Things to do in Kent during February half term 2019
Worried about keeping the kids amused next week? Don't panic!
It may not be the best half term of the year in terms of the weather but an action packed calendar of events definitely makes up for it.
There's lots happening around the county. See our guide:
Dreamland's first ever Children's Book Festival is taking place during half term. A world of wonder is promised for budding bookworms, imaginative illustrators, and wannabe writers. Meet The Gruffalo, illustrate your own story, get top tips from authors, discover some new books and if you've still got some energy left take to the roller disco! The festival opens on February 16. Tickets are £6 and a full run-down of events and activities can be found here.
Howletts Wild Animal Park, Bekesbourne near Canterbury
The importance of conservation projects and the job of rangers will be explored during half term sessions at the wildlife park. There will be a variety of talks for families about conservation projects taking place worldwide, the job of rangers in protecting species as well as information about the animals living at Howletts. The Walk with Lemurs enclosure will also be open alongside all of Howletts other attractions. You can get discounted tickets if you book online in advance. Further information about the park's half term offerings can be found here.
Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre, Gillingham
Free craft activities for kids will be taking place with the help of the kmfm Street Team over half term. From Monday, February 18 until Sunday, February 24 between 11am and 3pm the Gillingham shopping centre is providing a range of free activities to keep kids occupied. There will be art and craft workshops where youngsters can get creative and colour in their own designs, together with make and take greeting cards and paper flowers. Youngsters can also get their faces painted for free! All the details here.
Become a first-class junior hunter this half term in the grounds of Leeds Castle. Pick up an activity booklet (£1) and use it to guide you through the grounds, complete the various puzzles and challenges to be rewarded with a chocolate prize. Start your adventure in the woodland walk, before conquering the maze and completing a quiz in the birds of prey area. On your way through the grounds, see if you can also solve mystery riddles written on the giant puzzle boards! For ticket prices and to learn more about Half Term Hunters see here.
Betteshanger Country Park near Deal
Betteshanger has an action packed half term programme of events which they say will help families with children of all ages. From woodland trails and archery taster sessions to battlezone archery and mountain bike hire there is something for all the family, from the tots to the teens. The popular Forest School is also back for two sessions during the school break. Some activities and taster sessions must be booked in advance. A run-down can be found here.
Bluewater Shopping Centre, Greenhithe
There is free live theatre at the shopping centre this half term. The 20-minute shows are set to be popular so don't forget to reserve your spot on the day. The kids can also stay for craft activities afterwards. The performances are taking place alongside Bluewater's many other family attractions including the recently opened Dinotropolis adventure park and soft play, Gravity trampoline park and its state-of-the-art cinema. For further details and more information about the free theatre, click here. Young Driver is also back in the grounds of Bluewater during half term offering specialist driving lessons to youngsters aged 10 to 17. Booking is essential, learn more here.
Bricks Britannia. The Beaney, Canterbury
Thousands and thousands of LEGO bricks, a LEGO pit and in a real treat for fans iconic moments in British history, from the Stone Age to the 21st Century, will be presented in brick form using over 150,000 bricks. A History of Britain in LEGO Bricks opens at The Beaney on Saturday, February 9 and runs until Sunday, February 24. Learn more here.
The Worst Witch at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Inject some magic into half term with this stunning production of the Worst Witch. Bringing all of Jill Murphy's characters to life, performances are running from Thursday, February 21 until Saturday, February 23. Learn more here.
Spa Valley Railway, Tunbridge Wells
Ride the rails for £1 if your a child on your half term break thanks to the return of Spa Valley's dicounted offer. The reduced prices mean a day out for two adults and two children is between £22 and £26. Learn more about the railway and the ticket offer here.
Take your family on a castle adventure to celebrate the release of the new film The Kid Who Would Be King. Join Merlin, Alex and his band of knights on an epic quest to save England from an evil medieval menace. Track down questions across the castle and answer them to claim your royal reward. The activity is free with your entry to the castle.
From Monday, February 18 until Friday, February 22 Secrets and Spies is also taking place. Super sleuths, secret agents and investigators will soon discover if they have what it takes to become a master codebreaker with the chance to sharpen young detective skills with hands-on training in codes and clues. Join Second World War detectives for an explanation of ciphers, tools used for secret communication in wartime and then armed with your new skills, head out into the castle and take on the challenge of breaking Dover's codes.
Living With Nature is the theme of Hever Castle's half term events for families.
Find out how to encourage wildlife into the garden and join Hever Castle’s gardeners on a stroll around the grounds to learn about natural and manmade habitats. Become a ‘Wildlife Detective’ and take part in a self-guided walk to investigate animal footprints and tracks in the grounds or warm up inside the Castle and discover animals and flowers hidden in the paintings and panelling of the Castle.
Youngsters will also be able to encourage birds into their own garden at home by building a bird feeder in a free workshop or buy a bag of bird food (50p per bag) and feed the birds and ducks at Hever Castle. For ticket prices and a full breakdown of events click here.
Royal Engineers Museum, Gillingham
Celebrate Chinese New Year and mark the Year of the Pig with a range of craft activities at the museum. Taking place between February 16 and February 24 the activities are £2 a session alongside normal admission prices. All the details can be found here.
Zog activity trail with The Forestry Commission
The new Zog activity trail opened at both Bedgebury Pinetum and Jeskyns Community Woodland and half term would be the perfect time to complete it if you haven't already done so!
The new book-themed trail follows the success of other events at Forestry Commission sites across the country featuring Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler classics including the Gruffalo, Stick Man and Highway Rat.
Zog is a loveable - if somewhat clumsy - dragon at Dragon School who is always striving to win a golden star. He learns essential dragon skills at school including flying, roaring, breathing fire and capturing princesses. As part of the Forestry Commission trail, children can enter a forest classroom to learn lessons just like Zog, including how animals fly, what sounds they make and how they catch their prey. As well as winning gold stars along the self-led trail, there will be panels which have a hidden image that children can find using a coloured lens, found inside their activity pack. Visitors can buy the packs for £3 from the visitor centres/cafes and they also include a Zog mask, activity sheets, a pencil and stickers. To learn more visit www.forestryengland.uk/zog.