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Mum's Guide To St Albans Blog

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What To Do This February 2019 Half Term


How is it almost half term already? It feels like they’ve only just gone back to school! As ever, it’s a juggling act – you’ll need something to entertain the kids but don’t want to spend a fortune or travel too far doing it.

Never fear, we’ve got the pick of the best local things going on – not a definitive list by any means (you can find that here) – simply our recommendations, plus a few things you may not have thought of.

Anything we've missed? Email me (Emily) on [email protected] with any suggestions you might have. 

1.       Vets in Action at Whipsnade Zoo

Veterinary school too expensive? Of course it is. Have your kids pretend instead, at the real-life Animal Hospital at Whipsnade Zoo. Suitable for all primary age kids, they have two sessions a day running from 9th – 24th February.

Once you’ve paid to get in you may as well get annual membership as it works out much better value if you suspect you might be a regular visitor. Bring your thermals though if you want to see all the animals – it’s a LONG WALK to those lions.

Tickets and info here

2.       Mayhem in the Mad Lab! at the Royal Gunpowder Mills

OK this one is a bit of a drive but trust me, this looks cool. From 16th – 24th February at the Royal Gunpowder Mills in Waltham Abbey, your kids can try our hands-on experiments testing scientific theories, make slime and launch an air powered rocket. A gentleman named Professor Nitrate will also apparently create certain mayhem with interactive science shows at 11.40, 1.40 and 3.40 where the family can learn about things that go whizz, bang and crash.

Why didn’t they have stuff like this when we were kids?

Tickets and info here.

3.       Walking Trail and Craft Activity at Ashridge Estate

If your kids are young enough to still be willing to go along with truly wholesome activities then this walking trail and craft activity at Ashridge might be nice – its £3 per child and has a cute hedgehog theme to keep them entertained. Bring your proper boots – they don’t specify online how long the trail actually is, plus it might be muddy: you’ve been warned! Runs for the whole of half term (18th – 2nd Feb). No booking required.

Info here

4.       Woodside Animal Farm

Woodside is one of my favourite places to go because its VERY good value- included in the entry price they have soft play (separated out for tots and bigger kids), funfair rides, tractor rides, a sandpit, go karts, loads of outdoor play equipment, crazy golf AND a whole load of animals, some of which they let you pet (including an AWESOME bearded dragon). During the half term break they are advertising “chick cuddling sessions”: I’m in.

If you haven’t been before, it’s up near the village of Markyate but don’t let the distance put you off – its pretty much just 1 straight road all the way there. And the parking is easy.

Info here.

5.       Stay in

What’s with all this going out stuff? Its obviously far too cold. Do yourself a favour and lock the door, stay in your PJs and just hang out with the kids. Here’s a few suggestions for indoor fun:

  • Paint some St Albans Rocks (Facebook group here)
  • Bake some biscuits (Betty Crocker packet mix, obvs- none of this weighing ingredients stuff)
  • Make a treasure hunt in the house
  • Break out a boardgame you thought your kids were too young for – they might surprise you
  • Have a picnic on the floor at home (I’m sure I got this idea from an episode of Bing)
  • Draw a hopscotch on your kitchen floor
  • Watch a kids film together that isn’t terrible – Shrek is good for this, as is The Little Mermaid. Likewise, The Storybots series on Netflix is very watchable.
  • Make slime
  • Blend up fruit for a homemade smoothie
  • Give your kids a screen to play on while you have a break – after all, the BBC says we should all “worry less” about it. Finally! Some guilt-free peace and quiet.


Please note that Mum’s guide to St Albans are not paid or affiliated with any of these places, all opinions are my own. Please check websites before you travel.

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