School’s out for the next two weeks and Nottingham City Council has lots of fun events for all the family to enjoy – many of them free.

The aim is to offer things that keep children and teenagers active, while representing really good value for Nottingham families.

Some of the events have been arranged specifically for half-term but others are run all year round by the City Council through its Play and Youth teams.

These include activities for those eager to learn new skills, while others take place in the city’s award-winning parks and open spaces.

Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years, said: “We are committed to providing a wide variety of things to do in the school holidays for families in Nottingham, and I’m pleased to see so many fun, positive, educational and good-value activities available.

“In the face of continual and significant cuts to our budgets by Central Government, our play, youth and children’s centre programmes continue to run across the city. We also work with the voluntary sector to provide further events for young people.

“It’s so important that we provide as many opportunities as possible for families to spend quality time together, especially the chance to get out and be active. I’d encourage everyone to head to their local children’s centre, library, leisure centre or park.”

With eight adventure and play centres and 18 children’s centres across the city offering a range of free and low-cost services and activities for families and their children, there should be something for everyone.

Services at children’s centres can vary according to the needs of the local community, but all provide links to childcare, family support and a range of parent and toddler activities. They each have support teams who work with children and young people from birth to 19 and their families, offer play and youth activities, plus support in areas including disability, mental health, emotional wellbeing and school attendance.

Below are a flavour of some of the activities run by the council’s children’s centre, youth and play staff:

AspleyBroxtowe and Bilborough

  • Stay, Play and Learn – Music – Come and make some noise at Aspley Children’s Centre, Friday 21 October, 10.30am-12.30pm

Sherwood and Edwards Lane

  • Stay, Play and Learn – Fitness – fun and physical activity for all the family, Edwards Lane Community Centre, Tuesday 18 October, 11.30am-12.30pm
  • Celebrating Difference and Cultural Awareness – take part in the parade for five to 13-year-olds, try on costumes, play instruments and sing cultural songs, Forest Fields Play Centre, Friday 21 October, 3.30pm-5.30pm


  • Autumn walk with Nutrition Team – walking to Flower Park and back for lunch from Clifton Young People’s Centre, Wednesday 19 October, 11am-2pm (meet at 10.45am) booking essential, call 0115 876 2625
  • Spooky Wooky Party – all welcome for fun event at Clifton Young People’s Centre, Thursday 27 October, 12 noon-2pm, booking essential, call 0115 876 2625

Bestwood, BasfordTop Valley and Bestwood Park

  • The Ridge Adventure Playground – arts and crafts for five to 11-year-olds at the venue in Ridgeway, Saturday 29 October, 1pm-3pm, come and enjoy popcorn on an open fire, call 0115 876 1890
  • Fun events – games for 11 to 19-year-olds, including archery, arts and crafts, pool table, games console, table-top games, The New Whitemoor Baptist Church Hall, Whitemoor Avenue, Tuesday 25 October, 7pm-9pm

The Meadows

  • Messy Play – come and have fun making mess, Meadows Children’s Centre, Kirkby Gardens, Tuesday 18 October, 10.30am-12 noon, call 0115 876 1320
  • Spooky Party – fancy dress welcome, Meadows Children’s Centre, Kirkby Gardens, Wednesday 26 October, 12 noon-2pm, booking essential, call 0115 876 1320

Bulwell and Bulwell Forest

  • Play, Stay and Learn – Messy!, Messy!, Messy! – explore a variety of messy play activities which stimulate children’s learning and development, Bulwell Riverside, Friday 28 October, 1pm-2.30pm

DunkirkWollaton, Lenton and Lenton Abbey

  • Craft session – try your hand at a number of creative activities, Wollaton Children’s Centre, Arleston Drive, Wednesday 19 October, 10.30am-12 noon, call 0115 876 1320
  • Spooky Wooky Party – all welcome for fun event at Dunkirk Community Centre, Marlborough Road, Monday 24 October, 12 noon-2pm, booking essential, call 0115 876 1320


  • Messy Play – get involved and get messy at Sneinton Children’s Centre, Thursday 20 October, 1.30pm-3pm, call 0115 876 1700
  • Spooky Stay Play and Learn – come and join in with your under-fives, Sneinton Children’s Centre, Friday 28 October, 10am-11.30am, call 0115 876 1700

Hyson GreenRadford

  • Stay, Play and Learn – Goose Fair theme – drop in and play at Hyson Green Children’s Centre, Gregory Boulevard, Monday 24 October, 1pm-2.30pm, call 0115 883 8202
  • Baking cakes and biscuits – put on your apron and get baking, Forest Fields Play Centre, Russell Road, Thursday 27 October, 3.30pm-5.30pm

St Ann’s South

  • Stay, Play and Learn – Babies – bring along your tots for a play session to St Ann’s Valley Centre, Tuesday 18 October, 10am-11am, call 0115 876 1700
  • Spooky Messy Play – fancy dress welcome, St Ann’s Valley Centre, Tuesday 25 October, 10am-11.30am, call 0115 876 1700

Anyone who cares for or is expecting a child can register to use the centres. For more information head to