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What's On: May Half Term 2024

Here we go! Half term is here. Summer's on its way and getting out and about feels good!

Whether you fancy hunting for dragonflies, meeting LEGO masterbuilders, creating dinosaur-themed crafts or attending inspirational storytellings, there's really something here for everyone!

Have a fantastic week: here's hoping for some sunshine!

Arts and Literature

Magic Seeker FREE

Punnydukes, Matlock

Throughout May & Jun - Wed to Sun - 11am to 5pm

Look for the magic! Grab a treasure map and immerse yourself in the magical fantasy world of Punnydukes. Find faeries, witches and other magical beings throughout the shop and tick them off to claim your treasure pin badge. Suitable for ages 2 - 200.



The Ritz

Various days and times

If stars Ryan Reynolds as the father of a young girl who can see everyone’s imaginary friends who have been left behind as their real-life friends have grown-up. Find out more here.

Book Hunt FREE

Ripley Town Centre and Crossley Park

All week

Laura from Nightingale Books will be hiding almost 300 books around Ripley Town Centre and Crossley Park for children to find. Many are sponsored by small businesses making it a real community event. Look out for clues on her Facebook group and share a photo when you find one.


Create My World: Nature FREE

LEVEL Centre, Rowsley

Until Thu 27 June

An interactive exhibition for all ages, focused on nature, world-building and exploration. Explore your creativity, and see your digital creations come alive in our virtual world!

Free but book online

Find out more here.


Elmer Day FREE

Ashbourne Library

Sat 25 May – 10am

Free craft activity drop-in session

Phone 01629 533950 for more information

Wildlife-Themed Crafts

Denby Craft Village

Sat 25 May to Sun 02 Jun – 10am to 4pm

Celebrate British wildlife this half-term! Craft sessions from £7. Wildlife trail £3 add on. Paint a stone and add it to Calvin the Caterpillar for 50p add on. Help build a bug house.

Find out more here.


Derbyshire Open Arts FREE

Various Venues

Sat 25 to Mon 27 May

200 artists and crafts people exhibiting in 61 venues throughout Derbyshire including The National Stone Centre in Wirksworth, The Haybarn Gallery in Ilam, Crompton Inglefield Village Hall in Turnditch and The Willows in Darley Dale. Find out more here.

Ingenious Creations FREE

Museum of Making

Wed 29 May - 10.30am to 12.30pm & 1.30 to 3.30pm

Taking inspiration from Ingenious Edie, Master Inventor of Tiny Town (see p21), make your own mini creations, precious objects or shiny things, and for one day only, display them at the Museum of Making.

FREE drop-in sessions, suitable for families Find out more here.


May Magic

Belper Community Hall

Wed 29 May – 1 to 3pm

Crafts, games and stories with the Strutt’s North Mill education team. Suitable for children aged 3-11.

Tickets: £4 per child

Find out more here.


Bookworms: The Kids’ Takeover

Electric Daisy

Thu 30 May - 10am to 3pm

Calling all Bookworms! Head down to Electric Daisy for a day of stories and nature discovery. A full programme of storytelling from authors, illustration demonstrations and talks on nature. Free play in the garden with nature play and craft activities.

Tickets: £5 child; adults free but must book a ticket

Find out more here

Hair Raising Adventures

Ashbourne Library

Thu 30 May – 10.30 to 11.30

Craft activities using static electricity. Suitable for 5-11s.

Phone 01629 533950 for more information


Storytelling FREE


Thu 30 May

Live children’s book reading sessions throughout the day in our themed reading area. Suitable for ages 2-7. Free but booking essential. A Derby Book Festival event.

Find out more here

Art in the Park - Manga Drawing

Markeaton Craft Village

Fri 31 May – 10.30am to 12pm

Inspired by the ‘Pizazz’ series by Sophy Henn. Suitable for ages 6-10.

Tickets: £14.50

Find out more here

Dinosaur Craft and Trail FREE

Heanor Library

Fri 31 May – 11am to 1pm

Drop-in craft session suitable for all ages.


Children’s Craft Drop-In FREE

Belper Library

Sat 01 Jun - 10am to 3pm

Craft activities for ages 5 and above.


Storytelling with Pippa Curnick FREE

Waterstones, Derby

Sat 01 Jun – 10.30 to 11.30am

A reading from ‘Indigo Wilde and the Giant Problem’ followed by a short illustration activity. Suitable for ages 6-10.

Find out more here 

Storymaking with ‘The Case of Curiosity’

QUAD, Derby

Sat 01 Jun – 10.15am & 11.30am

The Babbling Vagabonds will be bringing along a collection of curious objects to help you weave tales of epic quests. A fabulous, fun introduction to telling your own stories and making them come alive!

Tickets: £6

Find out more here


The Wonderful World of Shadow Puppetry

QUAD, Derby

Sat 01 Jun – 1pm & 2.30pm

Join the incredible Babbling Vagabonds for a creative workshop, a fabulous, fun introduction to making your own puppets and putting on a show.

Tickets: £6 Find out more here


Community and Charity Events

Mr Blobby’s Annual Charity Tractor Road Run FREE

The Railway Inn, Shottle

Sat 25 May - 10am

Bake sale and raffle hosted at The Railway Inn. Supporting the Air Ambulances.


Loopy Lou Show FREE

Belper Memorial Gardens

Sat 25 May – 10.30am

A morning full of fun and laughter for little ones. Children’s entertainer Loopy Lous will delight with colourful balloons, energy and enthusiasm.


Wirksworth Carnival Party and Parade

Memorial Gardens

Sun 26 May

Floats, T’Owd Man Morris Dancers, Belly Dance Flames, live music, animal encounters and a fun fair.


Elvaston Communities Group Village Fete FREE

Elvaston Cricket Ground

Mon 27 May – 10.30am to 4pm

Avro Lancaster flypast, games, entertainment, demonstrations, BBQ, bar, live music, food vendors, craft stalls and a fun dog show.


Makers Market

Bridge the Gap Child Mental Health CIC, Derby

Thu 30 May – 10am to 2pm

Wellbeing, craft stalls and cakes raising funds for all the great work that Bridge the Gap do. £1 entry.


Kilburn Community Day FREE

Kilburn Village Hall & Church Street Park

Sat 01 Jun - 10am to 1pm

Fun for the whole family. Local groups. Police and other local organisations. Free have-a-go activities.


The Big 1 FREE

Cathedral Green

Sat 02 Jun - 11am

Chaddesden’s annual summer family fun day for all to enjoy.




Peak Wildlife Park

Throughout May – 10am to 5.30pm

A month-long celebration and awareness initiative spotlighting some of the world’s most endangered species. Join the interactive origami trail, engage with stories of survival and conservation and make connections between your art and the animals they represent. Also, at weekends, enjoy origami workshops and artistic showcases. Find out more here.


Cromford Builds

Cromford Mills

Sat 25 & Sun 26 May – 10am to 4pm

LEGO bricks display, competition, prizes, stalls, Masterbuilders, light-up models, huge machines and brick pits. All funds raised will go to help the Arkwright Society Charity and contribute to the continued restoration of Cromford Mills.

Find out more here.


Medieval May

Bluebells Dairy

Sat 25 May to Sun 02 Jun - 10am to 5pm

A week of thrilling quests, sword training and magical tales for timeless memories.

Find out more here.



Gulliver’s Kingdom

Sat 25 May to Sun 02 Jun – 10am to 5.30pm

A MOUSE-IVE 40% off children’s tickets this week if you book before midnight on May 21 using the code MOUSE40. Find out more here.


Dino Week

National Forest Adventure Farm

Sat 25 May to Sun 02 Jun - 10am to 5pm

Embark on an adventure of prehistoric proportions. Prepare for an unforgettable journey as you tread through the brand new dino walk-through. Participate in dino training Shows, where you’ll emerge as a certified Dino Ranger. M

Find out more here.

Seaside Fun

Crich Tramway Museum

Sat 25 to Fri 31 May - 10am to 5.30pm

Enjoy the fun of the seaside with a fun fair, mini-beach, bingo, crafts, Punch & Judy, face painter, balloon modeller, flea circus (25-27 May) and juggling shows (28-31 May)!

Tickets: £23 adult; £14 child (annual ticket)

Find out more here.


Circus Skills, Stilt-Walking and Bubble Fun

Matlock Farm Park

Mon 27 May – 10.30am to 4.30pm

Join in with a variety of activities throughout the day. Have a go at a range of guided circus skills in workshops on our lawn and meet fabulous stilt-walkers for photos. Enjoy the delights of HUGE bubbles created by the Bubble Maker. All the usual animal fun will be happening too. Find out more here.

Rail and Road Steam and Vintage Gala

Peak Rail, Rowsley Steam Depot

Sat 01 & Sun 02 Jun

Showcasing a vast array of vehicles along with children’s fairground rides, stalls and refreshments. Steam train rides between Rowsley and Matlock.

Tickets: £10 per ticket plus £10 for discounted train rides (kids go free) Find out more here.


Mary Anning Maquette FREE

The National Stone Centre

Until 31 Jul - 10am to 4pm

Exhibition including the model of the bronze statue in place at Lyme Regis, where Mary was born. Other artefacts, lots of information and activities such as a spotter’s trail, fossil digging and fossil panning. Free exhibition but some activities are chargeable. Find out more here.


Clocking On - Family Friendly Tour

Belper North Mill

Sun 02 Jun - 2 to 3pm

Join our experienced guides in a short family-friendly walking tour around the mill to find out what Belper children were doing 200 years ago and visit the historic basement to discover some of Belper’s amazing story.

Tickets: from £2.50

Find out more here.


The Museum Comes Alive

Erewash Museum

Wed 29 to Fri 31 May – 11am to 4pm (check exact activity times with the museum)

Join Erewash Museum as characters from their exhibition come to life and bring you their stories.

Wednesday: crafts, trail and outside activities in the garden

Thursday: The maid in the Victorian Kitchen will need help completing tasks and there will be real life iron-forging to watch.

Friday: Meet Hope Robinson, learn all about her letters and write one to post home. Interact with the World War II characters in the War Gallery. Find out more here.



Holiday Activities

Arc Leisure, Matlock

Sat 25 May

From crash course swimming lessons and giant inflatables sessions to competitive swim skills workshops and children's sports camps to soft play and fun floats sessions, there's so much to choose from at Arc Leisure Centre! Find out more here.

Inflatable Fun Factory at Bustler Market

The Chocolate Factory, Derby

Sat 25 May

11am to 1pm for 4 and under

1 to 3pm & 3 to 5pm for 4+

5 to 7pm for adults only

Bouncy castles, assault courses, penalty shoot outs and more alongside the regular Bustler Market.

Tickets: £5 adults; £4 children Find out more here.


High-Flying Holiday Club

Oxygen Active Play

Mon 27 to Fri 31 May

Inspirational fun, games and Activeplay for 8-12 years. Sibling discounts available. Find out more here.


Activity Camps

Moorways, Derby

Tue 28 to Fri 31 May - up to 8.30am to 5.30pm

Sports, roller skating, soft play, arts and crafts and lots more. A variety of activities every day. For ages 5-11.

£23 per day - childcare vouchers accepted; sibling discount offered Find out more here

Derbyshire Toy Libraries Stay and Play

Belper Community Hall

Wed 29 May - 9.30 to 11am

Toys galore, refreshments and time to chat.


Mayfly Craft & Pond Dip

Carsington Water

Mon 27 May - 10am to 3pm

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust drop-in session suitable for 4 years and up. £1 per craft.

Find out more here.


Dragonfly Walk

Rosliston Forestry Centre

Tue 28 May – 11am to 1pm

A guided walk to spot adult dragonflies after they have emerged from the pond. Donations towards wildlife surveying welcome. No booking required. Suitable for age 8+. No walks if it’s raining.

Find out more here.

Woodland Adventure Days for Kids

Shining Cliff Woods

Tue 28 & Wed 29 May - 10am to 3pm

Den building, shelter making, fire lighting, campfire cooking, games, adventures and fun! A drop off session for children in year 1 and over.

Tickets: £26


Family Bushcraft Event

Carsington Water

Wed 29 May - 10am to12pm

Make a shelter, keep warm and cook on a fire and use simple tools. Suitable for ages 4-11.

Tickets: £10 per person. Parking included.


Family Owl Event

Carsington Water

Sat 02 Jun - 10am to 12pm

Find out about our five native owl species, their habits and their habitats. Then identify their prey by dissecting an owl pellet!Suitable for ages 4-11.

Tickets: £6 per person. Parking included






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