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Five things to do this February half term in Hertfordshire

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Five things to do this February half term in Hertfordshire

Just as youve settled back into the swing of life post-Christmas, the February half term has started crawl its way over Hertfordshires rolling hills (ahh!). But, before you start that frantic Google search looking for local kids clubs and childminders to take the stress away, take a deep breath and relax because Visit Herts have you covered!

Hertfordshire has so much on offer for the whole family during half-term, so you wont spend the week counting down the days until the kids go back to school. Follow our suggestions of fabulous attractions and events to keep the little ones occupied during their week off, and youll be hanging those uniforms out again in no time…

FOR THE CHEEKY MONKEYS

If the thought of watching another Disney film or Peppa Pig episode is becoming unbearable, head along to Paradise Wildlife Park for the pawfect day out. Home to over 800 exotic animals, the largest anaconda in the country and the biggest animatronic dinosaur attraction in the UK, youd be mad to miss out – were not lion! With animal talks, feeds and shows running throughout the day, you can be sure that your little monkeys will stay entertained (and the CBBC channel will stay firmly switched off for at least one day during the holidays).

Five things to do this February half term in Hertfordshire

FOR LITTLE SHEPHERDS

Visitors are sure to have a woolly good time at Willows Activity Farm this half term with the arrival of their February Frolics event. Just in time for lambing season, little ones will have the opportunity to witness the arrival of the adorable new lambs, ask the knowledgeable livestock team any questions, and make some beautiful creations at the farms art and crafts marquee. As you stroll around this fabulous farm, meet a furry friend or two along the way and be sure to keep a look out for the famous faces rumored to be hopping about at this time of year. Special guest Little Bo Peep will be putting on a show to find her flock, and Peter Rabbit will also be holding daily meet and greets for the children to enjoy.

FOR THE ADRENALINE JUNKIES

Buckle up for a half-term like no other and speed your way around Rye House Kart Raceway, perfect for all you thrill-seekers. Its full speed ahead at this outdoor driving experience, as you race around the tracks, compete against each other and enjoy the exhilaration of go-karting. February marks the start of the Raceways junior driver development sessions, which offer insight for younger drivers wishing to take a more competitive stance at racing. Visitors will receive a briefing on the event format, pick up some top racing tips, and have the chance to compete in their very own competition. You never know, you may have the next Lewis Hamilton in the making!

FOR THE HISTORY BUFFS

If youre in need of an excuse to drag the children away from the TV screen, a cultured trip to the historic city of St Albans will have them forgetting about their latest Fortnite mission in no time. Stroll around this beautiful area and discover the wonderful St Albans Cathedral which boasts the longest nave in England, explore the bustling city centre and its independent shops and market, dine in the oldest pub in the country, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, whilst you soak up the history of this beautiful, thriving city. For inspiration of how to spend a short break in St Albans, check out our inspirational itinerary here: https://www.visitherts.co.uk/see-and-do/itineraries/48-hours-in-st-albans/.

Five things to do this February half term in Hertfordshire

FOR THE MAGICAL MINDED

Get your broomsticks, wands and sorting hats at the ready and Slytherin to the Making of Harry Potter at the Warner Bros Studio Tour London. Experience the magic behind this world-class movie franchise, stroll along the authentic sets and discover the secrets of the most successful film series of all time. Whether you consider yourself an honorary member of Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin, youre sure to be spellbound by this wonderful experience.

FOR THE STARRY EYED

When the stress of the break starts to kick in, retreat to the countryside and spend a night under the stars at Theobalds Park Camping and Caravanning Club Site. Sheltered by woodland, this site offers the perfect dose of tranquility, so you can take a deep breath of fresh air and unwind this half-term. This idyllic campsite is located on the doorstep of some of the countys top attractions including Lee Valley Park and Lee Valley White Water Centre, ideal for families who love the great outdoors! 

For further information inspiration for places to visit in Herts, head to www.visitherts.co.uk.

Events

Milton Keynes Theatre announce its summer season of entertainment

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Milton Keynes Theatre announce its summer season of entertainment

Milton Keynes Theatre is delighted to announce its summer season of sensational entertainment!

Returning to the venue after a sell-out run in 2019 is the phenomenal Les Misérables, the musical often regarded as the most popular in the world. Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production arrives in Milton Keynes on Tue 26 Apr for four weeks.

Northern Ballet share their take on the beloved literary classic The Great Gatsby from Tue 24 May, promising the most glamourous party in town.

Northern Ballet share their take on the beloved literary classic The Great Gatsby from Tue 24 May, promising the most glamourous party in town.

From Mon 30 May, a whodunnit everyone can enjoy arrives fresh out the boardgame box and onto the stage. Cluedo is the new comedy thriller directed by Mark Bell, director of the award winning The Play That Goes Wrong, which will also be arriving in Milton Keynes on Mon 25 Jul.

Brining life and energy to the immortal songs of the late Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf is the rocking musical, Bat Out of Hell, from 14 June. With all the anthems you know and love, this show is set to be a crowd-pleaser for those inclined to rock ‘n’ roll.

From best-selling author David Walliams comes the Olivier nominated Billionaire Boy from Thu 30 Jun, a winner for the whole family!

Fancy yourself a decoder? Try to decipher the secrets, clues and riddles in The Da Vinci Code from Tue 12 Jul. The world premiere tour of the brand-new stage production stars Coronation Street’s Christopher Harper and Danny John-Jules (Red Dwarf, Death in Paradise).

Fancy yourself a decoder? Try to decipher the secrets, clues and riddles in The Da Vinci Code from Tue 12 Jul. The world premiere tour of the brand-new stage production stars Coronation Street’s Christopher Harper and Danny John-Jules (Red Dwarf, Death in Paradise)

Take a chance on the ultimate feel-good musical MAMMA MIA! as it returns to Milton Keynes on Tue 2 Aug. Set on a Greek island paradise, this musical is a story of love, friendship and identity, cleverly told through the timeless songs of ABBA. And from one musical legend to another, The Cher Show joins Milton Keynes Theatre from Tue 9 Aug. Get ready to Turn Back Time in this outrageous new musical directed by Arlene Phillips (Grease, Starlight Express) and choreographed by Strictly’s Oti Mabuse.

Willy Russell’s moving Liverpudlian tale, Blood Brothers, then takes to the stage from Tue 30 Aug. Few musicals have been received with such acclaim as this multi-award-winning production which surpassed 10,000 performances in London’s West End.

Milton Keynes will be screaming Go, Go, Go Joseph this September when the sensational new production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat comes to the Milton Keynes Theatre for two weeks. The family musical which opens on Mon 12 Sep stars Alexandra Burke as the Narrator and Jac Yarrowas Joseph.

Milton Keynes Theatre continues its outstanding programme of one night entertainment this season. The hilarious Menopause the Musical 2 comes to the theatre on Sat 11 Jun. Enjoy an evening with world famous football manager Harry Redknapp on Tue 28 Jun. Strictly professionals Anton & Giovanni team up for an evening of song and dance with their show, Him and Me. And the tribute shows are back! For Rod Stewart fans there’s Some Guys Have All The Luck on Sun 31 Jul, and celebrating the music of Tina Turner is What’s Love Got To Do With It on Sun 4 Sep.

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Ware Festival’s Rock in the Priory line up has been confirmed

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Ware Festival's Rock in the Priory line up has been confirmed

After a two year break, Rock in the Priory 2022 is back and will be at its usual location on the Priory Island on Sunday, 17th July.

Showcase auditions were held at Southern Maltings on the April 10th and helped determine the line-up for the main event. The organisers are grateful to all the musicians who came along to perform.

The high standard of performances made the selection process difficult. The seven bands and three acoustic acts who will be entertaining the crowds on July 17th are listed below.

Quivering Lip

Quivering Lip are a two-piece originals and cover band playing rock and brit pop anthems. Quivering Lip wrote and recorded their first 5 track album Generation Panic in 2018, following it up with a new release “Ashes” in April 2019.

Quivering Lip at Rock in the Priory

Quivering Lip are a two-piece originals and cover band playing rock and brit pop anthems.

Uptown Punk

Uptown Punk are a high energy, 5-piece pop/punk band, covering fan favourites from 90s to present. Their set is full of well known pop/punk tunes, with a bit of Rock thrown in. Artists covered include; Blink 182, Green Day, The Offspring, Foo Fighters, Sum 41 and many more.

Uptown Punk are a high energy, 5-piece pop/punk band, covering fan favourites from 90s to present.

Uptown Punk are a high energy, 5-piece pop/punk band, covering fan favourites from 90s to present.

Grace Whitford

Grace is a singer, pianist and songwriter based in Hertfordshire specialising in acoustic pop, golden oldies, jazz and much more. Take a moment to listen/watch her Thinking Out Loud cover.

 

Other artists performing at Ware Festival’s Rock in the Priory include Adam Fearn, Mr No Face, Back to the 50s, George Croucher, Junkyard Dolls, Second Bite, The Routine.

Ware Festival and Rock in the Priory

The last Rock in the Priory was held in 2019.  This annual event is known for its excellent atmosphere and energy.  It takes place in the unique setting of the Island bandstand, nestled within seven acres of picturesque riverside gardens of the 14th century Ware Priory building. Tickets in advance are £5 entry or a family ticket at £15 for two adults and up to four children. Further details about Ware Festival and Rock in the Priory can be found on rockinthepriory.co.uk

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Eating

What’s on at Waddesdon this Summer between May and June

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May half-term will see the return of our ever-popular Colourscape as well as the chance for children to discover the animals of Waddesdon with a brand new Birds and Beasts family trail.

May half-term will see the return of our ever-popular Colourscape as well as the chance for children to discover the animals of Waddesdon with a brand new Birds and Beasts family trail.

In June, outdoor theatre will also be returning to Waddesdon’s lawns. Visitors can enjoy an evening of Shakespearean comedy as well as a performance of The Teapot Prince, a contemporary reimagining of a lost 18th-century ballet that hasn’t been staged for over 280 years!

Discover the four-acre walled garden, glasshouses and orchard at Eythrope, the private Rothschild garden.

Eythrope Garden Tour © Waddesdon, A Rothschild House & Gardens. Photo Paul Hewes

Eythrope Walled Garden Tour

Every Wed from 18 May – 19 Oct, 10.15am & 1.15pm

Discover the four-acre walled garden, glasshouses and orchard at Eythrope, the private Rothschild garden. Visits are by guided tour only and include a light meal with savoury and sweet elements inspired by the produce from Eythrope.

Adult £50. Includes a meal in the Manor Restaurant, free Grounds admission and shuttle bus.

Marchesi Frescobaldi is one of Italy’s most celebrated winemakers, and their global ambassador will be hosting a magical evening at Waddesdon.

Marchesi Frescobaldi is one of Italy’s most celebrated winemakers, and their global ambassador will be hosting a magical evening at Waddesdon.

An Italian Feast with Frescobaldi

Sat 28 May, 7pm
Marchesi Frescobaldi is one of Italy’s most celebrated winemakers, and their global ambassador will be hosting a magical evening at Waddesdon. Wine-lovers can sample a glass of Frescobaldi sparkling wine in the atmospheric cellars, followed by a delightful five-course dinner served with carefully-selected wines.

£99.50 per person (over-18s only)

This May half-term, an immersive experience of colour, light, space and music lands on Waddesdon’s lawns.

Colourscape

May Half-Term Sat 28 May – Sun 5 Jun (inc Mon 30 & Tue 31), 10.30am-4.30pm

This May half-term, an immersive experience of colour, light, space and music lands on Waddesdon’s lawns. Returning to Waddesdon for its eighth year, Colourscape is for visitors of all ages and promises an extraordinary experience you will not forget.

Advance booking recommended. Adult £6, Child £4; plus normal Grounds admission applies.

May Half-Term at Waddesdon

May half-term will see the return of our ever-popular Colourscape as well as the chance for children to discover the animals of Waddesdon with a brand new Birds and Beasts family trail.

Family Visitors on the South Front Parterre © Waddesdon Manor, National Trust. Photographer Chris Lacey

Birds and Beasts trail

Sat 28 May – Sun 5 Jun (inc Mon 30 & Tue 31), 10am-4pm

Enjoy fresh air and family fun this May half-term. Discover the animals of Waddesdon with a new outdoor Birds and Beasts trail, adventure in the Woodland Playground and then refuel with a delicious family picnic.

£3.50 per trail (inc souvenir), plus normal Grounds admission applies. One trail per child

Cellar visit and tasting

Every Fri, Sat & Sun from 15 Apr – 31 May, 12noon

Join one of Waddesdon’s wine experts for a short tour of the atmospheric wine cellars, which house over 15,000 bottles of Rothschild wine, before an informal tasting of two Rothschilds wines.

£7.50 per person (over-18s only), plus normal Grounds admission applies

What’s On at Waddesdon in June 2022

A contemporary reimagining of the lost 18th-century French Ballet des Porcelaines—The Teapot Prince—will be performed in the fairy-tale grounds of Waddesdon Manor,

Cast of the Ballet des Porcelaines at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Villa Albertine’s headquarters at the Payne Whitney Mansion in New York City. Photo by Joe Carrotta

The Teapot Prince

Thu 16 & Fri 17 June, 6-9pm

A contemporary reimagining of the lost 18th-century French Ballet des Porcelaines—The Teapot Prince—will be performed in the fairy-tale grounds of Waddesdon Manor, bringing to life a story of magic, desire and exotic entanglement.

Tickets include a talk by the ballet company, exclusive access to the Manor’s west galleries and a chance to preview an Edmond du Waal display until 8.30pm.

Adult £32, Child £16

One of the UK’s finest touring theatre companies, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, invites you to join them once again in the grounds of Waddesdon Manor.

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Image © Lord Chamberlain’s Men

As You Like It – The Lord Chamberlain’s Men

Thu 23 June, 6pm gates open

One of the UK’s finest touring theatre companies, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, invites you to join them once again for an evening of sparkling Shakespearean comedy in the grounds of Waddesdon Manor.

Adult £20.50, Child £11

Celebrate the wines of one of England’s most renowned and innovative winemakers at Waddesdon.

Dinner in the Manor Restaurant © Waddesdon Manor, National Trust. Photographer Pascale Cumberbatch

Dinner with Gusbourne Estate Wines

Sat 25 Jun, 7pm

Celebrate the wines of one of England’s most renowned and innovative winemakers at Waddesdon. Enjoy a sparkling aperitif in the atmospheric wine cellars, followed by a delicious five-course dinner served with wines from the Gusbourne Estate’s wonderful portfolio.

£99.50 per person (over-18s only)

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