Heart of England What's On

Shakespeare’s England May Half-Term

Visit Shakespeare’s England this May half-term from 26 May – 3 June for a whole host of things to see and do! Take part in the new Escape Room at Warwick Castle, learn the tricks of the trade behind stage bruises and cuts at the Royal Shakespeare Company, attend a medieval banquet at the Lord Leycester Hospital, watch a Polo tournament at Dallas Burston, see over 600 vintage & classic cars at Ragley Hall or the largest spider in the world at Stratford Butterfly Farm! With so much going on there is something for everyone to enjoy and experience this May half term!

Opening on 26 May at Warwick Castle is the return of the Wars of the Roses Live spectacle with a new challenge – the UK’s first family Escape Room set in a medieval gaol. Set in the underground prison, the challenge provides a thrilling live actor-led experience for visitors as they battle the clock to set a knight free in time to return to the arena and join the famous Lancaster versus York battles. The Escape Room is designed for the family, incorporating stories and puzzles, actor-led interventions and a set that suits children & adults. Available in timed sessions, it costs £5 per person when booked online in advance.

The Lord Leycester Hospital hosts a Medieval Banquet of food, drink and entertainment from the Middle Ages to celebrate ‘Warwick Festival, The Legend of Guy of Warwick’ on 26 May. The event starts at 7pm in the Courtyard followed by dinner in the Great Medieval Hall until midnight. Visitors are encouraged to dress in glamorous medieval or modern day outfits and meet Guy of Warwick and Lady Felice. Tickets cost £70 and include drinks, food & entertainment. Tickets can be bought on line. On 27 May there is a Medieval Courtyard Party from 12 - 4pm with food, music, knights, falcons and ferret racing. Tickets cost £6.50.
 
Visit the Royal Shakespeare Company and join Kinetika dance artists in a fun and energetic workshop to develop a mass dance for their Midsummer Dance Party Event in June, or come along to a craft workshop in preparation for the party, plus get stuck in with Blood, Guts and Gore and learn the tricks of the trade behind stage bruises, cuts and scars.
 
Experience Woolly Week at Mary Arden’s Farm and watch traditional sheep shearing demonstrations. Learn how sheep fleece is spun into wool and make a Tudor braid.  Find out which Shakespeare character you would class as a villain or hero at Shakespeare’s New Place. Make your own fairy or sprite head band, with flowers or wings at Hall’s Croft and learn about the Jacobean folklore of fairy's and sprites. Create your own bird feeder using recycled materials at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and see how many birds you can spot.
 
Travel back to an age of chivalrous knights, jolly jesters and almighty castles at Kenilworth Castle on 27 & 28 May. Marvel at impressive displays, meet locals as you explore the medieval camp and try out your skills in games and activities. Cost is £14.30 for adults & £8.60 for children. From 29 May – 3 June meet some amazing animals with ZooLabs rangers. Encounter creepy crawly creatures and discover what makes them so special. Adults cost £11.30 and children £6.80.
 
Dallas Burston Polo Club is hosting a leg of the prestigious Victor Ludorum, a Polo tournament that runs over a fortnight and welcomes players from all over the world. Sip champagne and enjoy the action of The Stoneythorpe Final on 26 May from the Colonial Clubhouse front terrace. The event is free to visit. Straight after is the Opening Season Party with a welcome drink, live entertainment, canapés and a DJ Disco. Tickets cost £17.50.
 
See a concert from Orchestra of the Swan on 28 May at Birmingham Conservatoire.  Joined by the talented Chinese cellists Jian Wang and Jiaxin Lloyd Webber, the concert will be conducted by Julian Lloyd Webber. Tickets cost £22.
 
Ragley Hall hosts The Motor Show on 27 & 28 May with up to 600 vintage and classic cars, American, kit & custom, motorcycles and commercial vehicles plus club stands, trade and auto-jumble stands. The judges will select the concours winners with an award ceremony plus there is an interactive arena, vintage rides for children and live music. Tickets for adults cost £10 and children (4-16 years) £5.
 
Discover Adventure, Animation and Land Rovers at the British Motor Museum which is celebrating the 70th birthday of Land Rover. Visitors can make their own animated film by creating a storyboard and building a Land Rover model to star in their own animation using ‘Animate It!’, the animation software and app developed by Kudlian Software and Aardman - creators of family favourites such as Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Morph.
 
See two new creatures on display at the Stratford Butterfly Farm. The Goliath Bird Eating Spider is the largest spider in the world and was named by explorers who saw one eating a hummingbird and reported the sighting. Plus visitors can see a venomous Vietnamese Centipede which has a venomous bite that causes extreme pain but is not fatal to humans.
 
Experience Nature Week at Cotswold Farm Park and explore nature whilst gaining an awareness of how we impact on it. Activities include a Mini-beasts safari, woodland adventures with tree rubbing, leaf rubbing or twig building, pond dipping and eco-warriors.
 
Visit Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum on 26 May and enjoy an activity from the Art Cart. Create your own Hammam patterns! Free, drop in and join in. Or make your own mini Lowry collage on 31 May. Suitable for children up to 12 years. Cost is £2.50 per child.
 
Enjoy children’s crafts at Chedham’s Yard on 2 June and make a variety of items plus drawing and colouring. Bring your inherited or unused tools to the Yard where a representative from ‘Tools with a Mission’ will show how tools are refurbished and sorted into useful kits and shipped overseas to developing communities. Guided tours, the mouse trail, films and refreshments in the café will also be available.
 
See ‘Duck Duck Goose’ at the Royal Spa Centre cinema on 27, 29, 30 & 31 May which tells the story of a bachelor goose saddled with two young ducklings after he's grounded by injury. ‘An Audience with Kate Humble’ takes place at the Royal Spa Centre on 31 May at 7.30pm. Join Kate for a fascinating talk about her life working with animals. There's also chance to go 'behind the camera' as Kate describes how the programmes are made.
 
Have a sniff of scents of the past with family activities at Market Hall Museum on 31 May. Cost is £2.50 per child. ‘Warwick Festival: The Legend of Guy of Warwick’ takes place from 26 - 28 May. View the modern influences of Guy through visual arts, on Sunday browse food stalls, part of the Warwick Food Festival and on Monday make a Guy or your own superhero mask. £1 donation to take part in the craft activity.
 
The MAD Museum, which showcases over 60 pieces of kinetic art and automata, is offering a FREE downloadable fun pack from their website. Answer questions, solve challenges and design a wacky invention to become a VIP member of The MAD Museum’s Fun Club.
 
Arts Fair Discover:Gather:Give is returning to Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall from 1 – 3 June. Meet over 40 artists exhibiting over 500 pieces of original art, offering a mix of paintings, illustrations, ceramics, jewellery, drawing, textiles, sculpture and book binding. Relax in the Golden Cup Café with tea & coffee from Monsoon Estates Artisan Coffee plus cakes by Knead It! The Fair is free to view.
 
Take advantage of the newly launched offer from Shakespeare's Schoolroom & Guildhall, the MAD Museum and Stratford Butterfly Farm.  The 3 award-winning attractions have launched a Family Super Saver ticket priced at £57 which is for 2 adults and 2 children, with each additional child place £9.50.
 
If shopping is your passion then head over to Bicester Village which will be running summer reductions during half term saving shoppers up to 50% off RRP in participating boutiques!
 
Enjoy an evening with Jamie Knight on 26 May at The Kings Hotel in Chipping Campden. Have a drink or a meal in the bar and enjoy Jamie’s Acoustic Jukebox. Accompanied with only his guitar, Jamie performs his own version of some of the best songs written,
 
Take advantage of a special half term family break at Ardencote. Choose from a 2 or 3 night break on a B&B, or DBB package which includes access to the leisure facilities, a family 3-course dinner in the restaurant on the first night, English breakfast each morning, 4 x FREE tickets to Warwick Castle (2 Adults & 2 Children) plus reduced priced tickets for Drayton Manor, West Midlands Safari Park, Sea Life Centre, & Shakespeare’s Houses. A 2 night break costs from £250 per family and a 3 night break from £360.
 
Stay at Avonlea, a 4 star B&B in Stratford-upon-Avon. Book any 3 nights including a Sunday and receive 50% OFF the Sunday night. (Subject to T&C’s and availability).
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