Black Country Living Museum

Worcester News:

Easter celebrations are set to take place at the Black Country Living Museum this half-term, where a programme of Easter fun is ready and waiting.

Until Sunday, April 28 (10am-5pm), visitors will be able to find out all about the weird and wonderful practices of the past, from egg dancing to hot cross buns.

Take part in some traditional street games, and have a go at some crafty activities including egg painting and traditional card writing.

Plus, love is in the air this year – so watch out for a beautifully re-enacted spring time wedding, or loff-out-loud at the not-so-romantic antics of costumed characters in some unforgettable street theatre.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy playing traditional Easter street games, such as egg dancing and egg tapping. Or perhaps you’d prefer to take a trip down into the Museum’s famous mine and experience the realities of being a coal miner in the mid-nineteenth century?

When you’re finished, jump on a trolleybus down to the Museum’s canal-side village where you’ll be able to test your times tables at the Victorian school and watch a short film at the Lime Light Cinema. And if you’re feeling peckish, don’t forget to enjoy some traditional fish and chips from Hobbs and Sons.

For more information or to book tickets, visit www.bclm.com or call 0121 557 9643.

If you purchase a full-priced ticket, you’ll pay for one day and can visit as many times as you like for 12 months with BCLM’s UnChained Annual Pass. Evening and pre-booked events are not included.

Dudley Zoological Gardens

Worcester News:

Dudley Zoological Gardens has baby animals aplenty to spot this Easter as well as the re-opening of Lemur Wood.

The one-acre walkthrough exhibit, which is home to free-roaming ring-tailed, collared and black-and-white-ruffed lemurs, has received a £100,000 facelift.

Marketing manager Andrea Hales said: “We have plenty going on for all the family throughout the school holidays and we’re especially egg-cited to unveil our new-look walkthrough this weekend.

“Visitors can also hunt out the Easter bunny in our trail, spot our many recent newborns which include lemurs, barbary sheep and geladas, take part in colouring crafts in the farm barn and restaurant and meet our costumed character Bertie Bunny who will be making appearances throughout the Easter weekend.

“Plus there’ll also be tasty treats for our young visitors as we’ll be handing out free chocolate between Good Friday and Easter Monday.”

But that’s not all as each day throughout the Easter break there’ll also be extra talks and feeds where visitors can learn about the zoo’s conservation work with some of the world’s rarest animals.

For more information visit www.dudleyzoo.org.uk

Drayton Manor

Worcester News:

Staffordshire-based Drayton Manor Park is promising families an Easter holiday holiday full of daily activities and entertainment.

Drayton Manor Park is home to over 100 rides and attractions, including Europe’s only Thomas Land, featuring Thomas & Friends™.

Suitable for children and adults of all ages, Thomas Land consists of 25 tot-friendly favourites, including several mini coasters for the little ones.

Special Easter performances from Thomas & Friends™ will be showing daily in Thomas Land, with surprise visits from the Easter Bunny himself!

After the show, lucky visitors can enjoy meet-and-greets with the Easter Bunny and the famous Fat Controller from the hit TV show!

For grown-ups, Drayton Manor Park’s famous thrill rides will be available throughout Easter, including the stomach-churning gyro swing Maelstrom and the breath-taking Apocalypse; the first ever stand up drop tower ride in the world.

Animal-lovers will have a variety of zookeeper talks to choose from each day, all featuring a host of fun facts and information on the huge number of animals the park is home to, including tigers, red pandas, meerkats, spider monkeys and reptiles.

William Bryan, managing director at Drayton Manor Park, said: “We all know how difficult it can be to keep the family entertained throughout the holidays.

“That’s why we’ve launched an exciting schedule of Easter activities for devoted Thomas fans and theme park loving families so everyone has a fantastic holiday.”

Tickets are available online at https://www.draytonmanor.co.uk/tickets-and-prices, or through Drayton Manor’s ticket line on 0844 472 1950.

Follow Drayton Manor Park on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates: https://www.facebook.com/DraytonManorPark and https://twitter.com/draytonmanor.

Merry Hill

Worcester News:

Families and video game enthusiasts have the chance to test their skills against gaming duo MavricWolves over the Easter break at intu Merry Hill.

YouTube sensations Mavric & Wolfy, who boast over 150,000 subscribers to their gaming channel, will be battling it out with shoppers over the course of the two-day event, which will take place between 11am-3pm today (Wednesday 17th April).

A gamer’s paradise complete with gaming chairs and foosball tables will appear beneath the 230” big screen near H Samuel on the lower mall, where intu Family Club members will get the chance to play family-favourites FIFA 19 or Mario Kart.

A brand-new games console will also be up for grabs as intu Merry Hill have launched a competition for one lucky Family Club member to win a Nintendo Switch to carry on the fun at home.

Speaking about the event, Mavric & Wolfy said: “We’re looking forward to taking on the best gamers that the West Midlands has to offer to see who will come out as champions.”

Robert Pickersgill, marketing manager at intu Merry Hill, said: “Using our big screen for a video game contest gives our shoppers the unique opportunity to compete against the pros, and to win bragging rights amongst their friends and family for the rest of the Easter break!

“Hosting free and exciting events for intu’s Family Club is a key part of our commitment to making our shoppers feel happier. It’s a chance to bring families together and for them to make long-lasting memories at the centre.”

All games will be suitable for players above the age of three. For more information visit www.intu.co.uk/merryhill

Showcase Cinema

Follow the yellow brick road to Showcase Cinema in Castlegate Way, Dudley, who are screening The Wizard of Oz as a celebration for the movie’s 80th anniversary.

This timeless classic starring Julie Garland tells the story of Dorothy Gale who is swept from the monochrome world of Kansas into the magical, majestic and colourful land of Oz. Click your heels and reunite with your favourite characters; Tin Man, Scarecrow and the cowardly Lion as they go in search for home, brains, a heart and a whole load of courage!

James Dobbin, director of Event Cinema for Showcase Cinemas said: “The Wizard of Oz is a family favourite in many households and we’re delighted to be screening it as it celebrates its 80th anniversary.”

The film forms part of Showcase Cinema Flashback series with films being shown at all sites.

The Wizard of Oz will be shown at all Showcase Cinemas and Showcase Cinema de Lux locations on Sunday, April 21, at 2pm and Tuesday, April 23, at 7pm.

Tickets for The Wizard of Oz can be booked at the cinema box office or online at- https://www.showcasecinemas.co.uk/film-info/flashback-the-wizard-of-oz-1939#v6UWjzQyrlPyFjT3.97

Dudley Museums

The Red House Glass Cone will host Dragon themed glass fusion sessions on Tuesday April 23 and Thursday April 25 at 10.30am, 11.30am, 1pm and 2pm. Sessions cost £6 and are suitable for children aged 5+.

Meanwhile at Dudley Museum at the Archives, an Easter crafts session will be held on Wednesday April 17 for children aged 8+. Children can test their needle felting skills from 10.30am to noon and 1 to 2.30pm. The session costs £7 and includes materials.

There will also be a dinosaur themed family day at the museum on April 24 from 10.30am to 2.30pm, which includes crafts for children aged 4+ at a cost of £3.50.

The museum is also running free activities on Saturday April 27, including a fossil themed session, suitable for children aged 5+, from 10.30am to noon and the latest in its Unearthed series, which will consider which came first the dinosaur or the egg, from 2 to 3pm. Suitable for children aged 8+.

Places for all activities should be booked in advance. For more information and what’s on go to www.dudley.gov.uk

Dudley Museum and the Red House Glass Cone will be closed for the Bank Holiday from Friday April 19 to Monday April 22.

Olde Queens Head

This friendly local pub in Halesowen is celebrating Easter with a fun-filled day of Easter activities perfect for families on Monday, 22nd April.

Licensee Emma Martin has a jam-packed day in-store, including face-painting, kids’ karaoke and Easter-themed crafts workshops. Additionally, there will be an exciting Easter egg hunt taking place with a range of prizes up for grabs for the more competitive families.

The highlight of the day for the children will undoubtedly be the Ten-Ton Bus of Fun, a child’s idea of heaven colourful party bus with a ball pit, slides and soft play. Tickets are available for the bus for £3 per child. The bus will sit on-site throughout the day, giving parents the chance to relax in the pub gardens whilst the children play.

The activities will kick-off at 2pm, and entry to the event is free.

Food will be served throughout the day.

Emma Martin, licensee at the Olde Queens Head, said: “I’m so excited to kick-off our Easter festival. We wanted to hold a day that caters to families looking for something fun to do during the Easter holidays at a child-friendly local. I can’t wait to see the excitement on the children’s faces when they see the party bus! It’s going to be a brilliant day.”

Halesowen Library

Elmer the Elephant has lost all of his colours! We need your help to get them back.

During the Easter Holidays why not drop in to Halesowen Library to help redecorate Elmer.

No need to book, just drop in between April 15 and 29.

Contact Halesowen Library, Queensway Mall,Halesowen, B63 4AZ. Telephone 01384 812963

or visit https://www.better.org.uk/.../dudley

Dudley Park Active Classes

Families looking for fun fitness activities this Easter can make the most of Dudley’s free Park Active classes.

The circuit sessions last for 30 minutes, led by qualified instructors, are open to people of all ages and abilities. Children are welcome, but under 14s must attend with an adult.

The Dudley Council-run classes take place every weekend in five parks across the borough: Stevens Park in Wollescote, Buffery Park in Kates Hill, Abbey Street in Gornal, Stevens Park in Quarry Bank and Grange Park in Dudley.

Martin Samuels, Strategic Director for People, said: "The free Park Active exercise classes are a great way for adults and children to enjoy being outside together, burning off some of those Easter eggs and connecting with people in their community."

Saturday sessions run at 9.30-10am and 10-10.30am at Stevens Park, Wollescote; 10-10.30am and 10.30-11am at Buffery Park, Kate’s Hill and 10-10.30am and 10.30-11am at Abbey Street Rec in Gornal. Sunday session run at 11am-11.30am and 11.30am-12 at Stevens Park Quarry Bank and 2-2.30pm and 2.30-3pm at Grange Park, Dudley.

A full programme of the sessions is available at www.lets-get.com/explore/healthy-hubs/park-active and places can be via the TGO activate app from the app store. The app can be used to log and track workout details, connect with others in the community, find other activity sessions happening in the area, or to locate the nearest TGO outdoor gym sites.

No additional equipment is required, just suitable clothing and footwear. Participants are advised to bring a drink.

Midlands Arts Centre (MAC)

Worcester News:

There’s lots going on for families at MAC over the Easter holidays! We’ve got family workshops, shows, performances and family films to enjoy.

Here are some of the highlights. https://macbirmingham.co.uk/easter-at-mac

David Baddiel’s ANiMALCOLM The Musical, on Saturday 20 April and Sunday 21 April, 1.30pm & 6pm. Suitable for ages five and above.

https://macbirmingham.co.uk/event/animalcolm

Malcolm doesn’t like animals, which is a problem because his family loves them. In fact, they’re wild about them.

Their house is full of pets of all shapes and sizes, but it’s NOT full of stuff Malcolm likes. Such as the laptop he wanted for his birthday. The only bright spot on the horizon is the Year Six school trip, which Malcolm never thought his parents would pay for. And yet there he is, on the bus, heading to… a farm. What follows is a school trip like no other, where Malcolm begins to understand animals more deeply than anyone. But will he end up the same as before?

Because sometimes the hardest thing to become is yourself. A vibrant, energetic and gloriously funny musical from the award-winning Story Pocket Theatre.

ANiMALCOLM combines physical theatre, puppetry and the company’s outstanding storytelling style to bring David Baddiel’s magical and wonderfully comic story to the stage.

Sandwell

Staff at Sandwell’s museums, libraries and Sandwell Valley Country Park are gearing up for a busy Easter school holiday period with a host of activities for all the family.

The activities offer families the chance to enjoy music, theatre, crafts, special reading sessions and the opportunity to meet the new alpacas in the Valley.

Go to www.discoversandwell.co.uk/events to find out more. There's also lots of information on holiday activities for children at www.sandwell.gov.uk/holidays and the Family Information Service Hub at fis.sandwell.gov.uk

The museums service is hosting Easter hunts, live music, theatre, open days, exhibitions, arts and crafts activities and living history events.

Entrance is free to museums, apart from some specific advertised events. For information about opening times and facilities, go to www.sandwell.gov.uk/museums and follow the links to the relevant museum site.

Go to www.sandwell.gov.uk/joininmuseums for information about what’s on, or follow Sandwell Museums on Facebook and Twitter.

At Sandwell Park Farm in West Bromwich, families will be able to get involved in children’s crafts, make a bird feeder, talk to the farmer, handle chicks and meet the lambs and baby goats! Daily activities run from 10am to 4pm from Saturday 13 April until Sunday 28 April.

And families can also see two new additions to the farm, Lola & Lollipop, the newly-arrived alpacas.

In addition to the daily activities, there will be bushcraft skills and face painting sessions on some days.

The libraries have their usual wide-ranging list of activities bringing fun and laughter in a range of thought-provoking events across Sandwell.

A special borough-wide reading competition will be launched at a family fun day at the Central Library at West Bromwich on Tuesday 23 April, 10.30am and 11.30am, when children will be challenged to read as many books as possible in a two-month period with a Ron Popple party as the prize for the winner.

Other events at libraries over Easter include Cereal Readers breakfast clubs, Lego club, film club and appearances by children’s comic Ron Popple.

And don’t miss free swimming at Sandwell leisure centres for children aged 16 and under during the school holidays. Go to www.sandwell.gov.uk/freeswimming for more information.

Details of events are available at www.discoversandwell.co.uk/events

Free lunch

Worcester News:

Children from Jessons Primary School in Dudley are set to benefit from a school holiday café pilot in Dudley town centre.

Dudley Council is working with the school, The Friends of Grange Park and a number of local organisations to run the scheme for pupils from low income households during the two weeks holiday.

Tokens, which can be used from Monday 15 to Thursday 18 and Tuesday 23 to Friday 26 April, are being given to eligible pupils for use in one of four cafés in the town centre - Gather Café, The Coffee Shop, Lunch on the Run and Bake ‘n’ Butty.

It’s hoped the scheme will give youngsters the chance to enjoy a healthy and nutritious lunch without parents needing to worry about the cost.

A number of businesses and organisations have made donations to enable it to take place including Dudley Council, The Rotary, KMB Shipping Group and Black Country T-Shirts.

The council is running the pilot to see how such schemes could operate during holidays at other locations in the future. An evaluation will be undertaken with the participating cafés and parents of the children after the holidays.

An estimated 4.1million children are living in poverty in the UK. In Dudley borough, 21 per cent of children aged five to ten years live in low income households.

Martin Samuels, strategic director for people, said: "We are all too aware of the impact school holidays can have on food availability for youngsters from low income households.

"This pilot is designed to see how organisations and businesses in the local community can come together to help families who may be worried about managing food costs during the Easter holidays.”

Karen Paskin, Friends of Grange Park, said: "We have organised a number of local community events to bring people together and talk about issues faced by families living in the local area and food poverty is something that has been discussed many times.

"Opening up schools during holidays can be difficult so we decided to try this token scheme so that it would benefit families and businesses alike, whilst bringing people from a cross section of the local community together.”

Parents will be offered a hot drink when accompanying a child.