What can you learn in half term? 9 fun educational days out for children

Children can get up close to fluffy, scaly or creepy crawly creatures at Ipswich Museum. Lauren Shar

Children can get up close to fluffy, scaly or creepy crawly creatures at Ipswich Museum. Lauren Sharkey is pictured at a previous event. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

It’s not long until half term, which runs from February 16-24. Here are suggestions of some things to do which are educational, and fun as well!

Suffolk Science Festival is returning to Bury St Edmunds this half term. This photo shows a previous

Suffolk Science Festival is returning to Bury St Edmunds this half term. This photo shows a previous festival event at the cathedral. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Animal invasion, Ipswich Museum, February 19, 20 and 21

Do your children love learning about animals? These fascinating sessions will offer the chance to find out more about and handle a range of live creatures and creepy-crawlies. They will be able to learn how they have evolved and adapted over the centuries to suit their environments. Parents and carers are asked to stay with the children. Everyone over five, including adults, will need to buy a ticket. Brothers and sisters under five are welcome free of charge, but please phone the museum to let them know you are bringing younger children, as space is limited. Also under-fives won’t be able to touch the animals, due to health and safety considerations. The sessions start at 01.30am, 11.30am, 1pm and 2pm on all three days. For more information and to book, visit the website.

Suffolk Science Festival, Bury St Edmunds, February 19-24

Science, engineering, robots and maths activities will all be included in this festival, organised by Kinetic Science, which will run from 10am to 4pm daily at venues around the town. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of man first walking on the moon, the Apex will have a free “Museum of the Moon” display from Tuesday to Saturday (not on Tuesday afternoon). Artist Luke Jerram’s massive internally-lit moon installation will be available to see, for an immersive lunar experience. Moyse’s Hall Museum also has a moon exhibition and will be running various workshops during half-term week as part of the festival. There will also be a pop-up planetarium in St Edmundsbury Cathedral, which will be a ticketed event, for ages six and over. This will offer a chance to get a taste of life on the International Space Station and watch a 3D film. BBC astronomer Mark Thompson will also present a live science show, which again till be a ticketed event. For full details and to book for the ticketed events once they become available, see the festival website.

February Half-term Trail, Landguard Fort, Felixstowe, February 16-24

The fort is reopening on Saturday, February 16, and foungsters can pick up a quiz trail sheet and find out more about this unique historic building in Felixstowe. The fort was built in the 18th century and has seen many changes since, with a maze of rooms and passages to explore as you learn its history. Normal admission charges will apply, plus £1.50 for the trail sheet. The event runs from 10am-3pm daily. To find out more, see the Landguard website.

Children’s crafts and 1930s cookery, Ickworth, near Bury St Edmunds, February 16-24

To celebrate the blooming of Ickworth’s snowdrops, the National Trust is organising a week of craft activities for children. The workshops will include a winter flower crowns and a chance to make outdoor adventure scrapbooks. There will also be decorations to demonstrate winter’s flowers and colours, and umbrella mobiles, in line with the frequent chance of rain during February! The activities are suitable for children aged three to 12. Normal admission charges apply, plus a £2 charge for the event. Another half-term treat at Ickworth is the chance to see Living History cooks serving up 1930s recipes from 11am to 2pm on Wednesday, February 20. Food historian Ivan Day will be on hand to talk about their training and share some secrets of the servants’ quarters. There is no need to book. For more details, visit the Ickworth website.

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Castle Quest and Gruesome Goings On, Framlingham Castle, dates vary

To mark the release of the new film The Kid Who Would Be King, children visiting the castle can follow a band of knights on an epic quest, finding the answers to questions and claiming a royal reward. This event will run from February 16-24, from 10am-4pm daily. Also, from February 18-24, from 11am-3pm daily, there will be the chance to join in the Gruesome Goings On event, and learn more about painful punishments at the past at some pop-up activities. Castle admission applies, but there is no extra charge for these activities. For more details on these events, visit the Framlingham Castle website.

Clay Faces, Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, February 21

Budding artists are invited along to this free event to create a self-portrait in clay, taking inspiration from the Kiss and Tell: Rodin and Suffolk Sculpture exhibition. This is a family event, and suited to children aged five and over. Sessions run from 10.15am-11am, 11.15am-12noon and 2.15-3pm, with no need to book. To find out more, visit the museum website.

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Medieval Archery, Colchester Castle Museum, February 21

Have your children ever fancied learning to shoot a bow and arrow like Robin Hood? If so, now’s their chance. There will be archery sessions at the castle for ages seven and over, starting at 10.30am, 11.30am and 12.30pm. You need to book a place in advance. For more details, visit the museum website.

Marsh on the Move Roadshow, Southwold Library, February 18

Families are invited to learn more about the wildlife of Carlton Marshes at this fun free event, run by Suffolk Wildlife Trust. It will include some fun smelly activities entitled “That Stinks!” and “Poo Power!”, as well as the chance to be a marsh detective. The event runs from 10am to 12 noon. For more details of other Suffolk Libraries’ events, visit their website.

Den Building and wildlife trail, Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds, February 20,

Wrap up warm for this fun and educational outdoor activity, which will include building secret dens and shelters and camouflaging them with leaves. They will be tested to make sure they are waterproof! Children taking part will learn firelighting activities, and have the chance to cook marshmallows over an open fire. The event is suitable for children aged six to 11, but under-eights must be accompanied. Sessions run from 11am-12.30pm and 2pm-3.30pm, and booking in advance is essential. For further details, visit the website. There will also be a wildlife trail running all week from February 16-24.

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