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Half term holidays!
Hurray! May half term holidays are coming up next week! That means (absolutely) no school, (hopefully) plenty of Sun and (definitely) seven days to keep our children entertained and occupied. Luckily, we’ve got it all sorted for you! Here is our list of top-pick family friendly space activities that will take place over the May 2019 half term.
Warning: some driving involved, lots of space fun guaranteed!
North Edinburgh Arts, Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh International Children’s Festival is an annual 9 day celebration of theater, dance and visual art. This year it will take place in various venues across the Scottish capital from May 25 to June 02.
We are especially looking forward to seeing “Valentina’s Galaxy” (trailer) by the popular Scottish theater company Frozen Charlotte. This performance, inspired by Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, will tell the children stories of some of the famous space ladies. The show is aimed at 2-5 year old space explorers and their families. “Valentina’s Galaxy” will be shown at North Edinburgh Arts on May 25, 28, 29, 30, 31 and June 1st. Although all shows are SEN friendly, a special relaxed performance will take place on May 30.
Scottish Dark Sky Observatory, Galloway Forest Park
When it comes to stargazing, the darker is the better. Scottish Dark Sky Observatory is located in the first in the UK Dark Sky Park, and it really is dark there. The observatory will run stargazing sessions on May 27, 30 and 31st . The events will start at 10.30PM and are therefore suitable for the families with older kids. A typical evening includes short lecture, guided stargazing and telescope observations (weather permitting). Dress up warm!
Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, Halifax, West Yorkshire
Eureka! Will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing with a special Moon Mission show. The visitors will learn all about the Moon and why it’s important for future space exploration AND will be able to test their astronaut skills!
Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Macclesfield
Next week Jodrell Bank will surprise young visitors with a series of “May 2019 half term” events, such as
- Rocket Lab drop-in activities (7+) on May 25-27, 11AM-4PM
- Telescope Walking Tours (10+) on May 25-31
- Meet the Expert session (10+) on May 28-31, 1PM
- Lift Off! Science shows (7+) on May 28-31, 11:30AM and 2:30PM
- Tiny Astronauts drop-in (under 7) sessions on May 28-31, 11AM and 1PM
We’ll see you there!
National Space Centre, Leicester
Popular destination with space enthusiasts, big and small, the Space Centre in Leicester does not need introduction. Visit the Centre this half term to learn about space race, planets, constellations and other things space-y. As we are getting ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, the May 2019 half term school holidays at the Centre will be Apollo packed! Check out Apollo 10-almost there.
Tween fans of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and their parents might want to visit the National Space Centre on Towel Day, May 25th at 7:30PM for a special screening of their favourite movie. Do not forget your towel!
ELY Cathedral, Ely, Cambridgeshire
ELY Cathedral Science Festival: The Sky’s The Limit will take place between May 18 and June 09. The event will feature various exhibitions, activities and talks inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing. A hugely popular artwork by Luke Jerram called Museum of the Moon (that’s the 7 meter inflatable replica of the Moon) will be displayed in the Cathedral throughout the festival.
Some of the events the children will enjoy are
- Children’s lecture: Moon-Past, Present and Future on May 27th at 4PM
- Children’s lecture: Exploring the Universe on May 28th at 4PM
- Family friendly interactive exhibition and crafts drop-in session on May 29th, 10AM-12PM
Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge
We love a good lecture! Institute of Astronomy has an excellent outreach program and we cannot recommend their Wednesday Public Open Evenings enough. On May 29th at 7:15 PM there will be a Public event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 1919 Solar Eclipse (details below).
The event will consist of two short lectures, “Eddington, Einstein and the 1919 Eclipse Expedition” by C. Crawford (Institute of Astronomy) and “100 years of gravitational lensing” by S.Suyu (Technical University of Munich). It will be interesting for adults and older children, especially those, thinking about a profession in Astronomy.
So…What’s so special about the 1919 Solar Eclipse, you may ask?
1919 Solar Eclipse
The answer has to do with relativity! When Einstein developed his theory of General Relativity, one of his predictions was about the light deflection, i.e. that gravity affects light. The idea was around for quite some time before Einstein, but the value of the “bending” predicted by Einstein was twice as big as what’s followed from the “classical theory”. The Solar Eclipse of 1919 provided the background for the first successful measurement of the light deflection and therefore served as a confirmation of Einstein’s theory. During the eclipse two groups of astronomers led by astronomers Eddington, Dyson and Crommelin determined the positions of stars located near the solar disc. After that scientists compared the positions during the eclipse with the “real” positions of those stars taken earlier when the Sun was nowhere near. The apparent “shift” of the stars was just what Einstein predicted!
The Royal Astronomical Society, London
The Royal Astronomical Society will open the doors to the public at 11AM on Wednesday May 29th and Friday May 31st to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the confirmation of the Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Come and learn all about the famous 1919 solar observations, see the photographs of the eclipse and, weather permitting, have a peek through a solar telescope. The tickets are free but don’t forget to book a place!
Science Museum, London
Science Museum is an amazing place to visit any day of the year. In addition to the permanent exhibition, which is awesome, the museum organizes some special half-term events for the rocket scientists over the age of 6. Check out
- Fly me to the Moon science show (daily at 1.30PM and 3.30PM)
- Over the Moon workshop (daily at 12.30PM and 3.30PM)
- Apollo 10 Family Festival (May 25, 26)
- Moon Mice Workshop (daily at 11AM)
There will be a surprise for Moms and Dads and everybody over the age of 18 too! Science Museum invites Interstellar (2014) sci-fi movie fans for a special IMAX screening of their favourite film on Wednesday May 29 (7-10 PM). After the movie, the guests will have a chance to ask real astronomers all their burning questions about black holes, Universe and everything. Now, where was that childminder’s phone number?
If you don’t feel like travelling, you can organize space themed half term holidays at home! Check out our blog for space craft ideas, stargazing ideas, space coding ideas and space reading ideas. And did you know that our inflatable dome can come to you? Send us a message to find out more!