Pull On Your Wellies, Roll Up Your Sleeves And Get Outside

Check out this website at www.woodlandtrust.co.uk for some wonderful half term and holiday experiences for you and the kids.

From their ‘Out and About’, to their ‘Amazing adventures’, ‘Fascinating Foxy Facts’, ‘Your local Wood’ and ‘Be a Wildlife Tracker’ – this will be a revelation to the grown ups as you explore some of the most exciting hidden woodlands throughout the UK.

If you want to remain London based, then the kids are more than alright with this treasure trove of family-friendly activities and events.

The kids are in charge at the Southbank Centre once more in February as their two-week children’s festival returns. The theme for 2016 is Roald Dahl, and you can expect a wide range of captivating theatre, dance, music, film and comedy plus readings from some of the UK’s favourite authors, with free and ticketed events for young people of all ages.

The bill includes David Baddiel, Judith Kerr, Rastamouse, Cressida Cowell, Mary Hoffman, Laura Dockrill, Cerrie Burnell, Ben Bailey Smith, the world premiere of interactive experience ‘The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl’ and other events celebrating author’s centenary.

Highlights include the chance to hop on to The Giant Storytelling Bed; a host of workshops to get stuck into, from clay sculpture to sign language; the opportunity to hear the entirety of Dahl’s ‘Matilda’ on the Clore Ballroom stage (Feb 18); a live illustration of the epic story from Dahl’s final book, ‘The Minpins’ set to the music of Sibelius played by London Schools Symphony Orchestra (Feb 15); hip hop posturing in the Rap Factor battles; Cressida Cowell presenting the final book in her ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ series; and Holly Smale discussing the latest ‘Geek Girl’ book.

Check the Imagine Festival webpage for details of dates, prices and times.

Recommended: read their countdown of the 100 best children’s books 

For those of you heading or living North this Summer, a real discovery is this small family run farm which has been in the Sunderland area since 18th century. Over the years the family has been involved in many types of farming from milking Friesian cows, growing potatoes, crops and rearing cattle. Even just a decade ago, Down at the Farm was a large cattle enterprise run by the Weightman family with over 400 Limousin cows.

In 2007 the main cow field was designed and converted into a purpose built farm park. Their aim was to bring a little bit of countryside education, together with lots of fun and play for their visitors in a safe environment. They are primarily a seasonal attraction which changes according to the farming calendar and time of year and they are growing steadily each year. Their main season runs between Spring & Autumn – they close every winter. They have a wide variety of farm animals to hold and stroke, play areas and activities to make your day even more fun! They have lots of different types of farm animals for you to meet from sheep, cattle, donkeys, and pigs.

Just like the farm, their animals needs change with the seasons, depending on whether they are breeding , giving birth or needing shelter and their animal activities and talks are the perfect opportunity for them to  inform their visitors of these changes.

They also have a small collection of non native species of animals such as Reindeer, Snowy owls, Meerkats, Raccoons and Reptiles. In doing so, they hold a zoo license which ensures that they meet the required welfare standards for these animals. Please see their animals page for more information on specific animals. They are also undertaking small conservation projects to encourage wild birds to come back and nest at the farm, as well as redeveloping pond areas to encourage wildlife habitats. They also believe that by allowing specific areas of the park to be left in a wild state, they will help more habitats to form.

www.downatthefarm.co.uk

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