1. Fancy a laugh? From Thursday at Madame Tussauds in London you can use a voice-altering microphone to pit your wit against the newly unveiled Jim Carrey model in a joke-telling competition (madame-tussauds.co.uk).

2. Saturday sees a host of openings around the country, including Drayton Manor Theme Park in Staffordshire. It's the setting for Europe's first re-creation of Sodor, which will have 12 rides themed on favourite characters (draytonmanor.co.uk).

3. Armada Weekend at Penshurst Place in Kent will re-create the household's preparations for the anticipated Spanish invasion of 1588. Try on Elizabethan-style clothes and meet the surgeon tending the wounded (penshurstplace.com).

4. In Wales, Artes Mundi 3 opens on Saturday at the National Museum Cardiff. The exhibition of contemporary art from around the world will also offer free family events until it closes on 8 June (artesmundi.org).

5. In Scotland, the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, is running an afternoon of cosmic activities on Saturday. Astro Fun includes Starlab planetarium shows, comet-making, rocket-launching and rocks from space sessions (rbge.org.uk).



s.kane@independent.co.uk

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