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Swindon Half-Term Fun 

May 2017: A few ideas for those trying to prise their kids away from their iPads, mobiles & Minecraft - INDOORS & OUT

Monday 29 May - Friday 02 June
Half-term Swindon
Keeping the little blighters busy can be difficult, can't it?

Half-term can be the worst for parents, grand parents as well as uncles and aunts across Swindon if they can't think of anything to stop the kids wrecking the house with boredom when it's raining outside!
Or just leaving them with their thumbs & eyes sore playing on their iPads and mobiles.

So if you're in that category, we sympathise - and here's a few ideas.
It's A Pirate Fest!
The Brunel
Ahoy, me hearties! The Brunel Shopping Centre will be awash with all things Pirate this half-term when the town centre hosts a three-day Pirate Festival. Keep an eye on The Brunel's Facebook for more details.

Friday 2nd June
Pirate Craft Activity 10.30 – 4pm in The Arcade
Captain Jack meet and greet at intervals 11am – 3pm upper level of The Plaza
Face painting 11am – 3pm outside M&S lower level of The Plaza

Saturday 3rd June
Pirate Craft Activity 10.30 – 4pm in the Arcade
Captain Jack meet and greet at intervals 11am – 3pm upper level of The Plaza
Face painting 11am – 3pm outside M&S lower level of The Plaza
Balloony Pirates 11am – 2.30pm walkabout entertainment

Sunday 4th June
Captain Jack meet and greet at intervals 11am – 3pm upper level of The Plaza
Face painting 11am – 3pm outside M&S lower level of The Plaza
Captain Crooner at intervals 11.30am – 2pm walkabout entertainment
Seagull Mania at intervals 12 – 2.30pm walkabout entertainment

Half Term Craft Activities
Swindon Designer Outlet
Come along to the Hornby Airfix Make 'n' Take activity at the Swindon Designer Outlet this half term for some crafting fun!

Children are invited to make and paint their own airfix model - the activity is completely free of charge.*
The activity will run 29th and 30th May. Find them in front of Soho Coffee Co and Giraffe.
Colouring competition
Plus enter the colouring competition with Tinc for your chance to win a special Tinc prize.
Activity will run 29th May-30th May. Located in front of Next.
Both activities run from 11am - 4pm.
* Children are asked not to come in their best clothes, sometimes the paint gets into places it shouldn't!
Swindon's Famous Duck Race
Westcott Recreation Ground
Monday 29 May, 10.00am - 4.00pm
This fun family event is back once again and taking over Westcott Recreation Ground (opposite Arkell's pub The Runner).

Buy your duck, pop it in the water and keep those fingers crossed that it reaches the finish line first.
Swindon Duck Race
A great family day out featuring a Dog Show, stalls, sideshows, children’s fun fair, food outlets and, of course, the Duck Race itself, which takes place at around 3.30pm.
You'd be quack-ers to miss it!
Fun on the Farm - indoors & out!
Three Little Pigs
Roves Farm
27 May - 04 June 2017

It's 'Three Little Pigs' week at Roves Farm... where you can 'huff and puff' your way around the farm on a tractor ride and follow the classic story as it comes to life!
Just one of the themed weeks at Roves Farm throughout the year.

The Manor Farm Estate
Situated in the heart of the Cotswolds, The Manor Farm Estate in Lechlade offers fun for all the family.

From their friendly farmyard animals to mountain biking, swimming, nature trails & much more...
Get creative
Young Picasso? Painted pots, chocolate, cakes and more!
Studley Grange Craft Centre

We like the idea of doing something with the kids that has an 'end result'.
Something to take home and remember the day from or just a horrendously decorated item you can hide in a cupboard and bring out when they turn 21!

Studley Grange Half-term fun

Or maybe your son or daughter is a young Picasso? You can find out by letting them decorate cup cakes or pottery at Studley Grange. Just think of your pension!
Visit a museum or gallery
Steam Museum
Special Activities for May Half-Term

‘Exploration Station’
Thursday 01 June 2017
Make your own Camera Obscura!

King George the 5th was built in 1927. That same year, there was a total eclipse of the sun in the United Kingdom, when people used pinhole viewers or Camera Obscuras to see the eclipse without looking directly at the sun!

So to celebrate both occasions, Steam are challenging young visitors to make their own Camera Obscuras to view images projected with light!

Just drop-in between 11am and 3pm.
Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
Old Town

A step back in time in to Swindon's history + a fantastic modern art collection.
Why not have a picture taken with Swindon Museum and Art Gallery's resident crocodile - Apsley!
Swindon Museum of Computing
Well worth a visit, the Swindon Museum of Computing in the town centre is devoted to the history of computing and digital development, run entirely by volunteers.

The parents seem to love it more than the kids, it has to be said, especially if they grew up in the 80s with lots of original games to play like Pac Man & Defender.
A real throwback and very enjoyable but only open on Fridays & Saturdays.
Indoor sports
Swindon Karting

If you think you've got the next Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button on your hands, then let your little speed-demons put their racing skills to the test at Swindon Karting.

101 Things To Do In Swindon: Swindon Karting
Ice, Ice baby!
Ice skating + Swindon Wildcats

Soon they'll be a ski dome in Swindon at the Oasis (or so they say!), but for now the facilities are still brilliant at the Link Centre.
Children love a go on the ice and the ice rink at the Link Centre is the ideal place to for an hour or two of fun - and bumps!
Or why not go and see the Swindon Wildcats ice hockey team at the Link Centre.

Be a Rock Star!

If you haven't heard of Rock Stars indoor climbing in Swindon, then you don't know what you're missing! Great fun for all ages!
If you haven't heard of Rock Stars indoor climbing in Swindon, then you don't know what you're missing! Great fun for all ages!

> Rock Stars - more info.

Or Jump In!
Freedog & New Better Extreme

The new big, bouncy thing to do in Swindon. Now at two locations.

Indoor Battle!
West Swindon

Swindon’s premier Laser-tag centre. Safe, clean and with free car parking!
And if mum, dad, uncle, auntie, nana and grandad want to get involved they can - 6 or 66 everyone loves the adrenaline pumping exhilaration of stalking your opponents and unleashing a volley of Laser Fire in the Battle-Zone of the next Century!
We also hear the cappucino's at the Laserquest cafe are the best in Swindon - seriously! - so for for parents waiting around while the kids - big & small - enjoy themselves, what's not to like?

Plus, don't forget Kids Club every Sunday for unlimited gaming for only £10!
Half-term mega deal!

laserquest mega deal
Theatre Trip?

The Great Jaydini
Wyvern Theatre
Wednesday 31 May, 11.00am

The Great Jaydini is back and he’s gone Potter mad!
Boys and girls can join in the fun of their first lesson in Witchcraft & Wizardry. Expect floating objects, multiplying magic potion bottles, flying silks and vanishing objects – mischief managed! Fancy dress very welcome, for ages 4+.

Jaydini in Swindon

Take a Trip
London town here we come!
Why not take the little one's on a coach trip to London?
Plus Barnes Coaches are making special trips during half-term week to places like T he Harry Potter Studio Tour, Bristol Zoo and much more!
Pick-up and drop-off points are at plenty of locations all over Swindon.
Check out their website for more details.
Indoor Adventures

Burn off some energy!
Little ones always like an indoor game, and if it's a rainy day then a spot of soft indoor play area is just the answer to keep them occupied for a couple of hours.
At Bonkers in the Brunel there's £1 off parking too!
Take in the Tropics!
One thing's for certain next week - it's bound to rain on one of the days! So why not get a taste of the tropics at Butterfly World on Jnct. 16.

They've got hundreds of butterflies flying about plus loads more to see and do including a display a mini beats and an outdoor animal paddock with ducks, geese, rabbits and goats.
And don't forget to take a look at their Otter home!
The next door craft village is also a great place to explore.

> Butterfly World
Meerkats, Otters, Alpacas, Iguanas & more
If there's one sight guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face it has to be meerkats. And at Studley Grange there are quite a few of them!

The whole gang venture out from their cosy cabin and into their purpose-built enclosure throughout the day and are well worth checking out alongside other animals - including otters - in the animal enclosure.

101 Things To Do In Swindon: Studley Grange

Children's Play Areas
Time to let young Billy and little Lizzie climb all over each other for an hour while you enjoy a well earned break.
Jolly Roger in Swindon offers safe and secure family fun for 0-12 years old as does Bonkers in the Brunel.
Bowl 'em Over!
Let them rip at the bowling alley for a couple of hours. That'll tire them out.
Click on the link for the latest bowling offers...
> Tenpin- website
Popcorn Time!

At the Movies!

Popcorn, Pepsi and Pick 'n Mix. Surely a kid's dream. All you need now is the right movie!
And all the adults want to see Deadpool, right?
So make sure you check out our full listings of all the cinema times.
Outdoor pursuits
For when the rain finally stops. It's always best to prise the kids away from their computer gadgets and fourth re-run of Frozen.
Lydiard Park
Swindon's stately home and grounds are perfect for adventure.
There's lots to do and see, and if the sun's out it really is a wonderful place to spend a day with the family.

Jungle Parc

Perfect for little monkeys! Let them climb, swing and crawl through the tree-tops of the park - there's even an adult version if you're brave enough to drag yourself away from terra-firma.

Cotswold Country Park
Take the kids for a walk – either the short route around the lake especially for little legs, or why not try the longer route (about an hour and a half) and get the kids to burn off some energy!
There are also a selection of excellent chainsaw sculptures dotted around the park ranging from their mascot, Wayward The Beaver, to the spectacular flying dragonfly.

Then hot chocolate at The Gateway cafe!
New AquaVenture Park
Cotswold Country Park & Beach
A brand-new AquaVenture Park will be opening this Bank Holiday weekend.
The fun facility will initially be open 10am-7pm (last admission 6pm) but will be open later during the summer holidays.
Cotswold Country Park & Beach
A brand-new AquaVenture Park will be opening this Bank Holiday weekend.
The fun facility will initially be open 10am-7pm (last admission 6pm) but will be open later during the summer holidays.
Rein & Shine Pony Days
If ever there was a more perfect name for the weather at the moment, this riding school in Swindon have thought of it.
So why not try a day with horses and ponies? Even if your kids have never even see a horse before? Who knows, they could be the new John Francome?
And... get this, Rein & Shine do lazy, horsey hacks to the local pub for adults! What a perfect day!
Wednesday 31 May

Typically the day starts at 9.30am and ends at 3pm.

- Grooming and Plaiting
- Group riding lessons
- Stable routines and rugging
- Riding games
- Competitions
In the swing

If the sun is shining how about - pitch 'n putt in Swindon
Mini swing
You don't need to be Rory McIlroy to enjoy a fun game of golf in Swindon.

There's crazy golf & pitch 'n putt at Coate Water where beginners of all ages can have a go without fear of embarrassing themselves.

Plus, there's football golf!

Basset Down Golf Complex is home to Swindon's only football golf course, where the kids can kick their way round 12 holes! Great fun for all the family!

See the Swindon Family Golf link for more info. and prices.
PLUS: Swindon Family Golf are currently running a Twitter competition to win a family football golf ticket for half-term!

Simply retweet this Twitter post to be in with a chance of winning. Entries close 29th May at 9pm.

Full Swing!

Or if the kids are just a bit older, why not get them in to golf with a lesson with a PGA Golf Pro.
At least then they can whack some balls off at the driving range for an hour or two and see themselves improve.
The range, course & café facilities at Basset Down GC just off Jnct 16 are perfect for a family giving golf a go.

Family Events
And for all the other fun for all the family.
And...for those still desperate!

Swindon isn't Disney World, but did you think we only had a few ideas for getting the kids out of your hair? Just click below for loads more...
Or.... dare we say, if the sun's out, mums & dads, uncles & aunts, grandparents & all those looking after the kids during half-term deserve a quick drinky to get through it all - while the kids are still playing, of course!
Best Swindon pubs with play areas
Have a great half-term!
Mackenzies Cafe Bars
Bathstore Sale, Swindon, bathroom specialists
Karoliina Saunders
Jolly Roger
Swindon Rendezvous
Kenzo 72
Tree Nightclub
Combat Splat
The Brunel Shopping Centre Swindon
The Hair Group, Old Town, Swindon