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Half term fun

A bit lastminute.com with your half term plans? What you need is the impeccably curated Muddy pick of the half term children’s activities in Somerset and Dorset. Et voilà…

Yep, half term crept up on us too. No fear, Muddy to the rescue with the ultimate guide to beating the boredom and surviving the school holidays, from toddlers to teens.

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OUTDOORS

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Monkey World, Wool, nr Wareham, Sat 15 – Fri 21 Feb

Susann Jutzeler, sujo-foto, Pixabay

Bring a pressie for the primates – unopened nuts, some types of seeds (there’s info on the website) – and get in for a quid.

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Young Wardens, Avalon Marshes, Westhay, nr Glastonbury,  Tues 18 Feb

Teenage conservationists: help restore the reed beds on RSPB Ham Wall National Nature Reserve, working with hand-tools and eating lunch around the camp-fire. Suitable 12–17 year olds.

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Wild Families Trail at RSPB Arne, Isle of Purbeck, Sat 15 – Sun 23 Feb

Self-guided minibeast trails around the reserve to learn more about creepy crawlies, amazing arachnids and slimy slugs and snails. Euueghh!

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Half term family fun,  The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Sat 15 – Sun 23 Feb

Different activities based around a nature theme – pond dipping, mini beasts, trails, crafty stuff – each day of the week (included with usual entrance fee).

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Graffiti street art tours, around Bristol, throughout the week

MMT, Pixabay

Discover the work of internationally renowned street artists and Bristol’s art legend Banksy on the Bristol Street Art Tour.

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Be Prepared, Brownsea Island, Nr Poole, Sat 15 – Sun 23 Feb

At the birthplace of scouting: scout and guide-inspired ranger days with campfires and marshmallows at the weekends.

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Half term at Hestercombe, Hestercombe House & Gardens, nr Taunton, Sat 15 – Sun 23 Feb

Garden trails, pizza-making (yum yum), model boating, family crafts and 17th century mill demos.

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Multi Sports Camps, Bridport Leisure Centre, nr Bridport, Mon 17, Tues 18, Weds 19 and Fri 21 Feb

With dodge-ball, gymnastics, rounders, hockey, athletics, football and more, these full day camps should tire out most 5 to 12 year olds.

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Half term at Corfe Castle, Corfe Castle, nr Wareham,  Sat 15 – Sun 23 Feb

Teddies on zip wires, medieval missiles, historic crafts and games, castle quests and dressing up at this 1000 year-old castle.

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RAINY DAYS

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Pirate Week, Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum, Dorchester, Mon 17 – Fri 21 Feb

Master Tux, Pixabay

Swashbuckling fun with treasure hunt, inflatable parrots, palm trees and film nights including Pirates of the Caribbean.

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Roller Disco, Weymouth Pavilion, Weymouth, Sun 16 Feb

Get yer skates on! The Roller Planet disco’s in town. From 4pm.

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Play-in-a-day workshop, Merlin Theatre, Frome,  Mon 17 Feb

Drop your kids off in the morning and return at 2.30 to watch the show they’ve created while you’ve been away.

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Brick building days, Fleet Air Arm Museum, nr Yeovil, Mon 17 – Tues 18 Feb

Build stuff with Lego under Concorde at the Royal Navy’s museum of historic aircraft. Drop in, from 10am – 3pm (with usual museum admission).

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Make a Moon Phases Calendar, The Herschel Museum of Astronomy, Bath, Sat 15 – Sun 23 Feb

New moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbus are all phases of the moon. Make a moon calendar to learn why the moon looks different each night.

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Marvo Mysteries Escape Room, Bournemouth, every day

Arek Socha, PIxabay

Said to be a cross between Sherlock Holmes and the Crystal Maze, you must search for clues and solve the mystery or be locked in forever. Eeek.

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How does a car work? Haynes International Motor Museum, Sparkford, nr Yeovil,  Mon 17 – Sun 23 Feb

Learn what happens under the bonnet, explore the handling collection and visit the Haynes Workshop to see car restoration in action.

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Cool Coast Ice Rink, Purbeck Hall at the Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth, until Sat 22 Feb

Manfred Richter, Pixabay

Ice rinks aren’t just for Christmas. The south coast’s largest indoor ice rink, suitable for littlies (there’s a mini rink and penguin skate mates) as well as super skaters, is open until the end of half term.

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Free Wildlife Workshops at Pets at Home Store, around Somerset & Dorset, various dates

Check to learn about woodland animals and how to help them during the colder months – and get a free bag of wild bird seed to use in your garden.

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Lunar New Year, Museum of East Asian Arts, Bath, Weds 19 & Thurs 20 Feb

Celebrate the Year of the Rat by making finger puppets and learning about the East Asian folktales of cunning rats and painting Chinese plates.

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Go caving, Cheddar Gorge & Caves, Cheddar, throughout the week

Put on overalls, wellies and hard hat with torch and descend into the depths of the iconic, prehistoric Cheddar Gorge & Caves. Start in Gough’s Cave (where they found Cheddar Man), then explore the Mushroom Chamber, Sand Chamber, the Bottomless Pit (eek) and out through the Letterbox, all in about 90 mins.

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Half term at Bovington Tank Museum, nr Wareham, Sat 15 – Sun 23 Feb

300 tanks and nine exhibitions with trails, talks, crafts and activities based around animals at war. Probably not one for the pacifists among us.

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Drive a car, Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Sat 22 Feb

Dare you let your 12 to 17 year old behind the wheel? One-to-one 60 minute driving lessons with fully qualified instructors (natch).

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THEATRE

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Bristol Old Vic, Bristol, Tues 18 – Fri 21 Feb

Not just the one about the caterpillar but Eric Carle’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, The Very Lonely Firefly too, brought to life with 75 puppets.

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The Ark and the Dove, Lighthouse, Poole, Weds 19 Feb

The story of Mary Jennings – a servant woman – who travels from Cowes on the Isle of Wight across the ocean, west, risking everything.

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Schlomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids, Bristol Old Vic, Bristol, Sat 22 – Sun 23 Feb

Photo Tom Leighton

Join world record-breaking beatboxer Shlomo as he makes funny sounds, brilliant noises and cool music with just a mic and his mouth.

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Sid’s Time to Play, McMillan Theatre, Bridgwater, Sun 16 Feb

Interactive fun and games with Sid from CBeebies live on stage and you can meet him afterward the show.

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Milkshake live! Milkshake Monkey’s Musical, The Playhouse Theatre, Weston-super-Mare, Sat 15 Feb, The Octagon, Yeovil, Sun 23 Feb

If the names Fireman Sam, Shimmer & Shine, Digby Dragon, Nella the Princess Knight and the Floogals mean anything to you, you may want to take your little darlings to see the show live.

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It’s Hot, It’s Not, the egg, Bath, Fri 21 & Sat 22 Feb

Head over to Bath’s dedicated, egg-shaped theatre to this surreal, funny and carefully crafted physical performance exploring the weather in all its forms from summer to autumn, winter to spring.

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The Elves and the Shoemaker, The Brewhouse, Taunton, Fri 21 Feb

The classic tale re-told, they say, hilariously, with puppets.

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CINEMA

Sonic the Hedgehog, in cinemas from Fri 14 Feb

The blue hedgehog must prevent the evil Dr Robotnik (Jim Carey) from stealing his powers to take over the world. (Fri 14 Feb).

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Doolittle, in cinemas from Fri 7 Feb

Robert Downey Jr as the eponymous MD, lives in a 19th century manor house and embarks on an epic voyage to a mythical island to find a cure for Queen Victoria’s mystery illness.

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Find more ideas here

Half termkids

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Dorset & Somerset