UK half term daytrips

It’s half term next week, and it’s also National Family Week – so plenty of reasons to spend some quality time with your kids (and hopefully without driving each other crazy). Being credit crunched means we’re not going away, but we are planning a couple of daytrips, which is probably the next best thing. If you’re at home next week and you’re looking for something to do, here are some suggestions for outings the whole family can enjoy – please let me know your ideas, too at [email protected] Got an aspiring Aidan Davis or Natalie Okri from Britain’s Got Talent in the family? If you’re in London on Tuesday 26 May, take them along to the West End Family Fun Day at the Clore ballroom in the Royal Festival Hall. They can enjoy a ballet workshop, a singing lesson from top voice coach Mary King and performances by cast members from the stage shows Thriller – Live and Stomp, plus learn to dance and sing Consider Yourself from Oliver!. The event – a taster of the fantastic Kids Week is free, open to everyone and there’s no need to book. Kenilworth Castle & Elizabethan Garden, Warwickshire has an action-packed, fun-filled festival especially for kids.  They can learn what it takes to become a knight of the realm, take part in circus skills workshops, enjoy puppet shows, falconry displays, have their faces painted, follow the treasure trail, play games and have a whale of a time making sandcastles on the Victorian beach. The National Trust has lots of activities planned and on Brownsea Island in Dorset your little ones can get as close to creepy crawlies as they dare with the Wildlife Gourmets Trail.    Cannock Chase museum is offering a week of pirate fun, including workshops where your kids can make everything they need to become a pirate. It’s the 65th Anniversary of D-Day on 6 June, and to celebrate HMS Belfast has a week of action-packed events, including the chance for children under 16 the chance to dress up as crew members in full battledress. Coventry Transport Museum is an absolutely fantastic free day out for your little Jensen Buttons or Lewis Hamiltons, with everything from a De Lorean – made famous in the Back to the Future films – to E-type Jags and racing cars on display, and a great model car collection. Kids will love the animal centric activities at Chessington World of Adventures to celebrate the Year of the Gorilla. You might also catch a glimpse of baby Mbula, born on the 10 March to proud parents Buu and Damisi. You can help your offspring burn off some energy with a visit to the Express Yourself exhibition at The Lowry in Manchester – a celebration of dance, from ballet to breakdance and rock ‘n’ roll to Riverdance, with loads of interactive displays on offer. And at the W5 Discovery Centre in Belfast you can catch the fabulous Wind, Wings and Waves interactive exhibition. The Royal Bath & West Show offers lots of ways to entertain the whole family, including the chance to design the perfect eco-prize, race solar-powered buggies, and experience canoeing, zorbing and scuba diving. written by Liz Jarvis