PLAN YOUR FAMILY HALF TERM FUN
While if doesn’t seem five minutes since the children’s school holidays, preparations are underway with half term activities all around the country. So here’s a roundup of fun things that you and the kids might plan on doing if you’re in the Warwickshire or Shropshire areas.
HERITAGE MOTOR CENTRE
If you’re mad about cars, head along to the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon, Warwickshire for a fun packed week of family workshops which take place from 24th October to 1st November.
From 26th – 28th October you’ll be able to tell your own car stories at the Popbang Colour workshop. From 10.30-3.30pm visitors can create their own stories using car parts. Popbang Colour Artist, Ian Cook, paints with toy cars, remote controlled cars and tyres of all shapes and sizes. The workshops are suitable for the whole family so go along and try creating your own car story using this unique technique.
On 29th and 30th October from 10.30am-3pm visitors can also create their own car story comic with the guidance of local artist, Laura Wells.
With Halloween approaching, the black cats have returned to the museum. Everyday there are 10 cats hidden around the museum which need to be found and the colour of their eyes identified. Every completed trail earns a reward!
Sunday 25th October sees the return of the Large Model Aircraft Show, organised by the Large Model Association. This promised to be an exciting event where visitors can see over 100 static large radio controlled model aircraft up close.
Don’t forget as well as these activities the Heritage Motor Centre is home to the world’s largest historic collection of British cars and draws together the collections of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust. The car collection boasts over 300 cars which span the classic, vintage and veteran eras and includes iconic cars such as: Austin 100 HP, Land Rover No1, Morris Minor No1, the first and last Mini, MG old No1, and the Thunderbirds Fab1 car.
Visit the website for more details and admission prices. www www.heritage-motor-centre.co.uk or call 01926 641188.
morpho blue at Stratford Butterfly Farm
STRATFORD BUTTERFLY FARM
A visit to the Stratford Butterfly Farm is an amazing experience, and from 24th October to 1st November it will be hosting lots of fun activities for half term and Halloween. Children of all ages can follow the Jungle Explorers Map and Trail to discover gruesome and interesting facts about the amazing creatures that inhabit the Farm.
Plus there are the popular ‘Meet the Mini-Beast’ handling sessions in Insect City at 11:30am and 1:30pm each day so children can get up close and handle insects including a Giant African Millipede, African Land Snail and Stick insects.
The Butterfly Farm has recently taken in a number of Giant Samar Stick Insects which are known to be one of the longest insects on the planet. Some can grow to over a foot long in length and are a bizarre shape to hide themselves from predators among branches, twigs and foliage.
But if you want to be truly scared this Halloween then take a visit to ‘Arachnoland’ and discover an assortment of deadly spiders including the infamous Black Widow that was discovered in a VW Camper Van in Worcestershire back in August. The van was initially imported to the UK from Sacramento in California. The female spider is the only Black Widow currently residing at the Farm. Black Widows are known to be one of the most poisonous spiders in the world with venom 15 times more potent than a rattlesnake.
Recently the Stratford Butterfly Farm was awarded the prestigious 2015 ‘Certificate of Excellence’ Award by TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website. This is now the fourth year running that the Butterfly Farm has received this award. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is
given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor.
For more details on the butterfly farm, opening times and prices visit: www.butterflyfarm.co.uk or telephone on 01789 299288.
IRONBRIDGE GORGE MUSEUMS
There are ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums at Telford, Shropshire and there’s all kinds of spooky events and family fun going on from 24th October – 1st November. For instance you could design and sail a ghost ship on the Enginuity pool of doom. Then see how wind power makes it race through the dark, treacherous waters of the pool of doom at the interactive design and technology centre near Ironbridge, Shropshire. Everyone is invited to come dressed for the part in their most frightening pirate costume.
The fun, hands-on Ghost Ship workshops will use a foam base for the boat’s hull plus colourful craft materials to customise the sail. Taking place between 10.30am and 3.45pm, activities will vary from day-to-day and carry a small charge in addition to the museum entrance fee.
After testing your boat, follow a self-led water-themed trail around Enginuity and discover how a little ingenuity will empower you to generate electricity from flowing water as well as pull a 10 ton locomotive, build an earthquake proof tower and challenge a robotic arm to test the speed of your reactions. There’s also a soft play area for small children and a shop packed with great science, design and technology inspired toys.
At the Jackfield Tile Museum you could decorate tiles with your own colourful spooky designs.
The motifs can be as scary as your imagination allows, perhaps an ugly monster, ghostly apparition or a wicked witch or wizard. These fun and informal sessions will take place on Saturday, 24th October and again between Monday 26th and Saturday 31st October.
The Victorian tube lining technique will be used to decorate the tiles, which are priced from £5 per tile (p&p extra to have your tile sent home after firing) plus the museum admission fee. Workshops start from 10am, but allow up to an hour and a half to decorate your tile, last admission is at 3.15pm.
At the Coalport China Museum between 24th October and 1st November you could try making a creepy crawly from clay, or painting a monster on a ceramic money box.
On Halloween night itself, 31st October, between 6pm and 9pm dress up in your most scary costume and go along to the Ghostly Gaslight event at Blists Hill Victorian Town, when the streets, shops and houses will be transformed into eerie places filled with ghosts, ghouls and monsters. The buildings will be illuminated in spectacular style and fireworks and pyrotechnic effects will light up the night sky.
One of Shropshire’s biggest Halloween events, Ghostly Gaslight will keep all ages guessing what spooky encounter they might meet next – will it be the wicked wizard casting spells, the local carpenter seeking victims to nail in his coffin, ghostly apparitions in the cottages’ windows or zombies looking for brains?
For further information about all the Ironbridge Gorge Museums October half-term events Tel: 01952 433 424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk.