Days out for the family this February

Take your pick from the crazy, magical live shows and absorbing exhibitions coming up for tots. Nifa McLaughlin rounds up the very best

Nostalgic charm

The much-loved tale of Wind in the Willows comes alive in this musical adaptation at the Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury, with eye-catching outfits, toe-tapping music and larger-than-life characters. Join sensible Mole, boat-loving Ratty, wise Badger and eccentric Toad, as they head off to save Toad Hall. 14 February.

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Orchestral manoeuvers

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment's popular OAE Tots events include this lively 45-minute workshop at London's Purcell Room where children will meet the musicians, be entranced by music, and even have a chance to join in too! It's aimed at children between two and six, plus their parents, under twos go free. 21 February.

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Play's the thing

Do the games your little ones play really help them develop? at Eureka! in Yorkshire, you can learn to 'play with purpose'. Led by an early years teacher, children and parents explore the galleries, using play and songs, and there are suggestions for games at home too. From 2nd February.

 
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Once upon a time...

This is rated PG so not suitable for very little ones, but how about a sneaky trip to the flicks with your older kids to see the new Cinderella? Directed by Kenneth Branagh, it stars Lily James (Lady Rose in Downton Abbey). Throw in some pick 'n' mix and let the magic wash over you. From 27 March, nationwide.

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Bear hugs all round

The People's Theatre Company's new play, How the Koala Learnt to Hug, was written for children and their parents. It's perfect for audiences aged three to 103 – and it's adapted by the author, Steven Lee, from his charming book, How the Koala Learnt to Hug and Other Australian Fairytales. Touring from 1 March.

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A whale of a tale

A snail hitches a lift around the world on the back of a humpback whale... if you love Julia Donaldson's stories as much as we do, you'll adore this theatre adaptation of The
Snail and the Whale. With lots of laughs for children aged four up. Touring the UK from 5 February.

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Monkey Mischief

Mischievious fly on a cloud, become invisible and transform into anything. Based on a classic Chinese story and brilliantly retold by Michael Rosen, this touring puppet show will delight fours and up. Stunning string puppets, antique shadow puppets and live music.

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Short stories

If you're secretly charmed by the life of a dolls' house, you'll love Small Stories: At Home in a Dolls' House at the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, London, which reveals the stories behind some of the UK's best-loved dolls' houses of the past 300 years. Runs until 6 September.

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Curtains up

Head to Leeds City Varieties Music Hall on Tuesdays, where the early years group Hickory Dickory Dock will delight your little ones. In themed sessions, young children are encouraged to play, sing, create and be inspired by the unique building they're in. Sessions last 45 minutes. Booking essential.

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Bubblemania

Tots love blowing bubbles but Louis Pearl, the Amazing Bubble Man, takes the art to a whole new level. He makes square bubbles, bubbles inside bubbles, fog-filled bubbles, kids inside bubbles and more. Catch his UK tour which kicks off in Glasgow on 28 March.

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Monkeying about

If your little one is between three and seven, they'll adore watching the three monkeys Seeno, Hearno and Speakno on their journey to gather wisdom. Based on the old Japanese proverb and brought to life through puppetry, live music and mischievous storytelling. Find out when its near you here.

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Tumble in town

Kids favourite Justin Fletcher MBE is back in a brand new production this Easter  - Justin & Friends: Mr Tumble's Circus to town! Mr Tumble's Circus is delayed en route! Will Justin and the CBeebies stars help get Mr Tumble's Circus to town on time? Find out in the show touring at Easter.

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