Arghhh! February half-term has crept up on us quickly hasn't it?!
But don't panic - save your sanity (and your money) using our top suggestions for FREE family half-term days out across Sussex - each with exciting events for children!*
Because February weather is unpredictable most places listed are indoor or have places to shelter (e.g. a nice warm cafe!).
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Happy half term!
P.S. Please double check the details of your activity with the provider before you visit. Some events require pre-booking
* There is a small charge for some events.
Take a trip to brilliant Raystede (near Lewes) from 17th to 21st February to meet the animals and join in with some fun FREE family activities:
11 am Winter wildlife walkabout - Explore the sanctuary and discover how you can help wildlife in the winter
12.30 pm Doggy tales - Find out which dog might be your best match and hear the story of one of the centre's furry friends
2 pm Cattery tour - Join the team for a behind-the-scenes tour to meet current feline residents (places are limited, please sign up at Visitor Information)
Visit the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne and drop-in to one of the exciting family creative sessions.
19th Feb: Join the team for a creative session using recycled magazines, collage and mark making materials to create messages for change.
21st Feb: A session inspired by the great outdoors. Make seed bombs to share and scatter, and get involved in a large collaborative drawing of the natural world.
22nd Feb: Cut, fold and assemble a simple colourful sketchbook from assorted salvaged and surplus cards and papers.
On Friday 21st February (10:30-16:00), the Booth Museum of Natural History (Brighton) are holding a free drop-in discovery day - Nature's Grand Designs. Suitable for all ages, children can see miniature homes under the microscope, make their own bird’s nest with the RSPB, find out about plans to restore the Sussex kelp forest to its former glory with Brighton Dolphin Project and chat with the curators to discover the strangest home invaders!
Discover the centre of the historic city of Chichester on the free City Walls Trail. A really original, fun and family-friendly way of exploring! Call in to the Novium Museum (free entry) to learn about Chichester's Roman history.
On Friday 21st February head to Chichester Cathedral (accessible from the trail) to take part in the family activity day. Follow a trail, collect a prize and take part in some creative crafts. Suitable for children aged 3-12, accompanied by an adult. There is no need to book just drop in any time from 10am-2:30pm - £2.50 per child.
Head to RSPB Pagham Harbour (near Chichester) on 18th or 20th February for some special half-term fun. At the Birds and Crafts event (Tues 18th at 10.30am), children will learn how to use binoculars and telescopes before discovering more about the birds that winter on the reserve and creating works of art inspired by what they've seen.
At the Mini-beasts and Crafts event (Thurs 20th; 10.30am) children will join a bug hunt, learn about the bugs that live in the reserve and create their own mini-beasts to take home. Both events are 2 hours long and booking is essential. There is a small charge for these events.
In addition to those listed above, lots of exciting half-term events are also taking place at National Trust-owned properties and gardens across Sussex. Brilliantly set up for families, admission is free for National Trust members and family membership is just £10.50 per month! Learn more about National Trust properties in Sussex with our Guide for Families.
Batemans (National Trust property in Burwash, E. Sussex) - Take a mini adventure around the garden this half-term on the fun bingo trail. Spot the patterns and colours of nature, and notice the changing weather and seasons. Sat 15th February - Sun 22nd March, 10am-4:30pm. NT admission applies plus £1 per trail, suitable for children ages 4-12.
Bodiam Castle (National Trust property near Robertsbridge, E. Sussex) - Enjoy being out and about discovering nature this half-term on the princess and knight children's nature trail! Help Princess Acorn and the Knight Sir Oakley discover some of the wonderful nature out in the castle grounds and earn a prize for your efforts. NT admission applies plus £2.50 per trail, 10am-4pm daily (15-23 February).
Nymans (National Trust property in Handcross, W. Sussex) - Discover some of nature's own music and sounds on the family trail this half-term. Can you sing like a yellowhammer or blast out some beats on the log drums? See how many musical notes you can find and don't forget to claim your prize at the end!
Sat 15 to Sun 23 Feb, 10am - 3pm. NT admission applies plus £2.50 per trail, normal admission applies.
Take inspiration from nature and make your own simple musical instrument to take home, using natural and recycled materials. Sat 15 to Sun 23 Feb, 11am - 3pm. £2, normal NT admission applies.
Petworth (National Trust property in Petworth, W. Sussex) - Inspired by a painting of a scene from 'Gulliver's Travels', go on an adventure in the Pleasure Ground spotting Gulliver's lost luggage. Sat 15 to Sun 23 Feb, 10am - 4pm. Free event, NT admission applies.
Scotney Castle (National Trust property near Wadhurst, E. Sussex) - There's been a murder in the mansion at Scotney Castle and we need your help in solving the crime. Where did it happen? What was the weapon? Who was the culprit? Pick up your trail sheet and start looking for clues. All successful detectives will be awarded a prize at the end. NT admission applies plus £2 per child, 11am-5pm, 15-23 February.
Sheffield Park and Garden (National Trust property near Uckfield, E. Sussex) - families can enjoy a selection of free activities to try outdoors. Collect nature's treasures from around the garden to make your very own story stick, or venture out with a spotting sheet to see what you can see. Craft lovers have the opportunity to make a mask using natural materials and budding explorers can take part in a scavenger hunt around the gardens. FREE event (normal NT admission charges apply), suitable for children up to age 13. Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm.
Standen House & Garden (National Trust property near East Grinstead, E. Sussex) - Join the exciting ‘Bright Sparks’ trail. Follow the map around the garden to discover all about electricity in Victorian times, how it was brand new and exciting and how Standen was one of the first houses to be built with electricity. Small prize at the end. NT admission applies plus £3 per child, 11am-3pm daily (15-23 February). Suitable for ages 4+.
Uppark House (National Trust property near Midhurst, W. Sussex) - Grab your walking boots and wrap up warm to explore the wonderful house and gardens. Take part in the Spring Trail solving clues to find out what the plants, animals and even people at Uppark do during spring sunshine, snow and showers. There is content to keep both tiny tots and older children interested. 15 Feb-29 Mar, 10am-4pm. Cost: NT admission applies plus £2 per trail sheet
Wakehurst (Near Haywards Heath, W. Sussex) - Get crafty this half-term with two great FREE activities! Pick up sticks and green things, from mosses to leaves, to create a mini bug hotel, or get artistic and make a decorative green heart to add to the communal collage. Head to the Visitor Centre to receive a collecting card showing you what to look for in the gardens. 15-23 February 10am-4pm. Suitable for ages 2+. Free entry for National Trust members, but car parking charges apply.
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