BIRMINGHAM AND THE BLACK COUNTRY
* Egyptian inspired crafts at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham. May 26-30.
There will be plenty of hands-on activities from mummification magic to Egyptian crafts as the museum celebrates the reopening of its popular Ancient Egypt gallery.
For more details visit: www.bmag.org.uk
* Sweet and Treat at Black Country Museum, Dudley. May 24-June 1.
To tie in with the re-launch of the museum’s sweet-shop boiler, visitors will be able to learn about treats of the past and see demonstrations of traditional sweet making, before trying one or two of the finished product.
Try your hand at traditional board and street games, including hopscotch and skipping. Test your skill with a cup and ball and the whip and top. Take up the challenge to see how long you can keep the hoop rolling in the hoop and stick game and attempt to knock over all the nine pins in a game of skittles.
On selected days you can mount up and enjoy a horse and carriage ride around the museum and watch a traditional Punch & Judy show.
For more information visit: www.bclm.co.uk
* Farm inspired crafts and meet the animals at Blakesley Hall, Blakesley Road, Birmingham. May 27-29 and 30.
Make a chicken headdress, a beehive mobile or a sheep pendant in a variety of craft sessions held from May 27-29 at this historic farm building in the heart of the city. No need to book as activities are drop-in and cost £1 per child. On May 30 mobile zoo Animal Mania will be visiting with their cute and fluffy animals.
For more details visit: www.bmag.org.uk
COVENTRY AND WARWICKSHIRE
* Romans on the Rampage at Herbert Art Gallery, Jordan Well, Coventry. May 26-31.
As part of the gallery’s latest exhibition, Roman Empire: Power and People, the venue will be hosting half-term workshops inspired by the Roman army. Children can enjoy making Roman soldier puppets with artist Jim Morris to armour and weaponry.
For more details visit: www.theherbert.org
* Build a car and make Lego machines at Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, Warwickshire. May 24-June 1.
The centre will be hosting build-a-car workshops and drop-in activities where children can build and test their own Lego machines on various days throughout half-term.
For more details visit: www.heritage-motor-centre.co.uk
* Medieval Mayhem at Kenilworth Castle, Kenilworth. May 24-26
In the ultimate “show and tell” curious history hunters can quiz the assembled knights, ladies, archers and squires on the truth behind tales of medieval life. What was it really like living in a castle? What does it take to become a champion archer? Which was the worst job in the court? And how often did they take a bath?
There will be stunning displays of everything from archery and combat to courtly dancing.
* Tudor Wedding Festival at Mary Arden’s Farm, Wilmcote, Warwickshire. May 24-26
Join the bride and groom as they prepare to tie the knot in a Tudor style. There will be music, games and a party atmosphere.
* Stratford CycleFest, Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse, Luddington Road, Stratford-upon-Avon. May 25.
This free festival champions cycling for all the family and is raising money for the town’s Cyclists Fighting Cancer charity.
Highlights include displays from a mountain bike stunt team, traffic free bike rides and Rollapaluza, a unique sport where two people race on a pair of custom-built bikes secured on rollers over a simulated 500m distance at speeds in excess of 50mph.
For details visit: www.cyclistsfc.org.uk/
* Malvern Walking Festival, Malvern Hills. May 24-June 1.
This nine-day festival shows off some of the beautiful walks around Malvern Hills.
There at least four guided walks most days during the event including a new 59-mile Discovery Trail running from May 24-30 (free day on Tuesday) the walk starts at the Shropshire Hills, visiting Long Mynd, Stipperstones, Wenlock Edge, Clun Valley and the Clee Hills – finishing back at the Malvern Hills, included in the booking price is transport from Malvern to the start points and back to Malvern at the finish of each day’s walk. For more details visit: www.visitthemalverns.org
* The Great Malvern Food Festival, Great Malvern Priory Church, Malvern and Food Walk, Malvern. May 25-26.
This annual free event has moved from the town centre to the beautiful grounds of this church on May 26 and features cookery demonstrations, food stalls, entertainment from local musicians and plenty of activities for children.
Stars of the show will include chef Felice Tochinni, from Fusion Brasserie in Worcester and artisan bread maker Robert Swift.
A food walk – entitled The Malvern Munch! Food Walk – is a new addition to the bank holiday weekend’s activities and will take place on May 25. Those taking part can enjoy a six-mile walk around the Malvern Hills and taste the best in local food and drink whilst listening to live music including a string quartet and jazz act at stops along the way.
Tickets for the walk are £20 for an adult and £12 for a child and are available from Malvern Tourist Information Centre.
For further information about the weekend, visit www.visitthemalverns.org/foodfest
* Asparafest, Ashdown Farm, Badsey Road, Evesham. May 31-June 1.
This event returns for a second year with a unique mix of music, family fun, country crafts and awesome food.
Highlights include CBeebies’ Mr Bloom, Gus the Asparaman and cookery masterclasses with chef Felice Tocchini and TV Gastronaut Stefan Gates. During the festival, bands will perform over two music stages.
There will be family crafts, workshops and falconry. In addition, stalls selling local food delicacies and gifts, vintage vehicles, a
fun-fair, a real ale and cider tent and, of course, loads of asparagus to guarantee a weekend well spent. For more details and ticket prices visit: www.asparafest.co.uk
SHROPSHIRE AND STAFFORDSHIRE
* Spring Watch Day, Middleton Hall, near Tamworth. May 26.
This hall set in 42 acres of nature reserve is home to breeding birds and aquatic creatures. This event offers a chance for a family to get close to nature with Critterish Allsorts offering opportunities for children to handle a selection of animals including a skunk, a chinchilla, a hedgehog, lizards and snakes, a tortoise and some mini beasts. Birds of prey will be on display. There will also be mini beast hunts and nature trails, talks on garden birds and local honey for sale.
Adult entry £5, concessions £3.50, children £1, Family ticket £10. From 11am to 4pm.
For more details tel: 01827 283095
* Den building, treasure hunts and animal racing at Shugborough Hall, Stafford. May 24- June 1.
Build some dens, have fun in the new wilderness feature, feed the animals and take a train ride as the estate puts on plenty of half term activities, quizzes and natural play ideas.
On May 26 the estate will also racing sheep, ducks and guinea pigs.
For details visit: www.shugborough.org.uk
* Staffordshire County Show, Weston Road, Stafford. May 28-29.
Main ring attractions include monster trucks car smash, speedy scurry racing, Mounted Games, YFC floats, livestock grand parades, show jumping, parades of hounds and cavalcade of vintage agricultural machines.
Show will livestock and a large dog show. There will be more than 400 trade stands and there will also be plenty of local product inside the food hall and cookery theatre.
For details visit: www.staffscountyshowground.co.uk/staffordshire-county-show