Top 3 Activities for Children this Half Term

Top 3 Activities for Children this Half Term

Kids on your hands and time to kill this half term? We’ve picked our Top Three educational, entertaining and inspiring activities going on across the Island…

Spies, spooks, rockets and pirates at the Needles Battery

The Needles Battery has a whole timetable of events for the week and the New Battery has an artist, Katayoun Dowlatshahi, in residence on Friday October 28th to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the launch of Prospero.

The activities on the Friday will run from 1pm till 5pm and include a team of 11 apprentices and engineers from Astrium demonstrating working (and very loud) pulse jet rockets on the concrete gantries and an interactive memory wall to encourage all those who work or have worked within the space industry, their families and friends, to donate photographs, artefacts as archives for the wall and to write significant memories to share with the public. The memory wall will become part of The National Trust archives.

Water Rockets – pump up your own water rockets and see how high they go. Rocket Races – create your own rocket out of tissue paper and balloons to race against each other, workshops start on the every hour. Decorate a lantern into a colourful rocket with tissue paper ready to launch at dusk.

At 2pm there is a talk ‘Space and Society’ a talk by guest speaker Richard Peckham who is the Business Development Director for Astrium in the UK and Chairman of UKSpace. At 3pm‘Prospero’ a talk by guest speaker from Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London. At 4pm there is a talk by guest speaker historian Nicolas Hill, author of the Vertical Empire. At 5pm there is a Black Arrow Model Rocket Launch.

Then at 5.10pm there is a count down to lantern launch at dusk (Please bring a battery powered torch for the walk back.) See the Quay Arts website for further details and to book.

Other activities during the week

Pirate Trail – Sunday October 23rd 10.30am – 3.30pm. Follow the clues to crack the secret code. No prize, just for fun.

Children at War – Tuesday October 25th. Discover what it would have been like to be a child during the war. Talks for children at 12.30pm, 1.30pm & 2.30pm

Drawing Magic - Wednesday October 26th 10.30am – 4pm. Join in a day of children’s drawing activities base on rockets and space. Materials provided.

Battle Drums – Thursday October 27th. Meet our Victorian military drummer and discover how commands were conveyed by drum on the battle field. Demonstrations at 12 noon, 1pm and 2.30pm

Pirate Trail - Friday October 28th 10.30am – 3.30pm. Follow the clues to crack the secret code. No prize, just for fun.

Spy Trail – Saturday October 29th 10.30am – 4pm. Follow the clues to crack the secret code. Normal admission charges. Free trail sheet (no prize, just spytacular fun).

Halloween trail – Sunday October 30th 10.30am – 4pm. Follow the spooky clues to crack the spine tingling code. No prize, just for fun.

Normal admission prices apply (National Trust members free). No additional charges for activities.

Beauty and the Beast at Shanklin Theatre

This is the Disney* musical version of this popular children’s story, not the panto, and the Island Savoyards are taking themselves to new heights in staging and performing this classic tale.

With the licence to perform this spectacular show, one of the most popular and enchanting romantic stories ever told, the Savoyards promise “extremely colourful and amazing costumes,” and an afternoon or evening to remember.

“Staging such a show will be a huge challenge which hopefully will take the company to new heights,” says their website. “It is a ‘one-off’, so bring family and friends along to experience the enchantement of Disney’s classical musical.”

Performances are on:

Thursday 27th October at 7.30pm

Friday 28th October at 7.30pm

Saturday 29th October at 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Sunday 30th October at 2.30pm


The Enchanted Forest at Chessell Pottery

Nestled beneath the downs and not far from the expansive forest of Brighstone, Chessell Pottery Barns have decided to use ‘The Enchanted Forest’ as inspiration for their half term pottery designing sessions.

You could opt for a walk in the forest before heading down to this idyllic converted farm with your children who can then have a go at making their own ‘Enchanted’ pottery designs. Easy-to-use decorating sponges will be out during the week with everything from leaves and acorns, to toadstools, woodland fairies, unicorns and lanterns.

The Enchanted Forest at Chessell Pottery runs from Monday October 24th to Friday October 28th and the attraction and shop are open from 9.30am to 5.30pm daily (closed on Mondays in term time). The studio fee is £5.50 per person and covers all materials, demonstration, glazing and firing and then you pay for whatever you’d like to decorate with prices starting at £5.95. All ages are welcome and there is disabled access and baby changing and free parking.

Chessell has been awarded ‘Best Island Cream Tea 2010/11’ from the Wight Good Food Guide for the second year running so, while the children are busy decorating you could treat yourself to an ‘Ultimate Island Cream Tea’. The Gift Barn stocks the largest range of Emma Bridgewater pottery on the Island plus cards, local arts and crafts and locally made preserves. It is also home to a range of Fair Trade, traditional and wooden toys as well as a selection of pocket money items.

*Beauty and the Beast, ‘Disney’ and associated artwork are the property and copyright of Disney and are used under the licence issued to the Island Savoyards to perform this show. © Disney