February 2017 half term holiday events in Shropshire

Looking for something to do with the family this February half term holiday? There’s plenty of fun to be had at events and locations across Shropshire.

Explore Attingham Park this February half-term

Come rain or shine, there’s plenty to do at Attingham Park, the National Trust property on the outskirts of Shrewsbury, this February half-term.

The Mansion Kitchen at Attingham Park. Photo: National Trust / John Millar
The Mansion Kitchen at Attingham Park. Photo: National Trust / John Millar

From Saturday 18 February until Sunday 26 February visitors will be able to explore the park as it begins to wake up for spring, have fun at a Build a Bird Box day, Get Geocaching with help from Cotswold Outdoor, see the park spring into colour with a walk through the woodland to find the best snowdrops displays, and watch the deer being fed each day at 2pm.

Throughout the week, the Mansion Basement will be open for visitors to head inside and discover the stories of the people who worked ‘below stairs’ at Attingham. Open daily for the half-term, from 11am – 3pm, visitors may even stumble across some cooks in the kitchen. Cooks will be whipping up recipes from the 1820s and cooking on the range which is over 200 years old. The historic chimney in the Kitchen has been relined as part of recent works to the roof, and the cooks will have a roaring fire to cook on this February (cooks will be in the kitchen on selected days). Mansion winter tours will also be taking place daily (the Mansion reopens fully on Saturday 4 March).

Visitors will also be able to spot the snowdrops this half-term as the woodland at Attingham turns white and green with an annual snowdrop display in flower. A self-guide map can be picked up from Visitor Reception to help find the best displays.

On Tuesday 21 February families can give nature a helping hand and tick off number 36 of 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ by making a home for nesting birds at Build a Bird Box (11am-3pm). There is an additional charge of £5 to take part, and there is a maximum capacity of 50 kits available on the day.

If a day of exploring at Attingham leads visitors towards the Deer Park, wildlife lovers will be able to watch our rangers feeding the fallow deer herd their winter rations, daily at 2pm.

Cotswold Outdoor will be at Attingham for Get Geocaching on Wednesday 22 February (11am-4pm), where intrepid explores will be able to hire devices and hunt out some of Attingham’s geocaches with help from the specialists. They’ll also be able to tick off number 49 on the list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ . There is a hire charge of £3.50 per device, available on a first come, first served basis on the day (devices limited).

For more information about what’s on at Attingham over the half-term, head over to the website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/attinghampark, where you can even download a February half-term planner to plan your adventures with.

National Trust members and under 5s visit Attingham for free, admission charges apply for non-members. Additional charges may apply for some events as listed above. Grounds admission will apply for non-members of the National Trust visiting the Mansion basement this half-term.

It’s plane fun for youngsters at RAF Museum Cosford this half term

February half term is just around the corner, so if you’re starting to plan how you’re going to entertain the children, look no further than the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford who are inviting families to participate in a fun model making activity.

Airfix model making at RAF Museum Cosford

Taking place from Monday 20 to Friday 24 February, little aviators can choose from a vast number of Airfix kits to build, including a 1:72 Spitfire, Mosquito, Sea Harrier, Mitsubishi Zero, Albatros or Sopwith Pup.

During ‘Airfix Make and Take’ week, children will build their models alongside the Museum’s aircraft in Hangar 1 next to the famous 1:1 scale Airfix model Spitfire built by TV Presenter James May. Suitable for children aged 8+, you don’t have to be a skilled modeller to take part as staff will be there to lend a hand and to ensure visitors get the most from their modelling. Plus, if you need a little inspiration on how to paint your Airfix model, take a look at some of the real aircraft on display in the Museum hangars.

If building an Airfix kit is too fiddly for your little ones, families with younger children can opt to assemble and decorate a wooden biplane. Each kit contains pre-cut wooden pieces, plastic screw and easy to follow instructions. To give your wooden kit the wow factor, the Museum will provide all the colours and accessories needed to help personalise your model including foam letters and coloured jewels!

Not only do participants get to take their models home, organisers are also giving modellers the chance to WIN an Airfix prize bundle worth over £75. Packed with everything any young modeller could wish for including three Airfix sets with accessories and two Airfix quick build kits. To enter the competition, hit ‘Like’ on the Museum’s Facebook page @rafmuseumcosford and tag us in a photo of your completed model kit by the end of the day on 26 February 2017. The winner will be selected and the prize will be posted out so they can continue the model making fun at home. Plus, two lucky runners up will also receive an Airfix starter kit. So if you think you can build the perfect Airfix kit or give your model the most creative makeover, why not give it a go!

On Wednesday 22 February there will be a free Airfix Walking Talk entitled ‘The V-Bombers and Airfix – Kits and the Cold War’, hosted by Simon Owen, Lead Researcher at Hornby Hobbies Ltd. Simon will be discussing the different ways the 3 V-bombers (Vulcan, Victor and Valiant), kitted by Airfix were developed and how Cold War aircraft have shaped the brand and the world. Event organisers are delighted with the interest from dedicated modellers in this talk which is now FULLY BOOKED. This walking talk will take place in the National Cold War Exhibition where visitors will be led around the three iconic aircraft as part of the talk, lasting approximately one hour.

Tickets for the model making activity are available from the Visitor Centre on arrival. The activity will run from 11.00am to 3.30pm each day and participation is just £3.00 per person. All materials including glue, paints and brushes will be provided by the Museum (children will need to be supervised by an adult and may require assistance with the model making). Then why not continue the fun at home…all participants will receive a 10% discount voucher to use on model kits for sale in the Museum shop.

The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry is FREE of charge. For further information about the Museum and other events taking place throughout 2017, visit: www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Join The Wordshoppers at Loudwater on Friday 24 Feb!

Stuck for something to do at half term? Why not join The Wordshoppers’ Liz Hyder at Loudwater Studios in Ludlow for a fun session of creative writing and making?

Suitable for 8-12 year olds, the fun Magic Boxes session on Friday 24th February will see budding young writers get a chance to create new works from scratch, explore their imagination and embrace their inner creativity. Each participant will be given a specially made box with a secret object in (both of which they can take home afterwards) and will be given a chance to create their own brand new Magic Boxes to take home either as a gift for someone else or as a souvenir.

Liz, who’s based in Ludlow, says “The Magic Boxes session will get you to explore your creativity both in terms of writing and making. It’s suitable for all abilities and we’ll have lots of fun over a jam-packed two hours! Everyone will get a chance to make and decorate their own magic box from scratch and have fun using their imagination to do some creative writing inspired by secret objects too!”

A fun and informal session, Magic Boxes takes place between 10.30-12.30am on Friday 24th February at Loudwater Studios just off the Bromfield Road. It costs just £8 for the session including all materials and places must be booked in advance.

To find out more or book a ticket for the session, please ring 01584 877372 or email loudwater@visionhomes.org.uk

Trains, trams and a trio of exciting exhibitions – half-term fun at the SVR

Amazing heritage steam trains, fantastic trams and no less than three brand new exhibitions are on offer to visitors at the Severn Valley Railway this half-term.

There's plenty to do at the Severn Valley Railway this half-term
There’s plenty to do at the Severn Valley Railway this half-term

The Railway’s heritage steam locomotives will be in full steam from February 18th-26th, taking passengers on exciting journeys through the beautiful Severn Valley, stopping-off at each of the six historic stations along the way.

A hive of activity, The Engine House Visitor Centre at Highley, home of the Railway’s reserve collection of full-size steam locomotives, will be packed with new exhibits.

Visitors can marvel at a unique miniature tramway layout, complete with intricate detailing and realistic sound effects, all hand-built by past and present members of the Manchester Model Tramway Group. Budding tram drivers of all ages can even try their own hand at operating the trams as they make their way along the tracks (subject to availability).

Children can join in a fun, themed quiz or let-off some steam on The Engine House’s outdoor play area. The Coalyard miniature railway at Kidderminster is running Feb 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25 & 26 Feb 14.30 – 17.00

Brand new for 2017, a trio of exhibitions will launch at The Engine House this half-term. For many people across the country, the summer storms of 2007 will be etched on their memory. This year marks the 10th Anniversary since devastating floods caused incredible amounts of damage to the SVR, causing sections of the line to close for months and triggering an unprecedented fund-raising campaign during which people far and wide came together to help raise the staggering £3.8m needed to repair the damage.

The ‘Storm Damage of 2007’ exhibition features a range of memories and striking images of the aftermath of that unforgettable July storm, and the extensive work involved in rebuilding the Railway.

‘The Art of the Railway Poster’ tells the story of the ‘big four’ railway companies looking for ways to promote train travel to the public, showcasing a range of original posters of the era.
Finally, ‘Signs of the Times’ is a fascinating display of London Underground and Great Western Railway signs, courtesy of London Transport Museum and Kidderminster Railway Museum.

Celebrate the birth of flight at the Ironbridge Gorge Museums

You can celebrate the birth of flight during the February half-term with an array of themed family activities at Shropshire’s Ironbridge Gorge Museums as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations.

Enginuity Flight workshop during February school half-term
Enginuity Flight workshop during February school half-term

2017 is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Wilbur Wright (16th April 1867), who flew the world’s first successful aeroplane back in 1903 with his brother Orville, while the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Amelia Earhart, was born 120 years ago on 24th July 1897.

Flight simulator and pneumatic rockets and gliders at Enginuity
Discover the fun of flying as you sit behind the controls of a flight simulator at Enginuity in Coalbrookdale (10am-4pm). Choose your aeroplane, sit in the pilot’s chair and watch the big screen as you use your skills to make it safely take off, fly and land – or crash with all on-board! The flight simulator activity is included in the museum entrance fee.

You can also build and launch a pneumatic rocket at drop-in workshops between 10.30am and 3.45pm for £1 (plus admission). Craft materials such as paper, card and plastic will be used to create model rockets of around 30cm in length, which can then be ‘fired’ from Enginuity’s air powered pneumatic launcher through a selection of suspended targets. Alternatively, make a paper aeroplane and join daily record breaking attempts to beat the longest flight at 12noon or 3pm. Afterwards complete the Flight Trail and discover more about famous engineers and fliers who helped us take to the skies. All these activities will take place throughout half-term from 18th to 26th February.

Between 20th and 24th February go along to Enginuity’s Fab Lab and use the 3D printer to make 8-inch long gliders from special plastic for a small fee of £1 for each model (plus admission). Then design decals for your glider on the computer, cut them from coloured vinyl using the vinyl cutter and stick them on to your glider, which you can take home and fly outside.

Falconry displays and kite-making at Blists Hill Victorian Town
At Blists Hill Victorian Town, where life over 100 years ago is recreated, you can watch magnificent birds of prey swoop over The Green in daily falconry displays between 18th and 26th February. There will also be the chance to ‘Meet the Birds’ in a fun session daily from 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm. There will be a varied selection of different birds each day such as Eagles, Hawks, Falcons & Owls.

You can also join a workshop to design and make a kite from craft materials between 11am and 1pm, then fly it on The Green during the early afternoon. Each kite carries a small fee of £1 in addition to the museum entrance charge. Families can also follow a flight themed trail around the Town during the holiday week.

Flight themed tile and ceramic clay workshops
Between Saturday 18th and 25th February, excluding Sunday 19th, join drop-in flight themed tile decorating workshops at Jackfield Tile Museum and use your imagination to decorate tiles using the traditional tube lining technique; perhaps a hot air balloon, flying saucer, aeroplane or other flying ‘machine’. Tiles cost from £5 each (plus admission) and can be fired and sent home later for a small extra charge to cover postage and packing. It takes up to 1½ hours to decorate a tile so last admission is at 3pm.

Across the river at Coalport China Museum you can take part in hands-on flight themed workshops from Tuesday 21st to Thursday 23rd February to try sculpting your own flying creature from air-drying clay; choose from a bird, dragon, insect, bat or wherever your imagination leads you. Throughout the half-term holiday, you can also paint ceramic items such as a money box, fridge magnet or delicate china flower as well as paper plates. Sessions take place between 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm and all ceramic items carry a small charge of £1-£4 in addition to the museum entrance fee. Afterwards follow a trail to discover the many birds from across the globe, which are featured in the museum’s ceramic collections.

Information for visitors: All the museums are open from 10am until 5pm (Blists Hill until 4pm) during the February half term. A great value Annual Passport Ticket allowing unlimited entry into all ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums costs £25 per adult, £20 for seniors, £15 for children under 18, £68 for a family of two adults and all their children and £50 for a family with one adult; under 5s free (terms and conditions apply); Passports can also be bought online in advance saving 10% and individual entry tickets are available at each museum. Activities will vary from day-to-day and some additional costs will apply.

Weston Park Half Term Welly Walks: The Importance of Trees

Weston Park is a 17th century stately home on the Shropshire / Staffordshire border.

Visit Weston Park this half tern for a welly walk around the woodland, and discover more about the power of trees.

Follow an exciting activity trail that will teach children about the importance of trees, along with taking part in fun practical activities like tree-dressing and photo competitions. Themed craft activities will be taking place in the STUFF activity room in the afternoon so the kids can get imaginative and create a tree-mendous masterpiece.

Whilst you’re here, why not warm up after your walk around the woods with a freshly brewed hot drink accompanied by a homemade slice of cake in the Granary Deli, as the kids feast on a kid sized lunch pack.

Ticket Prices: Children: £7.00, Adults: £3.00, Under 3’s go free.

It is recommend that you pre-book tickets as there will be limited availability on the day. Call 01952 852100.