School Holidays Ripon and Nidderdale

February Half Term

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Acting Masterclass with EastEnders Star Aaron Sidwell!

Upstage Academy are extremely excited to announce our next Masterclass will be an ACTING Masterclass with none other that EastEnders & Wicked star AARON SIDWELL! Well known for playing Steven Beale in EastEnders! Yes, we can not believe it either!

This is Upstage Academy’s first Acting Masterclass, the masterclass will be held at Upstage Studios on Monday 25th February 10.30am to 4.30pm.

This is an open workshop and will sell out quickly so book now to avoid disappointment.

Aaron Michael Sidwell is an English actor and singer; who is best known for playing troubled Steven Beale in the British Soap opera EastEnders. His decision to quit EastEnders was owing to him accepting the role of Fiyero in the UK and Ireland tour of Wicked. Speaking about it on the Lorraine show Aaron said “When an opportunity like that comes up you have to take it”

What a fabulous idea for a Christmas Present for our Actors!

For more details contact:


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Dark Skies Festival 2019 Half Term Events

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February Half Term At Hesketh Farm Park

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February Half Term Family Fun At RHS Garden Harlow Carr

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Harrogate Indoor Funfair

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Minskip Farm Shop

Join us at Minskip Farm Shop for an incredible, one-on-one Alpaca Experience

15th February – 3rd March

Minskip Farm Shop are excited to announce that we will be offering the unique opportunity to spend one-on-one time with their amazing Alpacas this half term! Book a session with your family or friends (minimum of 4 people), and you will have the opportunity to spend a whole hour with their four alpacas – two Mums and their little babies!

You will be able to:

  • Spend time with the alpacas
  • Learn how to greet them
  • Rub noses with them
  • Hear them hum
  • Feel their super soft fur
  • Feed them
  • Learn about their function on the farm & how they protect the hens
  • Take as many pictures as you want
  • Make memories for a lifetime

Limited spots available, please book your place here: The cost is 10 pounds per person and there must be 4 people per booking.  Children under 18 months are free! If you wish to add further people to your booking (up to 8 people in total per booking), you can pay for additional people at this link.

Our alpacas can’t wait to meet you and your little ones…

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Spring Half Term Family Fun With Ripon Museums

Ripon Museums will open for the 2019 season on Saturday 9th February and they’ve got a lot planned including plenty of family-friendly activities running during the school holidays!


Spring Half Term Family Fun

25th Feb – 1st March

It’s spring cleaning time at the Workhouse! Bring your little helpers to the Workhouse for a taste of Victorian work! Workhouse children were well-scrubbed – have a go at making your own soap then try out our carbolic soap in the Laundry. Some workhouse boys were trained to be boot black boys so that they could earn a living when they left – make some boot polish to a Victorian recipe and you will always have shiny shoes. Then, as a treat (and Workhouse children did get the occasional treat), go through to our kitchen and bake some Laundry day biscuits to Victorian recipe. Follow our Soap Suds Trail around the Museum and out to the garden.

Family activities included in normal admission prices.

Visit the website here.

To read more about upcoming activities at the museums see our blog.

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What’s On: February Half Term At Fountains Abbey

Saturday 16 February (until 3 March)

Wild & Woolly Decorations

Bring friends and family to the workshop at Swanley Grange to get creative. Drop in to enjoy this family activity making wintery decorations and sculptures out of sticks and wool.


Saturday 16 February (until 3 March)

Clay Man Trail


Find faces in the trees, build dens and make your very own wood staff!


Tuesday 19 February (also 26th February)

Den Building Competition

Drop by the play area to use the sticks and tarpaulins to build a shelter. Challenge friends and family to see who can build the best one! We’ll test it using a watering can…

Thursday 21 February (also 28 February)

Make A Staff

Come along to Swanley Grange to make your own staff. Our volunteers will be on hand to help you cut off any extra branches and smooth it down.


Saturday 23 February (also 2 March)

Make A Clay Face


Get creative and make a clay face and decorate with nature on trees around the estate. Drop in.

Saturday 23 February(also 9 March)

Spot The Birdy


Drop by Studley Lakeside to take a peek through a telescope to see the water-loving birds dipping and diving. Our Wildlife Team will be there to help you spot them and to tell you more about your feathered finds.


Sunday 24 February

Dying Gladiator Day


Take part in interactive gladiator inspired games and chat to our conservation experts to learn all about what it takes to look after Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, specifically how we’re working on replacing a statue that’s been missing from the garden for over 100 years…

Photos by Chris Lacey