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Theme parks, shows and crafts: 11 things to do with the family this half term; Puddle jumping and mud pits, ice skating and theme parks - get stuck in to the school holidays whatever your budget.

Byline: Joanne Welford

Half term is almost here - need an idea or two to keep your little 'uns amused?

There's plenty going on in and around Teesside, whatever your budget.

Here're 10 things to try:

Get your wellies and your woolies out and head for RSPB Saltholme on the banks of the Tees where the nature reserve team is encouraging families to explore the great outdoors.

Every year the reserve celebrates Welly Season - this year there'll be a welly splash, water works and the chance to splodge in the newly opened mud pit.

There'll also be nest box workshops and the creation of a new willow structure in the Discovery Zone. The reserve is open from 9.30am until 4pm throughout the half term holiday. Entry is [pounds sterling]5 per car, free for RSPB members.

Families with younger kids can enjoy a fun packed half term at Lightwater Valley whatever the weather.

The theme park, always a popular draw for Teessiders, has indoor and outdoor activities aimed at the under eights from Thursday Feb 21 to Tuesday Feb 26.

Child-friendly rides, a s pecial UV puppet show and the Riggmoor Mobile Farm will be on offer plus rides including Skyrider, Eagles' Creek Farm, Carousel, Eagle's Claw, Trauma Tower, Noah's Ark, Human Cannonball, Lady Bug and Space Pirates. Tickets must be pre-booked.Click herefor more information.

Gisborough Priory Project hosts its Snowdrop Sunday in the Priory Woodland Gardens on Sunday February 24. Entry is free - simply go through the Gisborough Priory entrance, next to St Nicholas' Church or via the Bow Street Centre car park, between 1pm and 3pm and head for the woodland gardens.

If Dancing on Ice has you hankering to lace up your skates and have a go, Billingham Forum's ice arena is right here on Teesside. The arena hosts a Half Term Full Moon UV Party on Friday, February 22 promising an Ibiza style club night event. For more informationclick here.

Pop princesses and pop pirates take over Club Groovy with a magical swashbuckling shindig for the whole family at Arc, Stockton on Saturday, February 23.

Walk the plank, sing some shanties and get down and funky at the royal ball, all dressed up and reading to groove, of course. Suitable for ages one to seven.

Dancing on Ice star Ryan Sidebottom's Tees girlfriend says his first skate was like 'seeing a toddler in high heels'

Audiences are in for a treat as Oddsocks bring their trademark humour, fast-paced action and live music to the legend that is Robin Hood.

Join Robin, Little John, Maid Marion and of course Friar Tuck at Middlesbrough Theatre on Monday and Tuesday February 18 and 19. Can the merry band teach the baddies a lesson? The villagers to revolt? The world to sing?

Tickets are [pounds sterling]13.50 for the under 16s, [pounds sterling]14.50 for adults.Click herefor more details.

Arc, Stockton is the venue for a new production aimed at children. Using projection, playful performance and aerial circus, it talks about the sky and how it is important to turn out the lights and wish upon a star.

Stella is a Star Engineer. From her home on the Moon she keeps the stars shining bright for when we need them most, to make a wish or find our way back home. But down on Earth things are changing. The world is becoming bright, busy and people aren't looking up.

The production runs on Friday and Saturday, February 22 and 23. Tickets [pounds sterling]6.

Do your bit for the plant at Preston Park Museum, Eaglescliffe this February half term. The team there have a whole host of activities planned from up-cycling crafts, junk modelling, composting and EcoBricks Construction. Plus there's the blockbuster costume exhibition Behind the Seams on until March 3.

Flamingo Land Coast: first pictures show what indoor, sea-front attraction will look like

Middlesbrough's Dorman Museum is running drop in craft sessions throughout half term - get you little ones stuck in to everything from designing an outfit to creating a bunch of spring paper flowers.

The museum is free to visit but activities carry a charge of [pounds sterling]1 per child to cover the cost of materials and can be bought from the museum shop.

Kirkleatham Owl Centre near Redcar has lots of birds and animals to meet from meerkats to birds of prey. Open during half term, you can find out morehere.

Families can step in to some classic children's tales at Ormesby Hall near Middlesbrough when the hall and gardens opens Sunday - Thursday of February half-term week.

There'll be a children's trail, character paper finger puppets to collect and the chance to dress up as everyone from Goldilocks to Little Red Riding Hood. You can also plant your own bean to take home and watch it turn into a beanstalk. More informationhere.


Credit: Simon Dewhurst Photography Ltd

February half term fun at Lightwater Valley

Credit: Rahul Thanki

Puddle jumping at RSPB Saltholme

Credit: Oddsocks Theatre Company

Robin Hood is coming to Middlesbrough Theatre

Credit: Evening Gazette

The first babies at the centre for five years
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Feb 16, 2019
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