Family days out for April and May 2015

Time to bask in the arts with stories, rhymes, music and festivals, plus roaring dinosaurs and a sprinling of campfire fun, says Nifa McLaughlin

Bright sparks

A whole festival, just for children – sounds good to us! Head to Leicester to check out the Spark Festival, the biggest children's arts festival in England and Wales. There's a mix of theatre, dance, music and digital arts for children from the very young up to 13. 18-30 May.

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The great outdoors

We love Hidden Woods near Bath. Their Saplings toddler groups are held on Tuesdays and Fridays during term. There are also monthly family mornings on Sundays. There's one on Father's Day weekend in June – perfect for a bit of father/child bonding.

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Seaside fun

Officially launching the festival, the Children's Parade takes place on 2 May and the theme for the 5,000 children involved is 'taking flight'. It promises to be a mixture of fabulous costumes, fun and colour. Family events run throughout the festival. 2-24 May.

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Shipshape

At the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, six-to 12-year-olds will love Against Captain's Orders, a new trip through the museum where children become crew. Down the road, the Cutty Sark has activities for tots, including Toddler Time every Wednesday.

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Play time

Did you know it's National Children's Day on 17 May? We know, we know, every day is children's day, right? But the point is to remind everyone about the importance of play, from make-believe characters to feeding children's creativity. So keep your eyes peeled for events nationwide.

 
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Well versed

At the Saison Poetry Library's under-fives Rug Rhymes sessions, puppets Frederico and Firebird help children to find out about rhymes, poems and stories. Alternate Fridays, 24 April-3 July; Royal Festival Hall, London.

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Rapunzel, Rapunzel...

Children will already know one version of the story of a girl trapped in a tower from Tangled, and it's magical to see this heart-warming tale come to life on stage. Rapunzel is a delightful new production about the curiosity and joy of growing up. For ages three up. Touring from 26 April.

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