Why not scrap the usual half term activities for fossil fun, stone-age games and mosaic-making… All this is in store during the annual Geopark Festival taking place in and around the English Riviera this half term. Events are being held during half term, 28th May until the 5th of June, at various locations across Torquay, Paignton and Brixham.
What is a ‘Geopark’?
A ‘Geopark’ is classified as a single and unified geographical area where there are significant geological sites and landscapes. Our beautiful coastline has been created with the help of Torbay’s geology and links wildlife, people and culture to its landscape.
The Geopark Festival is an annual celebration of all things geological and will help you explore, experience and, especially, enjoy all the features of our unique part of the world.
Families can meet at the Seashore Centre on Bank Holiday Monday and ‘Explore the Perfect Urban Geopark Site’ with John Risdon. It costs £3 per head and children are free. You can also join their Marine Ranger to explore the rock pools at Goodrington on Friday 3rd June. Discover feisty crabs, slimy anemones, wriggly starfish, sneaky prawns and more in the rock pools of Middlestone! Booking is required and it costs £3.50. Further information on the Seashore Centre can be found at www.countryside-trust.org.uk
Torre Abbey is giving you the opportunity to create your own fossils using clay and plaster in their LearningLab. Taking place on Tuesday 31st May, it costs £2.50 for children. They encourage children and families to learn together and parents are welcome to join in and help. Also from 28 May – 29 May why not take part in creating Street Art Fossils. Throughout the weekend, artist David Harbott will be drawing giant fossils in colourful chalks and pigments on the ground by the LearningLab and Torre Abbey tea room, and he will be inviting artistic visitors of all ages to join him. For full details of all the events Torre Abbey are running go to www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/
There’s lots more for children to enjoy. Brixham Heritage Museum has workshops to create colourful mosaics of an Ice Age animal as well as making one to take home. Kents Cavern is, of course, a hugely significant part of our Geopark and they will be hosting a Dino Quest and Torbay’s first ever Stone Age Games. You will need to use all your primitive skills to take part in each activity and receive medals at the end of the day. Torquay Museum is also hosting events to coincide with the Geopark Festival. They will be hosting ‘Torbay Rocks’ in which they would like you to Join them to celebrate all things geological! Become a fossil hunter for the day with activities including a museum trail, rocks & fossils handling sessions, craft activities, games and storytelling. It takes place between 28th May and 5th June from 11.00am-3.00pm and the activities will carry a small charge. Visit www.torbaymuseums.com for details of all their events.
GeoPlay Park Free Fun Day
On Thursday 2nd June, the GeoPlay Park in Paignton will be holding a free Play Day from 11am-2pm. The park, which is free to use, was built in 2012 and is divided into 4 areas for different age groups and different play experiences. These 4 areas also tell the story of the four critical geological time periods in Torbay’s history. The toddler area represents the Devonian Period, the Carboniferous Period is represented in the Junior Area. The sand and water play area shows the Permian Period and then we skip to the Quaternary period which is the teen play. This is the largest area of the park and has the zip wire, towers, play huts, a six way swing, climbing logs and stilts, climbing trees and a life-size sabre tooth tiger.
The picnic seating area houses a story-telling chair featuring a geological timeline explaining all of these important aspects of Torbay’s geological history. There will be lots of free activities for children as well as taking time to play on the fantastic play park. Play on the zip wire, towers, play huts, a six way swing, climbing logs and stilts and climbing trees.
For full details of all the events taking place during the Festival, visit www.englishrivierageopark.org.uk
You can discover lots more things to do with the family this May half term at www.tlh.co.uk/aztec-leisure