The Urban Guide to the Countryside

Easter Hols – The Muddy Rainy Day Guide

8 Apr 2017

Just in case the sunshine doesn’t hold, Muddy has done the leg work and come up with some alternatives for rainy days to sticking them in front of the telly for 8 hours at a stretch (though *cough* a bit of that doesn’t harm either!).


The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Warwick Arts Centre, Fri April 14-Sun April 16

Following a smash-hit West End season, the tea-guzzling tiger is back on the road in this delightful family show; packed with oodles of magic, sing-a-long songs and clumsy chaos. A stunning musical adaptation of Judith Kerr’s classic picture book of teatime mayhem brought to life by David Wood OBE, one of the UK’s best children’s playwrights.

Fantastic Mr Fox! The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Tues April 18-Sat April 22

I used to love this book growing up. It’s since been adapted for film by Wes Anderson. Now award-winning writer Sam Holcroft, previously writer in residence at the National Theatre Studio and Traverse Theatre, has adapted this foxy drama for stage with original music by Birmingham actor/musician Arthur Darvill – currently Rev Paul Coates in ITV’s Broadchurch. Super cool Swede Maria Aberg is director – her 2013 production of As You Like at the RSC is still one of my faves. With music composed by Laura Marling it had a real festival vibe. Look forward to a Dahl-icious Easter treat for ages 5+!

Easter Bunny’s Eggs-ellent Adventure, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Tue April 18 & The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry Wed April 19

A cute show for younger children aged 2-7 years. This is an interactive 40-minute show that combines theatre & chocolate! Families can join the hunt for the hidden chocolate factory and sing-along to children’s nursery rhyme favourites including Head, Shoulders, Knees And Toes, Wheels On The Bus, The Hokey Cokey, One Finger, One Thumb and If You’re Happy And You. Afterwards they can even meet the Easter Bunny!, 024 7655 3055;

Peppa Pig: My First Cinema Experience in cinemas across Warwickshire and the West Mids from Fri April 7 &  and Warwick Arts Centre, April 14 -23

9 new interactive episodes with plenty of opportunities to join in – so an ideal first cinema experience for very young children. The intrepid Peppa travels to Australia to visit Kylie Kangaroo, hops on board a double-decker with the Queen as you do, visits the zoo and journeys along the canal. Will she find some muddy puddles along the way? That’s the question.

Alice in Wonderland, Ballet Theatre UK, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Thurs April 20

A ballet based on Lewis Carroll’s much-loved children’s books, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Ballet Theatre UK’s Artistic Director Christopher Moore has created a piece, brimming with wit, humour and charm, 2pm,


Youth Acting Holiday Camp, The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry Mon April 10 & Tue April 11

Excellent experienced practitioner-led workshops action-packed with drama games and practical activities to keep 8-13-year-olds entertained during the school holidays. Using puppetry skills, participants will create their own mini-performances inspired by animal stories. No previous theatre experience necessary (£50 for 2-day course)., 024 7655 3055

Lion Boy & holiday drama workshops Playbox Theatre, The Dream Factory Warwick, April 13-22

Enjoy a performance of Lion Boy by this fab, energetic youth theatre suitable for all the family and based on the novels by Zizou Corder.  Young actors can take part in several Easter holiday workshops. For 3 – 6-year-olds, there are 8 themed half day workshops from Mon April 10 – Fri April 21 from How to be a Superhero to the Easter Bunny Hop.  (£22 for non-members including lunch). Full-day workshops from Mon April 10-Wed April 19 including The Worst Witch, a Roald Dahl Bonanza and The Cat in the Hat (£45).

RSC Easter Holiday Drama Workshops, Stratford-upon-Avon, Mon April 10-Fri April 21

From putting on a Play in a Day to celebrating the RSC Rome season with a special Caesar style Stage Fighting Workshop and becoming a set designer for the day there are some great opportunities for young people interested in theatre. Another highlight is the Explore: Music workshop where 13-15-year-olds can work with an RSC musician.

Artist Johnny O’Hanlon is looking for young helpers to create a giant piece of Roman-inspired art, concluding on Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebration with a finished display and film, (Upper Foyer, The Other Place, Thurs April 20-Sat April 22. 11-4pm).

Children under 5 can also enjoy Kate’s Storytree, two 30-minute story-telling sessions involving a travelling story-bike, a treasure chest of props and messages in a bottle. Children must be accompanied by an adult.  (Upper Foyer, The Other Place, Friday April 21, 10.30am & 11.30am)

Free activities for accompanied children at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and The Other place including the Dressing Up Box (RST Cloakroom), Play Cart (RSC Riverside Café and The Other Place), Adventure Bags for 6-10-year-olds (RST cloakroom), free Family Trail and Story Blankets for ages 2-6 (from The Other Place Info desk). Tel: 01789 403493

The Play’s The Thing, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

New exhibits of rarely seen costumes and props from some of the RSC’s most acclaimed shows have been added to this entertaining and enlightening hi-tech family-friendly exhibition. Discover 100 years of theatre-making in Stratford, try on virtual costumes, discover gory details and play Hamlet alongside actor Ewart James Walters using state-of-the-art gaming.

New costumes include this brightly-coloured paint splattered graffiti suit by Paapa Essiedu’s Hamlet in 2016, David Tennant as Touchstone in As You Like It, 1996 and a gorgeous vintage dress worn by film star Vivian Leigh in the 1955 production of Titus Andronicus. Tickets are valid for 12 months (£8.50 adult, £4.25 child). Book online.


Stratford Butterfly Farm, Mon April 10-April 21

Walk amongst some of the world’s most beautiful and colourful butterflies in a rainforest environment with waterfalls and fish-filled pools. You may even see a butterfly hatch from its pupa in the Emerging Cage. Twice daily children can get close to some amazing creatures with ‘Meet the Minibeast’ handling sessions in the Discovery Zone. They will be able to hold a variety of stick insects, African land snails, giant millipedes and even Madagascan cockroaches.

New residents in time for the Easter holidays include several Mexican Walking Fish, called Axolotls – a cross between a fish and a lizard – an Orange Baboon Tarantula from Africa commonly known as an OBT or Orange Bitey Thing! Also on display is a Pumpkin Patch Tarantula normally found in the rainforests of Belize, beautiful Sungazer lizards and the amazing leafcutter ant colony – one of the largest on display in the UK.

Marcus Clarkson Photography, Tel: 01789 299288.

New MAD Zone, The MAD Museum, Stratford-upon-Avon

As well as lots of new bizarre machines to play with the MAD Museum has a new interactive area – the MAD Zone. Families will find a giant marble wall to build marble runs, there’s also a hands-on cogs wall to experiment with and a table full of building blocks to build crazy marble run routes on.

Sublime Science shows & Shaun the Sheep Easter Egg Hunt, British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Sat April 8-Sun April 23

Easter activities include a 25-minute Sublime Science Show where families will get the chance to make smoke rings, bubbles and slime (Mon April 10-Thurs April 13 & Tues April 18-Fri April 21), The Technic Challenge where children can get hands-on and design, build and test their own LEGO® Technic machines and Family Tours with the Mad Scientist every day at 10.45am & 1.30pm. On the Easter weekend help Shaun the Sheep and his flock find the eggs hidden around the museum britishmotormusuem or call 01926 641188.

Easter art & craft workshops, plus free Cute Creatures Hunt, Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, Sat April-Sat April 22

Chicks, lambs and rabbits are on the loose in the museum. Children are enlisted to help find them and to win a prize. Drop-in art activities for young Picassos range from creating an Easter bunny to hand printing Easter cards, making a plane inspired by the jet engine on display to producing a large-scale artwork using collage and print. A Paint and Glaze session on Fri April 21 is great for making your own gifts from £8. (Ring Emma on 01788 560771 for more info.)

Easter Weekend, Leamington Art Gallery & Museum, Fri April 14 & Sat April 15 

Children can make a fluffy chick egg basket, have their faces painted, follow the gallery’s trail and collect a chocolate prize, 11am-4pm,

Easter Fun for children, Market Hall Museum, Warwick, Wed April 12-Wed April 19

Keep the kids busy with this lovely lot…Terrific Toys & Games (Wed April 12), Excellent Egg Hunt (Fri April 14) Arty Tots for under 5’s (Tue April 18) & Awesome Anglo Saxons on (Wed April 19). All 10am-3pm,

Easter at Warwickshire libraries, Mon April 10-Fri April 21

Free events at Warwickshire libraries over Easter include Toys & Games, Easter Crafts & learning about Awesome Anglo-Saxons. Need to book in advance:

Introduction to Animation: A Practical Workshop for 11-14-year-olds, The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, Mon April 10 & Tue April 11; Thurs April 20 & Fri April 21

Alongside their amazingly good value and fun Portraits, Pictures & Props creative workshops for just £2 per child, teen (or tween) visitors can try their hand at animation from cut-outs to stop motion in a 2-day workshop, £26,

Birmingham Museums, Sat April 8-Sun April 23

Cherry Blossom at the Ikon Gallery by photographer Verity Milligan whose first solo exhibition at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter runs until July 29 2017

The second city has 8 museums and an art gallery with tons of amazing things to do over the hols. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery has loads of interesting sounding workshops including Minecraft Masks where kids can pixelate themselves into a Minecraft character (Tue April 11 & 18) and Bugbots – Robot Making, (Fr April 14 & 21).

At science museum Thinktank, there’s Wildlife themed Arts & Crafts, Taxidermy handling sessions, Under 8’s storytelling and Meet the Expert.

Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, inside a preserved workshop in Hockley, is running two family-friendly Jewellery workshops creating bracelets using recycled materials (Wed April 12 & Thurs April 20), Good Friday and Easter Monday tours, plus an Easter Egg Trail. Also don’t miss photographer Verity Milligan’s  first solo exhibition of 15 stunning Birmingham locations.

Sarehole Mill, a 250-year-old working watermill famous for its links with Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien who lived across the road, is holding a Dragon Weekend Egg Hunt, Spring Craft, den-building Outdoor Day and Spring Baking Day.

Grade I Jacobean house, Aston Hall has themed Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland & Sleeping Beauty fairy-tale tours, storytelling & crafts (Wed April 12, Mon April 17 & Wed April 19)

Blakesley Hall, a fine Tudor house built by one of Birmingham’s merchant families in 1590, has Easter garden trails, egg hunt, crafts, storytelling in the garden and Yardley Arts Day on April 22. Soho House, the elegant Georgian home of Birmingham industrialist Matthew Boulton has Easter crafts & a Rooftop Tour on Mon April 17.

Weoley Castle on the site of a moated medieval manor house has a drop-in Spring Craft activity: Fairy Doors (Fri April 14) & St George and the Dragon Egg Hunt (Sun April 23).

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Warwickshire Edition