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Whitsun Half term fun in Shakespeare Country

9th May 2013 Print
Tudor Festival

Celebrate the Whitsun Half Term from 25 May – 2 June in Shakespeare Country with a host of exciting activities and events. With theatre family tours, “Insect Inspector” workshops, a Tudor Festival, sleepovers in a historic ruined castle and butterfly trails, there’s something for all the family to enjoy!

Enjoy a family theatre tour at the Royal Shakespeare Company on the 27 May (10am), 29 May (3pm), 31 May (3pm) and 2 June (12noon). Aimed at younger visitors (age 6 – 11), the tours explore the plays, the theatre making process, Shakespeare, Elizabethan Theatre and why we have theatre today. The guides will share some behind the scenes secrets of the productions, such as how costumes are made and effects achieved. There is also the chance to handle some of the props, try on a costume and look inside the auditorium. Tickets cost £6.50 per person or £3.50 for under 18s and people with disabilities.

Enjoy garden and flower-inspired performances from Shakespeare Aloud! and discover the magic of plants, herbs and potions at Shakespeare’s Birthplace. Over at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage & Gardens follow the trail through specially planted flower beds and shrubberies designed to attract butterflies. Plenty for children to do with butterfly-themed activities or hug the singing tree and it will sing plus there’s a new musical trail through the woodlands walk. Enjoy a Tudor Festival at Mary Arden’s Farm and watch the Tudors prepare the bride and groom for a hand fasting ceremony. Use your imagination to write profiles of Shakespeare’s famous characters and bring them to life for the 21st century at Nash’s House & New Place. What would Romeo text Juliet? Join the wedding celebrations of Dr John Hall and Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna at Hall’s Croft. Discover the wedding traditions of the times including food and fashions as Hall’s Croft marks its 400th anniversary. From the 28 May – 2 June, it’s sheep shearing time at Mary Arden’s Farm. See sheep dog trials, try your hand at spinning and weaving, and explore the woolly trail.

Visit Kenilworth Castle at twilight in conjunction with 'Museums at Night' on Friday 17 May from 6.30pm - 9.30pm and listen to talks on different aspects of the Castle. On Friday 31 May enjoy a family sleepover from 7pm – 10am! The Castle has no furniture but they provide camping beds. Activities include a family tour, evening meal, twilight walk, spooky stories in the Gatehouse and breakfast the following morning. Suitable for families with children aged 8 +. The cost is £85 for adults, £70 for children or £240 for a family. English Heritage members: £75 for adults, £65 for children or £215 for a family. Booking essential. From 25 May - 2 June find the hidden clues in the grounds to reveal the royal connection with a special prize rewarded to all those regal enough to complete the challenge! From 25 - 27 May meet Queen Elizabeth as she visits the home of her great admirer Robert Dudley, Earl of Essex. Join in the entertainments as Dudley attempts to impress the Queen with plays, music, and military displays.

On Thursday 30 May children (aged 3 years +) can take part in the ‘Insect Inspectors’ workshops at Hill Close Gardens from 10.30am -12noon or 2pm - 3.30pm. Activities relate to the numerous insects found in the 16 restored Victorian gardens. The cost is £3.50 per child. There will also be a garden trail, bug hunt and a carousel of creepy crawly craft activities. As always there will be lots of digging, watering and weeding to be done!

Children of all ages can explore cars at the Heritage Motor Centre with a special Motoring, Art and Design M>A>D theme. From K’nex Buggy challenge and family craft days, to children’s workshops on animation and digital photography, there will be a range of motoring art and design activities to enjoy all week, alongside the May exhibition of 60 artworks from the Guild of Motoring Artists.

Mr Karting will be offering their popular School Holiday Special Offer - 3 x 10 minute sessions for just £20. The cost includes full safety briefing, use of race suits, helmets, gloves, and personal lap time print out at the end of each session. Valid from Monday to Friday from 10am – 6pm.

Stratford Butterfly Farm is hosting its fascinating and ever popular Jungle Explorers Trail to take children on an exciting journey to discover interesting facts and amazing creatures from around the world. Visitors of all ages will also be able to take part in handling sessions at 11.30am and 2.30pm every day.

Coventry Transport Museum hosts a special “999 Family Day” on Sunday 26 May from 10am - 4pm. Is your little one fascinated by fire engines? Amazed by ambulances? Loves playing pretend police? The day will include displays of present-day emergency vehicles outside the Museum, as well as a wide variety of hands-on activities within the Museum.

Enjoy seeing paintings displayed by artist Claire Henley at The One Elm, as part of the Arts Festival. On the 27 May take part in the Posh Pub Quiz with some fantastic prizes including a £100 bar tab! Teams of up to 6 people. On 31 May enjoy live music by Kelly Elliott as she plays at The One Elm’s payday party.

Find out how children played in the past at libraries around the county and at Market Hall Museum in Warwick. Discover which toys and pastimes were popular in Victorian times and how children used to play plus see a range of wonderful historic toys. Children can also make their very own puppet to play with. The cost is £2.50 per child, £1.00 for under 5s. Tickets can be booked in advance from the library. Enjoy ‘Your Move!’ on Friday 31 May at St John’s Museum from 11.00am - 3.00pm. Challenge friends and family at different games that children have played in the past. Make your own 1940s table football game to take home. The cost is £2.50 per child, £1.00 for under 5s. All events are suitable for ages 4 -12.

For accommodation, special offers and more information visit the official website:

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Tudor Festival