Heads up for February Half Term: Stoke-on-Trent

January has been THE longest month but February is here finally, and that means one thing – Half Term.

Whether you’re the type of parent who is counting down the days until you can spend some quality time with your offspring or the kind that views it with a certain amount of trepidation (I think I’m somewhere in the middle) then I’m hoping you’ll find some inspiration in this post.

I’ve pulled together some brilliant half term activities that are happening in and around Stoke-on-Trent that will suit all budgets. This is by no means an exhaustive list but more of a heads up for events that have caught my eye.
I’m going straight in with…

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

Because surely one of the greatest joys as a parent is embarrassing your offspring isn’t it? Get practicing your Dad dancing routine!

Happy Face Family Rave
Start your Half Term off in style, shake off those lingering January blues while shaking your stuff on the dance floor. This will be the third rave event by the Happy Face team. We will be there strutting our stuff once again, read about our experience at the first ever event here.

Me and my rave tots

Our glow sticks will be at the ready with DJ’s James Camm (Golden) and Rich Stevens (Devotion) providing the soundtrack to get down to, while the boys can play and enjoy all the fun of the multi sensory activities and craft areas. Best of all each event raises money for The Peter Pan Centre for children with special needs. See you at the front!

Why not kick start your holidays with a fun filled family rave and get down, with the kids! Face painting, craft area, confetti, balloons, bubbles, glow sticks, sweets and treats!
All to a soundtrack of old skool house, rave and club classics with Golden’s James Camm and Devotion’s Rich Stevens.
General release tickets are on sale now, click here to book!

Happyface Family Rave is held at Keele University Students Union on Sunday 16th February 1-3pm.

Port Vale Football Club Foundation
Join the PVFC Foundation Dance camp this Half Term and learn, create and experience dance in a FUN way! Suitable for children age 5-13 years.

All children taking part will need a packed lunch, drink and unrestrictive clothing to dance in.

Image credit: PVFC Foundation

£12 per person if prebooked, £15 on the door.
To book, please call 01782 757066

Potty about Pottery

Unsurprisingly there are a lot of pottery based events running this Half Term, and why not? We do it so well! Combining fun and a bit of local heritage we have…

World of Wedgwood
This half term visit World of Wedgwood for a great day of discovery! From fun creative activities to factory tours, half price children’s meals and a Collection Trail with a prize for every child.

Image credit: World of Wedgwood ™

Create a unique Mother’s Day gift that will be treasured for years to come. With help from the studios team, capture little hand or footprints onto a beautiful Wedgwood china gift that will be fired for the perfect keepsake.

30 minute hand and foot printing sessions available Monday 17th – Friday 21st February 10am-3pm. Prices start from £25 for a mug.
To book call 01782 282986 or email bookings@worldofwedgwood.com

Middleport Pottery
Middleport are once again holding their Play with Clay sessions this half term. We have attended a number of these events and the boys really love them.

Having fun at a previous Play with Clay session

I think the sucess is in it’s simplicity, with a block of clay and some basic tools the kids are left to their own creative devices and are free to make their own masterpieces which can be taken home, dried out and decorated.

Stick, weave, mould and make… Our popular play with clay sessions are suitable for all ages – even adults!

Available every day during Half Term. This is a drop in activity – no booking required. Priced at £3 per pack.To make your clay creation stand out from the crowd, creative packs are available for an additional £1.

Please arrive by 3pm to make the most of this activity.

Emma Bridgewater
Create with colour this Half Term and decorate your own piece of Emma Bridgewater pottery with a huge range of sponges and rainbow paint wheel.

Image credit: Emma Bridgewater ™

See what the factory is decorating next on a free behind the scenes tour (great fun for everyone over 5 years) and search for all the bright animals on a free children’s trail to win a treat.

We also recommend stopping for a cuppa and bite to eat in the café.

Book tours and decorating online here.

Creative Flamingo
This next event would make a lovely treat day out for those with older children, held at Creative Flamingo on Hartshill Business Park Tuesday 18th February 10.30 -12.00 midday.

Join us in our beautiful studio this February half-term and make your very own ceramic fairy door at our family friendly workshop.

Image credit: Creative Flamingo

You will be guided through the design of your door shape, how to add texture, drawing and adding 3d elements onto your door. You will be shown how to join clay together correctly so no pesky little bricks or flowers falls off.

Once you are happy with your fairy door design you will then add elements of colour using specialist ceramic underglaze paints.

There will be hot & cold drinks along with cakes and biscuits to help keep your creative juices flowing.
Your fairy doors will then be fired and dipped in a clear glaze and fired again ready for you to collect at a later date.

Price per person £16.Pre-booking is essential, book your place here

Animal Antics

Never work with children and animals, unless you’re a parent because you can handle pretty much anything on 4hrs sleep and a cup of coffee! If you fancy swapping your kids for something slightly more obedient for a little while then head to:

Amerton Farm
There is a whole host of activities planned at Amerton Farm this Half Term, so it’s well worth a visit but booking is advised as these events do get busy.

Help to bottle feed Amerton’s new lambs, daily feeding times of 10.30am 1.30pm and 3.30pm. Lamb feeding is included within the standard admission price.

Making friends with a lamb

We love feeding lambs all through the Spring, its such a lovely activity and can help to teach little ones about care and respect for animals too.

Each Wednesday Amerton will be bringing their Rabbits & Guinea Pigs into Billy’s Farm Barn for ‘Hoppy Wednesdays!’ The perfect opportunity for yourself and your little one to have a cuddle with one of the resident bunnies and guinea pigs.

Image credit: Amerton Farm

Hoppy Wednesday’s cost is included in the standard admission price.

Learn about all things hedgehog in a fun way with a Hoglets educational workshop. You can then make and decorate your own hedgehog highway to take home with you. Cost of this workshop is £5.99 per child.

For more details and booking info visit the Amerton Farm website.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust: The Bird Challenge
Meet Staffordshire Wildlife Wildchild Officers and join The Bird Challenge, an exciting family activity for all ages. Design a bird themed obstacle course and challenge your family and friends to a race, build a giant bird nest or a bird hide to spot local wild birds. There will be lots more bird themed activities plus other ways to play wild on the day.

Bird watching at a Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Wildlings session

There’s no need to book onto this event, just drop in any time between 1 and 3pm and remember to wrap up warm in clothes that can withstand a bit of mud.

Best of all, there are two opportunities to join in during Half Term:

  • Brampton Park, Newcastle 19th
  • Queen’s Park, Longton 21st

For full details of all events visit The Staffordshire Wildlife Trust website

The Quarter, Hanley: Happy Homes for Bugs
Tuesday 18th Feb 11am-2pm
With guidance from Denise O’Sullivan, hand make your own terracotta bug home or plant pot in the style of a fun house.

Image credit: Denise O’Sullivan Ceramics ™

This session is suitable for all ages but children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
This is a friendly session, drop in style between 11am and 2pm, please arrive before 1pm to allow enough time to make.

The Quarter serves food and drink so you can make yourself very comfortable for the workshop.
The event takes place upstairs, price per participant £15.

Book your place here

Creative Crafts

All the fun of crafts at home but without the clean up! Great for grabbing a cuppa and chat with other parents too.

Butterflies Wonderland
If you’ve not visited before you’ll find Butterflies Wonderland tucked away on The Strand in Longton. Downstairs is host to a build a bear station and upstairs is an Alice in Wonderland themed craft studio.

Image credit: Butterflies Wonderland

There are daily activities planned over Half Term with prices starting from a bargain £3.50 for a cupcake decorating and make your own wooden cupcake stand workshop – there’s usually snacks for the kids and a much welcomed cuppa for the adults included in the price too.

Image credit: Butterflies Wonderland

There are a mixture of pre-bookable and drop in events being held so please check the Facebook page for details.

If like me you have a toddler, the stairs are fitted with baby safety gates. Buggys will need to be parked downstairs on arrival.

Barnicles at Baker & Co Café, Fenton Town Hall
Take the kids to Barnicles café, they can make a picture while you sit with a cuppa, and it’s only £2 per picture. You could even stay for a bit of dinner or invite a friend to join in the fun.

Image credit: Kids Bee Happy

The activity will be making your own sand art pictures with Mandy from Kids Bee Happy, which will take 20-30 minutes to complete, and are suitable for all over 3 years. Larger pictures will be available (£3-£4) which can take 40-60 minutes, to keep the kids entertained for another coffee longer!

Find details on how to book the event here.

Science & History

Earn brownie points for including a bit of learning in with your Half Term activities, give yourself a gold star!

Jodrell Bank
Jodrell Bank is a little bit further afield but if you’ve got some budding little star gazers or scientists within your brood then the Half Term events at Jodrell Bank will be worth the drive.

Starting off with some Space themed arts and crafts that are free to drop into with general admission. Whether you enjoy drawing or making, drop in anytime between 11am-4pm and find something for the whole family to enjoy.

Image credit: Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre

Come along to our tiny astronauts session and find out what it is like in space.

Go on a mission to discover what it is like on other planets within our solar system, and why we have day and night and other scientific facts. Tiny astronaut interactive sessions are aimed at 4-7 year olds and last approximately 20 minutes, free with general admission.

Did you know – Jodrell Bank is a phone free zone because the telescopes there are so powerful and sensitive they could detect a mobile phone on Mars!

For booking details, click here

Ford Green Hall
Take your littles back in time on Mon 17th February 1-3.30pm to discover what was available to relieve holiday boredom in times gone by.

Self led play with period toys and games available throughout the hall. You can also make your own three men’s morris game for an additional £1.00 or rake part in the childrens trail for 20p.

Image credit: Ford Green Hall

Admission Prices as follows: Adults £3.50, children and concessions £2.50

Park Life

Fresh air and exercise-check!

Stoke-on-Trent City Parks
Half Term sees the return of the popular events based at Hanley Park. We went to one of these events over the summer that was based on the We’re Going on a Bear Hunt story, and it was great fun!

These events are free and take place between 2-4pm, you will need to book your place in advance.

We’re going on a Bear Hunt, a session we attended in the Summer

Magic Monday (17th)-Hear a fantasy story about Hanley Park. Then make your own song lines/ story lines. Alternatively, if the weather is bad – we will meet to share stories in the Veteran’s Pavilion. Meet at the band stand in the centre of the Park.

Wild Wednesday (19th)-Do you think you know which trees are which in the winter? Can you spot winter birds? Be prepared to go on a winter scavenger hunt. Afterwards you will make your own winter twig identification dials to take home. Meet at the bandstand in the centre of the Park.

Fantastic Friday (21st)-Come and warm up with a series of run-around games. Meet in the small bowling green – near the old 1960’s Pavilion. From the top car park, follow the path past the children’s play ground, take the step bridge over the canal and look to your right.

Remember to dress for the weather and wrap up warm. For more information and to book your place contact Claire Studman – Park Liaison Officer Tel: 07584174465

Who said keeping the kids entertained during February Half Term was stressful?

I’m proud to be a #mystokestory ambassador shouting about great family days out and events in our city.

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All images are my own unless otherwise credited and must not be reproduced without permission.