Already wishing the children were back at school? HANNAH DAVIES has the complete guide to surviving the half-term holiday
RAINING AND CAN’T FACE GOING OUT?
THE temptation is to shove the kids in front of the TV and settle down to a nice day of doing those jobs you can’t face most of the time. But the kitchen can clean later and washing really is very dull. Besides there is nowhere to hang it.
Have an indoor picnic: Put up a small tent, make sandwiches and picnic food and let the kids pretend you’re out in the wilderness. Judicious use of soft toys for wild animals. Cushions are key to a good indoor picnic as are card games and sing-songs
Get crafty: Preparation is key. Cover a table with plastic sheets or newspapers and get creative. If you’ve more than one child get them to draw each other. Get out the crafts, sticky bits and glitter and create a real mess. Get glue, paints and cardboard and make robots and if you’re really creative make a set for them to play in.
Create a home cinema This isn’t just sitting down to watch a DVD. No, make it a double-length feature. Get the kids to create programmes and a snack bar with a menu. Make your own popcorn, drinks and snacks. Invite friends and darken the lights. It’s a proper cinematic experience and shushing is allowed after the sugar rush has worn off.
Until June 2, Fairy Tale Week, Crook Hall and Gardens, Durham: Meet your favourite fairy tale characters, including Little Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf and Snow White at Crook Hall. www.crookhallgardens.co.uk
June 2-5, The Georgian Fair, Beamish Museum, County Durham: A recreation of the hustle and bustle of a Georgian spring fair at Beamish. Enjoy a short, guided walk through the Georgian landscape. Admission is included in the regular museum entry price. See www.beamish.org.uk
Until June 3, Wizard’s Week at National Railway Museum, Shildon, County Durham: See the GWR Hall Class steam locomotive No.5972 “Olton Hall”, better known to Harry Potter fans as Hogwarts Express. Join in spell-binding wizard-themed arts and crafts activities. Free admission and free parking, www.nrm.org.uk
Allen Banks and Staward Gorge, Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland: June 4, Forest School/Bushcraft Family Day, 10am-3pm: Go wild and have lots of fun at the same time. Cook on a camp fire, build a den, make a kazoo, learn woodland skills and how to survive in the outdoors. Suitable for children aged nine-plus. (Members) Adults, £10, child, £5 (Non-members) Adults, £14, child, £8. Booking is essential on 01434 344314.
Cherryburn, Station Bank, Mickley, Northumberland, 01661 843 276: June 5, Folk in the Farmyard, 1.30m-4pm. Traditional music and folk songs performed in the farmyard every first Sunday of the month until October 2. Bring a picnic, chair and a rug and enjoy listening to a different band every month. Free event.
Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island, near Berwick, Northumberland, 01289 389244: Until June 3, Castle Explorer and fossil and rocks hunt, 10am-3pm, A fun trail for older children Free event. Normal admission applies. Visitors please check tides before visiting. Last entry 2.30pm.
Seaton Delaval Hall, The Avenue, Seaton Sluice, Northumberland, 0191 237 9100: June 5, Seaton Sluice Music Festival. Lots of events including an evening of community singing, Hymns at the Hall, 0191 237 5163 or 0191 237 1136. Tickets cost £5 each and are available from Seaton Sluice Community Centre.
Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth, Northumberland, 01670 773600: Until June 4, Go Wild at Wallington, 11am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 3pm. Join Wallington’s countryside team for wild adventures in the woods, from pond dipping and den building to bug hunting and woodland crafts.
June 5, Cars in the Courtyard – Morris Minors, 11am-4pm: Imagine yourself behind the wheel as you admire a gathering of Morris Minors. Free event.
TYNE AND WEAR
Gibside, Burnopfield, Gateshead, 01207 541820: Until June 3, May half-term fun, free family activities and outdoor adventures every day.
June 3, Sun Down at Gibside, 6pm-9pm, every Friday evening until September, relax over a local beer and have a wander in the walled garden while the kids explore the play area and enjoy outdoor games. Free entry
June 4, Gibside Farmers’ Market, 10am-3pm, free entry and June 4-5, Gibside Gardens Weekend, 11am-3pm. Normal admission applies.
Souter Lighthouse, Coast Road, Whitburn, 0191 529 3161: Until June 2, Plant a Seed at Souter, and arts and crafts, 11am to 4pm. Help with the planting in the Learning and Discovery Garden and find out how easy it is to grow your own.
June 4, Welome’s POD Walk, 1pm: Join Souter’s mascot Welome for a treasure hunt inspired walk. For more information and a sponsorship form call 0191 529 0909. Suitable for children aged 10 and under.
Washington Old Hall, The Avenue, Washington, 0191 416 6879: Until June 1, House History Trail, and Garden Trail 10am to 4pm. Find it, describe it, draw it, enjoy it. Take a trip through Washington Old Hall on this self-led trail looking at objects from the past. Free event. Normal house admission applies. The gardens are free to visit.