster Transport Museum, featuring live science shows, steampunk stilt-walking, treasure hunts, drones, behind-the-scenes tours and much more. 
Where: Various locations throughout Northern Ireland.
When: 15-25 February, dates and times vary. Birthday event, 17 Feb, 10am-4pm. 
Need to know: Prices vary with event, some events free.

Make a splash!
What: Take the plunge in Portaferry as you pay a visit to the Exploris Aquarium, home to a marvellous selection of marine life including sharks, turtles, and jellyfish, as well as otters, penguins, and even a caiman crocodile. Check out their new Under the Sea exhibit, where a special glass tunnel allows you to stand in the middle of a 250,000-litre tank amidst schools of shimmering tropical fish. Afterwards, don’t forget to pop into the seal sanctuary, where you’ll be able to watch some adorable seal pups, and find out more about how these lost or injured creatures are prepared to be released back into the wild. 
Where: Exploris Aquarium and Seal Sanctuary, 1 The RopeWalk, Castle St, Portaferry, Newtownards BT22 1NZ
When: 10am-5pm.
Need to know: Family ticket from £40 online. 

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