Parades of lanterns, snowdrop festivals, making wild art to fairytale ballets, the UK has tons of wonderful things to do this February.
Now January is over I am looking forward to seeing the first signs of spring and enjoying the longer days. As I researched things to do in February for this blog post I found lots of events and activities on offer across the UK to encourage us to take our families outdoors. There are so many inspiring things to see and do that it is hard to pick what to feature , so I picked things that are close to our hearts and things I think Belle & her friend Boo would enjoy - from building dens to exploring what colour means to the world.
The UK's first 'Snowdrop Festival' - across the UK and Wales
What a gorgeous idea - a Snowdrop Festival to celebrate one of the nations most beautiful flowers, the start of spring and to help raise much needed money for charity.
The first ever Snowdrop Festival is part of the 'Year of The English Garden' created by the National Garden's Scheme, an organisation which coordinates the opening of beautiful gardens across the UK to raise money for nursing and caring charities. Starting this February, more than 100 gardens across the UK and wales will open their doors to visitors to see the carpets of beautiful snowdrops and watch the start of spring. Find a garden near you by visiting the NGS website.
The Snowdrop Festival
Across the UK and Wales
Den Building, Star Gazing, Wild Art With The National Trust - Across the UK
There is a rapidly growing movement in the UK to encourage children to go back to simpler pleasures and play outdoors, taking a break from screens. Something we believe is important.
The National Trust has created a brilliant, inspiring interactive club and guide called '50 Things to Do Before You are 11 3/4' to help parents get their children outdoors which is free to join here. And this February half term there are lots of outdoor events taking place in National Trust properties across the UK including den building, campfire cooking, star gazing, making wild art and more.
There are too many to list but a few tasters include a family fun day flying kites, tracking animals and building epic sandcastles at Brancaster Beach in Norfolk ; there's bird box making at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal water Garden in North Yorkshire; Take the family to Leigh Woods in Bristol and build a den from materials found on the woodland floor; At Stoneywell, Leicestershire there is a week of wild art on offer, inspired by the William Morris' prints around the cottages. And at Gibside in Tyne and Wear are a multitude of muddy outdoor events taking place as well as a half term hog roast with real ale for the grown-ups to also enjoy.
February Half Term Events
National Trust Properties- Across the UK
Creative Play With Scrap - Bristol
The Scrap Store in Bristol is a charity that makes practical use of scrap material for children's activities. The charity gathers supplies from businesses and industry and puts it to good use including running events throughout the year. As Belle & Boo HQ is in Bristol, the team including Kate and Mandy ofetn take their children's along to enjoy all this brilliant place has to offer.
During half term there are a whole host of creative events happening through the week for all ages. Children and their parents can make shelters and grottos, get involved with a fun art attack and on the friday there is a technology day, with construction and deconstruction opportunities for children aged 6 - 12 years.
All year + half Term Events (8th - 12th February)
An Eye for Colour - Liverpool
The award winning World Museum in Liverpool has lots to offer for all the family from antiquities to zoology. And from now until September it is the home to 'An Eye for Colour' exhibition - a visual feast to alert the senses. Designed to be family -friendly the exhibition is packed with hands-on and interactive displays, exploring the endless ways in which colour shapes our world. As people who love to draw, we love the idea that this exhibition teaches children how colour is formed and used by artists. It also explores how the natural world uses colours in many clever and mysterious ways. We hope the exhibition tours the rest of the UK soon.
An Eye For Colour Exhibition
Until 4th September
A Giant Bed For Story Telling (Half Term Events At The Southbank) - London
The Southbank Centre in London is filled with wonderful events for kids during half term. From Wednesday 10th February to Sunday 21st February it's the Imagine Children's Festival with music, literature and theatre events running every day. We love the idea of listening to a story on an enormous, comfy bed or making a dream jar, inspired by Roald Dahl's The BFG. And one that really has caught our eye is the creative workshop to build and construct a city, inspired by two of our favourite children's books Rosie Revere Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty.
The Imagine Children's Festival
The Southbank Centre
Make A Dragon - Wales
To celebrate St Davids Day the wonderful, 19th century neo-Norman Penryhyn Castle near Snowdonia is opening it's gates for free on Saturday 27th February. There will lots to see and do including Welsh craft activities and a special dragon making workshop.
Celebrate St Davids Day
Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty - Birmingham
Matthew Bourne's version of this classic fairy tale is a delight for any age. New characters have been added and Aurora's great love is not a prince but a gamekeeper. Created in 2012 this became the fastest selling production in the company's history. A glorious Gothic fairy tale for all ages and for all those little dancers out there.
Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty
9th - 13th February
Drawing On Childhood - London
A small exhibition at The Foundling Museum brings together illustrations from fiction depicting images of children orphaned, adopted or fostered. Original drawings, first editions and more from books and stories including James and The Giant Peach. Hetty Feather, Rapunzel and Cinderella.
The Foundling Museum
Until 1st May
Celebrate The Year of the Monkey - Manchester
Manchester has the second biggest China town in the UK and the third biggest in Europe and every year there are events throughout the city to celebrate the Chinese new year. There is street food, lion dancers, live music and on the Sunday there will be parade led by a 175-foot dragon, a funfair and a finale of fireworks to finish the day.
It is also 30 years since The Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester opened and to mark the anniversary there is a high profile exhibition of some of the most respected Chinese artists of today.
Thursday 4th - Sunday 7th February
Magical Lantern Festival - London
London has a lot to offer this February so if you can take a trip to the capital you might want to end your day at Chiswick House & Gardens where the spectacular Magical Lantern Festival will be taking place. This is an event we think will enchant children as well as adults. A beautiful installation of sculpted lanterns in the shape of animals to buildings to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Adding to the electric atmosphere there will be staged performances to enjoy, a market and food stalls.
From 3rd February to Sunday 6th March
From 5pm in the evening
We will also be posting ideas for half term valentines crafts on our blog so do check back. And don't forget to enter our valentines competition to win a new Belle & Boo personalised wall sticker.