Skip to content
Archived news

Select a month and year to view archived news stories.

Museums and libraries offer low-cost ideas for half-term fun

Railway Day at Abbey Pumping Station

THERE’S lots going on at Leicester’s museums and libraries this half-term, offering families low-cost ideas for a fun day out.  

On Saturday and Sunday (27-28 May), Leicester Museum & Art Gallery will host some special events as part of the launch of the new Punk: Rage & Revolution exhibition.

While the exhibition itself is aimed at older audiences, there’ll be live music from the young people in Soft Touch Arts’ family-friendly punk bands from 12 noon until 3pm on Saturday (27 May) and children aged 5+ can also have a go at collage and badge-making in a free drop-in workshop from 3.30pm-5pm.

The following day (Sunday 28 May), visitors can enjoy the spectacle of dozens of Mods on their scooters, arriving at Leicester Museum to see the exhibition. Members of Leicestershire Alliance Scooter Club and the Treakle Town Scooter Club will ride through the museum car park, before parking on the forecourt from 11.15am until 12.15pm.

This will be followed by performances by dancers from the Curve Young Company at 1pm and 2pm.

Admission to all Punk: Rage & Revolution’s opening events is free of charge.

On Tuesday (30 May), Abbey Pumping Station opens its doors for one of its popular Railway Days. Hop on the train on the narrow-gauge railway, enjoy light refreshments from the café, or simply bring a picnic and make the most of the fine weather in the museum’s grounds.

The Railway Day runs from 11.30am-4pm, with a 50p charge for train rides.

Also on Tuesday (30 May), Leicester’s historic Guildhall keeps the Coronation celebrations going with A Right Royal Knees Up.

The family-friendly event will feature royalty-themed crafts, a museum trail, and dressing-up clothes for the perfect regal selfie in the Royal photo booth.

The fun runs from 11am–3pm, with a £3 charge for children’s activities.

Belgrave Hall hosts an Arty Party on Wednesday (31 May), when youngsters can get creative and crafty with clay and sequins, while the whole family can enjoy games in the hall’s beautiful gardens.

Admission to the Arty Party – which runs from 11am-3pm – is £3, and places can be booked in advance online or the admission charge can be paid in cash on the day.

On Friday (2 June), it’s time to grab your teddy bear, pack up a picnic and head for Newarke Houses Museum. There’ll be teddy-themed crafts and the chance to meet the museum’s resident bear at a special Teddy Bears’ Picnic. Refreshments will be available and a charge of £3 for craft activities applies.

Teddies are also welcome at the Abbey Pumping Station on Saturday (3 June), when the steam train will be puffing away on the narrow-gauge railway. Teddies and their owners can ride on the train for free, with train rides costing 50p for everyone else. Railway Day with Teddies runs from 11.30am-4pm.

Leicester’s libraries have got lots going on too, with Beaumont Leys Library inviting youngsters to join their Superhero treasure hunt (27 May – 3 June), New Parks Library creating mini patchwork quilts (27 May – 3 June) and Highfields Library making colourful sun catchers on Tuesday 30 May (12 noon-2pm).

Places on the sun catcher session – which is free of charge – should be booked by calling Highfields Library on 0116 299 5494.

A full list of what’s on at Leicester’s libraries is available here

Other half-term events taking place in Leicester include the return of Open Streets on Sunday (28 May). The mini-festival of fun, designed to show how easy it is to walk or cycle around Leicester, runs from 1pm-4pm in Town Hall Square and Green Dragon Square. All events - including demonstrations of cycling skills by the Danny Butler Mountain Bike Display Team - are free to enjoy.

On Tuesday (30 May), families can join a Funky Feet & Wacky Wheels Walk, which takes place at the Oval in Abbey Park as part of the Walk Leicester Festival.

Youngsters will be able to decorate their shoes, bikes and scooters at ‘bling stations’, before joining a walking and wheeling parade around the Oval.

Organised in partnership with Sustrans and Living Streets, the fun runs from 2pm-4pm, with prizes for the best decorated shoes and wheels.

On Saturday and Sunday (3-4 June), families looking for a fun day out should head for Leicester’s riverside.

The two-day Riverside Festival will be spread over four sites at Castle Gardens, Bede Park, Western Boulevard and the Mile Straight and promises fun both on and off the water.

New for 2023 is the Riverside Sports Zone, where visitors will be able to take part in pop-up activities from Leicester Riders, Leicester City in the Community and Leicester City Hockey Club, while those with an adventurous streak can try their skills on a 26ft climbing wall.

For more ideas for half-term days out, go to