Half-term is almost here, and we have brought together 17 ideas to help everyone enjoy the break across the district.
1. Take a walk along the canals
There are miles of accessible, flat canal towpath ideal for a walk or bike ride, with plenty of wildlife to spot along the route. Walk from Stroud to Stonehouse (or vice versa) and get the train back or work up an appetite on a shorter route and treat yourself at one of the canalside cafes.
Have mammoth fun at the Museum in the Park, Stratford Park, Stroud
There are lots of fun half-term activities as part of the museum’s Ice Age exhibition, which runs until 27 March. Or explore the 4,000 objects on display at the museum, and the walled garden. There’s a café and small gift shop with pocket-money-priced gifts.
2. Where the Mammoth roams: Ice Age tales with Kirsty Hartsiotis
Sunday 20 February, 3pm. £3 per person including refreshments (£2 Members)
A family-friendly storytelling event for ages 5+
Mammoths, giant elk, woolly rhinoceros, wolves, lynxes – and you! Dive into deep time with these tales of the Ice Age as you explore a world full of danger and beauty. What tales would you tell if you lived then? How would you live? Explore tales of the animals you see around you, tales of the snow and ice of winter, and tales of the fleeting steppe summer. This event takes place in the Museum Garden Pavilion. Please wrap up warm as the doors will be kept open for good ventilation. Booking required.
3. Ice Age Creatures! HalfTerm Family Drop-in Workshop
Wed 23rd Feb, 10.30am – 4pm. For families with children aged 5+.-
Can you imagine living alongside giant woolly mammoths, stocky woolly rhinoceros, hyaenas and cave lions? Visit the Ice Age exhibition to find out about these incredible creatures and then join artist Alison Cockcroft to make a fabulous shadow puppet to take home.
This family drop-in activity takes place in the Museum Garden Pavilion. Please wear warm layers as the doors will be kept open for good ventilation.
Free-of-charge but donations appreciated.
4. Hidden Treasures: Outdoor Audio Adventure from Aurora Theatre
Sat 26th & Sun 27th February
A magical new audio adventure for children and families. Recommended for children aged 5 to 10, this trail takes places in the beautiful Stratford Park grounds surrounding the Museum in the Park.
Have you ever wondered how something got to be somewhere it shouldn’t? Who made that mark on a tree trunk? Are you good at spotting the unusual and intriguing? You might be just who we are looking for! Here at The Society for the Protection of Magical Creatures, we have been investigating reports of Invisible Creatures in Stratford Park and the objects they appear to have left behind. Our experts at The Society and the Museum can’t understand what is happening. We are looking for Treasure Hunters to come on an Audio Adventure, unearth these items and report their findings to The Society. An audio walk meets geocaching, this experience is best completed with an adult and child. Do bring your charged smartphone and headphones if you have them, or you can borrow some of ours. Booking essential!
As this is the first event of this kind, the Museum is offering 50 free tickets to the first local families who book. To book your timed ticket head over to our Ticket Source page. We recommend you allow around one hour to enjoy the trail.
For more details and to book sessions at Stroud District Council’s Museum in the Park see: www.museuminthepark.org.uk/ .Free parking in the Stratford Park car park.
5. Get active at The Pulse
Enjoy an action-packed activity day at Stroud District Council’s leisure centre in Dursley. Tuesday 22, Wednesday 23, Thursday 24 February, 9am-3pm, suitable for ages 5-11. £20 per child, booking essential.
Dance workshop, Tuesday 22 Feb, £7.50 per child. 3-5 year olds 1.30-3pm; 6-9 year olds, 3.15-4.45pm. Booking essential.
Inflatable fun in the pool, Monday 21-Saturday 26 February, various times. Booking advised.
For all Pulse activities please see https://www.pulsedursley.co.uk/events/activity-days/
6. Go wild in Stratford Park
You’ll find two play areas, large grassy lawns, a small skate park, a lake, woodland, and a table tennis table (bring your own bats) in the award-winning SDC-owned and managed Stratford Park.
If you feed the resident ducks, please don’t bring bread that isn’t healthy for either the birds or the water quality; try bird seed, oats, peas, lettuce or sweetcorn as healthy alternatives. There’s a large free car park and you’ll find the Museum in the Park and Stratford Park leisure centre there too. Free-of-charge
7. Take to the commons
The wide-open spaces on the district’s many commons are perfect for blowing off the cobwebs. Run around, take a football, fly a kite and see if you can spot your house from the hilltop escarpments. There are several near Stroud, including SDC-managed Selsley Common. For inspiration check out http://www.visitthecotswolds.org.uk/things-to-see-and-do/attractions/picnic-sites-and-views/ Free-of-charge
8. Go Outside and learn about your local area
Go Outside maps are fun, child-friendly, interactive maps that help you discover more about the place you live. There are seven to choose from, each filled with puzzles and facts. Choose to start in Berkeley, Chalford, Dursley, Stonehouse, Ebley or Wotton-under-Edge: https://www.stroud.gov.uk/community-health-and-wellbeing/go-outside-walks
9. Join the Play Rangers
Children living near Lawnside in Nailsworth can join in with outdoor community-based activities provided by Gloucestershire Play Rangers on Wednesday 23 February, 10am-4pm. Suitable for ages 7-14. See https://playgloucestershire.org.uk/play-timetables for more information.
10. Find hidden treasure
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt that uses a free app on your phone to help you find a hidden box of treasure. Each box is different, but expect to find a log book for you to leave a message in and small items – take one and leave one for others to find after you. There are hundreds of treasure boxes hidden in the Stroud district and it’s a great excuse to get outdoors and discover somewhere new. Find more information at www.geocaching.com/play
11. Follow a woodland play trail
The National Trust-owned Woodchester Park has lakes that are home to giant carp and an outdoor woodland play trail. It’s free to walk around, but there’s a charge for parking (free for NT members). https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/woodchester-park You’ll have to wait until Friday 1 April to visit the Grade I Listed Woodchester Mansion however www.woodchestermansion.org.uk Free-of-charge
12. Count the trees in Painswick churchyard
Did you know that St Mary’s Church in Painswick is famous for its 99 yew trees? Can you count them all? Legend says that the 100th tree will never grow! It’s a short walk to the Painswick Centre where you’ll find the Handmade in Painswick shop and café which sells maps of the local area, as well as tasty treats and locally made gifts https://www.painswickcentre.com/cafe-shop/ Free-of-charge
13. Follow a sculpture trail
The artwork at Dursley Sculpture and Play Trail in Twinberrow Woods has been created by local community groups. It’s free, and open access to visit any time. www.dursleytowncouncil.gov.uk/dursley-sculpture-and-play-trail.html Free-of-charge
14. Wander around Wotton
The Cotswold Way runs right through the centre of Wotton-under-Edge, a bustling town in the south of the district. Walk to Wotton Hill which has spectacular views across the River Severn, or to the striking 111-foot Tyndale Monument in nearby North Nibley which was built to commemorate local hero William Tyndale, the martyred 16th century Bible translator. The monument is open every day with views of the Berkeley Vale and the River Severn to the Black Mountains.
Find seven circular walks that start in Wotton here www.wotton-under-edge.com/visit-wotton/walks/ Free-of-charge
15. Visit a market
Spend a morning browsing stalls at one of the district’s bustling markets. The award-winning farmers’ market in Stroud takes place every Saturday from 9am-2pm where everything on offer is grown or produced locally – a great way to teach children about seasonal food. Stroud’s Shambles market is managed by SDC and runs every Friday and Saturday from 8am-3pm. Or why not visit one of the district’s many farm shops? Free-of-charge
16. Watch Tweedy’s Lost Property
Tweedy the Gifford’s Circus clown will be performing his one-man show at the Sub Rooms in Stroud. Monday 21 & Tuesday 22 February, 11.30am. https://thesubrooms.co.uk/whats-on/tweedys-lost-property-415 Prices from £11.50
17. Travel by train
If you’re planning a trip further afield, why not travel by train? It’s environmentally friendly, hassle-free and the trip is part of the fun. There’s plenty to see and do just a short train ride away in Gloucester, including the Cathedral https://www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk, Gloucester Museum https://www.museumofgloucester.co.uk/, an outdoor art trail https://www.gloucesterrocks.co.uk/listings/gloucester-art-trail and a light exhibition if you stay until nightfall https://www.cathedralquartergloucester.uk/events-activities/
Entry and activities listed are free-of-charge