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Our guide to what’s on at half term February 2019 in Cambridge

The half term holidays are almost here so we’ve put together our list of things to do with the kids over the break - come rain or shine.

Monday, February 18

Half-term Holiday Bushcraft


Holiday Bushcraft at Wandlebury is designed for children aged 5-12 and is run by experienced qualified teachers from Wild Thyme & Embers, who will inspire children and share their knowledge and skills of surviving in the wild. The sessions focus on practical bushcraft and survival skills and follow a forest school approach encouraging self-confidence and sense of achievement.

All basic bushcraft techniques suitable for this age range will be taught, including ahelter building, knots and rope work, use of cutting tools and whittling, plant and tree recognition and uses, seasonal woodcrafts, fire lighting techniques, wilderness cooking skills, natural art and crafts, woodland games.

​The cost for each day is £38 per child. Monday and Tuesday, 8.30am to 4pm, at Wandlebury Ring, Gog Magog Hills, Cambridge, CB22 3AE

Box office www.wildthymeandembers.co.uk/holiday-bushcraft-club/ or call 07548 115583

Tuesday, February 19

Sporty fun

On of the sports on offer
On of the sports on offer

A multi-sports session with a coach from Cambridge United will take place on Tuesday 19 February from 3pm to 5pm at Thorpe Way Recreation Ground, Dennis Rd.

The week will also feature a number of outdoor play sessions, some of which will include a ‘Mobile Adventure’ with the city council’s Active Lifestyles team. It is organised by Cambridge City Council’s Children and Young People’s Participation Service (ChYpPS) call 01223 457873 to book or visit cambridge.gov.uk/chypps-activities.

Craft session

Come along to Carolyn Ash’s fantastic workshop, learn mosaic techniques, have fun and create your own piece to take home. All materials will be provided, along with inspiration and advice. Refreshments available. The event lasts two hours.

The Library Presents: Mosaic Workshop, Rock Road Library, CB1 7UG. Tickets are £5 for adults and £2.50 for children from cambridgelive.co.uk

Wicken Fen nature crafts

Wicken Fen
Wicken Fen

The National Trust is running a variety of winter weather themed outdoor nature crafts, exploring the site, and getting a bit muddy too. Sessions run T 10.30am and 1.30pm. To book, call 0344 249 1895.

Wednesday, February 20

Family sing song

Lifecraft Singers will offer a family singing workshop at Brown’s Field Community Centre on Thursday 21 February from 11am to 12pm (no singing experience necessary).It is organised by Cambridge City Council’s Children and Young People’s Participation Service (ChYpPS) call 01223 457873 to book or visit cambridge.gov.uk/chypps-activities.

Twilight at the Museums

Twilight at the Museums (7084719)
Twilight at the Museums (7084719)

This February half-term, take a leap into the unknown and explore 14 local museums and collections after dark. Take the opportunity to experience museums and collections in a different way, discover somewhere new, and unearth some remarkable objects.

Twilight at the Museums is a free after-hours event for families where museums and collections across the city turn down the lights and open their doors for after-hours fun. With free, drop-in activities and themed trails across the venues, there is plenty for families to enjoy. The events run from 4.30 – 7.30pm at various locations (see below)

Thursday, February 21

Go Wild: Winter Outdoor Survival

Wicken Fen will be revealing how animals use their senses to keep fed, warm, and safe during the winter. Th course leaders will use map skills/simple orienteering, animal tracks and signs, games and activities to help everyone learn to be more like the wild animals of Wicken.

The session runs twice at 10.30am and 1.30pm. Booking details, call 0344 249 1895. Tickets are £5.75 per child.

Anglesey Abbey

All week, Anglesey Abbey will be running a free Woodland Explorers’ event (plus admission charges).

Pick up a Woodland Explorers Journal from the Welcome Hub, wrap up warm and begin your adventure. The trail combines three fun activities to make the most of your visit to Anglesey Abbey. There are friendly forest creatures hiding on the woodland path on your way to Hoe Fen – can you all spot ten? Use your sensory skills to explore the area once you’ve arrived with the Sensory Stroll. There’s also a fun Winter Woodland Hunt to complete - how many of the forest features will you find?

Friday, February 22

Cambridge Astronomical Association and Cambridge Institute of Astronomy

The week will come to a close with an exciting astronomical event on Jesus Green with Cambridge Astronomical Association and Cambridge Institute of Astronomy.

This evening event on Friday February 22 from 5.30-7.30pm will include space-themed crafts, talks from a professional astronomer, tours of the stars and viewing through telescopes.

www.cambridge.gov.uk/chypps-activities, follow the link on Facebook at www.facebook.com/chyppsor alternatively phone 01223 457873

IWM Duxford

Paper plane challenge

Find out how to design the perfect paper plane and learn the principles of flight. Using the design famed for breaking the current world record, made in 2012, see who among your family can fly a paper plane the furthest.

Wednesday 20 February and Friday 22 February

11am – 1pm, 2pm – 4pm


Twilight at the Museums

Bring a torch and a sense of adventure to experience the city’s museums after dark. All of these events take place on the evening of Wednesday, February 20 at 4.30 – 7.30pm

Twilight at the Museums (7084726)
Twilight at the Museums (7084726)

All Saints' Church, Jesus Lane: Neon Navigation

Use UV torches to find fabulous fluorescent creatures hidden around the church; make shapes and patterns with light boxes; or tell a story using shadow puppets.


Museum of Cambridge, Castle Street: Torches, Trinkets, Treasure!

Explore some weird and wonderful objects from the Museum’s collection in an interactive session with arts and crafts, object handling and more. Follow the trail and discover hidden secrets within the Museum – what might you find?


Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street: Light, Dark and Luminosity!

Begin your night with a luminous trail and discover the Gallery’s new exhibitions. See the spaces in new ways and take part in some creative activities that play with light and image projections. Don’t forget your torch… and watch out for the big spider!


Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Downing Street: The Sedgwick Shadows

Explore the Museum after dark and search among the shadows for fabulous fossils and marvellous minerals. Use your torch to uncover secrets in the murky cabinets and discover something new.

Please note: queues may be likely at busy periods


Museum of Zoology, Downing Street: T-wit T-who Comes Out at Night?

Is it an owl? Is it a bat? Explore the Museum after dark and discover nocturnal creatures with puppets and more.

Please note: queues may be likely at busy periods


Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Downing Street: MAA’s Magical Musical Tour

The lights are off, but the music is on! Beats of Polynesia will be playing live at the Museum as you hunt around the galleries for musical instruments, dancing clothes and all things needed to put on a show.


Museum of Classical Archaeology, Sidgwick Avenue: Torchlight Explorers

Torches at the ready. The museum can be a spooky place after dark. Explore and complete the Twilight trail… if you dare.


University Library, West Road: Manuscripts and Music by Candlelight

Experience beautiful decorated manuscripts displayed just as they would have been in the past – lit by candlelight. All accompanied by music of the period performed live by students from the Music Faculty.

Please note: suitable for ages 7+


The Polar Museum, Lensfield Road: Historic Explorers

Visit in the dark and travel back in time. The museum will be bringing to life some of the amazing characters who have made polar history. Meet Martin Frobisher, an Elizabethan explorer with gold on his mind, not to mention the Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton who led his men to safety after his ship sank.

Please note: at busy periods the museum will be operating a one-in, one-out policy


Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Brookside: Red Alert

Did you know that one in five of the world’s plant species are in danger of becoming extinct? The good news is that botanic gardens (and you!) can help. Embark on an amazing journey around the glasshouses after dark; see some of the world’s most endangered plants and meet the people helping plants survive.

Please note: Entrance via Brookside Gate only.


Fitzwilliam Museum with the Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Trumpington Street: Starry Night

Enjoy a star-lit adventure both inside and outside the Museum. With special light displays, music, craft and astronomy. Bring your torches and see the museum come to life.

Please note: accessible buggy/wheelchair access via the Courtyard Entrance. Buggy parking will be available on the front lawn.


Cambridge Science Centre, 44 Clifton Road: Science at Sundown

Get hands-on with science to reveal the mysteries of light. What will you discover as the sun goes down? Come along to find out.


This year, explore even further with Twilight events and activities at:

Norris Museum, St Ives: Night at the Norris

Visit and explore the darkened galleries – what will you discover? Make your own glowing firefly and help locate the baby fireflies that have escaped in the museum!


Cromwell Museum, Huntingdon: ​Cromwell by Candlelight

Take the chance to visit the Museum lit up in the way Cromwell would have known – by candlelight! Meet visitors from the 17th century and enjoy period sounds and music too.


Wisbech & Fenland Museum

Wisbech: Chinese New Year at Wisbech

Celebrate Chinese New Year with a special FREE after-hours opening just for families and discover some unusual Chinese objects showcased in the museum’s collection.


Palace House - National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art, Newmarket: Twilight at Palace House: The Wow, The Weird, The Wonderful

Palace House will be turning down the lights and opening its doors for after-hours fun. The Museum’s The Wow, The Weird and The Wonderful trail will take you around the main galleries where you will find all sorts of surprising and unusual objects. Bring your torch to make the most of this event.


Half-term shows

Mathilda and the Orange Balloon

Mathilda and the Orange Balloon (7086428)
Mathilda and the Orange Balloon (7086428)

Mathilda is a little grey sheep in a little grey world. Her herd is content to munch clovers, but Mathilda's mind is full of questions. When an orange balloon makes a surprise appearance on the farm, Mathilda discovers there is more to who she is than being a grey sheep. As she explores what it means to be orange, Mathilda leads us all on a journey of self-discovery and the joys of self-expression.

With a diverse cast of deaf and hearing actors, Mathilda's tactile, is fully accessible through the use of spoken English, sign language, and creative captions and animation.

Cambridge Junction, showing at 11.30am and 2.30pm on Sunday, February 24. Tickets £10 adult, £6 children. https://www.junction.co.uk/mathilda-and-the-orange-balloon#tickets

A Magic Extravaganza in aid of The Red Hen Project

To celebrate its centenary, The Pentacle Club will be performing magic at The Guildhall. The club will be wowing crowds with spellbinding miracles, stage illusions, close up magic, comedy and pulse-quickening danger.

Proceeds from the show support one of the Mayor’s two chosen charities this year: The local Red Hen Project.

The show is suitable for all, family-friendly and features many different styles of magic and illusion. Performers include professional magicians, and members of the world-famous Magic Circle. This includes the charismatic Dr Bondini, plus JezO with his high-energy interactive comedy magic. They are joined by Chris Kostecki and Will Bearcroft, fresh from his success at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Sunday, February 24, 2.30pm, tickets £15.75, children and seniors £13.50

Family (two adults and two children) £52.50. Cambridgelive.co.uk

Bookish delights

Isadora Moon Activities with Harriet Muncaster

Isadora Moon (7085731)
Isadora Moon (7085731)

Saturday February 16, 2-3pm

Harriet Muncaster is the author and illustrator of the bestselling Isadora Moon series of young reader books. Half vampire, half fairy, Isadora loves magic, flowers and sunshine as well as stars, moonlight and bats. Join Harriet for an afternoon packed with activities - approved for all fairies and vampires out there by Isadora Moon herself. Harriet can't wait to meet lots of young book lovers at Heffers!

The Day I Was Erased - with Lisa Thompson

Monday February 18, 1-2pm

Lisa Thompson is the international bestselling author of the award-winning novels The Goldfish Boy and The Light Jar. Come and meet her at Heffers, as she reads from her new book, The Day I Was Erased

Twelve-year-old Maxwell is always in trouble. He's a menace to his teachers and big sister, but has a softer side too: he rescued his dog, Monster, from being run over and checks on his elderly neighbour, Reg, after school. But one day, Maxwell finds himself erased from his life: it's just as if he's never been born …

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