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• Spring Stroll guided walk around estate followed by roast lunch
• Great Armarda invasion – Tudor living history experience
• ‘Mum’s the word’ secret Morse code Messages for Mother’s Day

There’s plenty happening at Penshurst Place & Gardens at weekends during March with a new event just for adults taking place on 16th March. Take a two hour Spring Stroll with the estate’s General Manager as he guides a group on an escorted walk around the beautiful parkland and grounds at Penshurst Place, and then enjoy a two-course roast lunch afterwards in the Garden Restaurant.

For families there’s the chance to experience Tudor life with the Great Armada invasion on 22nd and 23rd March when a cast of skilled, costumed actors will be at Penshurst Place to give a living history presentation on the preparations by the household ahead of imminent attack by the Spanish fleet.

‘Mum’s the word’ for young visitors with free war-themed family activities available in the Education Room for Mother’s Day on 30th March. As part of the ‘Sir and Soldier’ season, there will plenty of things to occupy children on Mother’s Day including the option to make a Morse-code necklace with hidden secret message for their Mum or to hand-make their own Mother’s Day poetry card in the Education Room. There’s an opportunity to further spoil mothers (and grandmothers, aunts or anyone who deserves a special thank you) to a lovely Mother’s Day lunch in the Garden Restaurant with a special menu. No booking necessary, visitors seated on a first come, first served basis.

MARCH EVENTS – MORE DETAILS

SPRING STROLL & LUNCH – ADULT EVENT: 16TH MARCH

Dust off your walking shoes for a leisurely two hour walk and then reap a tasty reward for your physical exertion.

A brand new walking event for adults to enjoy at Penshurst Place & Gardens on 16th March between 11am and 2pm. Journey across the beautiful estate and learn about its Tudor history on the way. This special Sunday walk is led by Penshurst Place’s General Manager and is followed by a delicious two-course roast lunch in the Garden Restaurant.

Tickets £22 (to include private parking, guided walk, two-course roast lunch and access to the Gardens) www.penshurstplace.com/etickets

THE GREAT ARMADA ADVENTURE: 22ND & 23RD MARCH (12 NOON TO 4PM)

Experience life at Penshurst Place as the militia prepares to ward off the Spanish Armada. Skilled costumed characters bring history alive as they invite visitors to join them in the Staterooms as the Penshurst Place household prepares for invasion.

Normal garden admission prices apply. For more information visit www.penshurstplace.com/whatson

CELEBRATION OF MOTHER’S DAY: 30TH MARCH

With fun craft activities to suit all ages and a special menu in the Garden Restaurant, Penshurst Place will be ‘the place’ for families to celebrate Mother’s Day this year.

Children will be able to treat their Mums to a handmade Mother’s Day poetry card or present her with a hidden Morse code message on a necklace in the Education Room.

Normal garden admission prices apply. For more information visit www.penshurstplace.com/whatson

APRIL EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

EASTER HOLIDAY FUN: 5TH – 21ST APRIL

Penshurst Place will have lots of fun craft and trail activities as part of its ‘Sir and Soldier’ themed season of WW1 commemoration events running in April.

Every day during the Easter school holidays, families can join an egg hunt with a twist! Rather than seeking Easter eggs, visitors to Penshurst Place are invited to help hunt down the carrier pigeons with their hidden secret messages, in a fun trail around the playground.

Pigeons played an important communication role during WWW1, and proved an extremely reliable way of sending messages across enemy lines. Using the story of carrier pigeons, children will learn more about the communication methods during the Great War and enjoy a fun trail that will take them on an inspiring educational journey of discovery.

The education room will continue the war-theme with craft activities available from 12 noon each day. Youngsters will be invited to create their very own carrier pigeon or soldier bonnet and enjoy Easter colouring activities.

Normal garden admission prices apply. For more information visit www.penshurstplace.com/whatson

EASTER STORYTELLING: 20TH – 21ST APRIL

The story of Cher Ami, a WW1 carrier pigeon and her friends will be unveiled as part of Penshurst Place’s ‘Sir and Soldier’ themed season of WW1 commemoration events. Families are invited to gather in the medieval buttery at 2pm, 2.45pm and 3.30pm to hear skilled story tellers from Aardvark Productions bring the account of a Great War carrier pigeon to life and explain through tale, the critical communication role these homing birds had throughout World War 1.

Normal garden admission prices apply.
For more information visit www.penshurstplace.com/whatson

Other things to see and do while visiting Penshurst Place and Gardens during March and April:-

• Toy Museum
• House (Sats & Suns only in March, daily from April)
• Woodland Trail
• Adventure Playground
• Garden Restaurant
• Porcupine Pantry
• Gift Shop
• The Gardens: spring flowering bulbs in the Orchard, Nut Garden, Lime Walk and Horse Pond and spring blossom in the Orchard, Nut Garden and Flag Garden

Most events are included in standard admission price unless otherwise stated. Full details of the event calendar for 2014 can be found at www.penshurstplace.com/whatson.

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medway-logoThe February half-term holiday is approaching and there are plenty of fun activities on offer in Medway to keep the children entertained.

Fans of pop boyband One Direction will jump at the chance to learn a great dance routine to some of their greatest hits.

Those aged between eight and 16 – who fancy following in the footsteps of their favourite band members – can put on their dancing shoes and take part in a special workshop at The Brook Theatre in Chatham.

The workshop on Tuesday, 18 February is with professional dancer Jay Saunders who will teach the young people a choreographed routine and a variety of dance skills.

There will even be a final performance for family and friends where children can showcase the moves they have learnt at the end of the day.

The workshop takes place from 10am to 3.30pm and costs £14 for each participant.

Children can also get creative and learn some magic with a professional circus company at the Balloon Art and Magic Tricks workshop.

On Monday, 17 February, tutor Mighty Mike of Dizzy O’ Dare Presents will teach those aged between eight and 14 how to make amazing balloon models and perform marvellous magic tricks.

The session will begin with fun warm up games and demonstrations, followed by activities where the children will work in small groups with one-to-one help from the workshop assistants.

Each child will take home some new skills as well as their very own pack of playing cards to try their tricks on family and friends.

The workshop takes place from 10am until noon at The Brook Theatre in Chatham and costs £7.
On another date at the same theatre, youngsters interested in arts and crafts can get messy designing ceramics and printing pictures with artist Friday Caswell.

Using special tile-cutting tools, rollers and inks – those who attend the workshop on Friday 21 February, will get to make unique printed pictures as well as paint designs on mugs, plates and tiles.

Caswell will showcase some examples of her work and talk about the different techniques and equipment the group will be using throughout the day. She will then help the children with their ideas and creation of their artwork.

The workshop runs from 10am to 3.30pm for eight to 14-year-olds of all abilities and costs £14.

All materials – including the china items – are supplied and included in the price of the workshop. Children are asked to wear old clothes and an apron if they have one.

If you would like to book a place for any of these events or find out more information contact 01634 338338 or visit www.enjoymedway.co.uk

batsbroomsThings get spooky this Autumn Half Term at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, as visitors explore the eerie and ethereal through a range of exciting activities.

Running from 25 October through to 3 November, visitors can join in the Bats and Broomsticks activities, suitable for all the family. These include a brand new and very informative Bat Trail, the return of Megan the Witch with spell binding stories to enchant and – back by popular demand – families can challenge their creative skills by trying their hand at Pumpkin Carving or take the spooky mini Ghost Tours through the eerie Hearts of Oak gallery in the dark! Read More

An exciting programme of summer fun events is taking place at Strood Youth Centre throughout August. All the activities are free and aimed at eight to 19 year olds.

Climbing – Monday, 5 August 3pm – 6pm

Archery – Tuesday, 6 and Tuesday, 20 August 3pm – 6pm

Trampolining – Wednesday, 7 August 3pm – 6pm

Cake decorating – Tuesday, 6, Wednesday, 7 and Monday, 12 August 3– 6pm

Jewellery making – Monday, 12 and Tuesday, 13 August 3pm – 6pm

Wet and Wild (water fights, slides and play) – Wednesday, 14 August 3pm – 6pm

Inflatable activity fun (gladiator style challenge) – Monday, 19 and Wednesday, 21 August 3pm – 6pm

All the workshops listed above take place at Strood Youth Centre, Montfort Road, Strood, ME2 3ET

1 – 15 August, Charlton Football Club will be running a summer slam football activity week from 10am – 4pm each day in Northcote Rec, Northcote Road, Strood. For more details about any of the activities and workshops, phone 07789 988165 or email patricia.houssein@medway.gov.uk

Photo Credit & Copyright Simon Kelsey

Photo Credit & Copyright Simon Kelsey

Where can you build sandcastles, see knights do battle, attend a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and meet St George and his dragon, all in one day?

Thousands of visitors are expected to go along and do just that at this year’s English Festival, which takes place on Saturday 20 April at Riverside Country Park, Gillingham. Held annually on the closest Saturday to St George’s Day, the free family day out celebrates the iconic and ironic traditions of England. More

Girls Aloud Style Workshop
Monday, 8 April, 10am – 3.30pm at The Brook Theatre
A must for all Girls Aloud fans!
To celebrate Girls Aloud’s 2013 arena tour join professional dancer Jay will put wannabe pop stars through their dance paces.
Fun and laughter is guaranteed. Learn a new routine and have the opportunity to perform it to family and friends at the end of the day.

Justin Timberlake Style Workshop
Tuesday, 9 April, 10am – 3.30pm at The Brook Theatre
With a wealth of international hits and music videos under his belt this Justin Timberlake dance style workshop will give wannabe dancers the opportunity to learn the moves to one of his popular tunes.
Learn routines with professional dancer Jay and perform a showcase for family and friends at the end of the day.

Places on each workshop are £14 or book the two workshops together for £24.00, saving £4. Phone the Box Office on 01634 338338 for a booking form.

There’s plenty of festive fun to be had in Medway in the coming weeks. Children’s Centres will be hosting a number of events for families in the build up to Christmas.
A Christmas charity walk will be held by Brompton Children’s Centre in Gillingham on Monday, 17 December from 1pm to 3.30pm. The walk will be followed by coffee and mince pies and all money raised will go to Help for Heroes and FSID. For more information call 01634 844152. More

Wildlife is the inspiration for a number of creative art workshops and sessions at Riverside Country Park this summer. More

Children and families in Medway will be celebrating National Bookstart Day on Friday, 10 June, with stories and activities on this year’s theme of transport. More

THE FINAL countdown to Cancer Research UK’s Relay For Life in Hoo, Rochester has started and local people are being urge to seize their chance to join the unique fundraising event. More

Men, women and children whose lives have been touched by cancer are being invited to play a key role in Cancer Research UK’s Relay For Life. More

Baby massage, first aid, arts, sports and leisure are just a few of the courses on offer at the family learning fun day in Rochester this month. More

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