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The Independent Culture
Plague & Pox

Warwick Castle (0870 442 2375; today & tomorrow (and to 20 Feb), 10am-5pm, adults pounds 12.95, children pounds 7.95, family pounds 34

Discover how putrid medieval life could be, in a light-hearted look at disease and death in the Middle Ages. This half-term happening promises grave diggers, rat catchers and even singing plague victims.

Chinese New Year

Arcadian Centre, Hurst St, Birmingham (0121-622 5348) tomorrow, 1pm-4pm, free

Dragon dancing and displays of firecrackers ensure that this free family event to welcome in the Year of the Rooster starts with a bang. There's also music, martial arts, Chinese karaoke and a fashion show.

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street (0161-235 8888) tomorrow, 11am- 4.30pm, free

More revelry in Manchester. If the firecrackers and dragons get too much, though, head for the relative quiet of the art gallery, where there will be traditional singing, Tai Chi demonstrations, a Lion Dance and a drop-in art workshop.

Poetry of the Bog

The Museum of Science and Industry, Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester (0161-832 2244; ) today, 12noon & 3pm, free with exhibition entry (adults pounds 5, children pounds 3)

Discover more about The Mysterious Bog People of northwestern Europe in two workshops, for ages eight-plus. The workshops, featuring archaeology and poetry, are held inside the exhibition hall; tickets are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Tomorrow afternoon, the poet and archaeologist Dr Christine Finn will be exploring the poetic inspirations of bog lands (suitable for ages 12-plus, 2pm, adults pounds 2, children pounds 1. Booking advised on 0161-606 0156). The Mysterious Bog People exhibition runs until 8 May.

Jorvik Viking Festival

Museum Gardens and various venues around York (01904 543403; today & tomorrow (and to 20 Feb), times and prices vary, many events free

York's 20th annual Viking festival is in full swing. Today's highlights include Viking ships on the Ouse (11am-2pm, King's Staith, free), Vikings training for battle (10am-12noon, Museum Gardens), and a recreation of the famous Battle of Stamford Bridge (2.30pm, Eye Of York, free but limited capacity). Tomorrow, there is a chance for mini-Vikings to learn the art of defence and attack with the Vikings of Jorvik (11am, 2pm & 3pm, Coppergate, free).

Winnie the Pooh

Edinburgh Playhouse (0870 606 3424; today & tomorrow, Sat 11am, 2pm & 5pm, Sun 11am & 2pm, tickets from pounds 15.50

Enjoy stoutness exercises with Winnie the Pooh and do the Whoop-de-dooper bounce with Tigger in a new stage show, which kicks off in Edinburgh before embarking on a nine-city UK tour. The next stops for the bear and his furry friends are the Liverpool Empire (15-20 Feb, 0870 606 3536), the Sheffield Hallam FM Arena (23-27 Feb, 0114-256 5656) and the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle (2-5 Mar, 0870 707 8000). Booking recommended.