Things to do to occupy the kids over the May half-term holiday 2024

The May half-term holiday is looming and schools will be closed from Monday 27th May until Monday 3rd June this year. That means for many families finding things to do for a week to try and stop the inevitable cries of “I’m bored”. So whether you are holidaying in the Shropshire Hills or looking for a family-friendly stay in Shropshire, what is there to do across the county this Spring Bank week?

National Trust

We’ve had National Trust membership since our children were small and found it invaluable in the school holidays for providing somewhere to get some fresh air and let the kids explore. They could always be persuaded to go for a walk in the grounds if they knew there was cake or an ice-cream at the end of it and the playgrounds were great places to let them burn off some energy. Inevitably, in any school holiday there was always some sort of trail to do. Here is a round up of what’s on at the National Trust properties in Shropshire across the week:

Attingham Park, near Shrewsbury

Minibeast Battle Trail: no booking required, collect a minibeast battle card from the Visitor Reception and follow the trail, finding out how your creepy-crawly would do against other insect opponents. There are activities along the trail and a prize at the end. Trail costs £2.50, normal admission charges apply.

Bee Friendly Weekend: happening across the Bank Holiday weekend, there are bee-themed family activities in the “Bee Dome”. You can learn how best to support these valuable insects and discover all there is to know about bees. No booking required, free event.

Berrington Hall, near Leominster

Jack and the Beanstalk children’s trail: taking inspiration from the 1734 story of “jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean, this trail exploring the gardens will swoop you away on a storybook adventure. Trails cost £3 plus normal admission charges, prize at the end.

Croft Castle, near Leominster

The Treasure Tree: you are entrusted with a quest to find Croft Castle’s missing treasure as you go on an adventure trail through the grounds, gardens and a grove of ancient trees. Will you succeed? Trails cost £3 on top of normal admission charges with a prize at the end of course.

Dudmaston, near Bridgnorth

The Closer to Nature with Pixie trail: this adventure trail for young children challenges them to use all their senses as they explore the wooded Dingle, garden and hall to get “closer to nature”. Prize at the end for completed trails. There will also be traditional garden games on the lawns. Trail costs £2.50 plus normal admission charges, no booking required.

Ironbridge Gorge Museums, near Telford

A great place to visit at any time of year and always so much to do whatever the weather. Here is a run-down of the events specifically running over the half-term holiday.

Blist Hill: it’s Victorian food week at Blist Hill with cooking demonstrations planned and sweety making workshops. Small additional charge on top of normal admission.

Coalport China Museum: continuing with a foody them, it’s “Oh Crumbs” at Coalport China Museum to celebrate all things biscuit in honour of National Biscuit Day on 29th May (who knew!) You can have a go at making your own biscuit out of clay. How realistic can you make it? Ready to be taken home and painted a few days later once fully dried out. Cost £3 per person as well as normal admission charges.

Jackfield Tile Museum: and even more biscuit-themed fun at Jackfield Tile Museum. Here, you can have a go at making your own edible tile to take home out of – you’ve guessed it – biscuit. No pre-booking required. Activity costs £3 plus normal admission charges.

Ludlow Castle

As well as being a great place for the whole family to explore this half-term, you can also have a go at their half-term trail. Educating Arthur aims to show children how very different school was for Prince Arthur (Henry VIII’s older brother) when he lived at the castle at the turn of the 16th century. Follow the trail around the castle ruins, completing the puzzles and find out how he was prepared to be king. Free trail but normal admission charges to the castle apply.

Stokesay Castle, near Craven Arms

Continuing with the castle theme, why not give Stokesay castle a visit over half-term. As well as being able to explore the castle, gardens and remains of the moat, you can discover what life would have been like day-to-day for the knights living there as Stokesay brings Medieval times to life. Meet the characters and watch how they would have prepared and cooked medieval meals and organised ahead for times of trouble. Free event but normal admission charges apply.

Ludlow Duck Race

Finally, a fun event for the whole family. The annual Ludlow Duck Race takes place on 27th May (the bank holiday Monday). Event starts at 11 am with 4 races planned. Watch the ducks as they are launched from Dinham Bridge to race down the River Teme. To be in with a chance of winning £100, sponsor a duck by going to the Ludlow Rotary Club website at:  cost £2 with all monies raised going towards the Rotary Club. Or just head down to the river in the morning to watch the fun and chaos and be glad you are not one of the organisers who have to wade into the river to collect all the little duckies afterwards!

We hope that has given you plenty of ideas of things to do if you are holidaying in Shropshire or staying at St Milburga Chapel over the half-term holiday. Have fun!