Valentine’s Day romance and family-friendly activities for half term are back on the cards across Shakespeare’s England this February.

Members of the regional destination management organisation for South Warwickshire (DMO), are offering a wide range of live events to keep families entertained during the holidays after last year saw the country under strict national lockdown restrictions.

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 family 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.

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; while Coventry Transport Museum is championing diversity with a new interactive family-friendly exhibition, Women in Motorsport, as part of Coventry City of Culture.

And love is in the air at the Royal Shakespeare Company with a new production of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing set in an Afro-futuristic world - and for added convenience there’s the option to book a ticket with a boutique overnight stay at The Arden Hotel opposite.

While Stratford Butterfly Farm will be celebrating Valentine’s Day by giving each visitor during half term a marble heart for a loved one, in return for a green action promise, to encourage everyone to get involved with protecting the environment.

Helen Peters, CEO of Shakespeare’s England, said: “With the lifting of Covid restrictions, people across the region can once again enjoy going out to celebrate seasonal events such as Valentine’s Day, and entertain the kids during the upcoming school break.

“Warwickshire has plenty going on this February half term, with many family-friendly events and offers to attract visitors to the region.

“There’s also a variety of Valentine’s offers and events for couples looking to treat their partner -whether it’s dinner and a play, afternoon tea or a romantic getaway.

“There’s so much happening in Warwickshire over the next few months with Shakespeare Week (March 21-27), Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations in Stratford and English Tourism Week this April to encourage people to go out and visit their local tourist attractions with exclusive discounts and offers for locals so we look forward to welcoming back visitors.”

Here is the full list of activities and offers available:

British Motor Museum, Gaydon - Children will be able to design and make a LEGO® Formula 1 racing car every day between 10am – 3pm and race it along a track; learn the secret science of speed in the ever-popular Science Shows and, for one day only on February 23, join STEM ambassadors from MOD Kineton to make and launch Rocket Cars. Plus, there’s a new Road Map family trail. www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/whats-on/february-half-term

The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry - This half term children will have the chance to take part in holiday workshops celebrating two of Coventry’s most famous industries: weaving and engineering. There will be drop-in Wonderful Weaving daily sessions for ages 3+ to try their hand at cardboard loom coasters, pen pots and dreamcatchers (Feb 19 – 26), (https://www.theherbert.org/whats_on/1630/wonderful_weaving); and an Art Masterclass: Coventry Cartoon Weaving for ages 8 to 16 will involve turning an image of Coventry into a mixed media masterpiece embellished with weaving and embroidery (Thurs Feb 24), (https://www.theherbert.org/whats_on/1631/art_masterclass__coventry_cartoon_weaving).

Budding engineers of all ages can enjoy Family Museum Engineers – Just Play, (Sat Feb 19)  (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/family-museum-engineers-holiday-specials-tickets-225903863537); Make & Play Engineers – Electronics for kids – a family session for exploring electronics and creating simple circuits aimed for 3-12-year-olds (Feb 21 & 22), (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/make-play-engineers-electronics-for-kids-tickets-225851336427);  and This Makes That With These – Demystifying Electronics a hands-on session or ages 5+ with real tools taking gadgets and appliances apart (Feb 24 & 26), (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/this-makes-that-with-these-demystifying-electronics-for-kids-tickets-225858327337). https://www.theherbert.org/whats_on/

Coventry Transport Museum - New exhibition Women in Motorsport, which runs until May 31, features many interactive elements for families including a pit-stop experience, DIY-tracks and projections which allow visitors to race their designs against each other. It celebrates the fastest women in motorsport and explores varied roles within the industry through personal stories, https://www.transport-museum.com/events/1525/women_in_motorsport

Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden, Kenilworth - A half term Explorer Quest runs from Feb 19 – 27 whereby families can roam around the grounds to find games and activities inspired by Queen Elizabeth, soldiers, and servants. https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/kenilworth-feb-half-term-quest/

Compton Verney Art Gallery & Museum - Stunning new visitor experience Spectacle of Light (Feb 11 – March 6) will be available to book for half term. The landscaped park and woodland at Compton Verney will be transformed by night-time light installations to music, creating a magical illuminated trail under the stars. Entry begins at 5.30pm and the last trail tour commences at 7.45pm, with the park closing at 10pm.

For children aged 12 and under fun family activities include an all-day Adventure Camp and RAF STEM Team Challenge on Tues Feb 22; a two-day Art Makers Camp making ‘Phenomenal Portraits’ and ‘Capturing Images’ from Wed Feb 23 - Thurs Feb 24 and three one-hour Bird Dash sessions for 5 – 11’s on Wild Wednesday (Wed Feb 23), plus materials to make a bird feeder, www.comptonverney.org.uk

Warwick Castle - History is unleashed as a two-week Festival of Archery returns this half term from Feb 12 – 27. 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. From £319 based on four sharing a Woodland Lodge. www.warwick-castle.com

The Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon - A new futuristic production of Shakespeare’s witty romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing (Feb 4 – March 12) is running throughout half term. 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, https://www.rsc.org.uk/

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry - From the award-winning West End producers of Gangsta Granny and Horrible Histories comes a new production of David Walliams’ best-selling children’s story Billionaire Boy, (Feb 17-19), for ages 5+, https://www.belgrade.co.uk/events/billionaire-boy/

Bring the family for afternoon tea followed by a screening of The Lion King in the Belgrade’s brand-new Screen Room from 12 noon, https://www.belgrade.co.uk/events/silver-screen-family-the-lion-king/

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, starring Olivier-award winning Nigel Hartman, Red Dwarf and Death in Paradise star Danny John-Jules, plus newcomer Hannah Rose Caton (Feb 22 - 26), www.belgrade.co.uk

Coombe Abbey Hotel – Enjoy a family day out or half term break staying in one of the family-friendly rooms, combining a visit to Go Ape, https://www.coombeabbey.com/coombe-offers/activity-offers/stay-and-go-ape/ Within the grounds there’s also the brand-new 50s-inspired Sundae Club dessert diner for a waffle, ice-cream or milkshake.

Couples can celebrate Valentine’s Day with a romantic overnight stay complete with three-course dinner and breakfast, plus a bottle of champagne, flowers and chocolates in room. Available on February 12, 13 and 14 from £294 https://www.coombeabbey.com/product/valentines-romantic-dinner/

Enjoy Everlasting Experiences | Coombe Abbey Hotel

Go Cotswolds - This half term, Go Cotswolds will be running their best-selling and family-friendly Cotswolds in a Day tours on Sat Feb 19, Wed Feb 23 and Sat 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. https://www.gocotswolds.co.uk/

Stratford Butterfly Farm - Anyone who visits the 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. www.butterflyfarm.co.uk

The Arden Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon - Shakespeare is back! During February the hotel’s RSC theatre package includes overnight accommodation, two A-class tickets and a programme to see the latest production, Much Ado About Nothing, pre-theatre dinner and full English breakfast, https://www.theardenhotelstratford.com/news-and-offers/rsc-theatre-package/

Enjoy a Valentine’s getaway in style on Sat Feb 12 and Mon Feb 14 with one night’s stay, rose petals and romantic hamper in your room on arrival, afternoon tea, a 4-course gourmet dinner, breakfast in bed and complimentary upgrade, https://www.theardenhotelstratford.com/news-and-offers/valentines-getaway/

Mallory Court Hotel and Spa, Leamington Spa - Relax and rejuvenate this Valentine’s Day with a Rhassoul treatment for two and hour in the spa, afternoon tea, a bottle of Gusbourne Rose English sparkling wine in your room, overnight stay and Buck’s Fizz breakfast from February 13 until February 14, https://www.mallory.co.uk/news-and-offers/valentines-getaway/

Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon - Shakespeare’s Birthplace will be open during half term after reopening on February 5 following extensive conservation work. Anne Hathaway's Cottage and Shakespeare's New Place will reopen on March 26. All three sites will have extended opening hours 10am - 5pm, seven days a week. https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/ Pre-booking advisable.

This year for Shakespeare Week, March 21 – 27, primary school children across the UK are invited to Boogie with the Bard in an exciting programme of Shakespeare-inspired activities, challenges and events in school, at home and Shakespeare Family Homes in Stratford-upon. In alignment with Birmingham Commonwealth Games, a theme of movement and dance uses sport, dance and leisure in Shakespeare’s time as inspiration.

Events organised by Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, include a Shakespeare-inspired workout led by CBeebies presenter Ben Cajee, a special BBC Teach Live Lesson broadcast for 7-11 year olds from Shakespeare’s Birthplace on March 21; Walk the Shakespeare Mile on Friday March 25 with school pupils across the UK striding out dressed as Shakespeare characters and an action-packed weekend of events taking place at Shakespeare Family Homes on March 26 and 27, see www.shakespeareweek.org.uk and @ShakespeareWeek

Magic Alley, Stratford-upon-Avon – New this month is The Magical Fairy-tale Trail based on a story written especially for this event. Families are invited to explore a magical world of dragons, knights, a fairy queen, unicorns and may even meet the evil queen Fenella the Fiendish and her sidekick Large Red Riding Wolf. Recommended for children aged 6+ but children over 4 are welcome. Children who successfully complete the quest will receive a prize and a certificate. http://www.magicalleystratford.com/events Pre-booking is highly recommended for weekends and school holidays.

Fairytale Farm, Chipping Norton - Check out the new fairy-tale themed indoor play area, Rapunzel’s Kingdom, at this award-winning alpaca and animal petting inclusive farm, a short hop across the Oxfordshire border https://www.fairytalefarm.co.uk/

Cotswolds Farm Park - Reopening on February 14, there’s lots to see and do at BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson’s farm this half term as lambing season gets underway with 600 ewes and goats due to give birth in the Animal Barn, https://cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk/

Rugby Art Gallery and Museum - Two new exhibitions open just in time for the February half term: Body en Thrall, a new display of ‘Girl Power’ featuring artworks made by 48 women artists between 1970 and 2021 and Every Object Tells a Story, exploring some of Rugby’s hidden histories, including a Viking ring and a photo of Rugby Cement by top 1960s fashion photographer Norman Parkinson, https://www.ragm.co.uk/

Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum - Catch the latest free exhibition, Outgrowing: Flowers and Female Artists, 1700 to Now, during the February half term (Jan 28-April 25). Adult workshops linked to the exhibition include drawing, printing, clay sculpture and flower arranging. Two of these will take place in half term – Flower Printing: Lino Cuts on Feb 19 and Flower Drawing: Introducing Colour, on Feb 26. https://www.warwickdc.gov.uk/royalpumprooms/events/event/402/exhibition_-_outgrowing_flowers_and_female_artists_1700_to_now

Whitehall Gallery, Stratford upon Avon -This contemporary Warwickshire gallery will be unveiling some specially curated artworks with a glass of fizz to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 on the weekend of February 5 and 6 featuring Queen Elizabeth II from contemporary Yuvi and Normansell, to classic works by Swannell, https://shakespeares-england.co.uk/event?c=exclusive-royal-art-collection-celebrating-the-queens-platinum-jubilee

Johnsons Coaches - Day excursions available to London museums, Cardiff, Bristol, Torquay, Plymouth and Portsmouth as well as Skipton and Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters. Overnight stays include a visit to see the snowdrops at Hever Castle & Leeds Castle and a 5-day Cornish all-inclusive to Newquay, https://www.johnsonscoaches.co.uk/

Benn Hall, Rugby - Irish folk music legends The Fureys will be performing live at the town venue on Feb 25, https://www.rugby.gov.uk/bennhall/

For more information on Shakespeare’s England and its members, visit https://shakespeares-england.co.uk/

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