The Mumbler family guide to May half-term holidays

Hello! I’m Rachael, also known as Mrs Mumbler, a local mum to an energetic six-year-old boy and a cheeky three-year-old girl. I built and run the Hull & East Riding Mumbler website, a place to list and share all things to do with children in our area.

My kids and I are really getting into the swing of things now. We go into the city centre most weekends for events like the annual Hanse Festival – a fantastic recreation of a medieval street along High Street; a fabulous Hull Dance show at Central Library, We Are Monsters; or, if we have visitors, to take them on a “culture trail” around the city centre. We go around the marina, along Humber Dock Street, across to Queen Victoria Square, into Holy Trinity Square then up to the Museums Quarter –  most things are free or very cheap. It’s always been busy and Hull has a great buzz to it now, I’m loving showing it off!

 The big Hull 2017 event is Back To Ours, a variety of shows for all ages held at community venues

It only seems five minutes since the schoolkids went back after Easter but they are off again for their May half-term week from Friday 26 May. And there’s another bank holiday! So here’s my round-up of the family-friendly events and activities happening in the May half-term holiday…

The big Hull 2017 event is Back To Ours, a variety of shows for all ages held at community venues from Tuesday 30 May to Sunday 4 June. This festival first ran over February half-term and was hugely popular, so is back for another round.

For young children, there’s The Boy Who Bit Picasso, a funny, interactive theatre show based on a real-life story. Suitable for ages 3+. Tickets £2.50-£5. 

For children aged 6+ there is The Funny Thing About, a stand-up comedy show for kids

For children aged 6+ there is The Funny Thing About, a stand-up comedy show for children by James Campbell. Founder of Comedy for Kids, author of Boyface and with appearances on Blue Peter, James writes and performs jokes to get children and parents laughing out loud. Tickets cost £2.50-£5.

 WORD ON THE STREET_Vanessa Kisuule ©

For older teenagers (aged 14+) there’s Word On The Street, a spoken-word event which brings poetry at its most striking, fun and colourful to every corner of Hull. Pictured is Poetry Slam champ, Vanessa Kisuule, who’s one of the performers at these nights. Tickets cost £2.50-£5.

Another show for over-14s is Yvette, a one-woman performance with original music about a being a teenage girl. Tickets cost £2.50-£5.

Picture House also has some family films showing, with interactive, pre-show entertainment. Tickets cost £2.50:

There’s plenty on at the museums during the half-term holiday. Hull Maritime Museum has a new exhibition, Bill Bailey’s Cabinet of Curiosities, which discovers the untruths and stories behind the museum’s most intriguing artefacts.

Ferens Art Gallery has a session specifically for under-fives on Tuesday 30 May, 10am-11.30am, Mini Masterpieces are free, drop-in activities that run every school holiday, this one is all about clay. Also for under-fives is their Gallery Expedition every Tuesday morning, 10am-11.30am. For five to 10-year-olds, there’s Ferens Favourites, from Lions to Lorenzetti, another free drop-in family activity on Wednesday 31 May, 10am-noon and 1pm-2.30pm. The Hull History Centre has a History Makers family activity on Saturday 3 June, 9.30am-noon, Fish & Ships, also free to drop-in to and suitable for ages 5-10.

At the end of the school holidays is a festival that I loved last year, Assemble Fest, the annual theatre festival in Newland Avenue, on Saturday 3 June. Expect lots of pop-up theatre, shows and things for children to do and see.  Last year my kids made some lovely crafts to take home, watched some interesting shows and found it hilarious to spot very randomly dressed-up characters throughout the day! We’ll be going again this year. Tickets for individual shows cost £3.50 in advance or £4 on the day and there are lots of free activities, too. 

Hull Truck has Finlay McGuigan’s Adventures in Storylandcon Saturday 27 May, suitable for children aged 3-6 years and their families. It’s 10am-noon, the show lasts 50 minutes but there are arts and crafts beforehand. At just £3 per child and adults go free I think this is a bargain. These run once a month for the rest of the year.

In Beverley on Bank Holiday Monday we’ve got tickets to go to a family show of magic, history and science at Toll Gavel United Church. Dr Dee’s Daughter and the Philosophers Stone is being put on by the National Centre for Early Music and is part of the Beverley Early Music Festival. The story is told through puppetry and using giant recorders! There’s a special Mumbler offer running to get  a free child ticket with every adult ticket bought for this event.

If you fancy a day trip, there are lots of events running at local attractions for the bank holiday weekend. Sledmere has a Yorkshire Festival running on Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday. A short drive across the Humber Bridge into North Lincolnshire is Elsham Hall, which has a children’s entertainer and car rally on Bank Holiday Sunday, and sheep shearing demonstrations on Bank Holiday Monday. Burnby Hall in Pocklington also has a children’s activity day, Go Wild, on Wednesday 31 May.

Another event we tend to go to each year is the annual Wetwang Scarecrow Festival  – nine days of scarecrow-spotting fun around Wetwang, from Saturday 27 May to Sunday 4 June. The Village Hall will be open 10am-4pm every day for refreshments, loos and scarecrow trail maps.

Beverley Racecourse has a Family Raceday with Hull FC on Wednesday 31 May.  Starting at noon, there are lots of family activities and funfair rides alongside the racing, plus the training squad from Hull FC will be there. Under-18s go free, but it could be an even cheaper day out … Mumbler is running a competition to win a pair of Premier tickets for this event.

So all in all I think we are spoilt for choice again for the next school holidays!

Looking further ahead… the big children’s event and Hulls first children’s literature festival The Big Malarkey comes to East Park from Monday 26 June.

I’ve also popped on our calendar to go to the Humber Street Gallery family event on Sunday 9 July. This gallery is very welcoming to families and has an exhibition on that my kids like going to see. This exhibition is changing soon to an interactive exhibition and the gallery is running a family event to celebrate it… so watch out for more details coming soon.

For even more event details, visit the Hull & East Riding Mumbler site.