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Kent February half term things to do with the family 2018 from film to outdoor trails, animals and crafts

By Angela Cole

It may be February, but the fun starts starts here with the first school break of the year. Here's where to take the family for some frolics whatever the weather during February half term.

BETTESHANGER COUNTRY PARK, DEAL

Put your tracking skills to the test with a Scavenger Hunt, looking for 16 picture clues hidden around the park until Sunday, February 18. Check them off your list to claim a prize at the end. Included in the price of £6 for children, £8 for adults and £20 for a family, is the chance to tackle the military-style obstacle course in the park. Also running until Sunday, February 18 is Geocaching & Orienteering, featuring a treasure hunt combined with the great outdoors. The new geocaching routes will take you to unexplored parts of the park - track the locations using a handheld GPS, find the hidden clues and decipher the code - and do it quickly! All equipment will be provided. It costs £5 for a handset and £2 for a map, with no booking required. Details of all the half term activities and how to book are at betteshanger-park.co.uk

Betteshanger country park in Deal Picture: Andy Jones
Betteshanger country park in Deal Picture: Andy Jones

BLUEWATER SHOPPING CENTRE, DARTFORD

To coincide with the latest Aardman and Studiocanal film, Early Man, there will be an Early Man Trail running at the centre until Sunday, February 18. Search for 12 prehistoric characters from the film, which is also showing at Showcase Cinema de Lux. Pick up a trail map from the concierge desk outside M&S on the lower mall, and and get a prize at the end when you’ve found all the characters. There are also Early Man clay modelling workshops until Thursday, February 15. Book a slot outside M&S too. Details at Bluewater.co.uk

Early Man is in cinemas now. Picture: PA Photo
Early Man is in cinemas now. Picture: PA Photo

CANTERBURY TALES

The visitor attraction, bringing medieval Canterbury to life with sights, sounds and smells, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, with special events and competitions. It is open daily in the school holidays, between 10am and 4pm this time of year. To book and for more information visit canterburytales.org.uk

The Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales

CHATHAM HISTORIC DOCKYARD

Science fiend Doc.Yard is at the dockyard which opened at the weekend after a winter break. The interactive 45-minute experience will be enticing young scientists through its doors and giving some hands-on lessons involving balloons, lasers and submarine red lights. The lab is split into four zones and running regular sessions through the day, which can be pre-booked on arrival with timed tickets. Details are at thedockyard.co.uk or call 01634 823800.

Doc Yard will be holding workshops at Chatham's Historic Dockyard
Doc Yard will be holding workshops at Chatham's Historic Dockyard

DOVER CASTLE

Try some prehistoric fun at the historic castle, as an Early Man quest runs through to Sunday, February 18, to coincide with the latest children’s blockbuster in cinemas. Young visitors can explore the castle in search of characters from the Aardman Animations film. Follow the clues and complete the quest to uncover centuries of history. For details, admission costs and activity details, visit english-heritage.org.uk

DREAMLAND, MARGATE

GEEK, the county's festival of play and gaming, comes to Dreamland for a second year, from Friday, February 16 to Sunday, February 18. To read our full story click here. To book, go to dreamland.co.uk

Dover Castle
Dover Castle

GO APE!

Unleash your inner Tarzan with Go Ape! at Leeds Castle and Bedgebury Pinetum. Youngsters can try a Tree Top Junior course while older children can choose from the Forest Segway experience or a Tree Top Adventure. For details go to goape.co.uk.

Go Ape this half term
Go Ape this half term

HEMPSTEAD VALLEY, GILLINGHAM

There are free activities with the kmfm Street Team throughout half term. Until Sunday, February 18 between 11am and 3pm each day there will be a range of activities, including a balloon modeller all weekend. Su Button, marketing manager, said: “Shopping centres are a great place for families to spend time together having fun whilst incorporating your shopping." For details go to hempsteadvalley.com

There's half term fun on offer at Hempstead Valley with the kmfm Street Team
There's half term fun on offer at Hempstead Valley with the kmfm Street Team

HEVER CASTLE

Inspired by last month’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch and the Big School’s Birdwatch, Living With Nature runs through the holiday until Sunday, February 18. Learn about local wildlife and find how to create habitats and encourage wildlife into your garden, or join RSPB volunteers to learn about natural and man-made habitats. There's also a seld-guided Wildlife Detective walk to investigate animal footprints and tracks. You can buy a bag of bird food for 50p, activities are a small extra charge plus usual entry fees. Details at hevercastle.co.uk or call 01732 865224.

Activities at Hever are inspired by the Big Garden Birdwatch
Activities at Hever are inspired by the Big Garden Birdwatch

HOP FARM FAMILY PARK, PADDOCK WOOD

This half term there will be rides and inflatables, plus a 4D cinema and some of the usual activities, including the driving school and giant jumping pillows. Running until Sunday, February 18, there’s also plenty of warm indoor areas, face painting and magic shows. The fun runs from 10am and 4pm. For details go to thehopfarm.co.uk

The Hop Farm
The Hop Farm

HOWLETTS WILD ANIMAL PARK, CANTERBURY

Explore a world of conservation and see adorable baby rhino, or walk with lemurs this half term at Howletts. The site has the largest herd of African elephants in the UK, as well as gorillas, tigers, monkeys and leopards. There’s also a Treetop Challenge and an Animal Adventure Challenge to try, and look out for free talks about the animals. Visit aspinallfoundation.org/howletts for details.

You could visit Howletts near Canterbury
You could visit Howletts near Canterbury

KENT LIFE, MAIDSTONE

Meet animals such as pigs, sheep, ponies, goats and alpacas and join in with the feeding sessions – or get closer to the smaller animals in cuddle corner. It’s early but there could even be a chance to see some lambing and make sure you stop off to see the Kent Owl Academy’s 12 owls and meerkat family. You can also visit the Vintage Village, indoor and outdoor play areas. The Big Top has a range of shows, included in the price of admission, including Flip the Clown on Thursday and Friday. There will be a magic show at the weekend. Details for half term admission until Sunday, February 18 are at kentlife.org.uk

There could even be some lambs at Kent Life, Maidstone Picture: Martin Apps
There could even be some lambs at Kent Life, Maidstone Picture: Martin Apps

LEEDS CASTLE, MAIDSTONE

Become a junior explorer in the grounds of Leeds Castle this half term. Visitors can follow a fun packed activity booklet filled with clues to help spot different birds and trees through the castle estate. Those who complete their journey are rewarded with a chocolate prize. For details on the activities running until Sunday, February 18, visit leeds-castle.com

Explore at Leeds Castle this half term
Explore at Leeds Castle this half term

PENSHURST PLACE

Take the Enchanted Garden Trail this half term, until Sunday, February 18, where magical forest dwellers have descended into the hidden secret garden rooms. Winding through the 11 acres of formal grounds, the trail will be good for all ages. There are clues with each concealed character, which unlock a secret message. The trail runs from 10.30am to dusk. Normal entry fees apply. For details go to penshurstplace.com/whats-on.

Penshurst Place
Penshurst Place

PORT LYMPNE RESERVE, HYTHE

Explore more than 600 acres to discover where the wild things are, and jump on board a safari truck to journey through the plains to see rare and endangered animals. Steel your nerves for a visit to see life size prehistoric creatures in Dinosaur Forest too. All the action is happening until Sunday, February 18. There are free talks taking place at locations around the park, and craft activities. Visit aspinallfoundation.org/portlympne

Meet the dinosaurs at Port Lympne Reserve near Hythe
Meet the dinosaurs at Port Lympne Reserve near Hythe

SPA VALLEY RAILWAY, TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Here’s a cheap and cheerful day out for the family, as kids travel for a quid during February half term. A whole family can travel for £26 for the fun day out. See the Kent landscape whizz by and enjoy a spot of heritage travel on board. To purchase tickets online visit spavalleyrailway.co.uk

The Spa Valley Railway
The Spa Valley Railway

FOLKESTONE QUARTERHOUSE

Until Sunday, February 18, the venue stages an enchanting family show for ages seven and up. Little Angel Theatre stages Red Riding Hood & the Wolf, a story about 10-year-old Robyn, who doesn’t like the traditional sickly-sweet story, and sets out to retell the story in her own words. Was the Big Bad Wolf all that bad – was he just a little misunderstood? For tickets and more details visit quarterhouse.co.uk or call 01303 760750.

Red Riding Hood & the Wolf will be in Folkestone
Red Riding Hood & the Wolf will be in Folkestone

ROCHESTER CASTLE

There’s family fun at Rochester Castle throughout half term until Sunday, February 18, starting this weekend, with a Knight in Shining Armour heritage trail. Visitors can take part in the themed heritage trail around the Keep to find the knight’s armour and win a small prize. Running from 10am to 4pm each day, normal entry prices apply. To book, and for more information, call 01634 332091 or visit english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/rochester-castle

NATIONAL TRUST

There's a range of outdoor and woodland trails during half term at properties including Ightham Mote, Chartwell, Emmetts Garden and Sissinghurst. For all the activities on offer, see our round up here, visit nationaltrust.org.uk or call 0344 800189.

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