Keep 'em busy this half-term

by Katie Rowe

Category: Things to do
October 6 2014

Child playing in the autumn leaves; NT Images John Millar (1)

Planning an autumn half term break? The National Trust is full of ideas to keep your little ones busy during the school holidays...

Cragside, Northumberland, North East England

Gardens of imagination, 29 October, 11am – 3pm

Visit Cragside for a taste of the country on the edge of the city this autumn. Be inspired by Lord Armstrong’s innovative gardens to create your own miniature garden with the materials provided. Afterwards explore the woodland playscape, Strawberry Castle adventure play area and wildlife hide. Price: £2. For more information, please call 01207 541820.

Standen, West Sussex, South East England

Spooky woodland art, 29 October, 11am – 2pm

If you’re feeling brave, explore the woodland and wider estate at Standen and create some spooky woodland art for Halloween. Get creative in the outdoors with local artist Bleau Hudson, and tick off number 18 on the ‘50 things’ list. Bleau will show you how to create some eerie wild art inspired by trees and woodlands around you. If you can, collect some art materials beforehand and bring them with you - cones, twigs, leaves, bark, leaf litter and other woodland materials will all come in handy when creating your masterpiece. Price: £3 (Normal admission fee applies). For more information, please call 01342 323029.

Eyam Hall and Craft Centre, Derbyshire, Central England

Plant it, grow it, eat it, 25 – 26 October, 11am – 3pm

Roll up your sleeves as bring out your inner gardener as you get ready for another ‘50 things’ challenge at Eyam Hall nestled in the Peak District. Join the gardeners to harvest the apples and start to prepare the ground for more crops with number 41 on the list: Plant it, grow it and eat it. Lend a hand and plant your own seeds ready to harvest early next year and see how tall they can grow. Just like you, fruit and vegetables need a bit of time to grow but they’re definitely worth the wait. It all takes time but later next year you can enjoy eating your home grown produce. Price: £3 (includes garden and craft activities). Normal admission fee applies.For more information, please call 01433 639565

Child with a handheld GPS at Wicken Fen, ©NTPL John MillarWicken Fen National Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire, East of England

Barefoot Walk, 25 October, 10am – 3pm

Lose the shoes and bring the family to experience a new way of walking at Wicken Fen. Do you have ticklish feet? Feel the grass between your toes as you walk around Britain’s oldest nature reserve. Follow the family barefoot walk trail and complete the activities and challenges along the way. Price: £2 (The trail will take around 30 minutes). Normal admission fee applies. For more information, please call 01353 720274.

Borrowdale, Cumbria, North West England

Derwent Water family adventure trail, 25 October - 2 November, 11.30am – 3.30pm Escape with the family from the hustle and bustle of Keswick's busy town centre and discover within easy walking distance the shores of Derwent Water with spectacular views of the surrounding fells. Change the pace of life as you follow the trail through the woods and beside the lake and try skimming a stone or climbing a tree along the way. Why not build a den or try creating your own wild art and try to tick off as many of the ‘50 things’ activities as you can in one day. Price: £1.50 per trail map. For more information, please call 017687 74649.

Leigh Woods, Bristol, South West England

'50 things' find your way with a map and compass, 30 October, 10am – 2pm

Explore the woodland above the famous Avon Gorge and Clifton Suspension Bridge this autumn. Drop into Leigh Woods and have a go at navigating your way round using your explorer skills. Run or walk on this outdoor adventure as you challenge your family to complete the trail in record time using your map-reading and decision-making skills. Price: £2 (suitable for all ages and levels). For more information, please call 0117 9731645

Glendurgan Garden, Cornwall, South West EnglandMaze at Glendurgan Garden ©NTPL Andrew Butler

Wild art week, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30 & 31 October, 1 & 2 November, 10.30am – 4.30pm

Have fun creating some amazing wild art in the tropical Glendurgan Garden this autumn.

Have a go at making a colourful crown of autumn leaves or maybe a pebble picture at Durgan beach, or even a magnificent masterpiece by the maze. If you fancy a natural puzzle, take a stroll around the cherry laurel maze and see if you can reach the middle first. On your way back stop off at the Giant’s Stride rope swing for some spinning adventures. Normal admission fee applies. For more information, please call 01326 252020.

Nostell Priory and Parkland, West Yorkshire, North East England

Conkers bonkers, 30 October, 11am – 3pm

Only a stone’s throw from Wakefield and home to the Winn family for over 300 years, this grand Georgian mansion sits on the site of medieval priory. Visit this half term for self-guided and themed walks. Stroll around the estate or speak to one of the rangers to find out exactly where the best trees are to find a winning conker. Remember, it’s not always the biggest conker that wins. 50 things tip: put some conkers in a bucket of water; all those that sink to the bottom are winners, those that float are losers. Normal admission fee applies to gardens. For more information, please call 01924 866841.

Find hundreds more half term holidays ideas.

Katie Rowe

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