Halloween and October half-term events
There's lots going on in the Bristol and Bath area during the half-term holidays, including plenty of Halloween activities - and as usual we have some top tips to keep the youngsters entertained.
Each year, during the autumn half-term, museums in Bath and North East Somerset arrange a series of free events and activities for children and local residents.
To gain free entry to these activities local people need to bring along proof of Bath and North East Somerset residency or a Resident's Discovery Card.
For more details click on the link below.
Meanwhile, in Bristol, the city's museum and art gallery is holding a hands-on event from 22-26 October from 11am-1pm and 2-4pm, in relation to the new La Bouche du Roi exhibition.
The exhibition, which is open until the end of October, is a sculptural installation by Benin artist Romuald Hazoumé, which translates as The Mouth of the King.
More than 300 masks made from petrol cans are arranged to evoke a slave ship, based on the late 18th Century print of the Liverpool ship The Brookes.
It explores themes of exploitation and enslavement, including the transport of slaves and the modern black market of petrol in Benin and is part of the city's Abolition 200 commemorations.
British Empire and Commonwealth Museum
Go undercover this half- term and enter an exciting world of espionage, code breaking and magic at the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum near Temple Meads Station.
Inquisitive boys and girls aged three – 12 years are invited to come in ‘plain clothes’ or fancy dress from Saturday, 20 - Tuesday, 30 October and learn all about spying with a 40 minute tricks of the trade show from Special Agent Clarke at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.
You can also get the low down on history’s greatest spies with Detective Notaclue’s investigation into daring feats and foiled plots in a storytime trail.
There's even a code breaking challenge and at the weekend there's a chance to make your own identity badge and encrypt messages in invisible ink!
Activities are free with museum admission of adults £7.95, children £3.95 and under 5s free.
A storybook themed family event takes place at the Cube cinema in Princess Street during October half-term.
You can dress up as your favourite book character at this event which includes readings with live sound tracking and projections, storytelling with Sian Norris and others, instrument making, child friendly performances from local bands Safetyword and Hacksaw,a live sing-along to well known children’s songs, open mic for any budding musicians under 16, and a theatre performance from the Dave Fish Theatre company.
The Nanoplex Bring Your Kid Fest takes place on Sunday 21 October from 2-5pm. Tickets are £3 for adults, £2 for children.
The Theatre Royal in Bath is again providing holiday entertainment with a programme of workshops and performances in the Egg theatre for children of all ages.
Where is Z? on Saturday, 20 October is a wordless, dream-like show, following the adventures of Z, as he travels the world, with all his earthly goods carried on his back like a snail. Humour, visual imagery, movement and music combine in this show for children aged four plus.
In A Clean Sweep, Monday 22 – Wednesday, 24 October, clowning, dance and visual storytelling are blended as two men try to survive in an anarchic world of brooms, dust and brushes, all doing anything but cleaning up! Tim Licata and Ian Cameron explore the most ordinary and make it … extraordinary! Suitable for the over sevens.
Other performances during half-term week include the return of Private Peaceful. The moving adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel, relives the life of a young First World War soldier as he awaits the firing squad, looking back on his short life and the injustices that have brought him to the front line. Performances take place on Friday 26 and Saturday, 27 October.
You can also take a trip under the sea with Tell Tale Hearts’ aquatic adventure for ages three to seven, Beneath The Waves from Monday, 29 October – Thursday, 1 November, in which puppetry, video animation and live music take children and their families on a magical voyage along the sea-bed with Barnacle Bill and a family of toe-pinching crabs!
Children and teenagers can also get creative and develop their own performance skills in workshops taking place at the Egg throughout the week – Step To It, a rhythmic and movement workshop with African drums and South American pan pipes, Send in the Clowns, comical clowning with the team behind A Clean Sweep, Stage Fight Frenzy, Mask Madness and Brilliant Bonfires are all taking place and are suitable for ages ranging from toddlers to teens.
To book tickets for all workshops and performances or for more information on half-term events, call the Egg reception on 01225 823 409 or the Theatre Royal Box Office on 01225 448844.
Free music activities
Thirteen to 18-year-olds can spend half-term reworking their favourite songs and covers with the help of professional musicians, in an event arranged by Remix, Bristol's Youth Music Action Zone.
Whatever music they're into, whether they are budding songwriters, singers, instrumentalists or producers, young people from all over Bristol can take part and at the end of the week everyone performs their tracks.
And a second activity, Leaps and Sounds, which is part of a new dance and music partnership for the South West, is also inviting youngsters to take part during half-term.
The project aims to provide young dancers and musicians from existing companies, with an opportunity to creatively exchange, share ideas and experiences whilst establishing new relationships and ways of working.
It culminates in two performances at the Goshen Centre, Plymouth on Saturday, 27 October with other performances planned later this autumn in Cornwall and Bristol.
If you would like to be part in either project or would like more information contact Eleanor on 0117 903 6669 or e-mail email@example.com
My Little Ponies
A herd of My Little Ponies are galloping towards Bristol during October half-term, and any little ones who are fans of the pretty, plastic toys are gong to be delighted with a weekend of events.
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the small horse, the International My Little Pony Convention is set to attract hundreds of people from across the globe to join in the celebrations and raise money for Bristol charity The Rainbow Centre for Children.
Taking place on Friday and Saturday 26 and 27 October, at the Redwood Hotel and Country Club in Beggar Bush Lane, highlights of the weekend include a celebrity pony auction, with signed ponies up for grabs from stars including comedian, Bill Bailey, an art exhibition and fashion show as well as children’s activities and competitions.
You can even customise your own pony and create your own pony scene. Events on Friday 26 will appeal to new and established collectors, while events on Saturday 27 will provide entertainment for families, budding artists and collectors, as well as those with a fondness for nostalgia.
A two day admission is £12 (£7 under 16s) with single day admissions £7 (£4 under 16s). Tickets available on the door.
The zoo's annual Halloween Festival takes place from Saturday 20 to Wednesday 31 October and includes a pumpkin carving competition, Trick or Treat Trail and special spooky trail.
The Pumpkin Carving Competition takes place on Friday, 26 October when youngsters are asked to help create a pumpkin passage along the main path by bringing a carved or decorated pumpkin.
There's free entry for one child between 9am and 12noon with a pumpkin and a full paying adult. Winners announced at 3pm.
And from 26-28 October you can meet the zoo's very own witch and her cat for a Halloween Parade by pumpkin passage. The parade takes place at 1.30pm.
Tyntesfield and Dyrham Park
And there are more witches and wizards at the National Trust's Tyntesfield Estate in North Somerset during half-term.
You can take part in Halloween fun with family activities and a trail and there's also a fancy dress competition.
The Witches and Wizards event takes place on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 October between 11am-3pm. Normal admission charges apply.
The National Trust's Dyrham Park near Bath is also holding Halloween events on the same weekend, with spooky trails and scary workshops. You can also take home a bag of Halloween goodies.
Nature on the Downs
Children aged 8-12 years old can find out about how nature prepares for winter during an event organised by the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project.
The group will use games and storytelling to show how animals and plants cope with the colder parts of the year.
Children will also get the chance to make "fabulous, funky autumn puppets".
The day runs from 10am-3.30pm on Thursday, 25 October and costs £7.50 per child who will also need to bring a packed lunch.
On Sunday, 28 October you can be a seasonal detective spotting signs of autumn with local author Geraldine Taylor and Mandy Leivers.
This event runs from 1.30pm until 3.30pm and costs £3 per person.
Booking for both events is essential: Call 0117 9030609 or visit www.avongorge.org.uk
Kid free entertainment
And one strictley NOT for the children is the Halloween special screening of Dracula at Bristol's Watershed on Wednesday, 31 October at 8.40pm.
This is a showing of the first ever colour version of Dracula, specially restored by the BFI to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hammer Horror Studios, and with the media centre selling two Bloody Marys for the price of one it's one not to venture to alone.
All Dracula ticket holders will also receive a free pair of glow-in-the-dark teeth ready to light up the auditorium during those scary moments.
last updated: 19/10/07
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