For many, the peace and romance of Valentine’s Day will be shattered at around 3pm as Bath’s schools jettison an avalanche of excitable children from the sanctuary of the schoolyard and tyrannised teachers hastily secure the gates behind them for a week. With half term upon us, many a hassled household will be doing their best to balance work, life and a tangle of tireless tykes, so it is important to have an impressive armoury of activities at the ready.
Just as well, then, that we have scoured the region and picked 5 of our favourite things to do, places to be and sights to see with the kids during half term. We hope that it helps you to plan some fantastic family fun, and please let us know what you get up to on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.
The presence of Shetland ponies, Dexter cattle, Wiltshire Horn sheep, pygmy goats, boar and guinea fowl on the southwestern outskirts of Bath might cause you to think that Old MacDonald has decamped to the city. They actually belong to Bath City Farm, a 37 acre community organisation which promotes sustainable farming and living. Whilst picturesque walks can be enjoyed over the farmland, the stars of the show are undoubtedly the animals who roam the fields and can be cautiously approached as long as an adult’s in attendance. The pigs, chickens and ducks can be fed with feed from the farm shop, and pony grooming sessions are also occasionally available. To top it all off, entry to this wonderful community experience is absolutely free, although donations are gratefully accepted.
The Egg is a cosy and comfortable theatre dedicated to children and families, and they have a half term agenda packed with adventure and excitement. Wanted: Rabbit gets half term off to a thrilling start with the tale (tail?) of a manhunt (rabbithunt?) for an escaped jailbird (jailrabbit? – enough, Ed.). On Monday, there is evocative storytelling with live musical accompaniment and the rest of the week is occupied by Grandpa’s Railway, a poignant story from the highly acclaimed M6 Theatre Company.
Unless the weather dramatically changes over the next few days, you may have to turn up to Victoria Falls Adventure Golf dressed for the Niagara Falls. However, kids couped up indoors contracting cabin fever is not a pleasant experience, so a trip to the Adventure Golf clad in anoraks may well be the solution. 18 holes of very crazy golf wend their way between waterfalls and over waterways, so there is always a chance of getting splashed even if the weather holds!
In a world… where children are scowled upon in a cinema for the slightest rustling, bustling or fidgeting, what a relief it will be to take your musical minors to a movie theatre where participation is very much encouraged. As far as family films are concerned, Frozen was the big hit of the winter and Bath’s favourite cinema, The Little Theatre, is hosting sing-along screenings at Komedia this half term. Packed with typical Disney belters, this is an event which is sure to bring the house down.
Opened in 2013 to much acclaim, the Two Tunnels Greenway is a cycle path which follows a disused railway line which connects Bath to the Midford Valley, making use of two tunnels which had been blocked off since the Beeching cuts in 1966. The tunnels are both lit and music is played in the lengthier of the two tunnels; best of all they provide shelter from whatever the elements are doing outside. Any grown-ups in the cycling parties will be pleased to know that the route leads past some very pleasant pubs – cycling can be such thirsty work.
As the school bells signal the start of half term, I hope that our blog will help you to feel ready to entertain the whole family this half term. And don’t forget to let us know what you got up to!