EVENTS and DO Half-term Special
Autumn half-term feels a little different this year; large-scale gatherings are out in favour of smaller, focussed workshops and online conversations. However, there is still lots of organised fun to be had, plus empty days for enjoying the golden sun exploring forests, empty beaches and climbing hills.
Across the country, use the Wildlife Trusts’ nature reserve finder to uncover secret and new-to-you wildernesses, and search for one of their cheering, nature-friendly family events in your neck of the woods. English Heritage have a series of Halloween events and woodland walks, while the National Trust are planning pumpkin trails, mini beast safaris and wild art sessions. In Scotland? Enjoy Brodick Castle’s new Victorian arcade, or explore the two quirky playgrounds at Brodie Castle.
In the capital, both branches (City) and (Docklands) of the Museum of London have plenty happening, celebrating Black History Month, off-site, outdoor art workshops and self-guided tours through the museum and beyond.
South of the river, the Imperial War Museum’s thoughtful and compelling Refugee season continues, while the Royal Maritime Museum is running mindfulness crafts sessions and love token making.
Down south, Eastbourne’s Towner Gallery is a great place to spend a few hours with your family, and this holiday, is running an immersive, free sound-making workshop with Rita Evans. Over in the South West, the brand-new Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition goes on display at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, or you can catch the extended and fascinating Do You Believe in Magic display (pay what you can).
EVENT Get Ready To Ramble
Get your boots on for beavers! The Big Wild Walk aims to raise funds for The Wildlife Trusts 30 by 30 appeal, which aims to connect and protect 30 per cent of the UK’s land and sea. Simply set your target distance and get stomping. Will you cover 96, 000 steps; the number of kilometres an Arctic tern can travel migrating between the UK and Antartica? Or 3km a day; the same distance a hedgehog typically covers in a night? Once you sign up, you’ll receive extra goodies, such as spotter’s sheets and walk inspiration.
MAKE Green Scream
We’re gearing up for Halloween. Trick or treating may be off the agenda this year, so why not spend half-term spooking up your house using natural materials or recycling? We love this screamingly simple ghost mobile made from eggshells, twig-and-string spider webs, this Frankenstein’s monster made from an old bottle and these terrifying spirits summoned up via the medium of old milk containers. Got a strong stomach and a taste for the macabre? Why not try bleaching real animal bones!?
RECIPE Cosy Dinners
It must be autumn; we’ve got our slow cooker out. Of course, crockpots are great for stews and curries, but did you know you can make lazy macaroni cheese, Turkish breakfast eggs or bio yoghurt in yours? If you want to get even more adventurous, try chickpeas with dates, turmeric, cinnamon and almonds, sweet and spicy peanuts or raisin nut oatmeal.
EVENT Tell It Again
The Hastings Storytelling Festival brightens up the seaside town every October half-term. This year, most events are online, which means anyone can join the free fun. Enjoy nightly spicy goddess stories straight from Xanthe Gresham’s kitchen, or join an all-day feast of puppetry, tall tales, nursery rhymes and workshops on Saturday. There are even a couple of in-person events; stuntman and comedian Dan The Hat brings his improvised silliness to the Stade Hall, while carpark obsessive Gareth Rees tells stories of pylons, haunted council houses and service stations online and off. All free. October 19-25. More here
BONUS: Get prepared for clocks spinning back an hour on October 25 now! Five Ways To Cope With Clocks Going Back
What we’ve been reading this week:
Snowsuits, Scarves, Slings and Safety - Carrying in the Cold “When the weather turns chilly, or even icy, every caring parent’s mind turns to how to keep their baby warm in the cold air. Out come the snuggly snowsuits and the hooded jackets, out come the warm cosy scarves and thick cardigans, all aimed to keep you and baby toasty warm. At sling library sessions I can often be found encouraging parents to undress their babies, and often themselves! But why? Surely warmth is important?’” Read more here
Found something inspirational to read that you’d like to share? Want to share your creations with us? Have an idea for things to do? We’d love to hear from you. Email Kate