School's out: Things to do with children over the midterm break

Schools are on their midterm break next week. Here are some great options to keep kids entertained

Tommy Horkan (11) from Mount Merrion in  Dublinhaving fun at Explorium. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds

Tommy Horkan (11) from Mount Merrion in Dublinhaving fun at Explorium. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds

 

Jurassic Skies
Watch out for dinosaurs when you visit temporary exhibition Jurassic Skies, and meet with scientists, artists and storytellers to discover more about when these creatures took to the air. You’ll get to inspect dinosaur fossils, bird feathers and bones. No booking required. All ages.
Sunday, February 17th from 1pm - 4pm Museum of Decorative Arts and History, Collins Barracks, Dublin 7. museum.ie

Return of Spring
At glór Ennis the creatures of Whistleberry Forest are confused. Spring has arrived early and Huggy the hedgehog must embark on a musical adventure to wake up the rest of the creatures in the forest. Suitable for children aged 3 to 5 accompanied by an adult.
Saturday, February 16th shows are on 2pm and 3.30pm Tickets from €8, a family of four ticket for €25 from glór Ennis. glor.ie

What a Performance

Have a kid that won’t get off the stage? Bring them to Perform in the RDS this weekend. Photograph: istock
Have a kid that won’t get off the stage? Bring them to Perform in the RDS this weekend. Photograph: istock

Perform is Ireland’s first Performing Arts Festival and takes place in the RDS, Dublin this weekend . There will be more than 170 workshops, masterclasses and seminars from stars of screen, stage, internet and music, and performers from around Ireland will entertain and take part in competitions throughout the weekend. Perform is a non-profit organisation and all profits will be used for scholarships and bursaries.

For young performers there are specific classes in dance, singing and music. There will be musical theatre classes such as Mary Poppins and Matilda. The Royal Irish Academy of Music are holding workshops and sing-a-longs aimed at all the family. The Disney sing-a-long on the Sunday morning will have an extra surprise of a trip to Disneyland for a lucky singer.

For older show-offs - that’s you parents and guardians - there’s fun dance fitness workshops, beginner classes or try a class with Dancing with the Stars professional Emily Barker as she teaches the basic steps as seen on TV. Live performances and competition stages to watch free seminars and performances by acappella group Ardu and the hilariously talented Christina Bianco.
The festival will run Saturday, February 16th to Sunday, February 17th 2019. Tickets for one day cost €15 and two-days €25. performireland.ie

SPRUNG!
Spring has well and truly SPRUNG! which is the name for these spring themed workshops where children aged 6+ can learn a range of crafting skills including soft sculpting, painting techniques and more.
February 20th and 21st, The Solstice Arts Centre, Navan. solsticeartscentre.ie

Children’s Workshop: ‘Origami’
Join this arty origami lesson to create interesting shapes using colourful paper inspired by Maser’s origami masterpiece featured in the Seamus Heaney Listen Now Again exhibition. There will be a special focus on Seamus Heaney’s famous poem The Flight Path where a boy is mesmerised by his father’s ability to masterfully fold a piece of paper into a boat. Ages 8 to 12 years.
Wednesday, February 20th at 11am at Bank of IrelandCultural and Heritage Centre in College Green. Free.

Children’s Workshop: ‘The Rainstick’
Kids will have the chance to design and create their very own rainstick instrument, as inspired by Seamus Heaney’s famous poem The Rainstick. This event is for children aged between 8 and 12 years.
Thursday, February 21st at 1pm Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre, College Green. Free.

Fantastic Flix at The Ark

Fantastic Flix workshops take place at The Ark as part of the Virgin Media DIFF.
Fantastic Flix workshops take place at The Ark as part of the Virgin Media DIFF.

All through the midterm break The Ark will be partnering with the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival with a mid-term full of film and animation workshops for ages 5+. From music in film to Lego animation, there a load of movie themed activities to choose from.
Check out the events page of The Ark for more details.

Animal Magic
What is your animal height? Are you the height of a beaver? Are you as long as a moose? Join zoologist Catherine McGuinness to learn how we measure animals and guess their sizes. No booking required, places are limited and allocated on a first-come basis 15 minutes before tour starts. Not wheelchair accessible. All ages
Natural History Museum aka The Dead Zoo, Dublin, Thursday, February 21st from 12pm and 2pm. museum.ie

Helium Arts Pop Up Picnic
Friendly buzzy bees, dancing oranges, fluttering songbird - this is a picnic full of magical delights. Helium Arts’ Pop Up Picnic is a feast of multi-sensory play, relaxation and surprise for young children with complex needs and their families. A soothing world of music, sound, puppetry, movement and tactile fun is waiting to be discovered in this enchanting, interactive performance. Pop Up Picnic is suitable for children aged 5 and under with profound disabilities. Each performance is designed for a small number of children and their families. Places are limited and must be booked in advance.
Saturday, February 23rd at 1.30pm, The Mansion House, Dublin. helium.ie

Slime workshops at Cool Planet

Kate Nevin (centre) from St Annes, Shankill with classmates with their project on the perfect slime at the BT 2010 Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.
Kate Nevin (centre) from St Annes, Shankill with classmates with their project on the perfect slime at the BT 2010 Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.

I can’t recommend this place enough for how it engages children with environmental issues and climate change. Now with the addition of slime for the midterm break activities now there’s even more reason to visit. Kids can put on their lab coats, goggles and get stuck into the strange, and let’s face it, messy world of slime. (At least it’s not your house they are getting messy in.) This kids’ workshop is designed to make learning about climate action and sustainability an interactive and lasting experience for all ages. They will take a closer look at environmental science (think slime, goo, jelly balls and seaweed,) and discover how we can use these unusual materials to save the planet (think edible water bottles and sustainable packaging).

Workshops are suitable for ages 6-14 and each one lasts an hour and 15minutes, and costs €15 per child. Booking essential.

Children taking part in the Cool Planet Experience on the grounds of Powerscourt House and Gardens, Co Wicklow.
Children taking part in the Cool Planet Experience on the grounds of Powerscourt House and Gardens, Co Wicklow.

Add a tour of the amazing and educational - in a fun way - Cool Planet ground- for €5.50 (child), €9.50 (adult). Book one hour before, or after your slime workshop. coolplanetexperience.org

Explorium
I’ve written before about how great this place is - a sport and science playground that you can get lost in for hours - and the midterm break is a great time to visit. There is climbing or caving, virtual reality machines, interactive lessons about anatomy, biology, nutrition, physiology, and sports psychology. You can direct movies, solve puzzles or take part in chemistry experiments.
Entrance for under 8s to Junior Explorium is €8 and for everyone else it’s €28. Caving or climbing costs €15. explorium .ie

If you are organising family friendly events or activities, email ringle@irishtimes.com with details

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