If you are having a 'staycation' half term, and feel overwhelmed at the prospect of a pricey marathon of entertainment-finding, don't worry! We have done the hard work for you and scouted out some fun, and crucially inexpensive things to do over the next week, all in and around Russell Park in Bedford! Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to see how many of the 10 activities we have found you can tick off in the week.
1. RUSSELL PARK
Come down to play in Russell Park and stop off at The Kiosk– we have lots of exciting things planned for the week – as well as the usual tea, coffee, cakes, goodies, milk & biscuits and of course our famous Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Mountain Explosions!
Monday 18th 9.30am - join us for Songtime with Kris from The Frogs Chorus
Wednesday 20th 11am - 3.00pm come down and do some badgemaking with Celene
Friday 22nd 2pm - 4pm Facepainting with the lovely, and extremely talented, Sophie
2. IN THE SWIM
Even if you're not going away somewhere hot this half-term, you can still visit Bedford's very own Tropical Paradise – The Oasis Beach Pool. Open for Holiday Supersplash Sessions from 10 - 4.30, Monday to Friday, with off-peak swimming sessions from 4.30 - 7.30. There are some great offers on admission prices available here, valid until the 28th February.
3. DISCOVER A WHOLE NEW WORLD
Not only is the Bedford Central Library free, it is also warm and dry, (always a bonus for days when the weather doesn't behave itself.) Let the kids have a rummage through the bookshelves, while you sit in the storytelling chair and remember the days of Bernard Cribbens and Jackanory! Peruse the notice board which is a mine of information or escape to another world by burying your own head in a book! There is also a great coffee shop where you can sit and watch the world go by.
Wednesday 20th:11.00 - 12.00
Chinese New Year Storytime - Fabulous stories and crafts - fun all ages.
Friday 22nd: 1.00 - 4.00
Pitta Puppets - Drop in and make puppet kings and queens with Jim Morris.
Chatterbooks is a group for 8 to 12 year olds which runs every three weeks with crafts, games, quizzes and more! The next meeting is Saturday 2nd March at 2.30.
4. CRAFTY PLAN #1
Visit The Kiln on Bedford High Street. Call in, choose some pottery – loads of shapes and sizes available to paint and decorate and they will fire it for you, ready to collect a week later. There is also a lovely coffee shop and tea room - not that we need caffeine to enjoy ourselves you understand!
5. SAY CHEESE
If you're not going away, photography is a great way to see familiar places in a totally new light, and get a new perspective on where you live. If you like a challenge, we are running a photographic competition at The Kiosk, the closing date for entries being March 10th. To tie in with Crufts 2013, your subject needs to be of the Canine variety, but If you don't already own a dog, why not phone a friend who does? See if you can go for a walk with them and their four-legged friend and take some pics to enter Canines at The Kiosk. For some handy tips on animal photography, have a read of this guide for children on the National Geographic site, happy snapping! For competition categories, terms and conditions read here!
6. CRAFTY PLAN #2
Buy a Craft Kit from Bedford's The School of Craft – there is free delivery on craft kits this week, which include all you need to make your own Mexican Wrestlers Mask, or Modernist Flower Display! The boxes fold out into a mini-magazine with full instructions, extra activities and lots of information.
7. MOVIE MAGIC
Wreck it Ralph (times available here) is sure to be a hit with the younger contingent, on over half term at Cineworld, just a short walk from Russell Park. For very cheap cinema-fun, check out the Saturday morning kids' films. At only £1 per person it's a bargain, and did you know, if you book online you can save 10%?!
One of the most popular bite-sized treats we sell at The Kiosk is Barbara's Triple-Tested-Flapjack. Flapjack is perfect for a 'cooking with the kids' morning. Find our top recipe suggestion here. (If it does all go horribly wrong, you can always come and taste how it should be done and buy some of Barbara's Flapjack at The Kiosk!)
9. TOTALLY RUBBISH
Have a Spring clear out! Recycle any clothes that have been outgrown by donating them to one of the fabulous local charity shops. Other bits and bobs that you find cluttering up the house can also often be put to good use. Challenge the kids to create a work of art from a load of rubbish - there are loads of ideas on the fabulous cbbc show Totally Rubbish. And for more up-cycling ideas for kids to try (or for you to have a go at on their behalf!) have a look at this great Pintrest board. Pinspirational!
10. LETS GO FLY A KITE
If you don't have the wherewithall to hire a Mary-Poppins-type-nanny for the day, (tempting as that might be) then do as the great lady herself advised and take your kite to Russell Park! If you didn't know, Russell Park is the home of the Kite Festival which will be back for the weekend of the 25th - 27th May 2013. Just enough time to get some practice in! All you need is a kite and bit of wind! (If you don't have a kite make your own!)
Have a wonderful Half Term - and we do hope you enjoy our activity challenge! We'd love to know how well you did and what your top half term survival tips are too. So head down to the Kiosk for a catch up and a reviving cup of coffee - we're open 8.30 - 5.00 all week!