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Half-term fun at city museums

Published on Friday, May 27, 2016

LEICESTER’S museums are offering plenty of fun activities for children and young people this half-term – and many of them are free of charge.

There’s Roald Dahl-inspired arts and crafts at New Walk Museum this weekend, with an event called ‘The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me’. Children will be able to create paper plate animals and follow an activity trail between 11am and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday (28 and 29 May).

From Monday to Friday (30 May – 3 June), there’ll be dressing-up fun for children and families at New Walk Museum as part of the Spark Festival, with the chance to create costumes and props between 11am and 2pm each day.

At Newarke Houses Museum on Monday (30 May), youngsters will be able to enjoy shopping-themed games in the museum’s cobbled street-scene. They will also be able to help create a collage and design a shop-themed t-shirt. A small charge will be made for activities.

On Tuesday (31 May), Abbey Pumping Station will host its Rockets and Space children’s day.  There will be plenty of craft activities on offer between 11am and 3pm – and the pumping station’s narrow gauge railway will be running, providing the weather’s fine.  A small charge will be made for train rides and activities.

Also on Tuesday, there’s a musical event at New Walk Museum that’s aimed at families with young children.  An eclectic mix of music, with a jazz feel, will celebrate the centenary anniversary of Roald Dahl as part of the Leicester International Music Festival. Two sessions will be held – one aimed at children aged under 5 (11.30am – 12.15pm) and a second session for families with older children (2pm – 3pm). Family tickets are £15.

Wednesday (1 June) sees the launch of Leicester’s new ‘Passport to Museums and Heritage’ – a scheme that encourages young people to explore all of the city’s museums. Youngsters can pick up their passport and collect their first stamp at Belgrave Hall & Gardens, which will host a day of fun activities between11am – 4pm. Admission is free, but activities cost £2.50.

There’s Medieval Mayhem at the Guildhall on Thursday (2 June), where children will be able to learn about weapons and armour, meet the medieval sheriff of Leicester, and make their own shields and hats. Activities cost £2.50 and children are invited to come dressed as medieval knights or princesses. The fun runs from 11am to 3pm.

Jewry Wall museum has produced special half-term activity packs to keep youngsters entertained. The packs cost £1.50. Visitors to Jewry Wall can also join a free guided tour on Saturday (4 June) at 2pm, which will reveal what happened in the Roman Baths. Children and families welcome.

On Saturday (4 June), it’s time for children to take their teddies to Abbey Pumping Station’s popular Teddy Bears’ Picnic Railway Day. The fun runs from 11am to 4pm, and there’s a free ride on the railway for everyone accompanied by a teddy.

Starting on Saturday and continuing on Sunday (4-5 June) is Leicester’s annual Riverside Festival. Featuring lots of fun activities, both on and off the water, the free festival gets under way at 12 noon. Highlights of this year’s event include dragon boat racing, boat trips, live music and an arts and crafts market.

For more information about events in Leicester in half-term, visit