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New half term activities at the National Memorial Arboretum offer families a day out to Remember, whatever the weather
Visitors of all ages are invited to take part in a new programme of free indoor and outdoor activities at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, within the National Forest, during February half term (10-25 February). From indoor craft activities, storytelling and Stick Man screenings to outdoor woodland trails and play areas, families can enjoy a free day out together at the Nation’s year-round place to Remember this half term, whatever the weather.
Crafty Bugs (Free, 12pm-3pm, 12-16 February)
Younger visitors are encouraged to unleash their creativity in the warmth of the Remembrance Centre as they craft paper butterflies, dragonflies and bugs that they can take home with them at the end of the session.
Stick Man Indoor Screenings (Free, Booking Recommended, Showings throughout the day 10am-3.30pm, 12-16 February)
Following the huge popularity of indoor screenings last year, Julia Donaldson’s classic Stick Man animated film will be shown throughout the day in The Drum within the Landscapes of Life exhibition. Limited spaces are available for each session so visitors should book their free tickets online in advance to ensure entry at their preferred time slot. Availability of tickets is subject to change.
Interactive Storytelling (Free, 11am, 11.30am, 12pm, 1.30pm and 2pm, 12-16 February)
The latest in the Arboretum’s popular series of interactive storytelling workshops, younger visitors will explore “Wow! Said the Owl”, led by skilled storytellers who unleash the children’s imaginations and bring the story to life.
Natural Craft Sessions (Free, 12pm-3pm, 12-16 February)
Visitors are invited to plant seeds in pots to take home and nurture where they can watch their plants grow and blossom. Families can also get creative by crafting personalized bug hotels to create an environment that encourages wildlife in their own green spaces.
Woodland Outdoor Trail (£2.50 per person, 10am-4pm, 10-25 February)
Families looking to get more active can bundle up warmly and venture out into the Arboretum’s 150-acres of woodlands and grounds in the search for the ‘Arboretum Friends’ on this Woodland Outdoor Trail. Once completed, young visitors are invited to return to the Remembrance Centre to claim their special treat.
Stick Man Outdoor Trail (free, available from Welcome Desk)
An enduring favourite with families, the free self-led Stick Man trail is available at the Welcome Desk on arrival, inviting visitors to accompany Stick Man on his journey back to the family tree. Families planning to follow the trail are advised to wear suitable footwear and clothing and the route may be unsuitable for some pushchairs.
Outdoor Play Areas
The Arboretum features two outdoor plays areas. The Children’s Sensory Play Garden is close to the Remembrance Centre and a second children’s play area, with a picnic area, can be found near the Children’s Wood.
“After the overwhelming success of our indoor screenings and outdoor trails last year, we extend a warm invitation to families to join us for a packed programme of free activities this February half term,” says Rachel Smith, Head of Participation and Learning at the National Memorial Arboretum. “Whether your family loves to explore the great outdoors, or unleash their creativity in the warm and dry, there is something to entertain everyone this half term at the Arboretum!”
For more information about visiting the Arboretum during February half term and to book a free visit: https://www.thenma.org.uk/what’s-on/events/february-half-term