Hello! I’m Rachael, AKA Mrs Mumbler. Two years ago I built the Hull and East Riding Mumbler website, a place dedicated to all things to do with children in our area.
I’ve been overwhelmed by how many events and activities Hull 2017 is putting on and how much is family-friendly or specifically aimed at children, so here’s my guide to what’s coming up for families over the Easter holidays (and beyond).
Season 2, Roots and Routes, has just begun and it’s already shaping up to be just as impressive as Season 1 was. It’s all about Hull as a place where people arrive and depart, and all of their stories. This is particularly close to my heart, because when I arrived in Hull in 2003 (originally from a small town in Derbyshire) I knew nothing about the city and didn’t know what to expect. I found a place full of such welcoming people and so much going on, that fourteen years later I’ve started two businesses here, have two children and I have no intention of ever living anywhere else.
Look Up has been one of my favourite parts of the City of Culture so far, and it shows this welcoming city off to its best. These outdoor artworks are all free to see and make a great addition to a day in the city centre with children. First Queen Victoria Square was taken over by the Blade, then The City Speaks came next – the artwork on the tidal surge barrier, where you speak into the lectern on the quayside at the end of Humber Street and the words appear down the west side of the tidal barrier. This is running all year until 31 December so there’s plenty of time to use it while having a look around the marina, one of my children’s favourite places (and mine too, now the new cafés, bars and galleries are open on Humber Street!).
Until 4 June, Look Up moves on to The Deep where you can find another unusual installation, this time depicting our relationship with the sea through various ocean debris being ‘washed up’ into the car parks, Washed Up Car-go. The Deep are running some great Easter events, so one of my plans for the school holidays is a trip to The Deep and to see the new Look Up piece while we’re there.
Whilst I’m around the Marina I’m going to pop along to check out Fountain17, which sounds bizarre but intriguing. It’s a range of exhibitions to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Marcel Duchamp’s controversial Fountain artwork and 200 years of British ceramic manufacturers, Armitage Shanks. I hadn’t heard of Duchamp but I do know that the bathroom at my mum’s house has an Armitage Shanks logo on so I’m wondering if there will be any bathroom-inspired art. If so, my kids will find this interesting! There will be exhibitions in Kingston Art Gallery, Studio 11 and Humber Street Gallery, which are all in Humber Street, until 14 May. There is also an exhibition in the city centre in Brodrick Gallery at the Hull School of Art and Design until 25 April.
There are a few children’s shows to choose from over Easter. Hull Truck has Finlay McGuigan’s Adventures in Storyland on 22 April, suitable for children aged 3-6 years and their families. It’s 10am-12noon, the show lasts 50 minutes but there are arts and crafts beforehand. At just £3 per child and adults going free I think this is a bargain. If you miss out at Easter, these are running once a month for the rest of the year. Hull Truck is also showing film screenings of children’s films; give them a call for details. Up at Bridlington, the Spa has a children’s show The Wind in the Willows from 19-20 April.
Albermarle Saturdays are family-friendly music workshops at the Albermarle Music Centre in Ferensway. They are free but you need to get tickets in advance. The Easter ones are actually sold out so make sure you book these well in advance for the rest of the year. I’ve got tickets to the We’re Going On A Bear Hunt workshop for me and my pre-schooler and we’re both really looking forward to it.
On Easter Saturday, there is a free event called Celebrating The Bantu People this is the start of a roadshow to celebrate the culture, creativity and food of the Bantu people. Families can go along to try various crafts, foods, music and dance. I don’t know much about the Bantu so think I’m going to take my children along to this and find out more. The roadshow will go to various locations around the city each month, the first one is on 15 April, from 1pm at Edinburgh Street Community Centre.
Another idea for the school holidays is to head down to Orchard Park and help make some parade costumes. Coming in May, The Extraordinary Orchard Park Parade promises to be a huge event. There will be extraordinary creatures on wheels, walkers on stilts plus giant puppets and bands parading through the Orchard Park Estate on 6 May. During April, families can go along and help to make the costumes and artwork that will feature in the procession at free workshops. They’re being held at St Michael’s Youth Project on Orchard Park on 12, 13, 22, 23, 26, 29 and 30 April and 4 May, at various times. You don’t need any previous experience and anyone can come along (under-14s need an accompanying adult). This will be a good one to do with my kids over the Easter holidays so that when we go to watch the parade they will know that they made a part of it and can look out for their handicrafts.
There are lots of other specific Easter events running during the school holidays at venues across our region. We love a visit to our local country houses and gardens at this time of year and most have an Easter egg hunt to do; try Burton Agnes, Burton Constable, Sewerby, Normanby Hall or Burnby Hall. Some of these country estates have been closed for the winter but are all back open again and always make for a good day out during the school holidays. There is also an Easter bunny hunt at Hornsea Freeport and it has a new attraction open, Bugtopia, so we’ll be heading for a day trip to Hornsea to do this and have a walk on the seafront (weather pending, maybe even our first paddle of the year!).
Also for Easter, Beverley Racecourse holds its first race of the season on 19 April and it’s a family race day. The Alice in Wonderland themed White Rabbit In Easterland Day is the theme with an Easter egg hunt, free chocolate eggs for all the children, live theatre from one of my favourite local children’s production companies SHE, as well as an afternoon’s racing. Under-18s go free, so pack a picnic and this makes a cheap family day out.
Looking ahead to the summer, there’s a huge variety of children’s shows and activities coming up. I’m most looking forward to another Back To Ours, the fabulous half-term festival that ran in community venues in February, which will be back for the next half-term holiday in May; plus Hull’s first children’s literature festival The Big Malarkey which is coming to East Park from 26 June to 2 July.
But for now it’s time to get out and about and enjoy Easter! There’s lots to choose from, so I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks off the school run and trying out some of the city’s latest cultural treats.
Find out more about what’s on this Easter in Hull.