What to do with the kids in Kent this February half term

It can be a bit of a challenge trying to work out how to keep children entertained during February half term. The weather doesn’t always lend itself to fun activities. However, there is a lot going on in Kent and Medway this week that won’t break the bank. Check out this list to help prevent you from hearing the dreaded groans of “I’m booooored!”

All week

Hever Castle

Check out Living With Nature at Hever Castle & Gardens this week. Follow a nature trail in the castle’s beautiful grounds, then children can make a ladybird, hedgehog or bumblebee. On certain days, there are also falconry displays and you can learn about the work of different wildlife charities! They also have fantastic playgrounds.

Hever Castle, Edenbridge, Kent

Rochester Cathedral

Ever wanted to visit the moon? Well, now’s your chance! Museum of the Moon, a touring artwork by Luke Jerram, is currently situated at Rochester Cathedral. Seven metres in diameter, each centimetre represents 5km of the moon’s surface. Pictures don’t do it justice, it really has to be seen in person. It’s free to visit during the day time, but I think it’s worth the small fee to see it after dark.

There are various exciting talks and activities happening before it leaves on the 4th of March. Take a look at Rochester Cathedral’s website to see what’s on and when.

Luke Jerram Museum of the Moon Rochester Cathedral

Historic Dockyard Chatham

All young spies in the making should report at Historic Dockyard Chatham for Mission: Explore this half term! Children can make a secret spy decoder to reveal secret messages, learn how to code break and make a spy ID band in craft activities over the week (pre-booking advised). These activities are included in the entry price (the ticket allows entry for a whole year!) We like going to the dockyard on rainy days, as it is largely undercover!

Lower Bush Alpacas

Looking for something a bit different to do? What about alpaca trekking at Lower Bush Alpacas near Cuxton? I’ve been alpaca trekking a few times and absolutely love it! At 10am on February 17th – 21st you can book a trek for 2 people for £25. Alternatively, at 3pm on those days you can meet the alpacas for £5 per person! 2 year olds and younger are free.

Emmetts Garden

One of many trails happening this half term is at Emmetts Garden near Sevenoaks. You can become a plant hunter, following in the footsteps of famous Victorian plant explorer, Ernest Wilson. Booking isn’t needed and dogs on leads are welcome.

Penshurst Place

At Penshurst Place near Tonbridge, you can find an amazing inventions trail. Their website goes on to say “Step along the gardens and help us find the hidden items as you discover the history behind these amazing creations and the modern technology that exists because of them”.

Scotney Castle

Continuing the trails theme, Scotney Castle‘s offering is a murder mystery trail. Collect a trail sheet to take part in a real life version of Cluedo. Follow the clues to work out who the culprit was, what the weapon was and where the murder was committed. At the end of the trail, there is a small prize.

Howletts and Port Lympne

Kids go free at Howletts Wildlife Park near Canterbury and Port Lympne Reserve near Hythe this week! If you book your tickets online in advance, you can take three children for free per adult. We love both for different reasons, but have stuck to Howletts in recent years as it’s flatter and more pushchair friendly.

Lemur at Howletts Wildlife Park in Canterbury, Kent

Leeds Castle

Little explorers can follow an adventure trail at Leeds Castle. Simply follow the trails and puzzles to win a chocolatey prize! The trail is included in the ticket price, but the activity booklet is an additional £1.

Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent

Circus Zyair

Oooh and ahhh as you watch acrobats, clowns and daredevils do the highwire and wheel of death. Circus Zyair has returned to The Hop Farm this half term. You can buy tickets for the hour and a half long show on Circus Zyair’s website.

Comic Exhibition

The Beaney in Canterbury currently has an interactive comic exhibition. With icons such as Dennis the Menace, as well as the work of current children’s comic creators, there is bound to be something for everyone. There are also lots of activities to do, including creating a character and stories using props and costumes. Entry costs from £5.

Rare Breeds Centre

With daily “Meet the Animals” sessions, falconry displays and trailer rides, the Rare Breeds Centre near Ashford is a great way to spend the day. There are also two storytelling sessions on Wednesday.

Children’s Centres

Lots of groups for babies and pre-schoolers aren’t on during school holidays. However, if you are lucky enough to still have a children’s centre near you, many of them still have groups running. It’s certainly worth checking out!

Monday to Thursday

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

From Monday to Thursday, you can listen to a story time of The Very Hungry Caterpillar in the lower mall at Bluewater, outside Marks & Spencer. Taking place between 10.30am and 5pm, the interactive show lasts 20 minutes. This costs £3 per person and places are limited. Places can be reserved from the box office outside M&S on the day. If you head outside to the nature trail afterwards, you can find a wooden sculpture of The Very Hungry Caterpillar himself!

Monday 17th February

Are your children into drama? At The Woodville in Gravesend they can take part in space themed prop making and drama workshops! It’s £30 for the first child, then £20 for each sibling. All they need is a packed lunch and comfortable black clothing. It runs for two days, across Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday 19th February

Meet Chase & Marshall

My daughter is a huge Paw Patrol fan; is your child too? At the Hop Farm on Wednesday, you can see Chase and Marshall at intervals throughout the day.

Thursday 20th February

Postman Bear

Is your child a fan of Postman Bear by Julia Donaldson? At Waterstones, Bluewater, there is an interactive storytelling session at 2pm. There’s even the opportunity to have your photo taken with him. This event is suitable for 2 year olds and above and can be booked in advance here.

Friday 21st February

Slime Lab

From 10am – 12pm, you can make (baby-safe) slime at Nucleus Arts Centre in Chatham High Street. Suitable for ages 0-12, it is £2 for one child, and £1 for any additional children. Bring a ziplock bag or container to take your slime home!

Email sofiamacmullen@gmail.com to book.

Nature Explorers

Most nature explorers groups in the county are already booked for this week. However, at the time of writing, it looks like there is still a session available to book onto in Canterbury from 10am – 12pm. Aimed at 2-8 year olds, this session consists of fun bushcraft and arty activities.

Build a nest box

For £10, young nature enthusiasts can build their own nest box in a family workshop at Sevenoaks Nature Reserve.

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