Plenty to keep the kids busy this May half term

PUBLISHED: 09:33 28 May 2017

The Fairy and Elf Festival is coming to the Audley End Miniature Railway this summer. Picture: Audley End Miniature Railway

The Fairy and Elf Festival is coming to the Audley End Miniature Railway this summer. Picture: Audley End Miniature Railway


Half term is just around the corner, but there is plenty to do to in and around Uttlesford to keep the kids busy.

The Joust for Elizabeth event at Audley End House. Picture: English HeritageThe Joust for Elizabeth event at Audley End House. Picture: English Heritage

To help make the most of the holiday, this handy calendar is full of ideas - from trips to the theatre and markets, to festivals and museums.

MAY 29

Avoid the pitfalls of palace life and impress your regal rulers with a Kings and Queens Day at Audley End House. Running until June 1, the day runs from 11am-5pm. Adults are £17.50 and children are £10.50. Book at the site on the day.

Explore the hidden world of all things magical at the Audley End Miniature Railway for the Fairy and Elf Festival until June 4. The days run from 10am-5pm and include storytelling, face painting, crafts and enchanting woodland train rides. Tickets are £10. Visit

MAY 30

Take a walk on the wild side with Linton Zoo this holiday and meet its resident lions, tigers and other furry friends. The zoo is open from 10am-5pm and entry is £9 for adults, £6.50 for children between two and 13-years-old.

Travel around the world with Braintree District Museum until June 2. Explore different cultures from China to Mexico, and get involved with crafts. May 30 explores Africa and children can make their own masks and necklaces. Runs from 11am-1pm and children are £2. Accompanying adults are £3. Book on 01376 328868.

MAY 31

Explore the wonders of nature at the Saffron Walden Museum with craft activities and an outdoor trail. What will you find in the museum grounds? Drop-in sessions are 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm. Adults are £2.50 and children go free.

Head to the opening night of Showstopper! The Improvised Musical at Cambridge Arts Theatre. This spontaneous musical comedy is created from scratch each night, with audience suggestions. It runs until June 3 and tickets start from £19. Over 14s only. To book, call 01223 503333 or visit

Join Colin the Bear at Colne Valley Railway from10am-4pm. Colin will be back with his friends at the site, where families can also visit the signalbox, large model layout and post letters in the travelling post office. Adults are £10 and children from three to 15-years-old are £5. For more, visit


Explore the history of flight at IWM Duxford, with exhibitions including the Battle of Britain, land warfare, and the 1940 operations room. Adult admission is £16.35 and children between five and 15-years-old are £8.15. Buy tickets at the site or online at

Discover Mountfitchet Castle and its Norman village in Stansted this holiday. The open-air museum explores more than 900 years’ worth of history, and families can also meet and feed the tame Fallow deer on the site. Open from 10am-5pm and admission is £10.50 for adults and £8.50 for children between three and 13-years-old.


Head out of this world for a screening of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 at Saffron Screen. Starts at 8pm with other showings at 3pm on June 3, 4 and June 24. Tickets are £7.90 and under 18s are £5.70. To book, call 01799 524002, at the box office 30 minutes before the film or at

Try something new at the Flavours of the World Market on Saffron Walden Common. Delicatessen and artisanal foods will be on offer, as well as craft stalls until June 4. It’s also the perfect spot for a family picnic.

Join in with The Manuden Scarecrow Trail running until June 4, 10am-4pm daily. Villagers will be creating and displaying scarecrows based on nursery rhymes, and maps to follow the trail can be bought at Manuden Village Community Centre. Follow the trail and vote for your favourite. Two lucky trail maps will even have cash prizes of £50 and £25.


Get bouncing at the Bouncy Castles Fun Day on Saffron Walden Common from 10am-4pm. A bouncy castle assault course will also be set up and donations from the day sent to Tom’s Trust charity.

Running until June 4, get the chance to meet Elizabeth I at Audley End House for a magnificent jousting competition. Learn Elizabethan court etiquette too, and watch majestic falconry displays. The day runs from 10.30am-5pm and is £19.70 for adult non-members and £12.10 for children. To book, call 0370 333 1181, buy on the day, or visit

Buskers, musicians and other entertainers will take part in Saffron Walden Music Saturday, performing in the Market Square and across the town from 10am-4pm. Acts include Steve Barsby, Djuology and Jazz Ensemble.

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