Whilst we find ourselves almost at the end of a third lockdown, the looming half-term break might be a daunting prospect to those parents who have exhausted a range of activities designed to keep everyone entertained, engaged and occupied. Fortunately, our clients are on hand to provide a variety of interactive and family driven suggestions on how you can all keep busy and fight off those Groundhog Day blues. From virtual carnivals to pirate based board games and a walk with Dolly Parton – we’ve got you covered!
Discover New England
The New England Aquarium has a whole host of activities and tools that the whole family can enjoy over half term. Take a virtual visit to the Aquarium and see the creatures that call the aquarium home, including penguins, turtles and octopi! There are also activities that can be completed including an Aquarium Animal Challenge, where visitors can pick a selected animal and are challenged to immerse themselves in all the animal’s behaviours and conditions.
At the USS Constitution Museum, there’s a sea of information (pun intended) online from the crew of this Boston-built battleship. Along with tours of the Charlestown-docked vessel every morning live on Facebook, virtual visitors can dive into history, explore artifacts, and navigate educational activities. Wannabe pirates will particularly enjoy the interactive game A Sailor’s Life for Me, which gives players the chance to scrub the ship’s deck, eradicate rats in the cargo hold, and steer the vessel on the open seas.
While the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry in Connecticut is closed to visitors, they still want to bring families exciting puppetry-related events online! All past workshops are available on their website, Facebook and YouTube and include workshops on making hand puppets, shadow puppets, masks and a toy theatre.
For the next family stroll during half term, take Dolly Parton along with you for the amble. Apple Fitness+ subscribers can access “Time to Walk” on their Apple Watches, which is an inspiring new audio walking experience, created to encourage users to walk more often and reap the benefits from one of the healthiest activities. Each Time to Walk episode is shaped by the guest’s personal, life-shaping moments and includes lessons learned, meaningful memories, thoughts on purpose and gratitude, moments of levity, and other thought-provoking topics, recorded while walking outside or in locations that are meaningful to them. For Dolly Parton’s episode, she reflects on her career, family, and growing up in rural Tennessee. Along with a narrative, pictures of Dolly’s life will also appear on the Apple Watch to provide visual accompaniment, as well as Dolly introducing a playlist of songs, which inspired and motivated her along the journey, after the experience.
The Hands On! Discovery Center is offering virtual fun for all the family over half term. Their Discovery On the Go! program offers interactive experiences through Facebook and YouTube to entertain and educate throughout the holiday. From unearthing fossils, to creative activities such as making as rubber band guitar and popsicle poppers, there is something for every intrepid mind.
Playhouse on the Square in Memphis has launched Playhouse on the Square at Home, a digital series full of content presented through their website and social media platforms. Enjoy the three-part mini-series” Story Time in Neverland” on Facebook and Youtube. Take the Playhouse on the Square trivia quiz on Facebook and see snippets of past shows on Youtube and Facebook through the In the Vault series. The Department of Theatre Education’s Digital Play Series is a weekly scene writing competition with a new writing prompt each Monday. The winning performance is filmed by local actors and released on Sundays.
This year, the February half term falls perfectly for children and adults alike to enjoy the culmination of Mardi Gras. With official celebrations such as parades being cancelled this year, the city of New Orleans is taking the party online! Ahead of Mardi Gras Day (16th Feb) there will be a three-night, 4½-hour online spectacular called “Mardi Gras For All Y’All” which will stream content inspired by this signature celebration across the world.
Shown on the NOLA.com, YouTube and Facebook Live, “Mardi Gras For All Y’All” will be able to bring families close to the sights and sounds of Carnival, with celebrity interviews, musical performances and Carnival features narrating the history of the celebration and New Orleans’ unique culture. There will be virtual King Cake baking classes which will feature live jazz in addition to teaching participants the ins and outs of this iconic New Orleans delicacy.
The Mardi Gras celebrations in Lake Charles are loved by locals and visitors and that also goes for their virtual Carnival, which features a stunning online tour of the city’s Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu, plus goodies like a Shoebox Float Contest. Lake Charles residents take decorating their mini floats just as seriously as they do their street ones! Watch how it is done and make your own parade at home.
There are lots of free Mardi Gras colouring pages available for download from major providers. Take a look at these on Doodle Art Alley.
Visit North Carolina
There’s nothing like some quality family time and what’s better than everyone settling down for a classic game? The board game Blackbeard recreates “The Golden Age of Piracy” at the turn of the 18th century and is based on the infamous North Carolina pirate, Edward Teach. Each player must navigate the map and attempt to amass a fortune and retire before a King’s Commissioner tracks them down. It’s the perfect way to kill an afternoon inside especially for those with pirate enthusiastic children.
Visitors to North Carolina’s coast can trace the footsteps of the notorious sailor who at one point was America’s most wanted criminal. Discover his hideouts, artifacts and last stand through maritime museums, walking tours and dedicated pirate festivals!
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences also has a fantastic array of virtual events lined up for half term week including the Science Detective series, where participants put their detective skills to the test and learn how to identify some of the most common clues left behind from different wildlife. Please see here for the full offering.
The Maverick You Tube Channel offers a wide choice of awe-inspiring video footage over the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Hawaii for a birds eye view of some of America’s natural wonders. They even have a video for future pilots on what it is like to be a helicopter pilot.
Maverick Helicopters offer a wide range of tours flying over Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and the beautiful Hawaiian islands of Maui and Kauai. With hotel pick up and drop off, choices of champagne (or squash) lunches in private landing spots and a unique digital copy of the flight, families will truly be receiving the VIP treatment. For more information on how Maverick can accommodate your family, click here.
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