Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Keep the Children Happy This Half-Term; If You're Running Low on Ideas for Half-Term Holiday Hurrahs, SAM WONFOR Feels Your Pain and Opens Up Her Hastily-Put-Together Diary as a Late Offering of Inspiration

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Keep the Children Happy This Half-Term; If You're Running Low on Ideas for Half-Term Holiday Hurrahs, SAM WONFOR Feels Your Pain and Opens Up Her Hastily-Put-Together Diary as a Late Offering of Inspiration

Article excerpt

IDON'T know about you, but it seems like only yesterday I was turfing out the last of the selection box remains and the honey-roasted cashew tubs.

(To be fair, it was only Friday gone, but that was probably due to the 'eyes bigger than Christmas' syndrome which we seem vulnerable to during our annual December treats shop).

At any rate, February half-term seems to have come around a lot quicker than the additional festive pounds have dispersed ... and it caught yours truly a bit off guard.

Thankfully a combination of a topnotch crop of in-laws and a myriad of options when it comes to filling up the days with out-and-about loveliness around the North East has quelled any panic.

Now although I can't share my in-laws with you, I'm more than happy to give you a rundown of some of the half-term highlights I've found and will be indulging in. Feel free to share yours @THEJOURNALNEWs on twitter.

Centre for Life, www.life.org.uk If you haven't yet managed to get your skates on at Life, there's still a few days of opportunity left.

The temporary rink in Times Square, Newcastle, will be pouring itself into hibernation on Saturday, so you have five days left for an impromptu Bolero in the open air.

It's nice to see the popular attraction is pulling out more stops for the rink's final week too, clearly with half-term in mind.

There will be daily printing workshops so children can learn basic Chinese printing techniques, a trio of films on show each day in the planetarium and a chance to enjoy the high-octane Hover Chase on the 4D motion ride for any visitors who measure more than 4ft tall.

Meanwhile a new science theatre show 'do try this at home' offers new uses for old toys and domestic household objects and the new exhibition Mechanicals is also open for business.

Mavis Sparkle, Gala Theatre Durham tomorrow and Lamplight Arts Centre on Thursday With a magician for a dad and a stargazer for a mum, there's more to Mavis than meets the eye.

With a telescope in one hand and a feather duster in the other, she is on a journey to see nature's biggest light show with her own eyes. With a little help from a cheeky cuckoo clock and a mischievous mop bucket, Mavis moves ever closer to making her dream come true.

This cosmic new production mixes illusion, animation and laughter plus a galaxy of delights to discover the magic and wonder in the universe, each other and ourselves. Perfect for ages 5+. Performances tomorrow at 11.30am and 2.30pm and on Thursday at 11am. Bears and Books Day, Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, www.twmuseums.org.uk/sunderland Tomorrow you and your brood can enjoy a double dunking of teddy bear fun. Teddy Tales and Trails at 11am and 1pm (drop in) invites young visitors to gather at the story tree in the Teddy Bear Story exhibition for a combination of bear tales and gallery trails. …

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