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Take a walk on the wild side at Birmingham Museums this half term holiday as families can explore nature at our extended wildlife gallery at Thinktank, make your own fire breathing dragons and meet real creatures at Blakesley Hall, and enjoy a fairy trail at Sarehole Mill.
Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum (27 May - 4 Jun 2017)
For those children who are curious about the natural world, Thinktank has expanded its habitat with an extended wildlife gallery which allows visitors to explore and investigate Birmingham Museums’ wildlife collections. Discover more about the urban wildlife around us in Birmingham, such as otters and peregrines, and find out about Birmingham's natural science collection which contains over 250,000 objects.
As well as the new wildlife gallery there will be a range of activities to get involved with every day of the holidays, including The Obvious Elephant Storytelling for Under 8s, wildlife arts and craft sessions, and object handling where you can get up close to some fascinating artefacts.
Visitors to Thinktank during half term will also be amongst the first people to experience Totality which opens on Saturday 27th May at the museum. Totality is a stunning large rotating mirror ball, created by artist Katie Paterson, that illuminates and sparkles with over 10,000 images of nearly every solar eclipse documented by humankind. Totality creates an immersive environment, covering the walls, floor and viewer in tiny illuminated solar eclipses.
The artwork is on display as part of the Arts Council Collection National Partnership Programme and is accompanied by a display of exciting objects from Birmingham’s collection looking at how artists and scientists have explored the skies.
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
It’s all about myths, legends and tales at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery this half term as families can discover the stories told throughout the galleries and artworks at BMAG. There’s a free family trail from Monday 29th – Friday 2nd June and our popular portrait studio is back where family and friends and get dressed up as characters from myths and legends or even one of the museum’s paintings from Tues 30th May to Thurs 1st June (£1 a print and no need to pre-book.)
There will be storytelling with Cleopatra on Thurs 1st June where brave explorers will be tasked with solving the mystery code of the Egyptian map and will hear Cleopatra’s story at the sacred times.
Object handling and craft sessions throughout the week will keep little ones busy and our free Minecraft Mask sessions will be back on Friday 2nd June in the Gas Hall.
Blakesley Hall is celebrating its Tudor heritage, with re-enactments, living history, musicians, craftspeople, themed tours and interactive fun on Sunday 28th and Monday 30th May.
During the weekend visitors have the opportunity to have a guided tour of the house itself by a costumed and knowledgeable guide, and children can even try on period costumes for themselves!
For those animal lovers there will be the chance to get crafty on Tuesday 30th May making fire breathing dragons, using a variety of craft materials with the assistance of our skilled craft master. There will also be the chance to get up close to some real life creatures at Animal Mania on Wednesday 31st May. While you’ll have to come along on the day to see which animals have visited the Hall, the creatures can include lizards, snakes, chinchillas, hedgehogs, giant bunnies, tortoises and creepy crawlies! Pre-booking essential.
Holiday vibes will be coming to Sarehole Mill on Sunday 28th May, with the official launch of the site’s season of street food, arts and vintage markets, in collaboration with Taste & Liquor. Open from 11am – 4pm, street food dishes from across the globe will be on offer, along with DJs, children’s activities and half price entry to the Mill to keep all the family entertained.
Fairy lovers should get down to Sarehole Mill on Tuesday 30th – Wednesday 31st May for Red Fairy Book Trail and Crafts – explore the Mill and find all the fairy doors and then little ones can make a crown or wand inspired by fairy tales!
Families will be encouraged to discover their inner artist at Aston Hall on Wednesday 31st May for an exciting and interactive drawing exploration of Aston Hall. And at Soho House visitors will be able to enjoy exploring the Extraordinary Lives of Everyday People at the Collecting Birmingham exhibition.
For details of all of these events, and other tours and activities at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum and Birmingham Museums Trust’s heritage sites, visit the What's On pages.