Children can keep busy over the Easter school holidays with fun activities taking place across Dudley borough.
Dudley Council is running sessions, events and challenges in parks, nature reserves, leisure centres and The Red House Glass Cone as part of its Child Friendly Dudley pledge. All Dudley borough residents aged 16 and under can enjoy free swimming sessions at Crystal Leisure Centre and Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre in Dudley from Saturday 9 to Sunday 24 April.
Young people taking advantage of the free-swimming offer must be supervised by a responsible adult aged 18 or over who should remain at the centre throughout the swim. Children under the age of eight must be accompanied in the water by an adult or responsible person over 18 years of age. One adult must accompany no more than two children under the age of eight into the swimming pool.
People who have not previously registered for free swimming must do so at www.freeswimindudley.co.uk in advance of their swim. Numbers are limited and entry will be on a first come first served basis. All children must be accompanied.
Family fun disability swims, which are designed for people with disabilities, special educational needs and ASD, will be held at Crystal Leisure Centre on Friday 15 and 22 April from 2 to 4pm and at Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre on Wednesday 13 and 20 April from 3.45 to 4.45pm. Children can use the free-swimming offer for these sessions. Children aged five to eight can join an Easter arts and crafts session at Crystal Leisure Centre on Wednesday 13 April from 2 to 3pm. The session costs £5.50 and must be prebooked at reception.
The brand-new Planet Play areas at Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre and Halesowen Leisure Centre will offer soft play sessions for children up to the age of 11 during the Easter break. Crystal Leisure Centre’s soft play will also be open for children aged seven and under. People are advised to call in advance to check opening times and availability. At the Dell Stadium, children aged eight and over can enjoy a kick about on the 3G football pitch for just £1 per child from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. People aged 16 years and above can play for just £2. The activity is not instructor led and is unsupervised. Youngsters are asked to bring their own football and must wear appropriate football boots - only moulded, screw in plastic, nylon and rubber studs under 15mm allowed. For details of pool opening times and all leisure centre activities people can go to www.dbleisure.co.uk. A 50 per cent discount is available to Options+ discount holders on some of the activities.
On Saturday 9 April, children can enjoy the popular Sticky Saturday craft activity at the Red House Glass Cone with prebooked sessions available throughout the morning and early afternoon. A drop-in craft session is also on offer from 2pm and walking tours of the site will be offered to visitors throughout the day.
Children aged eight and over can enjoy making a fused glass Easter bunny and chick at the cone on Tuesday 12 April or a fused glass volcano and dinosaur on Tuesday 19 and Thursday 21 April. The 45-minute sessions must be booked in advance, are suitable for one adult and one child and cost £16 for two people.
The cone will also offer an Easter Egg hunt session on Thursday 14 and Saturday 16 April for children aged three and over. Children will be invited to decorate an Easter bag, enjoy a craft activity and then go on a hunt around the site for a chocolate prize. Sessions are pre-book only. To book activities at the cone people should call 01384 812750.
Families can take part in the Saltwells Walk Challenge, following a gentle one-mile route around Saltwells National Nature Reserve and taking in its stunning bluebells, throughout the holidays. The route and map will be available to download and printed copies can also be picked up from the nature reserve wardens base, libraries, family centres, and Netherton Park activity centre from Friday 8 April. People can share pictures and highlights from their walk by tagging #SaltwellsStroll
On Saturday 16 April there will be an Easter event at Stevens Park in Quarry Bank from 11am to 4pm. The event will include a dog show from charity Wild Acre Rescue, face painting, Easter themed crafts workshop, live music from Cleobury Mortimer Concert Brass, market stalls and Easter themed games including an egg hunt.
Dudley council's partner the Emily Jordan Foundation Projects, which supports young people with learning disabilities and operates projects from Tintern House at the park, will have the ‘Twigs’ plant sales open during the day. The event is free to attend but there could be a charge for some activities, people are asked to walk or use public transport due to limited parking.
Sycamore Adventure Play will offer children and families an exciting space to play over the holidays with a sensory room available for younger children and those with additional needs. People can find out more at www.sycamoreadventure.co.uk
Dudley Borough Halls will be adding to the offer for children and young people with Live entertainment. Young people can enjoy Sooty's Magic Show, live theatre with Rapunzel or the popular dinosaur show So You Think You Know About Dinosaurs.
Dudley Council’s director of children’s services, Catherine Driscoll, said:
"Through our ‘Child Friendly Dudley’ agenda we have the highest ambitions for our children and young people.
"We want to create a brighter future where every child has the right to grow up in an environment where they feel safe to play, learn and grow - a place where they have access to public services and where their voice is heard and matters.
"There are lots of fantastic activities on offer this Easter for children across Dudley borough with the Holiday Activity Fun programme also offering fun and support for families receiving free school meals."
People can find out more about Dudley’s Child Friendly programme at www.dudley.gov.uk/childfriendly