Spring into Summer: May Half Term in Shakespeare’s England

Another school holiday is upon us and it’s going to be a busy week! As the weather brightens up (hopefully), and the UK prepares to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee there is no better time to visit Shakespeare’s England.

Whether you are visiting for the day, or spending a few nights in beautiful South Warwickshire, our helpful guide to May half term events and activities in Shakespeare’s England will help you plan your visit.

What’s On in Shakespeare’s England for May Half Term?

With Jubilee themed picnics, wonderful wildlife adventures, family friendly festivals, and arty activity days, there is something to do for everyone.

Children in mediaeval attire entering Warwick Castle
Half term fun at Warwick Castle

Visit Warwick Castle for a fun-filled day out! NEW for May Half Term is the Zog Live Show!  With theatrical puppetry, and interactive routines that will enthral all mini-dragon fans.  Explore the new Zog Playland with its winged zip rope, and train to become a fully-fledged dragon in the Quest for the Golden Star Interactive Trail.

Elsewhere at Warwick Castle you can see history come alive as you uncover the interactive Horrible Histories Maze, or delve into Warwick’s dark past in the Castle Dungeon (if you dare!).  Marvel at over 60 high-flying birds in the UK’s biggest Birds of Prey Show or enjoy a taste of Royal entertainment from years gone by with a tour of the State Rooms.  Visit the Warwick Castle website for details of all half term activities, and how to book your tickets.

Uncover the fascinating history of the world’s greatest playwright at the Shakespeare family homes.  Revisit the very place where his story began at Shakespeare’s Birthplace, and be inspired by a site that was his family home for 19 years at Shakespeare’s New Place.  Enjoy a wander through the beautiful gardens of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage – the childhood home of his wife Anne, and see where their romance first blossomed.  Booking is recommended when visiting the homes, visit their website for details.

Knights and Princesses Kenilworth Castle
Kids Rule this Half term at Kenilworth Castle

Make like royalty with a visit to Kenilworth Castle, where Kids Rule this Half Term! Celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee in the great outdoors with a range of interactive activities, try your hand at sword fighting in Sword School, and hear tales of Elizabeth I and her visit to Kenilworth Castle.  Activities run from 10am-5pm daily between Saturday 28th May – Sunday 5th June.  Book in advance to save on your entry via their website.

Enjoy Jubilee Themed Half Term Fun

From Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th June the UK will come together to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. Shakespeare’s England is gearing up to commemorate this memorable occasion in true royal style.

Here are some of the Jubilee events taking place over May half term.

A Royal Day Out at British Motor Museum
A Royal Day Out at the British Motor Museum

Take the family on A Royal Day Out at the British Motor Museum! Between Saturday 28th May and Sunday 5th June The British Motor Museum will take on a royal theme with costumed characters, the chance to create a ‘royal car’ to take home, and of course, there will be an opportunity to view some special vehicles from the museum collection which have royal links – including the first bespoke royal Land Rover state review car – one of the fleet of vehicles used for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s first Commonwealth Tour. Book your tickets via the museum website here.

Us Brits just love to take a risk with our weather so it wouldn’t be a proper British royal celebration without a garden party or picnic!

The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon has five days of special family events culminating in a Picnic in the Park in Bancroft Gardens on Saturday 4th June between 2pm and 6pm, with family activities including flag making and memory making crafts. Families who prefer a more relaxed atmosphere can join an accessible picnic in The Dell Forest Gardens.

Other highlights include family workshops, a Jubilee Afternoon Tea in its Rooftop Restaurant and Memories of Her Majesty exhibition at Stratford Town Hall with an online gallery. The RSC’s iconic Theatre Tower will also be lit red, white and blue from Thursday 2nd June – Saturday 4th June.

Join Compton Verney for their Jubilee Weekend Picnic in the Park. Get your friends and family together between Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th June, order one of their fabulous hampers filled with gorgeous goodies and relax in the beautiful parkland. Bookings are essential via the Compton Verney website.

Enjoy a Platinum Jubilee Afternoon tea at the Arden Hotel

On Sunday 5th June, why not join Karma Salford Hall for their Queen’s Jubilee Garden Party?

Another Great British past time is a traditional afternoon tea and our hotels have pulled out all the stops to create special Platinum Jubilee themed feasts for their guests!  Throughout June, you can take a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea at the quintessentially English Billesley Manor.

At the Arden Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon you can join the celebrations at their Platinum Jubilee Picnic on Sunday 5th June from 12pm until 4pm with a delicious hamper and live music to enjoy.  You can also take Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea at the Arden Hotel until 30th June – details to book both options are available via their website here.

Mallory Court Country Hotel and Spa are offering two special Afternoon Tea experiences for the Jubilee.  A picnic Afternoon Tea for 2, to include a picnic and a game of croquet. OR a Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea to include Champagne and canapes in the stunning private dining room.  More details on both options are available here.

Crafty Half Term Events in Shakespeare’s England

A selection of art and craft materials on a table at Coventry Transport Museum
Arts and Crafts at Coventry Transport Museum

Get creative this half term with a choice of excellent art workshops in Shakespeare’s England.  Learn how to paint a Spectacular Self Portrait at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum on Saturday 28th, Monday 30th & Tuesday 31st May,

Budding designers will love Compton Verney’s Print Makers Holiday Camp on Tuesday 31st May, or they can get creative while learning about re-fashioning and upcycling clothes at the Re-Fashion Makers Camp on Wednesday 1st June.

Coventry Transport Museum is inviting little learners to get hands on with two car and engineering themed craft sessions, This Makes That with These, and Make & Play Engineers – Crazy Colourful Experiments on Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st June respectively.

Get Back to Nature in Shakespeare’s England for Half Term

Boy with butterfly
Mini-Beast Handling Sessions Stratford Butterfly Farm

Rediscover our natural world with several nature themed events during half term. From Saturday 28th May – Wednesday 1st June, the Stratford Butterfly Farm will host its popular Meet the Mini-Beast handling sessions as well as Snake demonstrations and Butterfly & Beetle Life Cycle demonstrations daily in the Discovery Zone.

Elsewhere, prepare to go apiary at Compton Verney for their brilliant, Ju-Bee-Lee family fun days from Monday 30th May to Wednesday 1st June.  And on Thursday 2nd June, there is a Boggling Bugs Family Workshop at Hill Close Gardens in Warwick.

In Kenilworth, mini nature lovers can join the Kenilworth Nature Watch Week!  A week long series of outdoor activities for children and families to celebrate and learn about the nature and wildlife in Kenilworth and the local area. Activities include a Children’s Bat Walk, Mini Beast Hunt, and Stream Dipping. Find the full programme of events here.

Half Term Family Festivals in Shakespeare’s England

A dog enjoying Dogfest at Ragley Hall
Dogfest is coming to Ragley Hall

Festivals have returned for 2022 and there are some great events to enjoy in Shakespeare’s England! Dog Fest at Ragley Hall, Park and Gardens is a must for all canine fans, and the much-loved Midlands Air Festival returns to Ragley over the Jubilee weekend from Thursday 2nd to Saturday 4th June.

At Coombe Abbey, why not jump back in time and enjoy one of three nostalgic film classics at their Open Air Cinema weekend?  Dirty Dancing, Sing-a-Long Grease, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show will be showing respectively from Friday 27th – Sunday 29th May.

Fantastic Fairy Tales for Half Term in Shakespeare’s England

Alice in Wonderland attraction at Magic alley
Wonderland at Magic Alley!

Step Through the Looking Glass into the fantastical new Wonderland event at Magic Alley in Stratford-upon-Avon to find out Who Stole the Tarts?!  Or treat your little ones to the mystical Once upon a Unicorn event at Fairytale Farm from Saturday 28th May – Sunday 5th June (there’s a prize for anyone who visits in anything unicorn related!)

Places to Stay for Half Term in Shakespeare’s England

How can you possibly fit all of this excitement into one day?  Why not escape for an extended stay and spend a few days here in Shakespeare’s England for the half term holidays?  You can find a whole host of accommodation on our website here.

How to keep up to date with half term events in Shakespeare’s England?

There is so much happening in Shakespeare’s England for this very special half term holiday that it is impossible to include everything in one place!  Visit our Events and Festivals calendar for even more events, and make sure to follow us on social media for the latest updates.  You can find us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, and make sure to subscribe to our mailing list below for updates.

Have a royally exciting time in Shakespeare’s England this Half Term!  Don’t forget to your share your photos with us on social media with #MyShakespearesEngland.

Plan your bumper February half term in South Warwickshire

Whatever their interest, you’ll find plenty of fun activities for the whole family at places across South Warwickshire this February half term.

If you’re looking for fast lane fun…

  • It’s all about Formula 1 fun at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon from February 19 – 27 with a host of exciting racing-themed activities from designing a Lego Formula 1 car to build and race to taking part in a live Science show learning the secret science of speed.
  • Coventry Transport Museum is championing diversity with a new interactive family-friendly exhibition, Women in Motorsport, as part of Coventry City of Culture. A range of motorsport companies, individuals, organisations and heritage partners have come together to celebrate the aspirational achievements and historical perspectives on motor racing, as well as current developments such as grass-roots and pro-racing.
Coventry Transport Museum

Get Arty…

  • The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum is running a range of half term art masterclasses, workshops and drop-in sessions for children and young people of all ages. Try some cartoon weaving, sensory play or see the latest exhibitions.
  • Rugby Museum & Art Gallery have a free ‘I Spy’ hunt running through the holiday as well as some play sessions for a small fee. Join Sensory Splat, Open Play or a Sculptures themed session. There’s also a special relaxed session planned.

Experience live theatre…

  • A new futuristic production of Shakespeare’s witty romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing is running throughout half term at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Starring Michael Balogun and Akiya Henry as Benedick and Beatrice, it features music by Nigerian-born British guitarist and MOBO award-nominated musician Femi Temowo whose past collaborators include Amy Winehouse and The Roots. Directed by Roy Alexander Weise, joint artistic director of Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, the set has been designed by the award-winning Jemima Robinson with costumes by Melissa Simon-Hartman, who has designed for Beyoncé and Notting Hill Carnival.
  • Belgrade Theatre, Coventry have lots of different productions to see from David Walliam’s Billionaire Boy, to afternoon tea followed by a screening of The Lion King in the brand-new Screen Room. Older teens aged 14+ should head to B2 for Kerbs, the debut play from Michael Southan exploring taboos around sex, romance and disability (Feb 26 – March 2), and there’s a new adaptation of Dan Brown’s international best-seller The Da Vinci Code (Feb 22 – 26).


Got closer to nature…

  • Anyone who visits the Stratford Butterfly Farm this half term from Feb 19 – 27 will receive a complimentary marble heart to either keep or give to a loved one. In return the Farm asks visitors make a green action promise to help protect the environment.
  • Compton Verney have a range of workshops including Wild Wednesday!

Adventures through time:

  • An Explorer Quest runs at Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden from Feb 19 – 27 whereby families can roam around the grounds to find games and activities inspired by Queen Elizabeth, soldiers, and servants.
  • Heritage and Culture Warwickshire will have their resident Anglo-Saxon warrior answering questions, are hosting an exciting Escape Room experience and are calling on Arty Tots to get creative.
  • History is unleashed as a two-week Festival of Archery returns to Warwick Castle this half term. The castle’s resident archers will unleash a host of exhilarating performance for visitors, providing epic displays of talent as they tackle a range of trials before going head-to-head in a very special tournament. Guests can crown their visit with an overnight stay at one of Warwick Castle’s medieval lodges in the Knight’s Village.

Something a bit different

  • Magic Alley have a Magical Fairytale Trail running. You’ll enter a fantasy world of knights and princesses, unicorns and dragons. This event is based on a fairytale written specifically for this event. There will be puzzles and riddles to solve and things to find as well as activities such as having a sword fight (soft swords obviously)! It’s recommended age 6 but over 4s are welcome – little ones just might need extra help with the reading elements.
  • Enjoy a family day out or half term break staying in one of the family-friendly rooms at Coombe Abbey Hotel, combining a visit to Go Ape. Within the grounds there’s also the brand-new 50s-inspired Sundae Club dessert diner for a waffle, ice-cream or milkshake.
  • This half term, Go Cotswolds will be running their best-selling and family-friendly Cotswolds in a Day tours on  19,  23 and 26 Feb for anyone wishing to explore the towns, villages and hidden gems of his beautiful region. Highlights for children include running wild and spotting the sheep at Dover’s Hill, the excellent playground in Chipping Campden, and pretending to be giants at Bourton-on-the-Water’s model village (most adults secretly enjoy this too!). Reduced tickets are available as part of the National Lottery Days Out scheme, with £25 off bookings.
  • Spectacle of Light at Compton Verney (Feb 11 – March 6) will be available to book for half term. The landscaped park and woodland will be transformed by night-time light installations to music, creating a magical illuminated trail under the stars.

Phew! That’s quite a lot but we’ve even more on our events page.

Have a fantastic half term and do share your photos with us on social media with #MyShakespearesEngland.