Just as you’ve settled back into the swing of life post-Christmas, the February half term has started crawl its way over Hertfordshire’s 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 won’t 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 you’ll 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, you’d be mad to miss out – we’re 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).
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 farm’s 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. It’s 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 Raceway’s 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 you’re 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: .
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, you’re 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 county’s 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
Could this be the biggest clue for a Five Guys in Stevenage?
Regardless of lockdowns and coronavirus, people want food. Fans of Five Guys could be getting a late Christmas present with a new Five Guys in Stevenage. A recent job post on the Five Guys recruitment page for a General Manager in the Stevenage area has got locals excited about the possible arrival of the much loved American Chain.
Could this be the biggest clue for a Five Guys in Stevenage?
Spotted by an eagled eyed member of ‘Stevenage Chit Chat‘, the advert for a General Manager drops a few clues at a possible opening of a Five Guys in Stevenage.
Clue No.1 for a Five Guys in Stevenage – The perfect scene
Nothing cements a clue in a mystery more than a location. The recruitment team have placed a X on the spot and that is 51°54’02.4″N 0°12’33.7″W. For all the normal people reading this, that is Unit 10 in Stevenage Leisure Park. This was home to Pizza Hut since late 2002 but this recent Google treasure map shows the unit is currently empty.
Clue No.2 for a Five Guys in Stevenage – A job for an ‘accomplice’
Did we mention there is a second job advert for a ‘Assistant Manager? If one job advert was not enough proof, two should be enough to convince you that plans are afoot for a Five Guys in Stevenage.
Clue No.3 for a Five Guys in Stevenage – A motive
What more motive do you need than hungry people in Stevenage in need of a good burger? A Five Guys in Stevenage is well overdue. It could even tempt Sir Lewis Hamilton back to Stevenage.
Hertfordshire’s Paradise Wildlife Park sets out reopening plan
Family run Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne is set to reopen later this month with a social distancing strategy that will see a staggered entry system put in place. Less than a week ago, the team were in despair not knowing when they would reopen.
The good news is Paradise Wildlife Park’s official opening date is the 27th of June 2020 for the general public. As one of Hertfordshire’s top destinations, Paradise Wildlife Park’s re-opening will be a godsend to families across the Three Counties and beyond.
You can book tickets for 27th of June 2020 and onwards on their website. Please note you will need to select a time of your arrival so that staff can ensure staggered numbers of visitors entering the park, thus complying with social distancing rules.
The management team at Paradise Wildlife Park are keen to highlight they are working hard to follow all of the government’s advice to ensure social distancing and safety measures are in place to keep all visitors on site safe.
“We have implemented a one-way system, put up regular hand sanitizer stations on site and much more to give you and your family peace of mind that you are safe. We are also limiting the number of tickets available each day to allow plenty of space.”
“We are so excited to finally welcome our visitors, members and supporters back to Paradise Wildlife Park after a long 12 weeks of closure. We are truly grateful for all the support and donations we received and cannot wait to give you the family day out you have been sorely missing.”
Further details on the safety procedures that have been put in place at the park can be view here. Paradise Wildlife Park is a family run wildlife park based in Hertfordshire. It is also a fully registered charity under the Zoological Society of Hertfordshire (charity number 1108609). Paradise Wildlife Park is rated Hertfordshire’s No.1 Attraction and is Europe’s leading zoo for animal experiences. Paradise is home to over 800 animals including tigers, white lions, snow leopards, jaguars, penguins, red pandas, lemurs, monkeys and reptiles, including the largest anaconda on display in the UK.
Henley Festival goes Digital with Will Young & Beverley Knight
For 2020 Henley Festival has announced that it will be going digital, presenting a 2-hour evening concert, streamed on the Henley Festival website with performances from the Hurley House Hotel.
Popstar Will Young will perform some of his classic hits including Love Revolution, Joy and Light my fire. He says: “It’s a pleasure to be able use a home filmed show, the band and I have been working on during lockdown for Henley, a place I’ve performed in and loved. I grew up not too far from there, so it is almost a virtual home-town show.”
Soul singer Beverley Knight will perform a 40 minute concert of her top hits. There will also be performances from classical pianist Hao Zi Yoh, and number one Jazz musician Joe Stilgoe. Comedy will be provided by Rory Bremner who will perform some new topical material whilst being interviewed by cricket commentator David Gower. David Gower who has said “As a guest in previous years I have grown to love the atmosphere and diversity of the many talents on show at the Henley Festival so it is a great pleasure to add a little something back with this year’s digital event”
Festival goers can watch the digital concert from the comfort of their own homes, with tickets starting from £10.10 each and available from www.henley-festival.co.uk.
All ticket sales will help to support the not-for-profit festival to continue in 2021. Established 38 years ago as a classical music charity event, Henley Festival continues to be run on a not for profit basis. supporting charitable projects at both a national and local level.
Henley Festival announced back in April that this year’s five day black-tie Festival will be postponed in its entirety to July 2021, moving the full 2020 line up to next year including headliners James Blunt, Madness, and Sophie Ellis Bextor. Anyone who holds tickets to the 2020 festival will be able to use them in 2021.
Henley Festival CEO Nick Mattingley said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to offer a digital version of Henley Festival for 2020 with some of the UK’s best loved performers. This is a wonderful opportunity for people to experience the festival from the comfort of their homes.”