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Find the fun in Northants this half term

Half term already?! Talk about taking a girl by surprise. But fear not. We've rounded up loads of fun stuff to do for kids of all ages this school hols.

PARTY ON, QUEEN!

JUBILEE NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

Jubilee celebrations are kicking off across Northants over half term week and where better to celebrate Her Maj’s Platinum party with the sprogs than the spectacular Holdenby House? Think of it as a history lesson, but fun and we’ve heard you’re all invited! Built as a palace to entertain Elizabeth I, Holdenby has since belonged to James I, Charles I and Charles II. That’s royally royal. There’s Royal art, Royal books and other Royal stuff to look at, as well as falconry displays, activities and special Jubilee refreshments. So straighten that crown and head to Holdenby on 2 & 3 June for a glittering celebration.

Then celebrate at the Big Jubilee Lunch at Delapre Abbey in Northampton on 5 June. with live music, performances, activities and stalls and traditional English picnic grub. The Masque Theatre and Living History re-enactment group are set to give performances in the gardens of the Abbey, plus the will be a Silent Disco and a big screen showing the live broadcast of the Jubilee Pageant, as well as the Vintage Guru Craft Makers Market and food and drink stalls. Advance booking is essential.

Head to Rockingham Castle on 29 May for Tudor History Day, where kids will get to interact with the legendary wives of Henry VIII and learn more about what it was like to be married to one of history’s most infamous kings. If they’ve seen Six The Musical and loved it as much as mine did, then this is a no-brainer.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Let them get Muddy on 30 & 31 May at Muddy Feet Holiday Club at Evenley Wood Garden near Brackley, for full days of immersive woodland fun where they’ll learn new skills and have adventures in the woods, including shelter building, fire skills, cooking on the fire, woodland games, and natural arts and crafts. Perfect for ages 5-11. Spaces are strictly limited so get booking to secure a place.

Canoe2 at Rushden Lakes is our go-to for a peaceful paddle on the river in a canoe, kayak or SUP. Once you leave behind the shoppers you’ll soon find yourself immersed in glorious countryside and splashing about next to swans, herons and moorhens. The ideal wild adventure for active kids and teens (and parents too!).

ON STAGE

drama worksop castle theatre wellingborough northants

There’s plenty of theatrical fun heading to a stage near you this half term. Younger kids will be captivated by the magical Princess and the Pea at Wellingborough’s Castle Theatre on 28 May, with dancing and costumes to captivate your little darlings.

It’s not panto season is it? Oh yes it is! Atomic Kitten Kerry Katona is the Wicked Witch in the Deco Theatre‘s production of The Wizard of Oz on 30 & 31 May in an all-singing, all-dancing production for all the family. And on 1 June take your seats for Rapunzel: A Tangled Musical Adventure, featuring plenty of humour, music and songs, plus the chance to meet the characters after the show.

Kids fancy treading the boards themselves? Young thespians can discover more about acting, make new friends and try out new ways of creating theatre at The Castle Theatre‘s Drama Workshops on 31 May. There are sessions for primary and secondary age kids aiming to develop confidence creativity and performance skills. 

RETAIL THERAPY

Chester House vintage market

Got crafty teens or vintage magpies? Head to Chester House Estate in Little Irchester on 28 May for another instalment of the fabulous My Little Vintage market, packed with stalls and unique finds.

MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES

INGRID POLLARD MK GALLERY

If you’ve got arty teens, there’s still time to catch Turner Prize nominated Ingrid Pollard: Carbon Slowly Turning at MK Gallery until 29 May. One of the leading figures in contemporary British art, this first major survey of Pollard’s 40-year career looks back across a varied and eclectic work that continues to challenge accepted cultural constructs around race and identity. Read our review here.

Head to Northampton Museum and Art Gallery for the world’s largest collection of shoes and shoe memorabilia, perfect for fashion and design conscious teens, plus plenty more amazing exhibits to boot (geddit?) and on 31 May & 1 June you can visit the Planetarium in the Museum, sit under the stars, see the Milky Way and take a tour of space.

Got budding engineers in the family? The brilliantly immersive Silverstone Interactive Museum pays homage to Silverstone’s historic legacy, not just in terms of motor sports, but also further back (think medieval abbey, RAF base and rural farming). Obviously there is also loads of fabulous racing paraphernalia to gorge on too, with cars dating back through motorsport history right up to Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, and plenty of adrenaline junkie fun to be had. Perfect for older kids and teens.

FURTHER AFIELD

Slip, slide, splash and crash in Rutland’s mahoosive new Aqua Park, which opens on 21 May. Covering over 8,000 square meters, it’s the biggest inflatable wipe-out water park in the UK, located in the north shore of Rutland Water. You can climb walls, jump on trampolines, use the balance boards, rockers, blast bags, tackle the BEAST and more. Makes a great day out for big kids and little ones too.

Join the Mission Commanders on the Red Planet at Martian May, National Space Centre, Leics (28 May – 5 June). Book a day ticket and your visit will include an opportunity to drive a Martian rover, immerse yourself in a full-scale version of the Mars surface, head to the lab to test space soils and take a look at an actual piece of Mars in the Solar System gallery. Sounds out of this world!

Find more ideas here

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