Katy Holland: Just when you thought it was safe to put your feet up ... it's Whitsun

Are we there yet? There's more bad news: it's too late to book that spring break on the Mediterranean

While you may be still retrieving mangled pieces of Easter egg from down the back of the sofa, schools across the country have moved on to Whitsun. That means they've locked their gates and left it up to parents to entertain our own kids.

There's more bad news: it's too late to book that spring break on the Mediterranean, the one with the spa and the 24-hour kids' club. So, unless you own a private jet, you're stuck here for the week, like it or not.

To help to soften the blow, may I suggest some short trips with your little treasures? This week, a multitude of child friendly events are taking place across the UK.

The fifth annual Festival of Fools is a good example. This celebration, held in Muncaster Castle in the Lake District (01229 717614; muncaster .co.uk), promises five days of "complete madness, mayhem and merriment" with plenty of opportunities for kids to play the fool (as if they need encouragement). It opens today and continues until Thursday, and offers circus workshops, street entertainers and stand-up comedy, as well as essential tips from experts on how to become a jester.

More alternative frolics can be found at Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire, where there are knight schools, falconry displays and even a Victorian beach complete with traditional Punch and Judy shows. For details of this and other fun educational events around the country during the coming week, English Heritage (0870 333 1181; english-heritage.org.uk) has extensive listings.

Even the Royal Horticultural Society (0845 260 9000; rhs.org.uk) is doing its bit for the kids this half term. As part of its campaign, in conjunction with The Independent on Sunday, to inspire children to get their hands dirty in the garden, the RHS has organised an abundance of fragrant events in Wisley, Surrey, including mini garden-design workshops where your green-fingered offspring can create their own miniature plots, as well as enter a budding gardeners' competition.

With all this going on, there's really no excuse not to have fun this week. Even the traditional bank holiday traffic needn't scupper your plans, because I've got that sorted for you, too.

My Way, a new initiative from the RAC, (rac.co.uk/myway), is a wonderful resource for travellers which gives alternative routes to the notoriously clogged motorways, so that you don't spend your entire day fuming in the car.

It's designed to help to make the journey part of the adventure, and you'll find suggestions for scenic routes (which have been recommended by the experts as well as other families) and some exciting things to see along the way, too.

That's half term sewn up, then. At this point I would tell you how many weeks there are until the summer holidays, but I think you've had enough shocking news for one day.

k.holland@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: International Project Coordinator / Account Coordinator

    Circa £26,500 DOE: Guru Careers: An International Project Coordinator / Accoun...

    Guru Careers: Plumber / Maintenance Operator

    £25k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Plumber / Mainten...

    Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

    £14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

    Recruitment Genius: Network Executive - Adrenalin Sports - OTE £21,000

    £19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for an exciting...

    Day In a Page

    Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

    Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

    After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
    The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
    10 best sun creams for kids

    10 best sun creams for kids

    Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
    The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

    The haunting of Shirley Jackson

    Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin