Things to do during the May 2019 half term in Kent

Looking for things to do to keep the kids busy?

There's plenty happening to mark the end of May school break.

From superhero trails to Edwardian living history events or even a game of Battlezone Archery for Fortnite fans - here's your half term round-up:

Nusu the baby elephant at Howletts
Nusu the baby elephant at Howletts

Howletts Wild Animal Park, Canterbury and Port Lympne Reserve

Saturday, May 25 until Sunday, June 2

Be part of The Aspinall Foundation's mission to save endangered animals around the world with a really wild family day out at one if its two Kent wildlife parks.

With a focus on Rangers On Patrol, join park rangers for special talks on selected dates in both locations to discover how overseas teams patrol The Aspinall Foundation’s conservation projects.

Alongside animal talks where you’ll learn about gorillas, rhinos, elephants and big cats, there will also be a fun trail to follow around each park so you can find out more about The Aspinall Foundation’s Mega Fauna project.

And don’t forget to take a walk through the Animals of the Ice Age exhibit if you're at Howletts or Dinosaur Forest if you're over on the coast at Port Lympne.

Tickets for day visits which are booked online up until midnight of the day before you want to visit can save 20% at each location.

To learn more about both attractions and admission details please visit www.aspinallfoundation.org

The Royal Engineers Museum
The Royal Engineers Museum

The Royal Engineers and D Day, Royal Engineers Museum, Gillingham

Monday, May 25 until Sunday, June 2

On June 6 1944, the Allied Forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation. Paratroopers, whose job was to destroy key targets and capture bridges, and RAF pilots, who dropped bombs on German defences, were critically important.

Head over to The Royal Engineers Museum to commemorate the battle by creating your own fabric parachute to give a mini plastic paratrooper the safest landing, as well as a model Lancaster bomber or Spitfire plane. Craft activities are taking place between 11am and 3pm and the cost is £2 per activity in addition to standard admission prices.

To learn more click here.

Half term activities with the kmfm Street Team, Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre, Gillingham

Monday, May 27 until Sunday, June 2

The kmfm Street Team is back at the shopping centre between 11am and 3pm helping youngsters enjoy half term with a raft of free activities. They include art and craft workshops, free face painting and the chance to colour in ice cream designs or make and take sea creatures. You can find the all the events outside Boots. More information availableat hempsteadvalley.com

The new superhero trail at Bluewater
The new superhero trail at Bluewater

Superheroes Unite trail, Bluewater

From May 23

Give the kids an action-packed break from shopping with the new Superhero Trail at Bluewater. Track down 10 of your favourite superheroes in this quest through the Greenhithe centre to be able to claim a prize, described as 'fit for a hero' at the end.

Trail maps cost £2 and are available from concierge desks. The new trail is just one of a number of family-friendly activities at the centre. Others include the free outdoor nature trail and the centre's acres of parkland and play areas, Gravity Trampoline Park, Pirate Cove Adventure Golf, Dinotropolis Adventure Park and the centre's Showcase Cinema De Lux.

Edwardian Life at Hever Castle
Edwardian Life at Hever Castle

Edwardian Life, Hever Castle

Saturday, May 25 until Sunday, June 2

Meet costumed characters from the Edwardian era and play traditional games of the period at Hever Castle.

Step back in time to the early 20th century when the Astor family were in residence for half term family fun.

You will be able to enjoy a traditional Punch and Judy show as well as games from the period including hoopla, tin-can alley, boules or enjoy a leisurely game of croquet on the lawn. Then join famous author and friend of the Astor family, Arthur Conan Doyle (British writer of the Sherlock Holmes books) in the garden as he investigates reports of fairy sightings.

In the Castle, learn about Edwardian inventions or listen to interviews with former ‘below stairs’ staff on old-fashioned telephones and radios. Children will also have a chance to learn about the different servants that worked at Hever Castle. To learn more or for admission information please click here.

Ships and Giggles Family Festival, Dreamland Margate

Saturday, May 25 until Sunday, June 2

Daily fun for all the family to enjoy during the holidays, come rain or shine, is the promise from Dreamland ahead of its half term events.

The park is open every day throughout the school holidays and alongside the park's rides and attractions, entertainment includes hoola hooping Mermaids, pesky pirates and sea beasts, intrepid adventurers, TV characters and even a world-record attempt. To learn more visit the website.

The National Trust, Countywide

Saturday, May 25 until Sunday, June 2

The National Trust has organised a raft of events for May half term to show families the magic of the great outdoors. From craft activities to trails, stream paddling to deer spotting and natural outdoor play areas there is something happening at each of its Kent properties including Ightom Mote, Chartwell and Scotney Castle.

For a detailed round-up of all events for each day please click here.

Dover Castle's wartime weekend
Dover Castle's wartime weekend

Dover Castle Second World War Weekend

Saturday, May 25 to Monday, May 27

Experience life on the home front, get up close to a replica life-size Spitfire, take on assault courses, wander the soldiers' encampments, enjoy live music and watch an arena of displays.

Dover Castle's extremely popular Second World War living history weekend is back and it's not to be missed.

It's one of the most popular events in the English Heritage attraction's calendar and is running across all three days of the upcoming bank holiday weekend. Full details here.

Battlezone Archery, Betteshanger Country Park near Deal

Saturday, May 25 and Friday, May 31

Up the competition this half term and embark on a game of Battlezone Archery. Using specialised foam-tipped arrows the game combines elements from paintball, dodgeball, and archery and is suitable for children aged 12 and over. Taking part costs £8 per person. To make a booking click here.

Spike's Dino Trail, Maidstone Museum

Saturday, May 25 until Sunday, June 2

Follow the dinosaur trail around the museum to find the secret phrase and claim your prize. Trail sheets cost £1 but admission to the museum is free.

Jamie Raven
Jamie Raven

Pop up box office for Making Magic with Jamie Raven, Bluewater Shopping Centre

Saturday, May 25 until Sunday, June 2

Britain's Got Talent illusionist Jamie Raven is bringing 250 shows and a magic school to the centre this summer and you can grab your tickets from his pop-up box office during half term.

There will also be a free magic selfie optical illusion to try out for anyone visiting the team. To learn more about the summer programme of shows, the magic school, and ticket prices please click here.

Enjoy a pirate-themed week at The Historic Dockyard
Enjoy a pirate-themed week at The Historic Dockyard

A Pirate's Life for Me, Historic Dockyard, Chatham

May 25 until June 2

Head to The Historic Dockyard Chatham this May for some swashbuckling fun!

Anchoring in to the Dockyard is the latest exhibition from the V&A Museum of Childhood – A Pirate’s Life For Me. The Dockyard is the first venue for the tour of this exhibition and admission is included in the price of your annual ticket.

The exhibition explores the history and impact of Pirates in children’s culture through displays including toys, books, costumes, illustrations, games and photographs. To learn more click here.

Peter Pan at Groombridge Place(11312827)
Peter Pan at Groombridge Place(11312827)

Peter Pan the Musical, Groombridge Place

Saturday, May 25 until Sunday, June 2

West End actors will perform Peter Pan the Musical in the heart of the Enchanted Forest at Groombridge Place this half term.

There will be two performances of the musical every day and children are encouraged to come dressed as pirates and princesses for their day - with arts and crafts at Groombridge running with the same theme.
Take a journey on the canal or walk along the river to discover a world of fun in the Enchanted Forest, try the giant tree swings and family nest swings or attempt the Treetop Walkway. Discover the long Upper Board walk with zip wires, chain bridges, tunnels and tubes together with climbing nets and rope swings and use your imagination inside Crusoe’s World. There are also birds of prey displays twice daily. More information at www.groombridgeplace.com

Betteshanger has lots of half term events
Betteshanger has lots of half term events

Family Forest Skills Day, Betteshanger Country Park near Deal

Monday, May 27

Bring the family together and join Really Wild Wooders for a special Forest Skills Day. Make crafts to take home, light a campfire, toast marchmallows, spend time building woodland dens and hunt for bugs. Tickets are priced from £15. Learn more here.

Meet the alpacas
Meet the alpacas

Alpaca Meet and Greet, Kenward Trust, Yalding

Monday, May 27 and Tuesday, May 28

Come and say hello to the Kenward alpacas. Available between 11.30am and 2.30pm, you’ll get to meet, feed and take photos as you learn about these unique and gentle creatures.

The event costs £5 per person and includes a drink and snack. Advance booking is essential for this event due to limited spaces. Please call 01622 814187 or email reception@kenwardtrust.org.uk

Meet Paw Patrol at The Hop Farm
Meet Paw Patrol at The Hop Farm

Paw Patrol at The Hope Farm, Paddock Wood

Tuesday, May 28

Rubble and Skye will be dropping in on Tuesday to meet visitors throughout the day. But if you've not got Paw Patrol fans in the family there is plenty of other activites to keep them busy from rides and inflatables to the animal farm. And don't forget to have a go on the giant bouncing pillows! thehopfarm.co.uk

Make Your Own Royal Bunting, Guildhall Museum, Rochester

Tuesday, May 28 until Friday, May 31

Embark on this family craft activity in Rochester during the half term break. There is no need to book and crafting takes place between 10.30 am and 3.30pm. Children must be accompanied by an adult and the cost is 80p per child. To learn more click here.

Meet Your Fossil Ancestors, The Beaney, Canterbury

Tuesday, May 28 to Sunday, June 2

More than 100 replica fossil human bones and teeth will be on display at Canterbury's museum during half term. Come and learn about how humans have evolved from our earliest ancestors all the way through to ourselves, in a one-of-a-kind exhibition put on by the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent.

Through interactive displays for all ages, explore the human evolutionary story that began in Africa and spread across the globe. There will be a fun activity space for children and admission is free. Further details here.

Make It Sessions, Maidstone Museum

Tuesday, May 28 until Friday, May 31

Enjoy a whole week of Spike the dinosaur themed craft activities which will be suitable for children aged five to 11. Events take place between 10.30am and 4pm. A dino mask, claws and feet and a flying Pterodactyl are among the items being made in craft sessions. Tickets are £3 or £2.50 for members. Make a booking for your family here.

Hever Festival theatre (10735095)
Hever Festival theatre (10735095)

Ali Barber and the 40 Thieves, Hever Festival Theatre

Wednesday, May 29

Take the kids along to some fantastic outdoor theatre this half term in the stunning grounds of Hever Castle. Follow the story of young Ali Baba who stumbles across an enchanted cave when he overhears the magic words that open it ‘Open Sesame’. Inside the cave he finds untold amounts of gold and jewels, and takes some of it home to show his wife. But what will he do when she chides him for stealing?

The show is suitable for children aged five and over - with plenty to join in with and the most magical cave you've ever seen. To book your tickets, with the option to include a combined Castle Gardens ticket, please click here.

Baby Sensory and Toddler Sense Celebrations, Dreamland Margate

Wednesday, May 29

Baby Sensory Thanet is celebrating its 10th birthday with a party at Dreamland!

Come along with your babies and toddlers to take part in one of the free classes and if your 'baby' has passed the toddler stage, come along to reminisce with class leaders and friends and join in the celebratory singing.

Baby Sensory Thanet is also planning a Guinness World Record attempt and all children aged seven and over with parents are invited to join 'the most people singing a nursery rhyme relay' in Dreamland. An ideal event for all the family, pre-book your place here.

Brogdale's Orchards
Brogdale's Orchards

Kids Bee Walk, Brogdale, Faversham

Wednesday, May 29

Explore the orchards on a bee walk, see the budding trees as the orchards prepare for fruiting, look out and learn more about all varieties of bees, nature and other flowers.

There are two walks - one at 10am and again at 1pm. The event is suitable for children aged five and over and youngsters must be accompanied by an adult,

The event is free for 'All Events Annual Pass Holders'. To learn more please email education@brogdalecollections.org with your preferred time, how many places required and the names of children.

Beastie Day, Brogdale, Faversham

Thursday, May 30

Enjoy a full day of exploring Brogdale and discovering fantastic bugs and mini beasts.

Visitors will be able to hunt for and collect bugs in the orchards and see where they live in the wild, learn all about these interesting creatures and why they are important to us and enjoy some close encounters with the live bug show! To learn more about the event or to book tickets, which must be obtained in advance, please click here.

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