Swindon Half-Term Fun
FEB 2017: A few ideas for those trying to prise their kids away from their iPads, mobiles & Minecraft - INDOORS & OUT
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.
Indoors, for when it's raining or too cold!
Swindon Designer Outlet
A nice little combo to start here - shopping time for mum, exciting activities for the kids. Perfect!
Airfix Make & Take
Enjoy mini craft sessions with Hornby at Airfix Make and Take station situated in front of Next. Plus loads of prizes for all age groups.
Make shopping fun for Children in the UK's first Wall Holla and Interactive Sona play area.
Behind the wheel!
McArthurCars can be hired from Guest Services and provide a safe and fun way for your little shoppers to get around the Centre.
The Hooter Express is now ready for boarding. Take a tour around the Designer Outlet on their very own steam train.
> Swindon Designer Outlet - more info.
And if the kids like books?.... and crafts
> Waterstones - The Brunel
The Gingerbread Race
11-19 February 2017
Join Roves Farm this half term for their 'Gingerbread Man' themed week.
Bringing the classic story to life as only Roves Farm could, jump onto one of their FREE tractor rides & 'try and catch the Gingerbread Man!' as he runs around the fields.
Just one of the themed weeks at Roves Farm throughout the year.
The Manor Farm Estate
From their friendly farmyard animals to mountain biking, swimming, nature trails & much more...
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!
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!
Or why not make jewellery? There's special workshops on for adults & children too!
> Studley Grange - website
Special Activities for February Half-Term
Track It Down Trail (Under 5s)
Add to the fun with this trail that takes you through the Museum.
Hunt for objects, shapes and colours and get really involved with STEAM’s interactive displays and hands-on exhibits. Free with standard admission.
Work It Out! Trail (5-9 yrs)
Take up the challenge and explore famous locomotives, even walk underneath 80 tonnes of metal as you work out the answers to some intriguing questions. Free with standard admission.
Plus more activities on through out the week!
Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
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.
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.
Top ice hockey action
The great news is that the Wildcats are playing at plenty of fixtures at the Link Centre over half-term.
> Swindon Wildcats - website
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!
> Rock Stars - more info.
Or Jump In!
Freedog & New Better Extreme
The new big, bouncy thing to do in Swindon. Now at two locations.
> Better Extreme - more info.
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!
Mr Bloom's Nursery Live
Tuesday 14 February, 11.00am & 2pm
Bring your ‘tiddlers’ along and join Mr Bloom and the Veggies on their first ever live tour.
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.
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!
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 & 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.
Meet Brooke, Daisy & Clover!
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.
Let them rip at the bowling alley for a couple of hours. That'll tire them out.
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.
Chuck them in the Pool
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.
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.
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
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!
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 15 February
Typically each day will start at 9.30am and end at 3pm.
- Grooming and Plaiting
- Group riding lessons
- Stable routines and rugging
- Riding games
If the sun is shining how about - pitch 'n putt in Swindon
You don't need to be Tiger Woods 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.
> Swindon Family Golf - more info.
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.
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...
And we haven't forgotten you mature students (although we all act like kids at heart, don't we?!) - why not have a break from your studies and see what's on in the town.
> Pubs and clubs
> Club nights and DJ's
> Live music
And don't forget...
Getting about town is also cheap as chips with Thamesdown Transport during the school holiday's with their fiver for a family offer.
This entitles 2 adults and up to 3 children travelling together on any route within Swindon on Saturdays, Sundays and any day during school holidays. It's super value for a family outing.