20 fun family things to do in March
Filed under: Staying in
Where: Pendennis Castle, Cornwall, English-heritage.org.uk/pendennis and 0870 333 1181
When: 9 Mar, 6pm-7.30pm & 8.30pm-10pm
Tour the Half Moon Battery, underground magazine and spooky Tudor Kitchen. Hear tales of times gone by and beware of any unexpected visitors who may be lurking round the corner! Cup of piping hot soup included to calm your nerves - don’t spill it!
Cost: Adults, £15 children, £10. English Heritage members: Adults £12, children £8.40. Minimum age 8 years
Where: Bournemouth, Birmingham, Brighton, Manchester and London, tour hotline: 0844 875 8758
When: 22- 26 March
The intrepid adventurer shares his experiences of survival, tells his epic journey to the summit of Mount Everest, and shares behind the scenes stories at his hit show and best selling book Mud, Sweat and Tears. Scouts will love this - but so will you.
Cost: £39.50 all venues (subject to booking fees)
Where: World Museum, Liverpool, Lliverpoolmuseums.org.uk/wml
When: 3 & 4 March, 2-4pm
Not for the squeamish, this workshop’s all about finding out which insects you can add to your salad, roast dinner or sandwiches - yum! Try eating one for yourself - if you dare. There’s a certificate for those brave enough…
Cost: Free. Collect a ticket from the information desk on the day
Where: The Eden Project, Cornwall, Edenproject.com
When: 3 March
Proud of your pasty? Enter the contest and you could be crowned pasty world champion! There are professional and amateur categories to enter so why not give it a go?
Cost: Entry fee of £10 per pasty, which also gives you and one other person free entry to Eden on the day of the competition. Or if you just want to go and watch (and explore the stunning indoor gardens of course) tickets cost from £19 per adult
Where: Nationwide, Sportrelief.com and special kids’ website at Sportrelief.com/warmupworld
When: Sunday 25 March
Sport Relief is inviting kids and their families to enter the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile. There are hundreds of one, three and six mile events happening across the UK, so everyone can compete - from tiny toddlers to top-notch sports pros! Kids can walk it three-legged, bounce on space hoppers in fancy dress or just jog along. Highlights will be beamed out to living rooms across the UK in the BBC’s Mile Show on the Sunday evening – so those who have taken part in the Mile might make it onto the telly, too.
Cost: £6 adult, £3 child (register online)
Where: Lake Windermere, Cumbria, Windermere-lakecruises.co.uk
When: Weekends in March
Try out a family-friendly ‘Walkers Ticket’ - it includes a cruise from either Waterhead or Bowness across to the beautiful Wray Castle, owned by the National Trust. After exploring the castle’s grounds take a picturesque lakeside walk to Ferry House, stop off for a picnic and feed the resident ducks and swans, before embarking on a return cruise.
Cost: £25 for Family Walkers Ticket (two adults and up to three children)
Where: SEA LIFE London Aquarium, Sealife.co.uk.net/london
When: All of March
Get face to fin with over 20 sharks in this new attraction (including some really big ‘uns!). Step onto a glass walkway and see them swim inches from your feet and then view them at your leisure in a gigantic pacific reef display. There are fun interactives for kids to get their hands on too and you can of course see all the other sea-life in the Aquarium, including penguins, rare Cuban crocodiles and green turtles.
Cost: Entry to shark reef is included in general admission: £19.80 adults, £14.40 children. Book online for discounted tickets.
Where: Clapham Common, London
When: 4 March, 2-5pm
Support Help for Heroes by taking part in (or running your own) fundraising egg and spoon races. Head down to Clapham Common for a Family Eggstravaganza. Take part in the Eggstreme Egg and Spoon tournament, have fun on a bouncy castle, challenge each other to giant games, have your face painted and be treated to a delicious pancake at the Eggs for Soldier Pancake Cart.
Cost: There’s no entrance fee but any donations to Help for Heroes will be gratefully received. 15p from the sale of every khaki green box of six ‘Eggs For Soldiers’ goes direct to the charity too.
Where: Centre For Life, Newcastle, NewcastleScienceFest.com
When: 10 & 11 March
Part of a week long festival for science fans, The ScienceFest Weekender is a family fun extravaganza with robots, hands-on experiments and mind bending optical illusions. Includes the chance to solve prehistoric crimes in Dino Dig Workshops, make stomp rockets and meet playful puppet Bjorn the Polar Bear whose minders Ursula and Arthur give a fascinating nature-documentary style talk about polar bears and their environment.
Cost: £10 for a family ticket (two adults and two children)
Where: RSPB Lake Vyrnwy Visitor Centre, Llanwddyn, Powys, (Enquiries Tel: 01691 870278)
When: Sat 24, Sun 25 Mar, 1-3pm & Sat 31 Mar, Sun 1 Apr, 1-3pm
Join the farmer and his wife on the RSPB reserve’s wildlife-friendly organic farm for a day watching- and even helping - lambs being born. Bless!
Cost: Adult RSPB members £2.50, adult non-members £5; children RSPB members, £1.50, children non-members £2.50
Where: Drayton Manor, Tamworth, Staffordshire, Draytonmanorhotel.co.uk
When: Weekends in March
Enjoy a ‘Stay & Play package at Drayton Manor Theme Park. Stay in the 4-star Drayton Manor Hotel (some rooms are Thomas-the-Tank-Engine themed) and play at Drayton Manor’s Thomas Land, packed with rides and attractions based on loveable Thomas & Friends characters, including Cranky the Crane and Harold the Helicopter. Your ‘Play’ also includes entry to Drayton Manor Zoo home to more than 100 animal species including big cats, monkeys and primates. (Please note, no other attractions will be open during these weekends.)
Cost: Stay & Play packages start from just £104.00, based on a family of four (two adults and two children) sharing a standard Family Room with full English breakfast.
Where: London, Brighton and Oxford, Festivalchocolate.co.uk
When: 17-18 March (Brighton); 24-25 March, Oxford; 30 March-1 April, London
Tempt your taste buds with artisan-produced delights and rub shoulders with multi-award winning Master Chocolatiers at tutored tastings and cookery demonstrations. Bliss.
Cost: Free entry (but expect to spend plenty on yummy treats!)
Where: Various locations around Scotland, Puppetanimationfestival.org
When: 24 March - 17 April
See puppetry performances, animation shows and take part in workshops where you can play with puppets, make your own and learn simple animation skills and techniques with leading animator Thomas Hick.
Cost: Various prices, see website for details
Where: The tour takes in nine cities including Cardiff, Sheffield and Aberdeen, Livenation.co.uk
When: March 21-29
See the jaw-dropping basketball skills and wizardry of the legendary basketball stars. Even if you thought you didn’t like basketball, you’ll be wowed over. The ‘rookie’ team includes the UK’s Paul ‘Tiny’ Sturgess who is the world’s tallest pro basketball player at 7’8” and the team’s first female player in nearly two decades.
Cost: From £14.50 to £45.80
Where: London Olympia, Moveitdance.co.uk
When: 9-11 March
The UK’s biggest dance event features performances, inspiring dance classes, auditions, and a chance to meet dance stars like Kimberley Wyatt (Pussycat Dolls), Twist & Pulse, Arlene Phillips, Flawless and the English National Ballet.
Cost: One day passes: Adult, £13.50, child (5-15), £10.50; children under five, free.
Where: The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, NEC, Birmingham
When: Thursday and Friday, 15-16 March is for school groups and Saturday 17th for families.
An award-winning combination of exciting theatre shows, interactive workshops and exhibits delivered by household names, together with careers information provided by a wide range of people already working in the field, The Big Bang Fairs aims to help young people to see science and engineering in a new light. Try building bridges with chocolate, learn about the forces behind rollercoasters, make movie magic with special effects and discover how to save the world in 60 minutes. Meet robots, flying penguins and more.
Cost: Free entry
Where: LEGO Mania, Milestones Museum, Basingstoke, 3hants.gov.uk
When: All of Match until 15 April
Watch Duncan Titmarch, the UK’s only certified professional LEGO builder, construct a model of a Tudor Palace (Basing House) using 150,000 LEGO bricks. Join in competitions, expert building classes, play on LEGO interactives, see famous movies acted out by LEGO minifigures and customize your own LEGO mini figure.
Cost: Adult, £7.90. child 5-15, £4.75; under 5, free.
Where: Anglesey Sea Zoo & RibRide Seamor's Seafari, Snowdonia, Angleseyseazoo.co.uk
When: Every Thursdays & Friday, plus other days and times are available by arrangement.
Take an exciting voyage of discovery on a ‘Seafari’ through the whirlpools of the famous Menai Strait Swellies, on a RibRide speedboat with your own expert marine biologist. You’ll speed through striking locations, such as the Puffin Islands, while learning all about the local wildlife you encounter, from seals to turtles.
Cost: Adults: £29, children: £19 (must be over the age of four)
Where: Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Lancashire, Wwt.org.uk
When: Weekends in March
‘Gardening for Wildlife’ events over March weekends include pond dipping, making paper pots to plant seeds, building a bird’s nest, and helping to create a wildflower area by planting and sowing seeds. There’s an adventure play area and the chance to see otters and beavers too.
Cost: Adult, £10.45, child (4-16), £5.10 (with gift aid)
Where: National Space Centre, Leicester, Spacecentre.co.uk
When: 10-11 March
A celebration of all things Science Fiction and British. From Captain Scarlet to Doctor Who, Thunderbirds and Red Dwarf. There’ll be walk-through experiences, interactive games, planetarium shows plus props and costumes from your favourite Sci-Fi Series including the original K9 and some scary Daleks. Be brave, you can do this!
Cost: Adult, £13, child 5-16, £11
Let us know if you head to any of these and how you get on!