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Half term things to do in Kent with the kids

By Angela Cole

Get the maximum out of half term with help from our guide for what's on across Kent:

THE BEANEY, CANTERBURY

Bricks Britannia: A History of Britain in LEGO comes to the city centre museum, featuring LEGO models including the 8m long LEGO model of the world’s most famous locomotive, The Flying Scotsman, which has light, sound and smoke effects to create a real-life atmosphere. There are some 30 models representing chapters of British history, made from 150,000 LEGO bricks. The exhibition runs through to Sunday, February 24 and costs £6.50 for adults, £5 for children. Under three go free. Pre booked tickets are sold out but there may be walk-ins. Info at canterburymuseums.co.uk

Bricks Britannia at The Beaney
Bricks Britannia at The Beaney

BETTESHANGER COUNTRY PARK, DEAL

The park kicks off half term with an archery taster session on Saturday, February 16 when qualified instructors will coach children aged eight and over on the dedicated outdoor range. The sessions run between 10am and 2.45pm and cost £8 for 45 minutes. To book go to betteshanger-park.co.uk

Try some archery at Betteshanger Country Park this half term
Try some archery at Betteshanger Country Park this half term

BLUEWATER SHOPPING CENTRE

Story Time is back at the Dartford shopping centre for half term when, from Monday, February 18 and Thursday, February 21, families can enjoy The Three Billy Goats Gruff performed outside M&S. There will be 20-minute free shows, followed by craft activities. Places are limited so you'll need to pop to the box office outside M&S to reserve a slot. To find out more of what's on offer go to bluewater.co.uk There will also be driving lessons for children as young as 10 up to 17 at Bluewater Son Tuesday, February 19 and Thursday, February 21. Lessons take place in new, dual controlled Vauxhall Corsas, with qualified approved driving instructors. Book at youngdriver.com or call 0844 371 9010.

BROGDALE, FAVERSHAM

There’ll be a fun Orchard Craft Day on Monday, February 18 when kids can make artwork about the changing seasons in the orchards & a Beastie Day on Thursday, February 21 when there will be a live bug show and looking for bugs in the orchards. Book places in advance at brogdale collections.org

Explore the orchards at Brogdale. Picture: Chris Davey
Explore the orchards at Brogdale. Picture: Chris Davey

CHARTWELL, WESTERHAM

The family trail to discover Who Was Winston Churchill? runs until Sunday, February 24, daily between 10am and 4pm, discovering the man behind the cigar. Sculptures and installations bring the stories to life. Free trail with normal admission.

Go to nationaltrust.org.uk/chartwell

DOVER CASTLE, SECRETS & SPIES

Super sleuths, secret agents and investigators: sharpen up your detective skills with some hands-on training in disguise, code cracking and clues. Secrets & Spies runs at Dover Castle from Monday, February 18 to Friday, February 22, between 10am and 3pm each day. Activities cost £20 for adults and £12 for children between five and 15, with a family entry costing £50. While at the historic castle, make sure you climb the Great Tower, and witness the drama in the Secret Wartime Tunnels.

To find out more about what’s on offer at the historic castle, go to english-heritage.org.uk/dover

Dover Castle half term activities. Picture: English Heritage, Jim Holden
Dover Castle half term activities. Picture: English Heritage, Jim Holden

DREAMLAND, MARGATE

The Margate attraction holds its first Children's Book Festival on Saturday, February 16 between 10am and 4pm. The line-up includes a special appearance from The Gruffalo, plus screenings of film adaptations of Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler classics by Magic Light Pictures, including Room On The Broom, Stick Man, The Highway Rat, The Gruffalo and Zog. There will also be workshops, readings and author talks. Tickets are £6 plus a booking fee. Details at dreamland.co.uk

The Gruffalo will be at Dreamland this half term
The Gruffalo will be at Dreamland this half term

HEMPSTEAD VALLEY SHOPPING CENTRE, GILLINGHAM

There will be seven days of free activities with the kmfm Street Team at the centre from Monday, February 18 to Sunday, February 24, from 11am to 3pm. There will be art and craft workshops with the chance to make a take greeting cards and paper flowers plus free facepainting. The activities are free but donations will go towards supporting Demelza hospice and Great Ormond Street Hospital. For details go to hempsteadvalley.com or facebook.com/HempsteadValley

kmfm Street Team at Hempstead Valley for the half term activities
kmfm Street Team at Hempstead Valley for the half term activities

HISTORIC DOCKYARD, CHATHAM

Learn about mythical beasts and their connections to the Dockyard between Saturday, February 16 and Sunday, February 24.

Head for the No.1 Smithery to pick up a trail leaflet and hunt for the beasts around the site and once you’ve found them you’ll be entered into a prize draw. There are also craft activities and the chance to get involved with a mythical challenge.

To find out more about Mythical Beasts and ticket fees, which last all year, visit thedockyard.co.uk

Mythical Beasts will be at Chatham Historic Dockyard. Pictured: Edie, two
Mythical Beasts will be at Chatham Historic Dockyard. Pictured: Edie, two

HEVER CASTLE

Find out more about conservation and wildlife at the castle with the half term activity Living With Nature from Saturday, February 16 to Sunday, February 24. Follow the Wildlife Detective walk led by the gardening team to investigate animal footprints and tracks and try a wildlife workshop. Details at hevercastle.co.uk or call 01732 865224.

Look out for nature this half term at Hever Castle Picture: Hever Castle & Gardens
Look out for nature this half term at Hever Castle Picture: Hever Castle & Gardens

HOP FARM FAMILY PARK, PADDOCK WOOD

There will be the usual rides, soft play, animal farm and bumper carz between Saturday, February 16 and Sunday, February 24, between 10am and 4pm daily, plus on Tuesday, February 19, PAW Patrol’s Chase & Marshall will be popping in to say a big ‘hello’. Circus Zyair will also be on site every day in half term and there will be indoor live entertainment shows each day including magic shows, party dances, theatre shows and party dances. To find out more go to thehopfarm.co.uk

HOWLETTS WILD ANIMAL PARK

There will be fact packed animal days out for visitors to the Canterbury park from Saturday, February 16 to Sunday, February 24. For Rangers On Patrol, visitors can join the park’s rangers for a daily talk about how the overseas teams patrol the Aspinall Foundation’s conservation projects. Among the 400 plus animals to see there are honey badgers and giant anteaters, Animals of the Ice featuring life sized prehistoric creatures and there are Treetop and Animal Adventure challenges, with high ropes, wobbly bridges, climbing walls and fun obstacles. For more information, including entry prices and special events please visit aspinallfoundation.org/howletts

See Kent's only honey badgers at Howletts
See Kent's only honey badgers at Howletts

IGHTHAM MOTE, BOROUGH GREEN

Take the family - even the four-legged members - and check out the Hibernation Trail running at Ightham Mote between Saturday, February 16 and Sunday, February 24; 10am and 4pm to find out which of our native animals live there. More at nationaltrust.org.uk/ightham-mote

Take all the family to a National Trust property this half term Picture: National Trust/Chris Lacey
Take all the family to a National Trust property this half term Picture: National Trust/Chris Lacey

KENT LIFE, MAIDSTONE

Every day between Saturday, February 16 and Sunday, February 24, the Big Top will have an animal show where visitors can join in with the feeding sessions. You can also meet newborn lambs and visit the Kent Owl Academy, or visit the Vintage Village of Dotty's Tea rooms. The site in Lock Lane, Sandling, is open from 10am to 4pm. Details at kentlife.org.uk or call 01622 763936.

See the owls at Kent Owl Academy at Kent Life, Lock Lane, Sandling Picture: Andy Payton
See the owls at Kent Owl Academy at Kent Life, Lock Lane, Sandling Picture: Andy Payton

KNOLE, SEVENOAKS

Get crafty and decorate a ceramic bird feeder and bird decoration to hang in your tree at home at the half term sessions on Tuesday, February 19 and Wednesday, February 20, between 10.30am and noon both days. Sessions, which are suitable for ages five to 11, cost £9. For more details go to nationaltrust.org.uk/knole

LEEDS CASTLE, MAIDSTONE

Hunt out some half term fun between Saturday, February 16 and Sunday, February 24, with Half Term Hunters, where there's an outdoor adventure trail through the grounds, complete with puzzles and challenges to be rewarded with a chocolate prize. Go to leeds-castle.com

Head to the maze while at Leeds Castle. Picture: Pete Seaward
Head to the maze while at Leeds Castle. Picture: Pete Seaward

LOVEASHFORD FILM CLUB

The film club returns to Revelation Ashford on Wednesday, February 20, with a double bill of family-friendly films, Disney's Cinderella and the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Doors open at 12.30pm for the 1pm showing of Cinderella and for 2.30pm for the Willy Wonka 3pm showing. Tickets cost 50p per person per film and can be bought at the Tourist Information Centre (Ashford Gateway Plus), the Record Shop in Park Mall shopping centre or at revelationashford.co.uk

MAIDSTONE MUSEUM

Youngsters who love all things dino should head to the Earl Street museum this half term. From February 16 to February 23, the museum in St Faith’s Street is hosting Spike’s Dino Trail. Anyone who completes the dinosaur-themed trail will receive their own badge. Tickets cost £1, find out more here museum.maidstone.gov.uk There will also be a Mummies and Romans craft week from Tuesday, February 19 to Friday, February 22.

MARLOWE THEATRE, CANTERBURY

Jill Murphy's much-loved tale The Worst Witch flies in for half term, live on stage. It tells the story of an ordinary girl, Mildred Hubble, who finds herself in a school for witches, and faces an old enemy and teachers determined to spoil any fun. The production is at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury from Thursday, February 21 until Saturday, February 23 with both matinee and evening performances. For tickets from £12.50, visit marlowetheatre.com or call 01227 787787.

Worst Witch will be at the Marlowe Theatre Picture: Idil Sukan
Worst Witch will be at the Marlowe Theatre Picture: Idil Sukan

PORT LYMPNE RESERVE, HYTHE

Spectacled bears, Bactarian camels, black rhino and Kent’s only giraffes are among the 700 plus animals you can see at the reserve this half term. Join the Rangers On Patrol for daily talks about the Aspinall Foundation’s conservation projects. A safari experience will take you around the site to see the roaming animals. The site is also home to Dinosaur Forest, filled with life size prehistoric creatures. For details and entry prices go to aspinallfoundation.org/portlympne

ROYAL ENGINEERS MUSEUM, GILLINGHAM

Join in as the Royal Engineers Museum celebrates with Year of the Pig activities. At the end of the long celebrations, come and admire the museum’s Chinese Collection and design your own pig cushion or paper lantern to take home. Activities run from the 15th day of celebrations, on Saturday, February 16, until Sunday, February 24, between 11am and 3pm each day. Activities cost £2 each with standard admission prices. For more details go to re-museum.co.uk/event/half-term-activities-chinese-new-year/

PENSHURST PLACE & GARDENS

Visitors to the historic estate can travel Around the World with a garden trail from Saturday, February 16, to Sunday, February 24. This year marks 500 years since the Portuguese sailor Ferdinand Magellan began his voyage to the East Indies - the first journey of its kind. The trail features hidden equipment used in history, with riddles to be unravelled. The trail is open from 10.30am daily. It is included free in the cost of a standard admission price. For more details go to penshurstplace.com/whats-on

SPA VALLEY RAILWAY, TUNBRIDGE WELLS

The Kids for a Quid offers returns to Spa Valley for half term, between Saturday, February 16 and Sunday, February 24. Trains will operate between Tunbridge Wells West and Groombridge Station, where you can hop off and explore the village or countryside. With the promotion, a family of four can enjoy the steamy day out for £22. Book online at spavalleyrailway.co.uk

Kids can travel for a quid on the Spa Valley Railway in Tunbridge Wells
Kids can travel for a quid on the Spa Valley Railway in Tunbridge Wells

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