Little culture vultures: February fun
This is shaping up to be the storytelling month, from Viking sagas to favourite children’s books brought to life
We’re not scared
The chanting rhythms of Michael Rosen’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, where a family adventures through swishy-swashy grass and oozy, squelchy mud, are coming to the stage. And there’ll be lots of chances for tots to join in with singing along, hands-on adventure and a few surprises, too...
Touring the UK
There’s nothing like a good yarn, and the SS Great Britain’s resident storyteller Sarah Mooney knows how to enchant young listeners (and older ones) with tall tales of life aboard Brunel’s ship. There’ll be plenty of opportunities for tots to join in the action in these free sessions at the Brunel Institute, inspired by items from the archive collection.
First Tuesday of each month
A winter’s tale
If you and your little ones are fans of Julia Donaldson’s Gruffalo stories (that’ll be all of us, then), you won’t want to miss this stage version of The Gruffalo’s Child. Turning the orginal story on its head, this one follows the Gruffalo’s daughter when she decides to ignore what her dad has told her and heads out to the snowy wood to see if the Big Bad Mouse really does exist. Expect lots of laughter, fun and silliness for children aged three and up.
Touring the UK throughout the year
Norse, of course!
Introduce little ones to the Viking world. This February at the Yorkshire Museum tots can enjoy storytelling with Odin the Viking, or create their own Viking saga, with the roll of a dice deciding their fate. There’s also a curator’s talk on Myth, Magic and Monsters in the Viking World aimed specially at younger visitors.
It's that cat
It’s a (frankly brilliant) book, it’s a movie and now it’s a stage show. Yes, you can finally meet Dr Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat in person at the Arts Depot, North Finchley. Creating the perfect mixture of mischief and fun, this lively show would be a great first theatre experience for tots aged three and up.
If you love your children to be creative but are less keen on the three-hour clean-up following a craft session in the kitchen, then head off to Maidstone Museum for three days of creative activities. Tots can make nature-themed wind chimes, shields, masks or Japanese fans at these drop-in sessions.
Forget Harry Potter, Charlie Hubble’s the one to watch. He’s fed up with making his big sister’s tortoise ‘disappear’ and wants to learn real magic. Then an actual sorcerer arrives... At the Lyric Hammersmith, Sorcerer’s Apprentice weaves puppetry and music in a spellbinding show for threes and up.
Head to Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in West Sussex for activities for all the family – country skills, arts and crafts, and even a scavenger hunt. It’s a good idea to wrap up, but there’s plenty of undercover fun too, and loads of fascinating buildings to explore.
Whether it’s Scooby-Doo, Sooty or Teletubbies, we all have a favourite kids’ TV show. Share your memories with your tots at The Story of Children’s Television (now at Portsmouth City Museum but touring the UK). Packed full of memorabilia and clips going back to 1946, this is one you could even take nan along to.
To 28 February
And for older ones...
A Magical Journey
A fairy-tale ballet is the perfect antidote to rainy February days, and balletLORENT’s Snow White, retold by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, won’t disappoint. Family audiences will love the beautiful story, plus the fact that the ten principal dancers are joined on stage by a cast of 12 children aged between seven and nine – perfect inspiration for any budding ballerinas.
For seven-year-olds up; touring the UK
Losing your mind
The Lost Things is all about losing things – and finding things you didn’t even know you were looking for (perfect for mums who lose their door keys but find earrings down the side of the sofa instead). In this fairy-tale piece of theatre at MAC Birmingham, a boy falls and finds himself in a world of lost things including car keys, wedding rings, dads and a girl building an amazing machine. This is a dark tale and nothing is as it seems.
For eight-year-olds up; 18-20 February
Mumble’s Wild Ride
Join Mumble from Happy Feet and his comical penguin friends for a thrilling, action-packed 4D ride at the Life Science Centre in Newcastle. This new attraction lets you experience every twist and turn, quite literally, and you can also expect to be blasted with wind, smoke and water – and even smell the action – as your seat moves in time with the 3D action onscreen. Enjoy the ride!
Minimum height 1.2 metres; to 21 February