What to do in Suffolk and beyond this weekend - your family days out guide

The Boy Who Eat Picasso. Photo: Geraint Lewis

The Boy Who Eat Picasso. Photo: Geraint Lewis - Credit: Geraint Lewis

From bird box building and bee keeping to Chinese New Year celebrations and children’s shows, there’s plenty to do in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe and Woodbridge this weekend.

The ACCE welcome Chinese new year, the year of the monkey

The ACCE welcome Chinese new year, the year of the monkey - Credit: Archant

For more ideas, check out our packed Event guide every Friday and our entertainment writer @WhatsonWayne on Twitter.

Family Friday, bird box building at Lackford Lakes, Friday, February 19, 1.30pm-3.30pm

Build a bird box and bird feeder with your family to take home.

Actress Dame Harriet Walter

Actress Dame Harriet Walter - Credit: Archant

The Last Wild? Foxburrow Farm, Friday, February 19, 10am-2pm

Orienteering in the woods for six-10 year olds, play extinction challenge games and make animal crafts to take home.

The Russian State Opera stage Madam Butterfly

The Russian State Opera stage Madam Butterfly - Credit: Archant

Wildlife time travellers! Knettishall Heath, Friday, February 19, 2pm-4pm

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Travel back in time on the heath through trails and activities. Discover the different animals that have lived on the heath. Turn detective and use natures clues to work out the food chains and the wildlife crime scenes.

Landguard Fort half-term trail

Shotley Drama Group's 2016 panto, The Emperor's New Clothes

Shotley Drama Group's 2016 panto, The Emperor's New Clothes - Credit: Archant

Landguard Fort, Felixstowe, to Sunday, February 21, 10am-3pm

Pick up your sheet and Landguard Fort pencil and start exploring.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Shotley Village Hall, to Saturday, February 20, 7pm today, 2.30pm and 7pm tomorrow

Shotley Drama Group’s cast of 30, ranging from adults and children, plus the usual backstage crew stage their annual family pantomime. It staged its first with only five cast members in 1983. Over the years it has staged more than 40 shows including pantomimes, plays and reviews.

Chinese New Year

Ipswich Corn Exchange, 7pm, February 21

The Anglo Chinese Cultural Exchange (ACCE) returns with another show to celebrate 2016 - the Year of the Monkey. If you saw last year’s successful family show you’ll know to expect an exciting line-up, with professional performers including martial artists, dancers, singers and Suffolk talent showcased too.

The Boy Who Bit Picasso Palgrave Community Centre, 11.30am and 2pm, Saturday, February 20

Part of Corn Hall on tour, Untied Artists present this family show inspired by Antony Penrose’s well-loved book.

It follows Tony who becomes friends with Pablo Picasso, telling the true story of how he spent his childhood with one of the greatest artists who ever lived.

Audiences are invited to take part in a variety of hands-on art and craft activities, aimed at everyone aged four and upwards. There will also be storytelling and music.

Carmen and Madam Butterfly Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, 7.30pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, February 23-24; Princes Theatre, Clacton, 7.30pm, February 21

OperaUpClose returns for a third year with their new English version of Bizet’s popular opera Carmen.

Set in a torrid South American landscape of dust and concrete, where small-town boredom and machismo can turn nasty; she captivates and provokes, disturbing the composure of everyone she encounters. When Carmen meets Jose, sparks fly but as her passion cools, his turns to obsession.

Meanwhile, the highly acclaimed Russian State Opera returns with Puccini’s tragic opera Madam Butterfly.

Set in Japan at the turn of the century, it tells the story of a doomed love affair between an American naval officer and his young Japanese bride, whose self-sacrifice and defiance of her family leads to heartbreak and tragedy.

Bee-keeping introductory course

People’s Community Garden, Maidenhall Allotments, Halifax Road, Ipswich, February 22, 1.30pm-3.30pm

Led by Betsy Reid, it will cover the relevance and importance of bee-keeping, how a bee colony lives and works, different kinds of hive and how they work, the beekeeping year, queens, swarming, pests and diseases, bees, plants and hive products and getting started.

Call 01473 345350 or email jo@activlives.org.uk to book your place.

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