This February, many schools in England and Wales will be closing down for one week for the annual February half term holiday. Being at the end of winter, and following on from the excesses of Christmas, the week isn’t a typical choice for families seeking to book a break.

However, here in the Lake District most attractions are offering activities for families during the week beginning 18th February in order to entice visitors in. Whether you are a visiting family on a winter break, or a local resident seeking ways to keep the children quiet, there are plenty of ways to entertain the children this half term.

1. Design it! LEGO WeDo Workshops, The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven

Half Term at the Beacon Museum February 2019

If you have a child with a keen interest in Lego, robots, and computer programming, then this is the event for you. Working in collaboration with the Institute of Engineering Technology, and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven is running these exciting and interactive one-hour sessions that will use Lego WeDo bricks and elements to create robots that can perform simple tasks to overcome a problem. The sessions are suitable for children aged 3 and above, and are ideal for children who are interested in programming and robotics but have not had many opportunities to expand this interest.

The sessions themselves are free, but you will need to pay for museum entry. In addition, spaces are limited, so you do need to book your slot in advance. You will need to book a space for every child and adult who is attending. Sessions are available at 11am and 1.30pm each day from 16th to 24th February, 2019. More information is available on their official website.

2. Holiday Activities with Path to Adventure, Coniston & Langdale

Path to Adventures Activities February 2019

Path to Adventure are an outdoor adventure company that offer a number of different experiences, such as canoeing, abseiling, and ghyll scrambling. The experiences are normally tailored to suit the individual, but this half term, the adventure company is hosting events that families can simply book onto.

The events are designed to give families with children a chance to experience some of the fabulous adventures that the outdoors have to offer. All under 18s must be accompanied by an adult and advanced booking is required. Sessions are available as follows:

  • 16th & 23rd February, 2pm to 5pm: Canoeing at Coniston Water. A Swallows & Amazons inspired adventure. Minimum age 5 years. £35 per person.
  • 17th February, 9.30am to 2pm: Abseiling at Cathedral Quarry. A guided walk that will include a 150 ft abseil into a quarry. Smaller abseils are available. Minimum age 12 years. £46 per person.
  • 18th February, 12.30 to 3.30pm: Rock climbing in Langdale. A chance to learn the fundamentals of rock climbing. Minimum age 6 years. £35 per person.
  • 20th February, 9.30am to 12.30pm: Family bushcraft in private woodland near Grizebeck. Learn how to make a shelter, make a fire, and cook outdoors. No minimum age. £35 per person.

You can book online here.

3. The Selfish Giant, Puppet Show at The Rheged Centre, Penrith

The Selfish Giant Performance, February 2019

Based on a children’s story by Oscar Wilde, The Selfish Giant is a beautiful piece of family theatre that uses music and puppetry to create an enchanting experience. The show tells the story of a giant named Grinter who lives alone in an icy world. One day, some children managed to break into her frozen home and thus begins the melting of a grumpy giant’s frozen heart.

The show will be performed at 11.30am and 2.30pm on Friday, 22nd February. It is around 55 minutes long and suitable for children aged 3 and up. Tickets cost £8 for adults and £6 for children. You can book tickets online here.

Rheged also has several other events taking place during half term week, including science workshops, craft workshops, animal encounter sessions, and a performance of There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly. In addition, throughout the week the cinema will be screening How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World, and The Lego Movie 2.

4. Hunt the Herdy 2019 – Random Acts of Kindness Day, Across Cumbria

Hunt the Herdy 2019

Last year, loveable gift and homeware company, Herdy, whose designs are inspired by the iconic Herdwick Sheep, held a special event to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day. They hid 32 soft toy Herdy sheep around the Lake District and asked that those who found them carried out their own random act of kindness. This half term, on Sunday 17th February, the event will be repeated again with 30 soft toys dressed as super heroes hidden at various locations around Cumbria.

On the day of the hunt, there will be a blog post on the Herdy website with a map and clues that will give hints about the location of the Herdys. The event is free to take part in, and if you are lucky enough to find a Herdy, then you are welcome to take it home, but the organisers ask that you consider doing your own random act of kindness to someone in return.

5. Family Pottery, Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal

Family Pottery at the Brewery Arts Centre

This half term, families are invited to get together away from screens and learn a new skill with pottery tutor, Chris Barnes, at the Brewery Arts Centre. Barnes has extensive experience in pottery and has taught both children and adults since 1994. The centre is hosting two workshops on Saturday, 23rd February. From 10.30am to 12.30pm, families with children aged 4-7 years are invited to attend, whilst families with children aged 8-11 years can take part from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

Families will learn basic pottery techniques to create their own unique piece of art. The workshops cost £16 for one adult and one child, and you can add additional people to your party for £8 per person. Visit for more information.

6. Brainiac Live! At the Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

Brainiac Live! February 2019

Fans of the award winning TV show, Brainiac, will remember the thrilling explosions that were a staple of the show. This February, the show is coming to the stage at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick and this live event is packed with the combustions and bangs that made the TV show so popular. Brimming with extraordinary experiments, this event is ideal for anyone who has a keen interest in science but lacks the means to create their own explosions at home.

The show is suitable for children aged 6 plus, but it’s worth noting that there are pyrotechnics and loud bangs throughout, so it’s not for the faint-hearted. There are two performances on the 23rd February: 2pm and 6pm. Tickets cost £12-14 and can be booked here.

7. The Great Wray Castle Drawing Challenge, Near Ambleside

Great Wray Castle Drawing Challenge February 2019

Wray Castle has been closed for much of the winter but it will be reopening its doors this half term and starting the new season with a drawing challenge. Taking inspiration from Beatrix Potter who spent childhood holidays at the castle, the event will involve different artistic tasks in many of the castle’s rooms, such as filling in a missing part of a picture.

You don’t need any particular skill to take part, as the aim is to have fun and get those creative juices flowing. All those who complete the tasks will receive a certificate. You can either take your pictures home, or leave them at the castle for other visitors to admire your work. The activities are included in the entrance fee, which is £11 for adults and £5.50 for children (National Trust members go free).

8. Jesse Ward Bubbleologist, Tullie House Museum, Carlisle

Jesse Ward Bubbleologist, Tullie House Museum February 2019

Jesse Ward is a specialist party entertainer from Newcastle. She uses bubbles to perform various tricks that delight children and charm adults. For one day only, she is performing a series of shows at the Tullie House museum in Carlisle. These interactive shows are aimed at younger children and every child who attends will get the chance to be put inside a bubble, providing an amazing photography opportunity.

The shows take place at 10.30am, 12pm, 1.30pm and 3pm on Thursday, 21st February, and they last one hour. Tickets need to be booked in advance by telephoning the museum on 01228 618 700 and tickets cost £5 for children, with one adult admitted free with each paying child. The full details are available here.

9. Animal Detectives – Lake District Wildlife Park, Bassenthwaite

Animal Detectives

The hidden gem that is the Lake District Wildlife Park in Bassenthwaite will be opening its doors during February half term for those who are keen to play detective. Can you identify an animal from its footprint? What about from its feather? Or even from its poo? Throughout the week, there will be plenty of interactive games for families to play, and of course, visitors will be able to see the various species of animal that live in the park, including zebra and meerkats.

Visitors should note that the outdoor play area is currently unavailable due to redevelopment. No pre-booking is required for animal detective activities. Entry to the park costs £9.95 for adults and £7.95 for children. More details are available here.

10. Magic Week & The Magic of Lambing, Walby Farm Park, Carlisle

Walby Farm Park the Magic of Lambing February 2019

Walby Farm Park are celebrating the start of lambing season with a fun packed half term week that includes daily magic shows from comedy magician, Stu-di-doo. Stu-di-doo will be performing various tricks in a hilarious show, and once it’s complete children can head over to the animal barns and meet the newborn lambs.

As lambing season will be in full flow during the February half term holiday, there is a good chance that visitors will be able to see lambs being born. There is plenty to keep children entertained throughout the rest of the day at the farm, with a giant indoor soft play area, outdoor play areas that include a large sandpit, go-karts, trampolines, and, of course, lots of animals to meet and greet. More information is available here.