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What's On's half term guide

By This is Cornwall  |  Posted: February 15, 2010

What's On's half term guide
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​Step back in time

THIS half-term at Porthcurno Telegraph Museum, families can join the museum characters Dot and Dash who have travelled back in time to the 19th century.

Children will be able to see what life was like for the young people who were servants at Porthcurno and those who trained to be telegraphists.

 They will be able to wear their clothes, learn about working life and see what they did when they were not working.

There is dressing-up, learning how to do Morse Code and make a Morse key, designing a sewing sampler or a sports badge for the telegraphists’ sports teams, using old-fashioned pen and ink to write telegrams as well as taking a Travellers’ Trail around the museum to find out about the places that the telegraphists might have been posted to once they had done their training at Porthcurno.

These activities are included in the normal entrance price.

There be pirates in the lighthouse

SHIVER ME timbers, there be pirates at Lizard Lighthouse  and rather than warding the marauders off the lighthouse is encouraging more to join them for a day of Pirate fun.

The Lizard Lighthouse will be opening its doors from midday to 4pm every day from Sunday to  Wednesday, February 17 for their new pirate fun event in aid of the Precious Lives Appeal

There will be a stash of fun activities for the children to try their hand at, including opportunities to design their very own pirate flag while learning about other flags; help the pirate captain find his parrot; dip into the captain’s treasure chest and win some booty; and learn some ancient sea tales at story time.

The family focused event has been organised by the Lighthouse crew to help raise vital $for Children’s Hospice South West’s Precious Lives Appeal to build a children’s hospice in Cornwall.

Don Reynolds of the Lizard Lighthouse explains:

“The Lizard Lighthouse is the most southerly point in mainland Britain based in a very rural environment so we really appreciate how remote Cornwall can be and how difficult it can be travelling farther a field.  For families with life-limited children Little Bridge House in North Devon is currently the nearest children’s hospice, so when we found out CHSW was raising money to build a children’s hospice in the county we knew we would just have to get involved.

 “We have been raising money at the lighthouse by putting on events during school holidays.  Our Halloween themed October half term event saw children raising money for children and was a unique and special event for all involved.  The lighthouse is a place where children come to relax, learn and play and the success of this event has made us want to do a lot more.

“Our February half-term event is all based on pirates.  The lighthouse has a piratical history which all can learn about and we are also holding many themed activities and some story times.  Come and $fun while supporting a fantastic cause!”  

Mary Murfin, Children’s Hospice South West Community Fundraiser for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, says:

“Our new children’s hospice Little Harbour will feature a three storey tower reminiscent of a lighthouse so it is very apt that the Lizard Lighthouse is helping our cause.  With so much going on, the Pirate Fun event should be a great day out for the whole family.”

The Pirate Fun is by donation of £1 which goes entirely to the Precious Lives Appeal.  Normal admissions apply for entry to the site.

 For further information on times, admissions, and safety, please visit www.lizardlighthouse.co.uk or call 01326 290202 during opening hours.

Crafts and  kites

THIS half-term Newquay Zoo will be sinking its teeth into some great family activities as it supports the European Association for Zoo and Aquariums’ (EAZA) European Carnivore Campaign.

The campaign hopes to raise awareness of some of Europe’s beautiful but endangered animals and so, as well as the $feeds and talks on the zoo’s Carpathian lynx, there will be some special appearances from Countryside Hawking.

The falconry group will be bringing a selection of European birds of prey to the zoo for demonstrations, displays and talks.

They will be at Newquay Zoo on  Sunday and Monday $Wednesday, February 17, from noon.  Other children’s activities taking place during half-term  are animal mask making and a bird of prey kite making competition – making kites from reused plastic bags.

Also new to the zoo is Jenny, a six-year-old waterbuck who has just arrived from Cricket St Thomas Wildlife Park.

Jenny is the newest addition $the zoo and can be seen in the African Savanna exhibit.

Waterbuck are a species of antelope and have a reddish brown coat with a very distinctive white ‘bib’ under their throats and white ring around their rump.

For information about the events  at Newquay Zoo see www.newquayzoo.org.uk or call 01637 873442.

Things that make you go ugh!

VISITORS to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay will have the chance to come face to face with some of the marine world’s most disgusting characters throughout the half-term holidays.

UGH! Week highlights a selection of gross behaviour ranging from starfish that throw up their own stomachs to fish that eat poo!

Discover more about the smelliest, squidgiest and slimiest marine animals and why their disgusting habits are essential for surviving in the depths.  

Blue Reef’s Jenni Collins said: “We’ve noticed that many of our visitors, particularly the younger ones, are fascinated by the more unsavoury elements of the underwater world.

“With this in mind we’ve decided to dedicate the entire half-term holiday period to all the things that make you go ugh!

“Our aquarists have really $coming up with a selection of disgusting demonstrations and offensive experiments.

“As well as hands-on activities and workshops we’ve also put together a trail through the aquarium highlighting our most hideous residents and their awful attributes.

“There’s everything from ugly eels and spitting sea cucumbers to fish slime, cannibalism and much more,” she added.

Special features will include Ugh Trails, rockpool encoun$and the chance to get up close with some of the fishes’ favourite food (yuk!).

Events include feely boxes, and the chance to get ‘hands-on’ with everything from locusts and mealworms to lobster shells, shark jaws and giant crab claws.  Ugh-themed talks and feeding demonstrations will also be taking place daily throughout the holiday period.

 Blue Reef Aquarium is on Promenade, Newquay. Open daily from 10am.  Call 01637 878134 or visit  www.bluereefaquarium.co.uk

 Build your own day..

IT MAY be half-term, but it’s also National Nest Box Week, so why not celebrate with the Forestry Commission’s Cardinham Woods near Bodmin.

On Monday the woods will fill with the noise of sawing and hammering as crafty kids can get hands-on and do something a little different this half-term by building homes for garden birds, owls, hedgehogs and dormice.

People can take their boxes home for the garden, give it as a gift to a friend or relative, or donate it to the forest where they can certainly find a use for it!

Chris Mason, recreation ranger, says: “At Cardinham we are involved in an ongoing dormouse research $which is monitoring how dormice adapt to changing mixed habitats and conifer woodland.

“Dormice nestboxes have been erected and are monitored regularly by our wildlife ranger.  In addition, we are going to be putting up bird boxes around the Lady Vale trail in the near future and will be able to use any boxes left behind for this.  ”

There will be three sessions for children aged seven and over at 10am, 11.45am and 2pm – all lasting one-and-a half-hours.  

Booking is advisable although people will be able to join in on the day

Entertainment inside and out

 FLAMBARDS in Helston will be open this half-term offering  fun and entertainment both indoors and out for the whole family.

For the younger children there are the rides in Ferdi’s Funland and the adventure playground together with the undercover play areas and other indoor activities.

The fascinating and internationally acclaimed Victorian Village will take visitors back in time  to wander through authentically recreated Victorian streets with shops, homes and businesses.

The famous Chemist’s Shop is a real life time capsule that was hidden and untouched for 70 years before being transported lock, stock and barrel to the Helston-based park.

 Britain in the Blitz provides a unique experience of what life was like during war-torn Britain.  Hear the wailing sirens, smell the burning and see the devastation created by an enemy air attack.

For those with their head in the clouds there is the Century of Pioneering Flight exhibition, which chronicles the remarkable achievements of pilots and their flying machines from 1902 to today.

Other aircraft exhibited include the Concorde prototype and a chance to get ‘hands-on’ inside a vintage Shackleton Bomber.

Although the major rides will be closed as they are being checked and refurbished ready for the summer season, thrill seekers will be able to see preparations for the imminent installation of Flambards’ new ride, Skyraker 001, a giant twisting drop tower ride, the first of its kind in the UK, due to open at the end of March.

The park is open from 10.45am to 4pm.  For details of ticket prices call the park on 01326 573404 or see www.flambards.co.uk

Eden’s baaa-rilliant

THE creators of Wallace and Gromit’s close friend Shaun The Sheep will show how his adventures come to life at the Eden Project this half-term.

 

The good news for fans of all ages is that a team from his animators, Aardman, will be with him, helping to show visitors how his adventures are created.  

 

Visitors will be able to work with them in a workshop and learn how to make their very own characters. During the week, they can follow an activity sheet around the site to find items for their own make-believe Shaun The Sheep episodes.   

A set from the show will be on display in the Mediterranean Biome with characters from the series.

Part of the fun will be to add to a giant Plasticine globe that is being created by the Eden and Aardman teams and then make models and trees to decorate the world.

Eden’s programme production co-ordinator Kate Francis said: “It’s very ex$to have Aardman Animations join us with Shaun The Sheep.

“Shaun is a very resourceful sheep, using items from the farm rubbish dump to help out the other sheep so he fits in very well here at Eden. I hope that everyone enjoys the workshops and seeing all of the wonderful work that Aardman create.”  

 

Lucy Wendover, Aardman spokesperson, said: “We can’t wait to see Shaun and $farmyard buddies at the Eden Project.

“They’ve been working flat out on set for the last 18 months shooting their second series of adventures which is now airing every afternoon on BBC1 and this will be a welcome change of scenery.  

 

“Aardman are very excited to be working with Eden Project on  this event, we have admired their work for a long time and are now delighted to see some of our $brought to life in the hands of the Eden team.”

Visitors to Eden during half-term can also make the most of the last week of ice skating at the project. The rink is open until February 21, before it is removed in time for the spring and summer seasons.

 

Modelling sessions should be booked in advance on 01726 811972.  Each session costs £2 in addition to entry price.

It’s a lovers’ Paradise

THREE pairs of Caribbean flamingos are pretty in pink ready for Valentine’s Day and  half-term.

 

Curator David Woolcock said: “They recently spent some time indoors at night to prevent any frostbitten toes during the snowy and icy weather but all were fine.

“You can’t help but be amazed by their stunning pink colour. Flamingos do tend to be faithful and we are keeping our fingers crossed that we may have some breeding success this year.

“Our pink pigeons have also been having some fun although no chicks yet.

“There has been a bit of a lover’s tiff over in the scarlet ibis enclosure with keepers keeping a close eye on $males while they are vying for the females’ attention.

“It can all get a bit frantic and with a young male  in the mix we are just  making sure the older males are not giving him $much trouble.

“Just goes to prove that all things pink are not in love  all the time!”

 

During half-term visitors will be able to see the otter feeding, help feed the  beautiful rainbow lorikeets, $carrot time in the fun farm, help feed the  penguins and one of the most popular experiences is  having a photo taken with a hand-reared penguin.

 The Otter Pool Café will be open throughout half-term offering everything from the delicious Paradise paninis to their popular roast lunches.

 

No matter what the weather there is always something to do with the huge indoor JungleBarn activity centre with its Astra slide, rope walkways, ball pool with fountain for the younger ones and so much more.

It makes for a great family day out.

 

For details visit www.paradisepark.org.uk or call the infoline on 01736 751020.

Half-term on track

ALL aboard this half-term as the Bodmin and Wenford Railway gears up for a special offer for youngsters, and their parents.

On Tuesday, February 16 and Wednesday 17 all children can travel for just £2 all day when accompanied by an adult paying the full fare, children under the age of three are free.

What’s more, the special offer tick$are valid for as many trips as you like during the course of the day.    Advance booking is not required – just turn up and enjoy a nice relaxing day out behind steam,

The Railway’s Blue timetable will be in operation on both days, with departures from Bodmin General Station at 11am, 12.10pm, 1.45pm and 2.55pm.    All trains will be steam hauled by one of the beautifully restored and maintained ex-Great Western Railway tank engines now based on the line.

“This is the first time we have run timetabled trains during the half-term week in $,” said: Richard Jones, general manager of the BWR.    

“The opportunity for children to travel for just £2 on the Tuesday and Wednesday of the forthcoming school holiday should appeal to everyone, and we hope as many people as possible will decide to visit us for a great day out with steam.”   

Each child should be accompanied by at least one fare-paying adult, each adult may be accompanied by up to four children (up to age 16).  

Full details of the Bodmin and Wenford Railway’s services see www.bodminandwenfordrailway.co.uk

 Trust has a bash

THE National Trust on the Lizard have organised a programme of outdoor events and activities during the half-term holiday.  

As well as a good excuse for getting out and having fun, the events are designed to improve people’s understanding of their local environment.  

Justin Whitehouse, area warden for the National Trust explains: “In this modern age of convenience food, computer generated entertainment and a culture of risk aversion, people and especially children are losing touch with the environment around them and many of the ancient countryside skills such as bushcraft and bodging have been lost.  

“These events will give people to opportunity to learn some of these skills, have fun, get some exercise and meet new friends.”

On Monday, the Trust will $hosting a Family Bushcraft Day at Poltesco near Ruan Minor.

 Fans of Ray Mears and Bear Grylls can come and learn about foraging for wild food, making fire and other useful and fascinating bushcraft skills. Children must be accompanied by an adult and there is a small fee for this event.

On Wednesday, February 17, there is a Green Woodworking day, where you’ll have the chance to turn your hand to ‘bodging’ (turning wood on a foot-powered pole $), making mallets, and carving spoons, all using wood from Poltesco valley.

 There is an age limit of 12 years for this event and a fee of £7.50 to cover costs.

And on Friday, February 19, there will be a repeat of last year’s hugely popular Predannack Mega-Scrub Bash at Predannack Wollas near Mullion.  

Last year more than 40 local children and adults helped the Trust clear a large area of scrub from the cliffs at Predannack for the benefit of the local wildlife.  

This year the Trust hopes that an even bigger area will be cleared.  

Lunch will be cooked on the fire and there will be activities and freebies for the kids.  

This event is free and there is no age limit (although children must be accompanied by an adult).

For further information and to book 01326 240282.

Plenty to see and do at Geevor Mine

From exploring the award winning Hard Rock Museum to trying your hand at using real mining machinery, there’s plenty to see and do at Geevor Tin Mine, near Pendeen, during half-term.

Have a go at the jobs miners and bal maidens would have done 200 years ago. Daily sessions for hand-drilling, hand barrowing $hand crushing rocks using a bucking iron will run between 1.30pm and 2.30pm.   

Staff will be holding a special family wildlife workshop on Thursday, February 18 between 11am and 3pm in the Hard Rock Museum’s Gallery.  Drop in to find out how to help the wildlife in your area with top tips on gardening techniques as well as having a go at arts and crafts activities and a wildlife trail quiz.

 

All activities are supervised by Geevor staff and are free with site admission. They are suitable for all ages  - apart from those using the bucking iron who must be over 8 years.  All children must be accompanied by a paying adult . For details see www.geevor.com or call 01736 788662.

Spring into action

DURING February half-term, breathe in the spring air and be refreshed by what is on offer at Trebah Garden, near Falmouth.

Whether you are enjoying a day out with the family, walking the dog or on the lookout for signs of spring colour, Trebah has it all.

 

Snowdrops on Beach Path are already in flower and showing that spring is on its way, the crocuses on the main lawn are beginning to spread a purple hue and early daffodils are coming into flower.

 The wonderful camellias at Trebah are already flowering  on the main lawn and along the Camellia Walk with some stunning flowers of the deepest red.

 

For February half-term there is plenty to do for little ones itching to get out and about.  

Join the ‘Find Tressie’ Trebah’s monster trail, taking you round the garden until you find our very own special $monster.  £1 per trail includes a fantastic prize.

On Tuesday a children’s ‘drop-in’ mask making workshop, 11am to 1pm, £2 per child, including all materials.

On Thursday, February 18,  a children’s ‘drop-in’ clay  modelling workshop, 11am to 1pm, £2 per child, including all  materials.  Normal garden entry rates apply.

 

Trebah continues to offer National Trust members free entry into the garden until February 28.

Entry rates in February remain at £3 per adult, £2.50 for seniors, £1 for children 5-15 and under fives are free.

Open daily from 10am, visit www.trebah-garden.co.uk for up to date information.

Inspect a Morse

THIS half-term at Porthcurno Telegraph Museum, families can join the museum characters Dot and Dash who have travelled back in time to the 19th century.

Children will be able to see what life was like for the young people who were servants at Porthcurno and those who trained to be telegraphists.

 They will be able to wear their clothes, learn about working life and see what they did when they were not working.

There is dressing-up, learning how to do Morse Code and make a Morse key, designing a sewing sampler or a sports badge for the telegraphists’ sports teams, using old-fashioned pen and ink to write telegrams as well as taking a Travellers’ Trail around the museum to find out about the places that the telegraphists might have been posted to once they had done their training at Porthcurno.

These activities are included in the normal entrance price.

Circus skills taster sessions

SWAMP Circus rolls into town this half-term with a number of free taster sessions.

The sessions are open to all and take place on Tuesday at Falmouth Sports Club, from 10.30am to 12.30pm,  Hayle Youth Club: Wednesday, February 17, from 2pm to 4pm,  Truro Library: February 18,  2pm to 4pm,  $Community Centre, Truro: February 20, 2pm to 5pm and Illogan Village Hall Saturday February 27 from 2pm to 5pm. You can try your hand at learning performance skills from acrobatics to mime. The taster session comes ahead of an accredited course which is free for anyone over 15, out of work and education. those who complete the course will receive a certificate of merit, an arts award or an NCFE level 2  qualification.

The weekly sessions will take place every Tuesday from February 23 and will teach clowning, juggling, diablo and stilt-walking and trapeze.

Venues for the course includes Falmouth, Truro Library and Penryn College.

Call Lara at on 01326 373 626 or 07806 285 992 or e-mail swampoffice@btopenworld.com

Carnivores and kites

THIS half-term Newquay Zoo will be sinking its teeth into some great family activities as it supports the European Association for Zoo and Aquariums’ (EAZA) European Carnivore Campaign.

The campaign hopes to raise awareness of some of Europe’s beautiful but endangered animals and so, as well as the $feeds and talks on the zoo’s Carpathian lynx, there will be some special appearances from Countryside Hawking.

The falconry group will be bringing a selection of European birds of prey to the zoo for demonstrations, displays and talks.

They will be at Newquay Zoo on  Sunday and Monday $Wednesday, February 17, from noon.  Other children’s activities taking place during half-term  are animal mask making and a bird of prey kite making competition – making kites from reused plastic bags.

Also new to the zoo is Jenny, a six-year-old waterbuck who has just arrived from Cricket St Thomas Wildlife Park.

Jenny is the newest addition $the zoo and can be seen in the African Savanna exhibit.

Waterbuck are a species of antelope and have a reddish brown coat with a very distinctive white ‘bib’ under their throats and white ring around their rump.

For information about the events  at Newquay Zoo see www.newquayzoo.org.uk or call 01637 873442.

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