Shake off the winter blues with half-term fun
WHETHER you're looking for crafty fun or enriching cultural experiences, there's something for all tastes this half-term.
So get your diaries out and start planning which events you'll be attending.
Pirate Adventure, Galleries of Justice. Until February 24 Enjoy a brand new actor-led tour revealing Nottingham's horrible history through the eyes of pirates Captain Callico Jack and Anne Bonny. You can also get hands-on with entertainment including object handling and craft activities. Adults £9.50, kids £7.50, family £25.50. 0115 952 0555/www.galleriesofjustice.org.uk.
Ishraqah Festival of Middle Eastern Arts and Culture, New Art Exchange, Gregory Boulevard, Saturday, 11.30am-5pm Smashing family event featuring an award-winning Egyptian band, a Guinness world record-holding tanoura dancer, Arabian Nights-inspired story-telling, belly dancing, henna tattooing, jewellery making, face painting, and a presentation by the first all-female photographic collective to emerge from the Middle East. Expert chefs will also be running a meze platter where you'll be able to enjoy dishes including falafel, kibbeh, wara' enab and freshly made three-mint tea. Free. 0115 924 8630/thenewartexchange.org.uk.
February Half-term Family Fun, City of Caves, Broadmarsh Centre. Until February 24. Explore this amazing underground venue with Archie and Annie the archaeologists and use the leaflet to discover some lost treasure and claim a prize. Enjoy this fascinating actor-led tour every day from 10.30am-4pm, with a chance to see famous old Nottingham landmarks like Drury Hill and Narrow Marsh. Adults £6.50, kids £5.50, family £17.50. 0115 988 1955/www.cityofcaves.com
Snowdrop Festival, Hodsock Priory, near Worksop, Until March 3. Lots of family fun in store this year, with 12 acres of snowdrop-covered woodland, five acres of formal gardens and the new Snowdrop Village serving tea and great gifts. Don't miss the free tours and the Food and Country Show at weekends. Adults £5, kids £1. 01909 591204/www.hodsockpriory.com
Nature Week at Half-term, Stonebridge City Farm, St Ann's, Saturday till February 24. Join in daily activities including making bird-feeders, bug houses, biodegradable plant pots, seed sowing and lots more. Free. 0115 950 5113/www.stonebridgecityfarm.com
Half-term Happenings, Nottingham Contemporary, Saturday till February 24, 11am-3pm. Enjoy lots of fascinating drop-in workshops and activities based around the theme of the natural world. Learn about nature carpets, miracle plants and walking stick cabbages and see an interactive albatross among other delights. Also look out for the "miracle trees" growing in the front window or help make a giant nature jigsaw puzzle. Free. 0115 948 9750/ www.nottinghamcontemporary.org.
Poet Tree, Wollaton Park, Saturday till February 24. Drop in to see the park's magnificent ancient trees and create a poem that will be entered into a prize draw. For kids aged 5+ years. Also take part in the "Riddle Me This" trail around the hall for a chance to win another prize (trail leaflet £1). Free. 0115 915 3900/www.mynottingham.gov.uk
Half-term activities, Victoria Centre, throughout half-term week. Take part in a range of free events and competitions during the holidays, including rock climbing with Nottingham Scouts on Monday and Tuesday, and the Roald Dahl storytellers from Wednesday to Friday. Free.0115 912 1111/www.victoriacentre.com.
Clumber Mud Gang, Clumber Park, Saturday till February 24, 11am-3pm. Enjoy your very own mud adventure, with a host of messy activities and experiences including mud sculptures and splish-splosh trails. Bring your wellies and waterproofs. Free 01909 544917/ www.nationaltrust.org.uk/clumber-park.
The Grumble Groar's Lair, Newton Arkwright Building, Nottingham Trent University, Saturday and Sunday. Drop in to meet authors Rob Hann and Howard Barton as they unveil their fearsome creation the Grumble Groar, a mythical fire-breathing beast that will spark kids' imaginations and teach them fascinating facts about the world we live in. Part of Nottingham Festival of Words. Free. www.grumblegroarproductions.com.
Steam Trains, Great Central Railway, Ruddington. Saturday and Sunday, also February 23-24. Take a nostalgic trip on a majestic steam train, with trips along the full length of the line as far as Loughborough Junction. Departures from Ruddington at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Adults from £8, kids from £4, family from £20 (unlimited travel). 0115 940 5705/www.gcrn.co.uk.
Half-term fun, Nottingham Castle, various dates throughout half term. Enjoy a host of treats during the holidays, including Robin and Marian-themed storytelling, cave tours, medieval tours, arts and crafts and more. Check web for full details of dates and times. Price depends on activity. 0115 915 3700/www.mynottingham.gov.uk/ nottinghamcastle.
Michael Rosen Favourite Stories and Poems, Lakeside Arts Centre, Sunday, 3.30pm. Children's author Michael Rosen will perform his non-stop one-man show of poems, stories, songs and jokes including old favourites like Chocolate Cake and We're Going on a Bear Hunt along with newer ones from Even My Ears Are Smiling and the Big Book of Bad Things. £6.50. 0115 846 7777/www.lakesidearts.org.uk.
Carnival Fever, Erewash Museum, Ilkeston, Monday to Friday, 11am-3pm. Free craft workshops with a chance to make a dancing lion and dragon carnival puppets as well as colourful and wacky face masks. The week will end on February 22 with "hands-on music" where you can learn how to play the steel drums (booking essential, £1 per child). Aimed at kids aged 4+plus. Free. 0115 907 1141/www.erewashmuseum.co.uk.
Bloomin' Marvellous, Newstead Abbey, Monday till February 24. Celebrate spring with a trail around the historic gardens and enjoy some bulb planting. £1, plus parking £6 per car. 01623 455900/www.newsteadabbey.org.uk.
Cornbread Cupcakes, Green's Windmill, Thursday, 11am-noon. Bake some delicious cornbread with flour produced in this working windmill. For kids aged 5+ years. £3. 0115 915 6878/www.mynottingham.gov.uk
Barton's Big Picture, Barton's Garage, Chilwell, February 22-24, various times. Don't miss this chance to see this spectacular indoor multi-screen pop-up cinema at the former bus depot, showing silent films, archive footage and classics such as It's a Wonderful Life and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. There will also be a bar, soft drinks, savoury treats and sweets. In conjunction with the Cambridge Film Trust and Broadway cinema. Tickets from £10. 0115 952 6611/www.bartonsplc.co.uk.
Baby Gibbon, Twycross Zoo, throughout half-term. Get up close and personal with the newest arrival at the zoo – an adorable Siamang Gibbon – and meet some of the other residents too. Adults £14.50, kids £10, family £48. 0844 474 1777/www.twycrosszoo.org.
Victorian House Party Ghost Tour, Newstead Abbey, Friday, 6.30pm and 8.30pm. Join the guides for a spooky tour with a period theme. Suitable for kids aged 14+ years, booking essential. £15 per person. 01623 455900/ www. mynottingham.gov.uk/newsteadabbey.
Parachute Making and Face Painting, Green's Windmill, February 23, 11am-noon. Finish the half-term holidays on a high with this creative activity and then get your face painted to look like your favourite animal. For kids aged 5+ years. 0115 915 6878/www.mynottingham.gov.uk/ greensmill.