Tuesday 14 May 2019

Summer Half Term Round Up for families in Manchester and the NW UK

The holidays are almost upon us again and a lot of children in the Manchester and North West area now get 2 weeks off and a slightly shorter Summer, so you'll be pleased to know there are plenty of places you can go and things you can do - and I'll add to this post as emails come in!

Here's a round up and it's really eclectic this break, so there should be something for everyone! Never forget your local Museums and Libraries, and many parks and leisure centres will arrange special events!

Family Theatre: Eric Carle, Pinocchio, Bear Hunt
Epstein Theatre, Liverpool

Sunday 19 – Monday 20 May
The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Eric Carle’s timeless tale makes its way from the page to the stage. The critically acclaimed production features a menagerie of 75 lovable puppets, faithfully adapting four of Eric Carle’s stories, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, The Very Lonely Firefly and the star of the show The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Tuesday 28 May
The Amazing Adventures of Pinocchio. Immersion Theatre are back at the Epstein with a brand-new musical adaptation of the classic tale. This magical and high energy musical is packed with comedy, audience interaction, and a host of new songs guaranteed to have audiences singing along.

Sunday 30 June – Monday 1 July.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt makes a joyous return to The Epstein Theatre direct from the West End. Based on the much-loved picture book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, expect catchy songs, interactive scenes, plenty of adventure and a few surprises along the way.

Date: Sunday 19 – Monday 20 May
Time: Sun 1pm & 4pm, Mon 11am & 1:30pm
Tickets: Adult £14.50, Child £12.50, Family £50

Date: Tuesday 28 May
Time: 2pm
Tickets: Standard £14, Family £48, Groups (10+): £12.50

Date: Sunday 30 June – Monday 1 July
Time: Sun 1:30pm & 4:30pm, Mon 10:30am & 1:30pm
Tickets: Standard £13, Family £47, Groups (10+): £10 & 1 in 10 free.

To book tickets please call 0844 888 4411 or go online at www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk or visit in person at The Epstein Theatre Box Office from 12pm - 6pm Monday - Saturday. All tickets subject to booking fee. All prices include a £1 per ticket venue restoration levy

Treasure Island Carrs Pasty Treasure Hunt
Bolton Museum 

Sat 25th May
To celebrate the Octagon Theatre’s upcoming production of Treasure Island, the Octagon have teamed up with Carrs Pasties to hide “treasure” in amongst the collections at Bolton Museum.

There will be 40 vouchers for the lucky finders to claim FREE pasties and 5 vouchers for a FREE family ticket to see the Octagon’s festive production of Treasure Island that will be sailing into the Premier Suite at the University of Bolton Stadium this December.

The treasure hunt will be a chance for families to explore the fabulous collections in the newly transformed Museum that reopened last year. Since opening the museum has achieved record visitor figures and with Egyptian mummies to local history and wildlife, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Head down to the museum on Saturday from 9am to find yourself a FREE pasty voucher and FREE family ticket for Treasure Island – once they are gone, they’re gone!

Celebrate 50 years since the Moon Landings
Eureka Museum, Halifax

Saturday 25th May through to Sunday 2nd June
Family favourite Eureka! The National Children’s Museum will be launching a brand new space show and inviting budding space explorers to take part in astronaut training including a human gyroscope.
Find out what it was like to be on the moon, what we left up there, when we might go back and how the moon might be involved in deep space exploration in the future!
Budding astronauts can find out how they’d cope in zero gravity by being spun in a human gyroscope and test themselves in a series of astro-training challenges, or stop by to meet the Eureka! Space Explorer to see some genuine space artifacts and learn all about them.

Eureka! Moon Mission activities are included in standard admission (£12.95), or free to annual pass holders (also £12.95). Find out more on the Eureka Museum website

MakeFest & Tinkertastic
Manchester Science and Industry Museum

Every day throughout the May half term, the museum’s Explainers will host a special Science Showdown show themed around famous inventors and makers who got it wrong first time and through trial and error, succeeded. Guests can watch live experiments and some lucky volunteers can even be part of the show. Everyone will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite invention at the end.

Alongside all this, any trip to the museum features exhibitions from the iconic early railway locomotive, Stephenson’s Rocket and the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station to a working replica of the first stored programme computer, Baby, developed right here in Manchester. Perfect for inspiring the next generation of inventors to create something new and change the world.

25th May and 26th May
MakeFest will be returning to Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum this May half term. Taking over the museum, this will be a weekend of tinkering, testing, coding and creating, all supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious scheme. From driving a buggy across a moonscape and telling stories with recycled wood creations to making a mini version of a massive geodome and turning colour into music, MakeFest visitors will discover their inner inventor with plenty of family fun and a give-it-a-go attitude.

27th May until 2nd June
Tinkertastic features dozens of DIY tasks, so mums, dads, children and grandparents can all enjoy working together and getting hands-on with a plethora of exciting activities hosted by an array of engineers, hackers, coders, makers, artists and scientists from all over the North West and beyond. Families can make, try, experiment and discover hidden talents as the museum showcases the best global innovations that have been invented through DIY, tinkering and making.
Tinkertastic also features daily free in-depth workshops and drop-in making sessions. The Made-up Machines workshop will have families creating parts of a bigger machine, but will everything work when they’re put together? You’ll only find out at the end. For the drop-in Build a Band session, guests make musical instruments out of scrap. How about a set of rubber glove bagpipes?

Find out more about exactly what is happening and when on the Manchester Science and Industry Museum website. Entry to the museum is free of charge with a suggested donation. Creative workshops may have a small fee.

Drag Queen Story Time - Zog
Z-Arts, Hulme, Manchester

Saturday 25 May
Z-arts once again hosts Drag Queen Story Time in partnership with STUN, celebrating the imagination of childhood and connecting children with LGBTQ+ role models of colour. The book for this season’s story time will be Zog by Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler, telling the tale of an unlikely friendship between a dragon and a princess.
Hosting this season’s story time is celebrated drag queen The Nightbus, who uses spoken word, poetry and storytelling to interrogate queerness, race, and religion and the way these are presented in society. “I think there are people out there who are ready to embrace a future that doesn’t look like today,” says The Nightbus. “And that’s really powerful and really important.” The project invites children and their parents to imagine a world where people are not judged on their appearance or identity.

Drag Queen Storytime is suitable for ages 3+. There are two performances, starting at 10.30am and 12pm, and individual tickets are all priced at £3. Booking is essential. Tickets are available now from the Z-Arts website

Half Term Family Programme
Waterside, Sale

Sat 25 May – Sun 2 June

Sat 25 May 14:00 / £5 / Family Club £2.50
Six years after the events of Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph and Vanellope, now friends, discover a
wi-fi router in their arcade, leading them into a new adventure.
COMEDYSPORTZ 4 TOTS Age 6 & under: 45m
Sat 25 May 15:00 / £5 | £3
An all ages, all improvised show where two teams battle it out for laughs. The earlier
show is for younger audiences.
Sat 25 May 18:00 £5 / Family Club £2.50
Decades after her original visit, the magical nanny returns to help the Banks siblings and
Michael's children through a difficult time in their lives.
COMEDYSPORTZ  Age 7+: 2 hrs inc interval
Sat 25 May 18:30 £7 / £5
An all ages, all improvised show where two teams battle it out for laughs as players
create quick-witted sketches, scenes and songs from whatever suggestions are thrown at
them by the audience.
Half Moon Theatre presents A Lots of Odds Theatre production:
THE GOOSE WHO FLEW Age 3 – 7 years | 40 mins
Sun 26 May 11:00 & 14:30 £9 / £7 | Family Club £4.50
Goose loves the summer, playing with his family and friends, but soon it is time for him
to fly south for the winter. As his journey begins, things are not as they should be. Using
charming storytelling, simple puppetry and an assortment of quirky characters, this is a
heartfelt story about the importance of compassion, community and understanding.
Dommy B presents:
WHEN TROLLS TRY TO EAT YOUR GOLDFISH Ages 5+ | 70 mins plus interval
Wed 29 May 11:30 & 14:00 £9 | £7 | Family Club £4.50
Dommy B returns to Waterside for another captivating show!
In the middle of the night there is a noise - a snuffling and a shuffling and a splintering of
wood. A line of troll-prints lead out the door, across the lawn and into the deep, dark
forest. All of the animals have disappeared! Where have they gone? One young girl is
going to do everything she can to save the day.
Escapade Productions presents
RUBY REDFORT Age 8+ | 65 mins
Sun 2 Jun 13:30 & 15:30 £12 | £10 | Family Club £8 15:30 show
When the world's greatest criminal masterminds target a supernatural statue, it's up to
us and Ruby – maths genius, special agent and 13-year-old girl – to crack the case.
A breath-taking production from emerging family theatre company Escapade
Productions, adapted from the novel by 10th Children’s Laureate Lauren Child.

Find out more and book tickets on the Waterside website

Cheshire Fest 2019
Manchester Rugby Club, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire

Saturday 1 June and Sunday 2 June. 
The 2019 event promises to be the biggest yet, with a festival ground twice the size of last year, a larger Main Stage, and a packed programme of family fun, entertainment, live music, food and drink.
Featuring incredible live acts on the Cheshire Fest Main Stage, a brand new Acoustic Stage, fun-filled Kids Stage and Play Park, and the best food and drink from Cheshire and beyond to keep festivalgoers fed and watered all weekend.
The Cheshire Fest Main Stage will feature a fantastic line-up of the UK’s best tribute acts across both days.
The Fillers and Kazabian will play on Saturday 1 June when the ‘Big Hitters’ theme promises a line-up of rock ‘n’ roll, indie pop and festival favourite inspired artists. They join headliners Kings Ov Leon, along with The Phonics (Stereophonics) and Tina Turner tribute Totally Tina, who have already been announced.
Meanwhile The Stones and Vicky Jackson as Pink take to the main stage on Sunday 2 June which has a ‘Family Favourites’ theme which will entertain audiences with a host of all-time music greats for all ages.
Critically acclaimed Queen tribute Flash, Bruno – A Tribute To Bruno Mars and Little Mix tribute band Little Fix are also part of the Sunday line-up.
The all-new Acoustic Stage will complement the Cheshire Fest Main Stage programme. The new stage zone will be set amongst deckchair seating, hay bales and bunting, offering festivalgoers the chance to chill-out in a relaxing family friendly environment.
The event will be packed with fun for young festivalgoers as they sing, dance, and play all weekend at The Kids Stage and Play Park. Disney legends Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Mary Poppins will perform classic songs and meet their young fans. For kids that prefer capes and comic books, a cast of Superheroes including Iron Man, Hulk and the caped crusader himself Batman. Find yourselves face-to-face with a Giant T-Rex; go hi-tech and walk in the boots of a Wild West sheriff or become a famous rock star thanks to VRyourself; or craft sand art and slime in the Craft Tent.
The Play Park is the perfect place to burn off that Summer excitement with inflatables from Bonkers World. The silent disco is also back and Bring the Fire Project will close the Kids Stage programme, treating audiences to a fantastic fire dancing finale.
For food and drink Cheshire Fest have brought together the finest selection of local independents and quality festival traders. Street food from around the world will be complemented by real ales, craft beers, ciders, as well as a gin garden, smoothies and a cocktail bar.

TICKETS: Child (6 to 15) Day £8 / Weekend £12.75 : Adult (16+) Day £17.50/ Weekend £25.50
VIP Tickets (18+, private tent and viewing area with washroom facilities, and a bottle of Prosecco on arrival) Single Day £50/ Weekend £90 - Ticket prices are subject to booking and administration fees

Times: Saturday 1st June 12pm to 11pm / Sunday 2nd June 12pm to 11pm. Book online and find out more on the Cheshire Fest website. 

The Secrets of Afflecks and The Northern Quarter
Northern Quarter, Manchester

Saturday 1st June
The Secrets of Afflecks Tour is set to take guests on a fascinating history of the Northern Quarter, Afflecks building and behind the scenes of the emporium. The tour is led by well-known writer and guide, Jonathan Schofield, and attendees will receive discounts for shopping post tour.

Afflecks are also calling for memories and photographs of Afflecks for special exhibition to celebrate the 11-year anniversary since local property company Bruntwood took over the building and saved it from closure.

Attendees on the tour can expect to go behind the scenes to the ‘floor where the public don’t venture’ on the fourth level. They can expect surprises, fascinating interiors, and to discover secret artworks, hidden theatres and mysterious locations. The tour party will be free to explore and shop at Afflecks under their own steam afterwards and will receive special tour discounts from some of the traders.

Tickets to The Secrets of Afflecks and The Northern Quarter are £10 and available at Jonathan Schofield Tours. Attendees will meet outside Fred Aldous (M1 1LW) in Stevenson Square at 10.30am on Saturday 1 June. The tours last approximately 1.5 hours.

Mole & Gecko: THE SHOW

Saturday 8 June, 11am Age 5+
Spoken word artist Simon Mole and singer/songwriter Gecko team up to bring a brand new children’s show to Z-arts, an interactive rap musical featuring animals, rivers, adventures – and you, the audience!
Poet Simon Mole and musician Gecko have joined forces to write and perform a new show for children (aged 5+), and families. Mole & Gecko: THE SHOW tells the story rather aptly of a mole and a gecko, with the help of the audience. There are live songs, rap stories, instant poems and a weasel with a serious biscuit problem. Join our heroes as they discover that what they thought they were searching for might be less important than what they find along the way. The audience is a key part of this show, as you are invited to suggest lines and lyrics for the performers throughout their epic adventure.
Mole and Gecko is the first full-length show that Simon Mole has made with Gecko, a singer/songwriter known for his intelligent observational lyrics and comic song-writing.
There’s also the chance to take part in the Adventure Poetry Workshop, designed for children and their adults to build skills through games and activities, write their own futures in poetry and song, and rap their most epic adventures.

Mole and Gecko is suitable for 5+ year olds and their grown ups. The show starts at 11am and lasts for 45 minutes. Tickets are £6 - £9 and booking is essential.

Tickets are available now from Z-Arts Website

Storyhouse, Chester.

Saturday 15 June
A comedy circus show from Australia, Chores is the story of two brothers who have to clean up their messy room so they can ride their bicycles. A storyline many families can relate to, this show is packed with cool stunts, acrobatic flips, unicycles, juggling – and not forgetting the infamous toilet paper guns!
Chores is brought to you by Hoopla Clique performers Julian Roberts and Morgan Wilson. These two talented theatre clowns redefine slapstick humour and showcase teamwork, trust and co-operation.
The physical comedy is suitable for diverse audiences as it requires little language and speaks to young and old alike. Inspired by Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, this is a show that’s made for children, but there is plenty of hilarity to amuse parents and families too!
Find it hard to get your kids to do their chores? After seeing this show, they’ll be super excited to get stuck in!

Performances at 11am and 2pm. Running time approximately 60 minutes, suitable for youngsters aged 2 or older, tickets £10 adults / £8 children

To book tickets and find out more visit www.storyhouse.com, call 01244 409 113 or visit the Ticket Kiosks at Storyhouse, Chester.

Photo's of Afflecks Palace interior with merchandise/stalls courtesy of RedRoseMummy Pippa

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