THE final half-term holiday of 2017 is upon us, and there are all manner of special activities and days out happening across the county.
From well-known children’s TV favourites to the first hint of Halloween events, there are lots of options in this final week off before Christmas.
Here’s our guide to what’s coming up this half-term:
Saturday October 21
Morbid Curiosities – an early Halloween treat at the Florence Arts Centre sees Morbid Curiosities bring its Queens of Victorian Horror live show to the Egremont venue. It celebrates some of the finest gothic literature from female authors of the 19th Century, in a unique adaptation featuring a female duo, multi-role play, sound effects and atmospheric lighting.
Saturday October 21 & Sunday 22
When Science & Magic Collide – the touring stage show from comedian and magician Oliver Meech has shows at Ewanrigg & Netherton Community Centre, near Maryport, on the Saturday, and at Lamplugh Village Hall, near Workington, the following day. The Edinburgh Festival hit sees Oliver meddling with forces we barely understand, in what is described as “a comedy magic show for the QI generation”.
Walney Wader Festival – arriving at South Walney Nature Reserve, near Barrow, this two-day event gives visitors the chance to see awesome oystercatchers and stunning sanderlings, among many other wading birds that visit our coastline in huge numbers over autumn and winter. There’ll also be a photography competition during the festival and the prize for the best wader photo is a Level 1 photography course.
Sunday October 22
Ghoulish Owls – four sessions at Brockhole throughout the day give young visitors the chance to meet Dumbledore, the white faced owl, Tassle and Ivy, the barn owls and Eggnog, the little owl. Find out just how amazing these creatures are, and learn some new facts about owls. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Lake of Lights – this evening event takes place in the tranquil setting of Talkin Tarn, which will be transformed by hundreds of lights on the lake and in the surrounding woodland. Each light represents a cherished memory of a relative, friend or loved one no longer with us. The symbolic event provides you with the opportunity to reflect and remember in a peaceful setting.
Leaf – at the Old Fire Station, in Carlisle, Half Moon Theatre Production presents the life story of a very special leaf in this warm, intimate and playful new piece for under-threes, inspired by nature and the seasons. Framed within an evocative soundscape, this is the perfect introduction to theatre for the very young.
Monday October 23
Chart Attack – the latest live show from South Lakes Rock School sees the young performers and their tutors performing some of the biggest chart hits throughout the decades on stage at The Forum.. Two performances take place on the evening, with performers aged five to seven appearing at 5.30pm, and then a later show from older students at 8pm.
Wednesday October 25
Dick & Dom – the legendary children’s TV pair have been on tour throughout the summer and autumn, with this show at The Forum being the penultimate date of the run. This highly-interactive new show will see the pair revisit some of their old favourite games, and it also comes with a warning – you may get messy.
Friday October 27
Three Half Pints – the Cbeebies favourites bring their new show, a twist on the famous Three Musketeers story, to the Old Fire Station, in Carlisle. Chaos, mayhem and stupidity reign supreme as the comedy trio swish their swords, buff their boots and flourish their feathers in their most ridiculous adventure yet.
The Big Draw – the national event is back at the Florence Arts Centre, in Egremont, and the theme has been announced as ‘Living Lines’. The Big Draw is open to everyone of all ages and abilities. Last year saw over 100 people at Florence drawing on the them of science, technology, engineering, art and maths.
Hoot Owl Master of Disguise – a brand-new show, on its way to the Coronation Hall, in Ulverston, it sees Proon Productions introduce Hoot Owl, who plans to use his cunning camouflage powers to gobble up the tiny animals of the night. The only trouble is, Hoot Owl’s prey keeps escaping. Hilarity, ridiculousness and rapid costume changes abound in this wildly inventive new show.
Friday October 27 & Saturday 28
Halloween Ghost Trains – Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway’s spookiest event of the year arrives, where passengers travel the line in darkness, keeping eyes peeled for some of fiendish friends. Activities at Dalegarth include facepainting and spooky arts and crafts, plus a chance to get up close and learn more about some amazing owls at both main stations.
Saturday October 28
Winter Droving – a full day of festivities in Penrith town centre, this year’s Droving promises to be the best yet. Live music takes place across a number of stages, with the popular procession of fire torches and amazing masks forming the centre-piece event as dusk descends. Teams do battle in the Kyloes Drovers Cup, completing a number of challenges, including Cumberland sausage eating and tug-o-war.
Appleby Festival of Fire & Light – Appleby Castle’s big annual event is likely to be well attended, but as for what will happen, it’s being kept a secret for now. Organisers are promising something that will be “amazing and different”, and we’re sure there will be some spectacular light shows that can be seen across the Castle grounds.
Halloween Ghostly Galleon – magic, monsters and mayhem take place onboard the Ullswater Steamers, with magician Stu-Di-Doo. A 90-minute cruise, departing from Glenridding, includes a magic show, and a chance to take home your own monster balloon and a sweetie goodie bag.
Sunday October 29
The Nutcracker – Russian National Ballet Theatre visits The Forum, in Barrow, for the first time with the world-renowned ballet The Nutcracker. This is the ultimate and beautiful fairy-tale where goodness and beauty triumph. With knowledge of classical ballet and character dance, combined vast performance experience, and infinite dedication to the art of the ballet, it promises to be a night to remember.
The Wellies & Wine What’s On guides are provided by Karl Steel, Editor of CumbriaLive.co.uk