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A-may-zing activities in the Stroud district this half-term

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From creative crafting to pop star dancing, find a range of free-of-charge and low-cost activities for the whole family to enjoy this May half-term. 

Family explorer trails at the Museum in the Park 

Home to 4,000 collection objects on display which all have local connection, the museum is an inspiring day out for all ages. Wander around the Walled Garden and try one of the free family explorer trails during the holiday week. This is a fun way to explore the collection and discover more about some of the fascinating objects on display. Ask for a trail at reception when you visit.  

During May half term, you can also take part in a family workshop: 

Family workshops at the Museum at the Park – (drop in) £1 per child / donations welcome 

Growing Places Saturday 25 May, 11am – 4pm (drop in)  

Come along and be part of a Walking the Land’s ‘Growing Places’ project and have fun with art activities as a family. Your work may even feature in the Growing Places exhibition at the Museum next year! Help to imagine a magical gingerbread house which will be made for the project and moved from farm to farm. Recommended for families with children aged 5+.  

Magical Mask Making Tuesday 28 May 11am – 3pm (drop in) 

Taking inspiration from the park and walled garden make a leafy mask to celebrate the coming of summer. Led by artist Alison Cockcroft, this creative drop-in workshop is for families with children aged 5+, suggested donation £1 per child.  

Marvelous Mini Museums Wednesday 29 May 11am – 3pm (drop in) 

Design and make your own mini museum. Perhaps you will decide to fill your mini museum with fossils you are fascinated by, dinosaurs you dream about, artworks you admire, or objects from history and long ago. This fun activity can be enjoyed by children of all ages (though some little ones might need some grown-up help). For families with children aged 5+.  

Colourful Collage with Noela Bewry Thursday 30 May 11am – 3pm (drop in) 

Join abstract artist Noela Bewry and create colourful collages inspired by Pete Hoida’s paintings in the exhibition ‘Black Severn Angel’. Have fun playing with shape and colour and make a unique piece of art to take home with you. For families with children aged 5+.  

Toys & Games of the Past Friday 31 May 11am – 3pm (drop in) 

Switch off your smartphones and digital devices and come along to find out what games our great great grandparents played! Hands-on, interactive fun for all.  

Buzz Club Sunday 2 June 11am – 1.30pm (drop in) 

Come along to the Walled Garden for Buzz Club exploration and fun and see how the busy bees are doing! Hot and cold drinks and cakes from Miss Daisy. All ages welcome, drop in, free but donations appreciated.  

To find out more, visit: Museum in the Park 

Walk, cycle or ride a boat down the canal 

There is plenty of wildlife to appreciate on our canals. Most of the route between Eastington and Brimscombe is flat and accessible, ideal for family walks or bike rides. The Gloucester & Sharpness Canal provides a flat towpath on the 8 mile stretch between Saul and Gloucester too.  

The Cotswold Canals Trust runs several trip boats from the Saul Visitor Centre, Ebley Wharf, the Wallbridge Lock Visitor Centre and St John’s Lock at Lechlade. These can be chartered for exclusive parties, or you can buy tickets for public trips. Book your place on a 25-minute boat trip running every Saturday from Wallbridge Lock, from 10:30am to 4:30pm (last trip at 4pm). Adults – £7, under 16s – £5, under 3s – free. 

To find out more visit:  

https://cotswoldcanals.org/canals/boat-trips

Have a picnic on Selsley Common  

Enjoy the rolling hills of Selsley Common with its fantastic views overlooking the River Severn and Malvern Hills. Selsley Common boasts a breathtaking array of wildflowers, birds and invertebrates and is home to the iconic Skylark birds. Listen out for their song and see if you can spot any.  

Spot rare butterflies on our commons 

From Selsley, to Minchinhampton and Rodborough, we are lucky enough to have huge grasslands on our doorstep to explore. Many different types of butterfly can be found on the commons between May and July, which is the best time of year to spot some of the rarer species. 

Please respect the landscape – don’t bring barbecues, take all your litter home or dispose of it in your nearest bin, and keep your dog on a short lead to protect ground nesting birds, and grazing livestock.    

Stratford Park Leisure Centre 

Take a refreshing dip in the cold-water outdoor Lido at Stratford Park, opening on Saturday 25 May for the summer season. If the weather is on the cooler side, opt for some indoor activities. Have a splash at the indoor pool at regular family swimming sessions and get your skates on for family roller-skating, every Saturday 1pm – 2.15pm, 2.30pm – 4pm.  

To find out more information and to book visit: 

Stratford Park Leisure Centre | Gym, Sports Hall & Swim | Everyone Active or download the Everyone Active app.  

Why not practice your serve with a game of tennis? Tennis courts are available to hire by the hour, or households or groups of up to six people can play for an annual membership of just £45, bookable through the LTA: 

https://www.lta.org.uk/play

Explore Stratford Park  

Discover the 56-acre grounds of Stratford Park. With a children’s play area, small skate park, woodland and lake, it’s the perfect place to play and immerse yourself in nature. Why not download our Discover Stroud Trails app to guide you? The app includes a nature hunt that invites young explorers to discover features around Stratford Park as well as hunts to find hidden historical features in the district’s towns while collecting online badges and taking part in fun quizzes.  

Download here: 

Discover Stroud Trails on the App Store (apple.com) 

Discover Stroud Trails – Apps on Google Play 

Hop on a miniature train  

All aboard! Rail enthusiasts can join the next public running of Stratford Park’s miniature railway on Sunday 26 May from 2 – 4:30pm. 

Music in the park  

Stratford Park bandstand hosts live music every Sunday from May to September. Why not bring a blanket and enjoy the wonderful sound of the piano, played by Nigel Sanders, on Sunday 26 May 2 – 4pm. 

The Pulse in Dursley  

Throughout the May half term there will be intensive swimming lessons for children who can’t currently swim or who are in the process of learning to swim. Course is £38 per child. Monday 27 May – Friday 31 May 8am – 8.30am or 8.30am – 9am 

Dance Workshops  

‘Pop star’ dance workshop on Tuesday 28 May, 3.35pm–5.35pm and ‘At the Movies’ dance workshop on Friday 31 May, 3.10pm–5.10pm. An energetic afternoon with the Amy Addle dance team, perfect for little ones who want to release their inner superstar! Routines will be covered by an instructor and parents can come back to watch the performances at the end. Tickets are for children aged 4-9 and cost £9.50 per child.  

Activity Days 

A jam-packed day of sports challenges, activities and crafts, plus an inflatable fun session in the pool. Tues 28 May, Weds 29 May Thurs 30 May. 9am – 3pm. Suitable for 5 – 11-year-olds. £25 per child. 

Mini-inflatable sessions: 

Enjoy a 45-minute session with special use of the slippery slide in the shallow end for 7-year-olds and under only. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Saturday 25 May – 5.30pm Saturday 1 June – 1.45pm. 

Family swimming sessions will also be taking place throughout the week at various times.  

Find out more at The Pulse: 

https://www.pulsedursley.co.uk/whats-on

Find the sleeping fox at Dursley Sculpture and Play Trail  

Explore the one-kilometre circular trail in Dursley’s Twinberrow Wood, created by the local Dursley community. From giant daisies to floating umbrellas, there’s lots to discover. The trail is constantly changing with new sculptures being added as more community groups get involved. See if you can find the most recent ceramic addition… and spot the sleeping fox! For more information, visit:

Dursley Sculpture & Play Trail at Twinberrow Woods | Dursley Town Council

Magic Show at Kingshill House, Dursley  

The Magic Circle Magician Colin Dymond presents: Mainly Magic Show! An exciting, family-friendly show where you will be amazed by Colin’s magic and funny puppets, including a mind reading parrot. The perfect treat for all the family, filled with magic and illusion. Family tickets start at £12. Friday 31 May 11am.  

For more information and to book, visit: 

Kingshill House – Kingshill House Creative Centre 

The Gruffalo Trail 

“Oh help! Oh no! It’s a Gruffalo!” Join the Five Valleys Shopping Centre this half term for the Gruffalo trail. Starting at JoJo Maman Bebe, collect a map that will take you on a journey around the shopping centre. Keep an eye out for letters in store windows to help you spell out a word and return your sheet at the end of the trail to be entered into a prize draw. 27 May – 1 June 11am – 5pm 

Get crafting at Kids Stuff 

Join a craft session at Stroud District Kids Stuff in Brimscombe Mill. From masks to origami, straw rockets, leaf rubbing and lantern making plus seasonal crafts and activities, sessions are varied and simple so everyone can join in and get creative whatever age. Drop in and pay-what-you-feel. Every Saturday between 10.30am – 2.30pm. To find more sessions, visit: 

Events — Stroud District Kids Stuff 

Enjoy a film on the big screen 

This half term, Electric Picturehouse in Wotton-Under-Edge will be showing ‘IF’, a live action/animation hybrid family comedy about a young girl who discovers she can see everyone’s imaginary friends. Showing from Friday 24 May. To book in advance, visit: 

https://www.wottoncinema.com

Get arty at Newark Park  

Get inspired by the views of Newark Park and create some art using their art boxes dotted around the garden. Why not try your hand at croquet while you’re there? Booking not required, but admission fees apply. Visit: 

Newark Park | Gloucestershire | National Trust 

Step back in time at Berkeley Castle  

En Garde! Don your finest armour to learn the ancient skill of sword fighting. Accomplished warriors Dressed to Kill descend upon to impart their expert knowledge and perform a Warrior Show on the Lowers Lawns. Knights School will take place at 12.30pm & 2.30pm and tickets will need to be bought separately. £8.00, perfect for ages 5 – 12 years old. To book your place and find out more information, visit: 

Berkeley Castle. A great day out in Gloucestershire (berkeley-castle.com) 

Story Time at Stroud Library  

Get cosy with a book at Stroud Library in its new location at Five Valley’s Shopping Centre. Join Story Time, every Monday between 11-11.30am.  

Make springtime crafts at Nailsworth Library  

Nailsworth Library is hosting a Wild and Green Outdoor Learning Session where children can make a range of springtime crafts. This session is free and suitable for children aged 3+ years. Saturday 25 May 2024 – 10:30am to 12:30pm. 

To register and find out more information about your local library events, visit: 

https://gloucestershire.spydus.co.uk

Find out what’s on at your local community hub 

There are community hubs around the district, some of which will have activities for local children during half term. Find out where your closest hub is here: https://maphub.net/CommunityHubsStroud/community-hubs-stroud-district-2  

Cllr Catherine Braun, Leader of Stroud District Council said: “Our May half term guide to entertaining children on a budget shows there are lots of fantastic activities to enjoy in the Stroud district for all ages. There are many outdoor trails on offer, as well as indoor craft activities, suitable for all weather conditions.

“Ensuring everyone has access to high quality leisure opportunities that meet their needs is one of the priorities in our Council Plan. For anyone struggling with the cost-of-living crisis there’s information and sources of support available.” 

All the information is correct at time of publication; please confirm details with each organisation before you travel. 

For information and help with the cost of living see: www.stroud.gov.uk/costofliving

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