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NORTHERN IRELAND PORTAFERRY, CO DOWN: EXPLORIS AQUARIA Learn the knots used by sailors in workshops on August 24-26, . All ages. Tel: 012477 28062.

CULTRA, HOLYWOOD, CO DOWN: ULSTER FOLK AND TRANSPORT MUSEUM Linen Day is celebrated on August 21 with demonstrations of flax making processes(11am-1pm and 2-4pm). Plus rare breeds show and sale, August 24-25. Tel: 01232 428428.

WALES CARDIFF: NATIONAL MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY As part of the museum's "Megabugs" exhibition, handling sessions in the insect zoo, August 20-22 and 27-29 (10am-noon and 2-4pm) plus performances by museum actors from August 17 (Tuesday-Thursday). Tel: 01222 397951 ext. 276.

SCOTLAND EDINBURGH Lots of children's shows during the festival season including: circus workshops until August 17; Winnie the Pooh, Nessie the Loch Ness Monster, The Snow Queen and Jabberwocky until August 31; Jack and the Beanstalk until August 24; Alice in Wonderland, August 19-31; Dreaming: a Midsummer Night's Dream, August 19-24; and Poems to Read to Your Parents, until August 19. Tel: Festival Fringe, 0131 226 5257.

NORTHERN ENGLAND DERBY: PICKFORD'S HOUSE MUSEUM At "Wacky Hat" days, August 20 (10-11.30am and 2-3.30pm) and August 23 (10-11.30am), four to seven-year-olds will create their own hats. Eight to 12-year-olds get their chance on August 22 (10-11.30am). Free but booking essential on 01332 255580.

CARLISLE:TULLIE HOUSE MUSEUM Children can play with toys and games more familiar to parents and grandparents, make some of their own and play hopscotch in the garden at a free drop-in day, August 19 (noon-4pm). At a paper and latex workshop, August 22 (10am-3pm), children aged eight upwards and adults will make everything from decorative bowls and theatrical props to junk sculptures using newspaper and latex glue. Tickets: Pounds 8, Pounds 6, Pounds 4. Tel: 01228 34781.

KENDAL MUSEUMS August 20, a session on useful plants for eight to-12-year-olds at the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry (11am-12.30pm). August 23, sessions on "How animals hear" at Kendal Museum for four to sevens (11am-1pm), and "Fruit and flowers in art", at Abbot Hall Art Gallery (11am-1pm). Pounds 2. Advance booking recommended. Tel: 01539 722464.

SUNDERLAND MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY Children aged five upwards can help celebrate the museum's 150th birthday at free "Rocks and Remains" sessions, August 19-20. Day one will be devoted to painting pebbles and day two to joining geologists on a fossil hunt. Under eights must be accompanied. Bookable in advance. Tel: Jo Cunningham, 0191 565 0723.

SUNDERLAND: MONKWEARMOUTH STATION MUSEUM "Leaping trolls", crafty fun for younger children, August 21, (10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30-3.30pm). Puppet-making sessions, August 23, followed by a Punch and Judy show at 2pm. Tel: 0191 567 7075.

NORTHWICH, CHESHIRE:THE SALT MUSEUM August 20 (10am-noon), "Flying machines - can you make an egg fly?" for the over sevens. Pounds 2.50 bookable in advance. Tel: Sarah Hotter, 01606 41331.

SOUTHERN ENGLAND BRISTOL ZOO GARDENS Activities for children on the theme of "Survival", August 19-September 1. Tel: Stephen Woollard, 0117 970 6176.

BRISTOL: THE EXPLORATORY Families can give their brains a workout with over 30 puzzles from around the world at Puzzle Mania running until November 4. Tel: 0117 907 9000.

NEAR PLYMOUTH, DEVON: DARTMOOR WILDLIFE PARK Daily falconry displays, close encounters of the animal kind, big cat feeding, and seal feeding plus archery, an adventure playground, and pony rides. The park has a large collection of breeding big cats including the Siberian tiger, South American jaguar, puma and lynx. Tel: 01752 837209.

LONGLEAT, WARMINSTER, WILTSHIRE On weekdays, pupils and accompanying teachers are invited to join Longleat's artist in residence, Mark Ashton-Barrett, in drawing, printing and plaster casting the human hand (they make handy bookends). Fee: Pounds 5 per child booked in advance (one teacher free with every eight children). Tel: Sarah Bew, 01985 844400.

CENTRAL ENGLAND DUNSTABLE, BEDFORDSHIRE:WHIPSNADE ZOO Daily elephant encounters and demonstrations of free flying birds of the world and Californian sealions. Special attractions are the swamp deer fawn, giraffe, wolf cubs and chimps whose births were featured on the BBC Animal Hospital: On the Hoof series. Tel: Claire Bidder, 01582 872171.

LONDON MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE, SOUTH BANK, SE1 Costumes, props and Batmobile, Batboat, Batplane and Batcave models from Batman Forever are on display during August along with storyboards from the animated Batman, film screenings and more. On August 21, 7.30 pm, there is a talk about toys in film from the 1908 Dream of Toyland to Toy Story. Tel: 0171 815 1336.

QUEEN ELIZABETH HALL, SOUTH BANK, SE1 The roof of the QEH is transformed until August 26 into the soaring domes and undulating halls of Luminarium 3, an ethereal castle in the air. Kick off your shoes and explore its extraordinary labyrinthine passages and luminous columns. Tickets Pounds 2.50, Pounds 6 (family). Under 16s must be accompanied. Tel: 0171 960 4242.

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