20 family events in April
Filed under: Going out
Where: Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, Rwcmd.ac.uk
When: 10 April
Come and laugh your socks off with much-loved award-winning author Jeremy Strong as he takes you on a laughter-filled ride through his own childhood and the inspirations for his bestselling books, including the latest title in his Cartoon Kid series and the brand new escapade about the original 100 mile-an-hour dog, Streaker in The Hundred Mile an Hour Dog Goes for Gold. It’s part of the college’s Explore! Festival for families so check out the website for other live theatre, music and literature events.
Cost: £5, Family Ticket, £16
Where: The Unicorn Theatre, London, Unicorntheatre.com
When: 30 March -15 April
Based on the book by Eoin Colfer, this spine-tingling romp is a funny and lively adventure of ghostly pirates, sibling rivalry (and terrifying junior discos!). Author Eoin Colfer will be talking about his work after the 2pm performance on 4 April, and there’s the chance to spend the night on stage on Friday 13 April in a soooky sleepover party with Captain Crow. Join in with Pirate Hat Making Workshops on Sun 1 April and Sun 15 April from 12 noon so you can wear your hats during the performance.
Cost: Adults, £15, children, £10. Family Discount: 20 per cent off bookings of four or more tickets(suitable for age seven upwards).
Where: The Heritage Motor Centre, Warwick, Heritage-motor-centre.co.uk
When: 31 March - 15 April
Join in egg-citing Easter craft days on 5th and 12th April where you can make and race your own egg car and perhaps set a few records of your own. Under 7s can race on the Miniature Roadway Electric Go-Karts and there are Land-Rover off-road driving experiences over rocky inclines and steep descents. Perhaps even more scary, though - treat your teens to an under 17 driving session, where they can try out one-hour sessons in a dual-control vehicle.
Cost: Museum admission: Adults, £11, children, £8. Go-Karts, £3 per child. Land Rover Experience, £7 adult, £6 child. Learner Driver Experiences, £45 (including museum entry)
Where: Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales, Horseridingbreconbeacons.com
This unspoilt countryside offers spectacular scenery and some of the best riding in Europe. There are thousands of acres of hills, moors and fields, criss-crossed by ancient tracks and lanes creating a riding paradise, where you can trek all day, whether you’re a novice or pro. Share your views with just the soaring buzzards and expect delays to your journey only for leisurely pub lunches while your mount grazes outside.
Cost: Prices vary at the different trekking centres in the Beacons (check website) but expect to pay around £30 for adults and £25 for children for a half-day trek.
Where: Hadrian's Wall and Housesteads Fort, Northumberland, Nationaltrust.org.uk
When: 6 April
Go on an underground adventure exploring the tunnels in Smallcleugh Mine. The main networks are normally not open to the public and so this is a great opportunity to explore and experience what life would have been like working in the mines.
Cost: Adult, £25, child, £15. Advanced booking essential.
Where: The Troxy, London E1, Futurecinema.co.uk
When: March 16- April 14
Future Cinema, the creators of Secret Cinema, create large-scale cinematic experiences, fusing feature film with music, theatre and live performance. Catch this performance of kid-classic musical Bugsy Malone at The Troxy, the East End's beautiful former picturehouse, which has been transformed into the world of Prohibition-era Chicago. Kid-friendly performances (matinees on weekends and through the Easter holidays) include a live-action boxing ring, audition studio, Fat Sam's bookshop and speakeasy, a casino and treats including milkshake and popcorn stalls topped off with custard shooting guns, pies and more.
Cost: Adult, £25, child, £10. Tower Hamlets residents - pay what you can.
Where: Calvert Trust, Kielder Water & Forest Park, Northumberland, Visitkielder.com
When: April 4 & 11
Calling all daredevils! Try out the new high ropes course, tackle the hanging cargo net, balance on the beams and cross swinging logs. Then take on the tightrope, otherwise known as the ‘Elvis knees challenge’ because, once you get on that thin rope, your knees start shaking! The final challenge is clamber up a 10 metre pole and jump off in a leap of faith to catch a trapeze rope.
Cost: £10 per person
Where: National Media Museum, Bradford, Nationalmediamuseum.org
When: April 21 & 22, plus 28 & 29
As part of the Bradford International Film Festival, help celebrate the centenary of Chuck Jones, legendary director who brought the world some of Bugs Bunny’s, Elmer Fudd’s, Road Runner’s and Daffy Duck’s, greatest moments in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. BIFF will be screening lots of Looney Tunes’ shorts throughout the festival including Road Runner’s first outing in Fast and Furry-ous (1949), as well as What’s Opera, Doc? (1957) and Duck Amuck (1953). There’ll be lots of activities for all ages inspired by the animator’s delightfully unique sense of entertainment. Free drop-in family workshops at the National Media Museum include Looney Tunes Sound Effects and Cartoon Creations, allowing visitors to bring their own animations to life.
Cost: Entrance to the museum is free but see website for individual film ticket prices.
Where: From Newcastle to Amsterdam, Dfds.co.uk/wildlife
When: Every other day from 26 March to 14 Sep
Spot white beaked dolphins, minke whale, harbour porpoise and sea birds on a short break to Amsterdam with DFDS Seaways. Led by officers from the whale and dolphin charity ORCA, you’ll take part in deck watches, enjoy lively presentations and be able to learn more about marine life as you cruise overnight. Then spend a day in Amsterdam, exploring Madame Tussauds or Amsterdam zoo, before returning to the ship for more wildlife watching on your return journey.
Cost: 40 per cent off until end of May. From £47pp (was £79pp) based on two sharing or from £38pp based on four sharing.
Where: Ffos Las Racecourse, Carmarthenshire, Ffoslasracecourse.com
When: April 13
Rev up, sit back and sing along to number one musical Grease amidst the unlikely setting of Ffos Las racecourse set in the rolling hills and countryside of the Gwendraeth Valley overlooking Carmarthen Bay. Visit the on site funfair for the full Rydell High Experience, too.
Cost: Adults, £8, children, £5. Tickets must be booked in advance.
Where: Swadlincote Ski & Snowboard Centre, Derbyshire, Jnlswadlincote.co.uk
When: 6 & 9 April
Take a half hour ski or snowboard taster lesson for just £5. There's also tobogganing, Sno-tubing and ski/snowboarding open practice.
Cost: Ski or snowboarding, £5, Tobogganing: £1, Sno-Tube, £4.
Where: Lee Valley Regional Park, London, Visitleevalley.org.uk and Wildplaceyourspace.org.uk
When: 31 March and April 1, 7, 8 & 9
Let your little monsters meet the local wildlife in a series of free mini ‘Really Wild Watch’ events in east London. Wild Place Your Space, a project created by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority helps bring people closer to nature. Each event takes place in or around the Lee Valley Regional Park, which winds its way 26 miles along the banks of the River Lee in Hertfordshire, down through Essex and north London to the East India Dock Basin on the River Thames. Take guided walks, make bird feeders and bird-spot in locations such as Tottenham Marshes and Middlesex Filter Beds, Hackney
Cost : Free
Where: Nationwide, Entries can be submitted online at Rhs.org.uk/photocompetition
When: Entries close August 31
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has launched its global search for the most inspirational and creative garden photography. Children and young photographers are invited to compete for the coveted RHS Young Photographer of the Year title, and prizes include a digital camera and photographic vouchers. All entrants also have the chance to win the Medici Cards Award, where the photo will be reproduced as a greetings card.
Cost: Entrance fees are free to Under 18s
Where: Quad, Derby, Derbyquad.co.uk
When: 7 & 14 April
On 7th April, join the Do superheroes have pets? workshop and create a pet sidekick for your favourite superhero. On April 14, the Dress Like a Superhero workshop invites you to invent headgear, cloaks and accessories and transform yourself into Super-Dooper Man, Wonder Blunder Woman…you get the picture.
Cost: Free, but book ahead
Where: Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm, near Truro, Healeyscyder.co.uk
When: Through April
Take a tour around one of the few working cyder farms open to the public, enjoy tractor rides around the orchards, view the bottling line, still, museum and the cellars and enjoy tastings in the farm shop and restaurant. The kids will love the horses, pigs, peacocks and Scrumpy the dog, and mum and dad can enjoy a tipple or two.
PS: In case you were wondering… Cyder with a ‘y’ is the true Cornish spelling!
Cost: Entry is free. Tour prices: Adult, £7, child, £4.50
Where: Santa Pod Raceway, Northamptonshire, Santapod.com
When: 6-9 April
An action packed weekend of high octane action for all the family at the home of adrenaline-fuelled Drag Racing, the Auto Trader Easter Thunderball includes Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car shoot out, National Drag Racing, Jet Cars, stunts and jaw-dropping destruction and mayhem created by Monster Trucks ‘Podzilla’ and ‘Swamp Thing’ as they battle it out. There’s also the opportunity to ride the Red Dragon Truck and enjoy sideshows, stalls and a fun fair.
Cost: Advance tickets start at £10 and £60 for four days. Under 16s go free. Camping is free for multiple ticket day holders.
Where: Various theatres, nationwide, Thechucklebrothersontour.co.uk
When: April to September
See the Chuckle Brothers in a swashbuckling adventure in The Return of the Pirates of the River Rother in Stranger Tights… Paul and Barry are visiting a theme park for the day and decide to brave going on one of the daring water rides. But they lean on a wall, accidentally fall through and find themselves magically transported back in time in to a world of pirates and sunken treasures.
Cost: £14 per ticket or £52 for a family of four
Where: Thames Foreshore, starting at Museum of London, Barbican, Museumoflondon.org.uk
When: 22 April, 10.30 – 12.30
Join the team from the Thames Explorers Trust on a family walk of the Thames foreshore to search for archaeological finds. Learn how to discover artefacts on the banks of the river and take what you find. To avoid disappointment arrive at the Museum when it opens at 10am to pick up your free tickets. Families should wear sturdy footwear and no buggies please.
Where: Carluccio's Restaurants nationwide, check website for details of your nearest class, Carluccios.com
When: 3-12 April
Easter celebrations in Italy are fun, family-focused and always start in the kitchen. Carluccio’s children's biscuit decorating classes celebrate this relaxed, hands-on approach - and you can relax over a cup of Italian coffee, knowing you won’t have to clear up the mess- bliss! Children will decorate Easter egg and bunny shaped biscuits with rainbow sprinkles and colourful icing, ahead of the all important taste test with mamma e papà.
Cost: £10 including a juice for the budding baker
Where: Tatton Park, Manchester, Tattonpark.org.uk
When: 7-9 April
Prepare to wear your widest ‘Cheshire Cat’ smile. Step your way through the looking glass in the Mansion and follow the trail through the house. There’s a Mad Hatter's Tea Party in the gardens where a cast of curious characters are taking tea. At the Farm, the Queen of Hearts will be weaving some magical stories and you can meet the lovely spring lambs and follow the Cheshire Cat trail. And there's even more magic dust in the Stableyard where the White Rabbit will appear with Poz the Magician and there’s an Alice themed Punch & Judy show too.
Cost : Adult, £10, child, £5