Half-term holidays are approaching and parents in Stoke-on-Trent are starting to think of ways to keep the children entertained for the week.
The February break can be a bit hit and miss with the weather, so it’s best to have a range of options up your sleeve to deal with rain or shine.
We’ve put together a list of ideas for every budget – from free activities and things that’ll cost you less than a dime for a family to treats that will put a bigger hole in your wallet.
Four free activities for children in or near Stoke-on-Trent
Affinity Staffordshire Shopping Center near Talke, is hosting two free Superhero Days on Tuesday February 22 and Wednesday February 23.
Superhero-themed arts and crafts will be offered on both days between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. – with a variety of special guests making appearances on both days, including Spiderman on Tuesdays and Batman on Wednesdays.
Young and old can come dressed up and the center will be decorated for the occasion. Contests will be held during the event for people who share their superhero snaps on social media.
the National Memorial Arboretum near Lichfield might not be the first place you think of taking the kids, but toddlers are more than welcome at the UK’s National Center of Remembrance.
There are nearly 400 memorials spread across the 150-acre site with plenty of kid-friendly things to spot, including two little mice hidden on the Bevin Boys memorial. There is also a huge polar bear sculpture commemorating the 49th West Riding Infantry Division, inspired by their nickname “Polar Bears” after their actions in freezing Norway and Iceland during World War II.
There are two children’s playgrounds and the site also hosts a free Stick Man trail. It is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and its visit is free, although reservation is mandatory.
Head to cockroaches and hunt mermaids in two mystery pools. It is said that a sailor from Leek fell in love with a mermaid while at sea and smuggled her home to live at Blake Mere Pool, also known as the Black Mere of Morridge. And nearby Doxey Pool is not only said to be home to the sinister mermaid Jenny Greenteeth, but is also said to be ‘bottomless’.
While in the area, take a stroll to the Church of Lud, an 18-meter-deep sinkhole that served as a secret place of worship in the 15th century.
It is also said to be the inspiration for the Green Chapel in the legendary tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – and Robin Hood and Friar Tuck are said to have once lurked within its mossy depths.
You have probably passed these sculptures and statues several times before without really noticing them. But if you follow the Stoke-on-Trent Sculpture Trail this semester, you’ll be sure to learn something new and see the city in a new way.
From Golden: The Flame That Never Dies in Tunstall and Her Head in Hanley to Privilege in Etruria and Hand With Chronos, which is hidden at the end of Platform 2 at Stoke Station.
There are 40 sculptures to find throughout the city and you can take the route by city or by theme – great people, local history and inspiring things.
Four activities in or near Stoke-on-Trent costing less than £10 for a family
Youngsters can explore their local heritage with Mini Potters Explore packs from Middleport Pottery .
The self-guided tour, which lasts approximately one hour, includes hands-on activities to help children understand what it was like to work in a Victorian potbank.
You can book a slot between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. throughout the mid-term. The trail costs £6 per adult, which includes one free child, and £2 for each additional child.
Middleport Pottery also offers bookable game with clay sessions daily during the half-session, which costs £6 per table for up to six people.
the Titanic: Honor and Glory Exhibition from Saturday 19 February to Sunday 1 May at Pottery Museum and Art Gallery at Hanley.
This exhibit includes real artifacts from the Titanic and her sister ships, as well as memorabilia from the 1997 James Cameron film. Objects include beautiful fine china plates, personal effects of Titanic’s passengers and crew, and a reconstruction of a third class cabin.
The exhibition will also feature the stories of local Staffordshire personnel linked to the ill-fated liner, including Captain Edward John Smith, Fourth Principal Engineer Leonard Hodgkinson and Deputy Butcher Christopher Mills.
Tickets to the exhibition cost £5, or concessions £3 – with under-16s free. And don’t forget to check out the rest of the museum while you’re there, including the new Spitfire Gallery.
It will only get you over the £10 mark if you have two children, but a trip to the Royal Stafford ceramic coffee entertain them for a while.
You can decorate your own piece of pottery – with prices from £5.50 including studio costs – and have it glazed and fired ready to collect within a week.
The Ceramic Café is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm, in Overhouse Street, Burslem.
Mitchell Arts Center at Hanley presents a range of mid-term family films – and one adult is free per paying child.
Movie buffs can enjoy Ballerina, The Tiger Who Came To Tea and We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, Small Foot, Dora and the Lost City and Who framed Roger Rabbit.
Tickets cost £3.50 per child with one adult free per child. Book online here.
Four things to do in or near Stoke-on-Trent on a bigger budget
the National Forest Adventure Farm near Burton, is hosting a “New Life on the Farm” event from Saturday, February 19 through Sunday, February 27.
Visitors can spend the whole day on the farm, experiencing the life of a farmer with plenty of undercover activities, including the Lambing Live tent, where you can watch the ewes tend to their newborn lambs.
Youngsters will also be able to take part in many interactive “Help the Farmer” activities under a marquee, including planting seeds, milking a model cow, fixing a fence, fixing a tractor, making a scarecrow, driving remote-controlled tractors and even finding what it would be like to deliver a lamb using a simulator.
Tickets cost £13.99 for adults and children, with under-twos free – and also include a large soft play centre, outdoor adventure play area and animal enclosures. Reservation is essential.
If your elementary age kids love football, you can book them for a day or the whole week with Professional Level Academy which was founded by Port Vale players Tom Conlon and Nathan Smith.
Open to players from Year 1 to Year 6, the mid-term training camps promise action-packed football fun.
Sessions cost £20 for one day or £80 for five days and take place at Orme Academy in Wolstanton. Reservation is essential.
Gandey Circus is back in town for midterm with an awesome new show full of thrills, excitement and laughs for the whole family.
The team kick off their 2022 Roar Tour with a series of performances in Trentham, from Friday February 18 to Sunday February 27 and Friday March 4 to Sunday March 6.
Tickets cost from £9.99 and are available, with an optional donation to the Dougie Mac, through the Cirque de Gandeys website.
If you have the money to spend right now – or are happy to pay monthly during the year – a National Trust Membership will be very useful for the February mid-term and the rest of the holidays.
A family membership costs £126 per year – or £10.50 per month – for two adults at the same address and their children or grandchildren, or £78 per year – or £6.50 per month – for one adult and his children or grandchildren.
And for that, you’ll have access to hundreds of venues across the country, including Shugborough Estate, near Stafford, Little Moreton Hall, near Congleton and Biddulph Grange Garden – all of which are open during mid-term. February.
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