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Warwickshire welly walks and more

Homeschool's on pause for a week (phew!), but the kids/teens still need entertaining over half-term. Try some of these creative and cool local ideas to banish cabin fever.

CREATIVE WRITING: ENTER STRATFORD LITERARY FESTIVAL’S 2021 YOUNG POETS COMPETITION

With the deadline fast approaching, half term’s the perfect time for budding young poets to put pen to paper. Anyone aged 5 to 21 years has until 5.30pm on Fri March 5 to submit a poem of no more than 600 words, on any theme. 
Entries will be judged in one of three age categories 5-10 years, 11-16 years and 17-21 years and the winner from each category will receive a prize of £100, £200 and £300 respectively.  The judges include brilliant writer Tracey Corderoy author of Sneaky Beak, Mouse’s Night Before Christmas as well as the Shifty McGifty and Hubble Bubble series.

The winners and those most highly commended will be published in the spring and available to buy both online and in Stratford-upon-Avon Waterstones. Students taking design or photography courses all over the UK are then invited to design a cover for the collection, the winner receiving £400. For full details, including how to submit an entry, visit: stratlitfest.co.uk.

Both competitions, which have run for many years and attract entires from across the UK, are intended to recognise and encourage young creative talent. They mark the legacy of poet and The Week publisher, Felix Dennis, and the prize is kindly supported by his literary executors. Previous cover design winners have gone on to careers in book design.

HALF TERM FAIRY DOOR TRAIL & WALKS, ETTINGTON PARK HOTEL, NR STRATFORD

Younger children can enjoy a fairy hunt around the hotel’s magical grounds looking out for five hidden fairy homes. There’s hot chocolate and the chance to win a Create at Home pottery kit from The Ceramics Studio nearby by posting all five fairy doors on Instagram tagging in @ettingtonparkhotel and @ceramicsstudiow. Local dog walkers and families who fancy a stroll are also welcome to enjoy the grounds with a daily takeaway menu here.

HALF TERM WELLY WALKS:

NATIONAL TRUST

Image: Baddesley Clinton, National Trust

Leave the tech behind and wellies on for kid-friendly walks in the grounds of four Warwickshire National Trust properties where you can spot snowdrops, deers, ducks and hopefully the first signs of spring – phew! Upton House gardens are now open via the Winter Walk, every day 10am-5pm. The historic gardens at Baddesley Clinton, Packwood House and the recently flooded Charlecote Park are also open. Booking ahead for timed entry needed.

KENILWORTH CASTLE

The castle grounds are open for families to get out and about and enjoy some fresh air and exercise.

#LOVE COMPTON VERNEY – SHARE YOUR WELLY WALK PHOTOS

The grounds of Compton Verney will also be open to local visitors and a new Welly Walk has been introduced. Each week a new set of decorated wellies will be placed in various locations for people to spot, and staff will be revealing them on social media.

This month the art gallery and parkland has just launched a new digital campaign, Love Compton Verney. Each week they will be releasing a new short film (with 12 in total) taking a behind-the-scenes peek at rarely seen objects, the landscape and unusual wildlife at the museum and art gallery. They’re also encouraging people to share their photos of the site on social media using #LoveComptonVerney.

If you visit the grounds, you’ll need to have an annual membership (Local Pass or Access All Areas Pass) and pre-book an admission slot in advance here.

LEARN ABOUT FUTURE FUELS ONLINE, BRITISH MOTOR MUSEUM, GAYDON, FEB

With no ‘days out’ allowed this half-term the British Motor Museum is offering families a range of free fun activities to enjoy from home as a welcome break from home-schooling. In Feb activities exploring future fuels are available online here. Children can take part in a wordsearch, a fuels quiz, and even watch a Science Show.

March’s activities will be themed around Woman’s History Month and April will focus on the 1921 London Bus, which is on permanent loan in the Museum’s collection. For fives and under the museum’s regular Mini Motorists will still take place on the 3rd Monday of every month. Videos of all the Museum’s stay at home activities can be found on the Museum’s YouTube channel.

NEW SELF-GUIDED PODCAST TOUR, STRATFORD-UPON-AVON

Vidi Guides and Shakespeare’s England have created a Self-Guided Podcast Tour around Stratford taking in the key places of William Shakespeare’s life, and learning more about the bard. Download and it will take you to points of interest around the historic town.

MUSIC: ORCHESTRA OF THE SWAN DIGITAL CONCERTS

If your son or daughter is musical they they may enjoy listening to a number of streamed online concerts by this highly acclaimed Stratford-upon-Avon-based orchestra including Luna, Wind, Sand & Stars and Doubles.

GAMING: INTERACTIVE FUTURES 2021, TUE FEB 16-20

This virtual event, hosted by Warwick District Council, is aimed at young people, students and school children across Coventry and Warwickshire, wanting to find out more about a career in the gaming industry. Attendance is free and it’s managed by an app through Whova to enable virtual networking.

TV: WATCH THE RSC’S ROMEO & JULIET ON BBC iPLAYER

Trying to get older kids and teens to watch something educational and entertaining that will resonate? You can now watch the company’s brilliant 2018 contemporary multicultural production of Romeo and Juliet on BBC iPlayer which not only casts women in five traditionally male roles but is full of urban attitude and actors in street wear.

ONLINE COURSE: POP-UP BUSINESS SCHOOL, STRATFORD, MON FEB 15-19

This pop-up Business School – a Stratford-on-Avon District online business course – is running 15-19 Feb for budding entrepreneurs and small businesses. Under 18s are also welcome. It’s very informal and attendees can dip in and out of online sessions as fits.

FLOURISH AT THE FARM, SNITTERFIELD

A team of high-quality team of trained teachers, educators and specialists  are offering bookable virtual 1:1 or small group session slots for families, focusing particularly on children with special educational needs. Practical learning and outdoor activities are designed to support primary school children and those moving up to secondary education through periods of isolation. Contact ben@flourishatthefarm.co.uk for more information.

Looking for other ideas? Check out our 7 Fun Things to Do with Kids in the Garden, Half term Hack with 48 online courses for kids and 24 throwback films to watch with your kids.

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