Cumbria Crack

Family activities at Windermere Jetty as Boating Pond opens

Let off steam this May half-term at Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories.

The Museum’s Model Boating Pond will open on Saturday 25 May in time for the school break. Visitors can create a mini Armada to float on the water during the free-activity ‘Dreamboats’.

Given guidance by Natasha and Lauren form the museum’s Participation and Learning team, visitors can use recycled materials to make origami inspired boats and sail them on the Boating Pond.

More activities are added into the half-term mix from Tuesday 28 May when families can learn about local schools of fish in Windermere. Get hands-on mixing up ‘pollution’ in their mini lake and then work out how to fix the problem.

The Boating Pond is quite possibly the best location for a model boating pond anywhere – overlooking England’s largest lake.

The old Windermere Fire Station has been restored and is now a location for visitors to pick up ice-creams, drinks and snacks.

There is also a brand new picnic area. Visitors can enjoy sailing their boats on the pond or enjoy the views sitting in a newly restored pavilion.

Historic steamer Osprey will run trips on Windermere throughout the half-term. Young ones can don Victorian costumes to experience what life was like on the lake in different eras. They can also explore museum galleries and crack the code with the Windermere Jetty Codebreaker game.

Kat Parker, Windermere Jetty manager said: “We are looking forward to our first May half-term at the museum.

“We are delighted that the Model Boating Pond will open in time for the holiday providing even more open space to enjoy the museum.

“On Saturday 25 May we invite families to join us at the museum to create their own boats made from recycled materials. Throughout the week there’s lots to keep local and visiting families entertained.”

Half-term activities around the Boating Pond are free. Normal admission fees apply for museum entry and Heritage Boat Trips. Museum entry: (Adults £9, Children (under 16)  £7, 1 adult family ticket (1 adult and up to 3 children £18), 2 adult family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children £27), Aged four and under free.

Over at Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry a new family exhibition opens on 18 May. Child Labour: Hidden Stories of Cumbria looks at how children as young as five entered the world of work.

The exhibition begins in the 1700s when youngsters worked in the home or on family farms. It looks at the Industrial Revolution when more than a quarter of the workforce were thought to be children.

The exhibition includes fun interactive elements to help children understand the tasks that children used to undertake: They can test their speed at sorting wood for bobbins or see if they can cram themselves into a space a miner trapper would work in.

At Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, families can get crafty and enjoy tile printing activities.

Visitors can view the amazing tiles inside the house and will then be encouraged to design their own.

Half-term events at Lakeland Arts:

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories: 


Celebrate the opening of the Model Boating Pond by making your own Dreamboat. Visitors can use recycled materials to make boats. Once shipshape these can be set adrift!

Saturday 25 May (fully guided activity) then Sunday 26 to Sunday 2 June (self-led) 10am – 5pm.


Gone Fishing:

Investigate and explore the wonderful variety of fish in Windermere. Learn about the local populations in the lake, try your hand at  fishing knots and use your imagination to create your own fish wand. There is something for everyone to learn and discover.

Sunday 26 May – Sunday 2 June 10am – 5pm


Foil Fish:

Look closely at the patterns and colours of the varieties of fish life. Observe and create your own foil fish to add to our net or take home. Self-led activities will be available in this session.

Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29, Thursday 30 and Friday 31 May 10 – 1pm.


Looking after our Lake:

A fun family friendly session looking at the three main causes for change in Windermere: Eutrophication, climate change and invasive species. This is a hands-on session that will look at causes of pollution and methods of filtration

Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29, Thursday 30 and Friday 31 May 2 – 5pm.


Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House:

Tile Printing:

Families can view the beautiful ornate tiles in the house then design their own under the guidance of the Blackwell team.

Thursday 30, Friday 31 May and Saturday 1 June 11am – 3pm.

FREE – with admission to house.

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