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Fall in love with February half- term activities in the district

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From Valentine’s crafts to pancake flipping, you’ll find plenty of fun activities in our guide to keeping children entertained during February half term, most of them free-of-charge or low cost.

Stratford Park

The largest public park in the Stroud district, Stroud District Council’s 56 acre park is home to the Museum in the Park, Stratford Park Leisure Centre and Stroud’s Saturday morning parkrun. You’ll also find an arboretum, woodland, bandstand, lake, large lawned areas, sensory garden, a Victorian orangery, a stream with Victorian footbridge, small skate park, two play areas and more (some of the equipment in the large play area is fenced off for refurbishment). Guided walks include a including a downloadable Go Outside scavenger hunt, and marked Health & Wellbeing trail and dog trails.

There’s plenty of free-of-charge parking and public toilets (including one disabled toilet accessible with a RADAR key). https://www.stroud.gov.uk/sport-leisure-parks/parks-and-green-spaces/stratford-park

Go on a snowdrop spotting walk

It’s snowdrop season, and there are a number of spectacular displays around the district including Painswick Rococo Garden which has one of the country’s largest plantings of snowdrops https://www.rococogarden.org.uk/ and the National Trust’s Newark Park has a beautiful blanket of snowdrops in the estate gardens  https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/gloucestershire-cotswolds/newark-park .

Museum in the Park

Family Explorer Trails, Sat, Feb 10 to Sun, Feb 18, 11am – 4pm. Calling all young explorers and their grown ups! The trails are a fun way for children and families to explore the displays during school holidays. Choose your trail from reception, collect your pencil and clipboard and get exploring, while learning about local history along the way. Free, donations always welcome to help support the Museum.

Valentine’s Cards: Family Drop in Workshop Sunday, February 11, 11am – 4pm.

Pop in and have fun crafting a lovely little card for a loved one, inspired by the old-fashioned Valentine’s cards on display in the Museum. For families with children aged 5+, adults welcome too, free but donations appreciated to help pay for materials.

Aliens & Space Travel! Family Drop in Art Workshop Tuesday, February 13, 11am-3pm.

Come and be inspired by the fabulous SciFi Film Posters exhibition and imagine being a space explorer and time traveller. What alien creatures and fantastic worlds might you encounter? Drop in art activities devised by talented local artists Martha Lightfoot and Hannah Dyson. For families with children aged 5+, free but donations very welcome (suggested donation £1 per child to help with the cost of materials).

Anglo Saxon Brooches – Family Drop in Workshop, Wednesday, February 14, 11am – 3pm.

Pop in and have fun creating your own brooch inspired by the Anglo-Saxon saucer brooch on display in the Museum. Either use one of our templates or create your own design before using embossing foil and tools to create your own version of the beautiful archaeological find.

For families with children aged 5+, adults welcome too. Cost: £1 per brooch to help pay for materials (extra donations welcome). There’s 10% discount in the Museum shop and café today too!

Clay Day! Family Drop in Activity, Thursday, February 15, 11am – 3pm.

Back by popular request – another chance to drop in and have fun being creative with clay. Make a tiny pinch pot inspired by the Snake Pottery display and other ceramics in the Museum, or let your imagination guide you. For families with children aged 5+, free but suggested donation £1 per child to help cover the cost of materials.

Discover Toys & Games of the Past – Drop in Family Fun. Friday, February 16, 11am – 3pm.

Head to the Collectors’ Room where you’ll discover a variety of old fashioned toys and games. Learn about the toys our great grandparents played with long before smartphones and tablets were invented, and have a go at playing some traditional, games! Free drop in activities run by our Learning Officer, Ruth Millett. She looks forward to seeing you … perhaps you’d like to tell her about your favourite toys and games too? All ages welcome.

SCI-FI! Alternative Film Posters from Stroud Illustrators Collective Saturday 10-Sunday 17 March.

Part of Stroud Film Festival, this exhibition features a selection of favourite film posters, but reimagined and redesigned. Original and ingenious design from a cutting-edge group of Stroud-based professional illustrators, curated by Imogen Harvey-Lewis and Mark Levy. There will be posters for sale – affordable new art for all!

The Museum gift shop has a great selection of unique gifts, including a selection at pocket money prices. Hot and cold drinks, snacks and local ice creams are always available. There’s 10% discount in the shop and café on 14 February (ideal for last minute, locally sourced Valentine’s gifts!). And don’t miss the beautiful Walled Garden where signs of spring can be explored.

Go Outside Walks

Burn off some energy and discover some of the district’s delights; from Dr Jenner’s House in Berkeley to church steeples in Dursley. There are six walking trails you can download on Stroud District Council’s website including Stonehouse Park Trail and Chalford Hill Trail. They are easy to follow and free-of-charge. To find out more visit:  https://www.stroud.gov.uk/community-health-and-wellbeing/go-outside-walks

Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stroud

Half term activities at Stroud’s leisure centre include family roller skating sessions on Monday and Saturday with family swim sessions daily from Monday – Thursday.

There are six newly refurbished tennis courts, 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 wildlife along the canal

There’s so much to see and do along the district’s two canals which offer miles of mostly flat and accessible towpath and abundant wildlife. You’ll find cafes and artwork along the way. Why not walk from Stroud to Stonehouse (or vice versa) and return by train for an extra adventure? See the Cotswold Canals Trust website for more information including lots of walking and cycling trails. https://cotswoldcanals.org/canals/

Fly a kite on Selsley Common

The open expanses of the spectacular Selsley Common are perfect for walking, running & kite flying. The common provides far-reaching views and on a clear day you can even see across the border into Wales. Please remember to keep dogs on leads. Stroud District Council manages Selsley Common; the National Trust owns Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons. https://www.stroud.gov.uk/sport-leisure-parks/parks-and-green-spaces/commons-in-the-stroud-district

Fun at The Pulse, Dursley

Fun in the pool – Slippery slide inflatable fun sessions every day from Monday 12 Feb – Saturday 17 February. Times vary, please check for details.

Dance workshop. Tuesday 13 Feb 3pm-5-m £8.50 per child. Suitable for 4-9 year olds. An energetic dance workshop run by the Amy Addle team. Parents will be invited to watch the performance at the end of the session.

Activity days – Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14 Thursday 15 February, 9am-3pm. £22.50 per child. A jam packed day of sports challenges, activities, crafts and an inflatable fun pool session.

Intensive Swimming Lessons. Boost your child’s confidence and ability in the water with a week-long course of Stage 2 lessons, suitable for children who already attend swimming lessons as well as those that don’t. Monday 12 February–Friday 16 February 8.00am–8.30am or 8.30am–9.00am

For more information about activities at the Pulse: https://www.pulsedursley.co.uk/downloads/programmes/the-pulse_february-half-term-leaflet_2024.pdf

Discover hidden gems on your doorstep

Navigate winding streets, marvel at breath-taking scenery and immerse yourself in the culture and history all around you with the Discover Stroud Trails free-of-charge smartphone app. Choose a walk then discover attractions, interesting information and local stories while you explore. Why not start with the new Frampton-on-Severn village walk? Suitable for locals and visitors to the area. https://www.stroud.gov.uk/news-archive/step-this-way-to-explore-the-undiscovered-beauty-of-the-stroud-district

Take a walk in Woodchester Park

Follow a woodland play trail with wobble beams and balance bridges at Woodchester Park. The chain of five lakes are home to large carp and keep an eye out for herons on the island heronry. Entry is free-of-charge for the grounds but there is a charge for parking (free for National Trust members). Call into the National Trust Tinkley Gate café for a treat while you’re there. Note, Woodchester Mansion is currently closed & reopens for the summer season on Friday 29 March.

Find out more at: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/gloucestershire-cotswolds/woodchester-park

Craft activities at Kids Stuff

Drop in for an informal craft session at Stroud District Kids Stuff which is a social enterprise based at Brimscombe Mills along with The Furniture Bank and The Long Table. Why not also donate or buy some low-cost children’s clothes & toys while you’re there? All craft sessions run from 10am-12.30pm. Children must be supervised. Pay as you feel.

Sat 10 Feb – made a heart wreath

Tues 13 Feb – make a Valentines Day heart

Wed 14 Feb – Crafts with Tineke

Thurs 15 Feb – make a magical stick wand

Friday 16 Feb – make a wool haired troll

Saturday 17 Feb – 10.30am-2.30pm Saturday Craft Session

Thursday 15 February 4.30-6.30pm Doodle table and Kids Stuff shop open plus pay as you can family friendly tea at the Long Table from 5pm-7pm.

https://www.strouddistrictkidsstuff.org.uk/

Flipping fun at Dursley Pancake Race

As half term coincides with Pancake Day there will be both children’s and adult’s races Tuesday 13th February, starting at 12 noon in Parsonage Street, Dursley.

Fancy dress is optional, but we’re told it may influence the judges decision! Just turn up to enter this fun event – check the full terms & conditions on the Dursley Town Council website https://www.dursleytowncouncil.gov.uk/pancake-race

Wotton Wonder Wanderland

Wonder around Wotton-under-Edge after dusk to see the streets lit up with a display of decorated windows with a theme of `Happiness is….?’. Thursday 15 – Sunday 18 February, 6pm-10pm. More info on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WottonWindowWanderland/

Take the bus

Take a scenic bus route through the district and discover somewhere new – local buses drop off in villages, towns and commons. Visit Stroud has lots of inspiration, along with descriptions of some of the highlights: https://www.visitstroud.uk/

Borrow a book

Find your next favourite author at your local library. Stroud library is temporarily closed, but there are plenty of books and activities. To find out more visit:  https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/libraries/library-services-for-children-young-people/

Discover giant daisies at Dursley Sculpture and Play Trail

A display of giant flowers is the latest addition to brighten up a dull winter walk at Twinberrow Woods. https://www.dursleytowncouncil.gov.uk/dursley-sculpture-and-play-trail

Find out what’s on at your local community hub

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

Join a parkrun

Join one of the parkrun events held in the district – you can walk, run, take the children or the dog. There are 5k Saturday morning parkruns in Stroud, Stonehouse, Berkeley, and Wotton, and 2k children’s events in Stonehouse and Wotton on Sundays. https://www.parkrun.org.uk/

Cllr Catherine Braun, Leader of Stroud District Council said: “Our February guide to entertaining children on a budget shows there are lots of great activities to enjoy in the Stroud district for all ages and whatever the weather.

“Ensuring everyone has access to high quality leisure opportunities that meet their needs is one of the priorities in our Council Plan.”

Cllr Natalie Bennett, deputy leader added: “There are many outdoor trails to enjoy, as well as fantastic craft activities and pancake day entertainment. 

“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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