Iron Age

Here’s a few ideas to keep bored kids occupied.

ironbridgeThe school holidays are nearly upon us, and if you’re wondering how to keep your children occupied, there’s plenty going on in and around Ironbridge, the world heritage site that’s on our doorstep.

For starts you can join a drop-in workshop to design and make your own Space Racers using simple craft materials at Enginuityduring the summer school holidays between Saturday, 21st July and Sunday, 2nd September.  Afterwards, there’s the opportunity to test your Space Racer over Enginuity’s ‘Martian Terrain’ and see how it competes against other models. The daily sessions will run from 10.30am until 3.45pm and cost £2.50 per Space Racer for materials plus admission.

You can also watch an interactive show about the wonders of space and play with the huge hands-on exhibits at the Enginuity design and technology centre to discover how everyday things work. Find out how to control a ‘river’ to generate electricity, pull a 10 ton locomotive, build an earthquake-proof tower and challenge a robot.

Open 10am to 5pm, Enginuity is one of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums.

If building spacecraft isn’t your thing there’s the opportunity to dress up as Alice in Wonderland or another character from the famous book and go along to Blists Hill Victorian Town, which will be hosting a themed event over the weekend of 21st – 22nd July based on the Victorian novel by Lewis Carroll. The book tells the story of seven-and-half-year-old Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world.

Watch scenes from the book performed by costumed characters from the Sundial Theatre Company around the town, including the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, which starts at 2pm in the Pleasure Gardens. Young visitors can follow a trail around the town to find the Cheshire Cat.  There will be a prize of a portrait by the Victorian Town’s own photographer for the visitor who comes in the best costume from the book. In addition, on Sunday, 22nd July Keith Wright of the Lewis Carroll Society, will give a fascinating and information talk about the ‘Real Alice’.

Or if you fancy emulating another character from Victorian fiction there’s a chance for budding amateur sleuths and private detectives to meet Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson when they return to Blists Hill for the Detectives Weekend on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th August, following their recent attempts to solve a serious crime in London.

The intrepid duo and their housekeeper Mrs Hudson, from 221b Baker Street in London’s West End, will arrive at the Town in a Hansom Cab drawn by a pair of black Friesian horses. Meet them outside the Print Shop at 12noon and 2pm and hear more about the mystery from the famous detective and his side-kick, and maybe offer some crime busting suggestions of your own.

You can also follow a trail of clues around the open-air museum and put your powers of deduction to the test as you search for some lost objects – anyone finding all the missing items can collect a small reward from the Post Office.

Enginuity and Blists Hill are two of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums. An Annual Passport Ticket allowing entry into all ten museums, valid for twelve months and unlimited return visits, costs £23.25 per adult, £18.75 for 60+, £15.25 for students and children and £64 for a family of two adults and all their children aged up to 18 years in full time education (terms and conditions apply); under 5s free. Activities and workshops vary day-to-day and some carry an extra charge in addition to the museum admission fee. Individual museum entry tickets are also available.

For further information, contact the Ironbridge Visitor Information Centre on Tel: 01952 433 424 or visit

The Gorge is easily reached via the M6 and M54 motorways exiting at Telford (M54 junction 4 or 6).