Are We There Yet?: It's the season of kids' festivals

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The Independent Travel

I don't like to panic you, but it's nearly half term. The good news is that it's also the season of kids' festivals, so your little darlings can stretch their imaginations for a change.

Mini media buffs should hurry to Holland for the Cinekid Festival (00 31 20 531 78 90; cinekid.nl). Children from across Europe will converge for this annual film, television and new media festival between now and 26 October. Hundreds of children's films will be screened, while budding Spielbergs can participate in workshops on film-making. Check out Stena Line (08705 707070; stenaline. co.uk) for accommodation options: return car ferry crossings to Holland for a family of four start at £69.

Harry Potter fans should make for the the Isle of Wight, where the Steam Railway near Ryde (01983 884343; iwsteamrailway.co.uk) is holding a Wizard Week from 26 October, with daily fancy dress competitions, magic shows, and meetings with live bats. There are steam-train rides, ghost and pirate storytelling, as well as historical evening walks. Tickets include ferry crossings for day trippers for £22 for a family of four, or book accommodation through Isle of Wight Tourism (01983 831813: islandbreaks.co.uk).

But perhaps the place to be this half term is NewcastleGateshead, which is launching Juice (0191-243 8800; newcastlegateshead.com), a brand new children's festival. Event tickets start at £12 per family, and there's a lot to choose from, including children's opera and hip-hop dramas to performances of plays written by kids. There's also lots of modern art, including an interactive sculpture made of six miles of elastic. If that doesn't stretch the kids, nothing will.

k.holland@independent.co.uk

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