Create something new during the Easter break at the Ironbridge Gorge Museums.
Throughout the school holidays at Blists Hill Victorian Town, 30th March – 15th April, visit the town’s Print Shop and learn how the development of the printing press changed the world, then head to the Good’s Shed and have a go at designing and printing a poster to take home.
There will also be lots of other fun activities at Blists Hill keeping families entertained. Join the Town’s Ranger to see chicks’ eggs being kept warm in the incubator and discover how to see inside the eggs. If you are lucky watch the eggs hatch and maybe hold a baby chick! Then find out how chocolate eggs are made by the experts in the cottage next to the Sweet Shop and follow a family trail around the Town and woodlands searching for the hidden Easter bunnies.
In addition, special events over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend only, 30th March – 2nd April, include the unusual Victorian pastime of egg dancing and an Easter bonnet parade. The highlight of the Easter programme will be a visit by the Man Engine, the largest mechanical puppet ever constructed in Britain, on Saturday, 14th April when it will be the ‘star’ of spectacular daytime and evening events. Weighing nearly 40 tonnes, the Man Engine crawls at 4.5m high and ‘transforms’ to stand at nearly 12m. Tickets should be purchased in advance.
Get creative at Enginuity, near Ironbridge and join workshops which use pneumatic power and craft materials to make fun bunnies that pop out of their burrows and eggs that crack open to reveal the goodies inside. Afterwards play with the interactive exhibits at Enginuity and follow a self-led family trail to find the hidden Easter bunnies.
Go along to Coalport China Museum and join family workshops to paint or sculpt chicks and bunnies. Young artists can decorate a money box, fridge magnet or paper plate with baby animals using quick drying paint. In addition, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can also try your hand at sculpting with air-drying clay to make a nest with a baby chick or a young rabbit in a burrow. Afterwards explore the museum’s many galleries following an Easter themed family trail.
Over at Jackfield Tile Museum you can create your own Easter themed designs at family drop-in tile decorating workshops Monday to Friday, 2nd – 13th April. Motifs can be as colourful and original as your imagination allows, perhaps an Easter bunny, baby chick, chocolate egg or a bouquet of spring flowers. The Victorian tube lining technique will be used to decorate the tiles, which is just like icing a cake! Once you’ve piped on the design you can add colourful glazes, then leave your tile at the museum where it will be fired in a kiln and posted to your home; or you can collect it from Jackfield if you live nearby. Tiles are priced from £5 each plus p&p extra to have your tile sent home after firing.
A great value Annual Passport Ticket allowing multiple visits into all 10 Ironbridge Gorge Museums costs £26.50 per adult, £20.50 for seniors, £16.50 for children (16 years or under), £70 for a family of two adults and all their children and £50 for a family with one adult; under 5s free (terms and conditions apply); Passports can also be bought online in advance saving 5% and individual entry tickets are available at each museum. Activities will vary from day-to-day and some additional costs will apply.
For further Easter activities and information, call the Ironbridge Tourist Information Centre on 01952 433 424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk. The Gorge is easily reached via the M54 motorway exiting at Telford junction 4 or 6.
Publishers of Staffordshire Living Magazine