What to do in Ipswich and elsewhere in Suffolk during February half term 2017

Bird box making event at Holywells Park, Ipswich

Bird box making event at Holywells Park, Ipswich

Ipswich has been ranked as one of the most popular half-term holiday hotspots in the UK ahead of the February school break.

Take your own treasures along to Ipswich Museum

Take your own treasures along to Ipswich Museum - Credit: Gregg Brown

Thousands of people have made advanced bookings with National Express to visit during February half-term – making Ipswich the sixth most popular town in the country with the coach company’s passengers.

What will you during the half term break? Here we list some ideas for family days out in Ipswich and further afield in Suffolk.

My Pet Pals activity club at Pets At Home, Ranelagh Road, Ipswich - February 9 to 17

A Little Mix tribute band will be performing in Felixstowe

A Little Mix tribute band will be performing in Felixstowe - Credit: PA

Take your children along to the pet superstore for a free workshop which allows them to get up close and personal with some scaly creatures.

Children will learn about different species of fish and reptiles, including the five welfare needs of these animals - shelter, food and water, good health, appropriate company and the right living environment, which are all vital for keeping pets happy and healthy.

Book your free place here

Have you tried Movies for Juniors at Cineworld?

Have you tried Movies for Juniors at Cineworld? - Credit: Archant

Sports session and swimming at Ipswich Borough Council leisure centres - various days and times

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During each school break, Ipswich Borough Council hosts a comprehensive programme of activities including archery, rollerskating, soft play, modern dance, bounce and play and racquet sports plus family fun swim sessions.

Activities cost from £1 to £8.80 and there is also a chance to learn to swim with trainee instructors or improve your technique.

For a comprehensive guide, download the programme - right.

Build your own bird box this half term

Build your own bird box this half term

The Bear at The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich - Friday, February 10 to Sunday, February 12, shows at 11am, 1.30pm and 4pm

Pins and Needles present Raymond Briggs’ heart-warming wintery tale about Tilly and an enormous polar bear.

Looking after the bear proves exhausting for little Tilly, as audiences discover in this 50-minute production suitable for children aged three and over.

Tickets cost £8 for adults and £5 for children and are available here

RingQuest at West Stow Anglo Saxon Village - February 11 to 19

The biannual visit from the Orcs of JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth takes place this half term and this time it is bigger than ever.

Enjoy the RingQuest family trail, see the huge spiders of Mirkwood and the dragon guarding its treasure.

Find the rings and runes to save Middle Earth, visit the village and the Hobbit Hole, meet Halbarad the Ranger and try your hand at archery.

If you are particularly unlucky, you may bump into an Orc or two. You can also see the original on screen Hollywood made High Elven Helmet from The Fellowship of the Ring and an Orc Helmet used throughout the trilogy.

The village is open 10am to 5pm (last entry 3.30pm) on all days. Normal admission prices apply, plus £2 extra for RingQuest trail family pack. No booking required.

Movies for Juniors, Cineworld, Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill - February 11 to 19

If your children have yet to try out the big screen then this could be the perfect introduction and for older children, it is a chance to see movies you may have missed last year.

Films are yet to be released but expect to see the biggest family hits from the end of 2016. Tickets are priced at just £2.50 when you buy in advance online.

A bargain morning out no matter what the weather.

Half-term trail at Landguard Fort, Felixstowe - February 11 to February 19, 10am to 4pm

Take a tour around this historic landmark on the Suffolk coast with a special half term quiz trail.

Entry to the fort costs £5 for adults, £4 for concessions and £2 for children aged five to 15. An additional £1.50 is charged for a trail sheet.

Family art days at Ipswich Art Gallery, High Street, Ipswich - February 11 to 18, 10.30am to 1.30pm

Brought to you by Ipswich Art School and funded by the Arts Council England, this is a series of fun, hands-on workshops led by a diverse and exciting range of experienced artists who will show you the techniques, tricks and tips to allow your imagination to spill out into your own bespoke piece of art.

The workshops will be inspired by Paolozzi’s pop art.

Places cost between £3.30 and £3.50 per person and can be booked here.

Michael Morpurgo’s King Arthur, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich - Monday, February 13 and Tuesday, February 14, 11am and 1.30pm

An epic tale of magic, heroism, love and betrayal adapted from the novel Arthur: High King of Britain, by Michael Morpurgo, the author of War Horse and Private Peaceful.

A drowning boy is rescued by a mysterious figure who claims to be Arthur Pendragon.

As the old man tells his stories, he is transported back to the heady days of Camelot, the Round Table, Merlin, the Lady of the Lake, Excalibur, Lancelot and Guinevere.

Tickets, costing £8 or £5 for those aged under 26, are available from 01473 295900 or online here

Forest fun at Foxburrow Farm, Melton, near Woodbridge - Tuesday, February 14, 10.30am to 12.30pm

Enjoy den building, charcoal making and marshmallow tasting at this outdoor fun morning suitable for the whole family.

The cost is £4 for children, £2 for adults and under threes are free. Places must be booked in advance and children should be accompanied. Find out more here

Animal detectives at Lackford Lakes - Tuesday, February 14, 10.30am to 12.30pm

Children can hunt for tracks and signs of animals around the reserve with help from the Suffolk Wildlife Trust team while parents enjoy coffee and cake in the cafe. The session is for children aged four to seven and places are £5 each.

See here for booking

So You Think You Know About Dinosaurs? live at The Apex Theatre, Bury St Edmunds - Tuesday, February 14 at 2pm

TV scientist Ben Garrod asks and answers a whole range of question you may never have thought to ask about dinosaurs,

With the help of TV film footage and photos of his own palaeontological dinosaur digs, Ben will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about dinosaurs.

This is an interactive show where children will be given the chance to ask questions and show off their dinosaur knowledge. Recommended age is from 5 years and above.

Book in advance at The Apex or phone 01284 758000

Tickets are priced at £12 for adults, £10 for children and a family ticket costs £38.

St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds - February 14, 15 and 17

On Tuesday, Valentine’s Day, there will be a family arts and crafts day celebrating the power of love. The drop-in sessions run from 10am to 12noon and 1pm to 3pm and cost £1 per person.

On Wednesday and Friday local actress and story teller Hatty Ashton uses her own book, There’s a Head in my Bed, as the base for a new take on the legend of St Edmund. There will be a “head hunt” around the cathedral as well as arts and crafts and story telling sessions. Sessions runs from 10am to 12noon and 1pm to 4pm and cost £2.50. These sessions are ideal for children aged between three and 12.

Animal Invasion at Ipswich Museum - Tuesday, February 14 to Thursday, February 16 - 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm

Get up close to fluffy, scaly or creepy crawly creatures during this series of workshops aimed at children aged five and over.

Places cost between £3.30 and £3.50 per person and can be booked here.

Bird Box Building at Bourne Park, Ipswich and Bradfield Woods on Tuesday, February 14 and at Holywells Park, Ipswich on Thursday, February 16 - both at 10.30am

Make a bird box and feeder to take home during these fun family sessions that everyone can involved in.

The cost is £6 per box but places must be booked in advanced. See here or call 01473 890089.

Show and Tell at Ipswich Museum - Wednesday, February 15, 10am to 3pm

Bring your treasures along to this free drop-in session and the experts will tell you more about their past.

Comedy Club 4 Kids at The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich - Wednesday, February 15, 1pm

The UK’s top stand up comics will be doing what they do best - making people laugh BUT there will be no rude bits in this show, which is aimed at children aged six and over, and their grown ups too.

Tickets are priced at £8 for adults, £5 for concessions. See here for more details

Black Magic - The Little Mix Tribute Show at Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe - Wednesday, February 15 at 7pm

This is an ideal introduction to live concerts for little music fans - hear all your favourite Little Mix hits including Wings, How Ya Doin and Cannonball as well as the recent smash hits Black Magic.

This highly energetic show follows in the footsteps of the award winning girl band with stunning live vocals and iconic dances. Kids and adults alike are sure to be partying in the aisles.

Tickets are priced from £15 for adults and from £12 for children and Concessions. Family Ticket (2+2) £52/£44. See here.

Sticks family activities at Arger Fen, near Sudbury - Thursday, February 16, 10.30am to 12.30pm

Join in stick themed games, activities and crafts and enjoy some fresh air this half term.

Sessions are run by Suffolk Wildlife Trust and cost £4 for children, £2 for adults.

Find out more here

Young naturalists at Redgrave and Lopham Fen, Diss- Thursday, February 16, 10am to 2pm

Children aged 11 to 15 can take part in seasonal wildlife sessions and practical conservation work during this outdoor fun day. Parents to not need to attend but must book children in advance.

The cost is £7 per child and more details are available here

Cinderella at DanceEast, Ipswich - Thursday, February 16 to Saturday, February 18, shows at 2.30pm and 7.30pm

The Landseer Players are excited to bring the most magical pantomime of them all to the Jerwood DanceHouse.

With hit songs, sparkling costumes and lots of laugh out loud moments you are guaranteed to be entertained.

The performance is suitable for all ages and tickets range from £10 to £12. Book your seats here

A dragon’s tale activity day at Foxburrow Farm, Melton, near Woodbridge - Friday, February 17, 10am to 2pm

A woodland adventure awaits children aged 6 to 10, they will be trying to track down a dragon, conquer the art of fire making and learn about reptilian relatives of the dragon.

The cost is £7 and children are advised to bring a packed lunch along.

More details available here

Sky in the Pie at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich - Saturday, February 18, 11am and 1.30pm

Weaving audience participation with exciting storytelling and adventure, Hinged Theatre has created a fantastic new show that keeps a young audience spellbound.

Forced out of her home, where will the mysterious pie maker Dorothy Butterworth and Whiskey her crafty cat go? In desperation they choose an extraordinary mode of transport and collect mismatched companions on the way. How will this unusual group overcome their disagreements, face the hazards of their journey and defeat their adversaries?

Tickets are priced at £8 for adults, £5 for concessions. See here for more details

The Jungle Book, Spa Pavilion Theatre, Felixstowe, Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19

Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book sees Mowgli the man cub battles to survive and become the leader of the pack.

Brought to you by the Oddsocks Theatre Company.

The Saturday performance is at 7.30pm and the Sunday at 2.30pm

Tickets cost £17 for adults and £14 for children and concessions. See here for tickets

Monstersaurus at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich - Sunday, February 19, 11am and 1.30pm

This brand new show from the creators of Aliens Love Underpants is monster-ously good. Follow the young inventor Monty as he creates a whole world of whacky inventions and incredible monsters, but he has a problem - now he has made them all, what is he going to do with them?

This energetic show full of thrills, spills, magic and mayhem will delight the whole family with original music and plenty of audience participation.

The show is suitable for children aged three and over.

Tickets are priced at £12 or £10 for adults, £9 or £7 for concessions. See here for more details

Bryony Rudkin, deputy leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said: “It is no surprise that Ipswich is so highly regarded as a half-term destination. We pull out all the stops during the holidays, and we have a wide range of activities to suit everyone this half term holiday. You can keep active, explore our rich heritage, take part in art classes and outdoor workshops and even see a show.”

Amanda Ankin, head of chamber services at the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, added: “From the rejuvenated waterfront to the medieval heart of the town, Ipswich has so much to offer both day-trippers and those booking longer holidays.”

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