A 21st-CENTURY space capsule, ancient poo, newborn lambs and a horde of Vikings are among the highlights of the half-term activities on offer in and around Ryedale.

Families looking for things to do during the week-long break are spoilt for choice as attractions pull out all the stops to bring in visitors.

Here's a selection of events and activities coming up:

1. Castle Howard is offering children the chance to explore the gardens with an illustrated spotter sheet, to discover the wildlife and plants. They can also let off steam at the adventure playground and refuel at the Boathouse Café.

2. Helmsley Arts Centre has a whole host of activities for the little ones from puppet theatre, circus skills workshops to cinema.

3. Beck Isle Museum in Pickering is offering families the opportunity to take part in Valentines Crafts on February 12 and Fossil Hunters on February 16. On traditional craft days visitors can see the museum brought to life as our skilled volunteers demonstrate traditional rural crafts, from paper quilling and rag rugging to crocheting and butter making.

4. Activities on offer at Nunnington Hall, near Helmsley, include making bird feeders and bird boxes.

5. If older children need a bit of tiring out, you could let your little monkeys swing through the trees with the zip wires, ladders and Tarzan swings at Go Ape in Dalby Forest

6. The Jorvik Viking Festival - the Vikings’ annual invasion of York - runs from Monday to Sunday, with the traditional parade on Saturday, February 17. This year’s event is celebrating the arrival of the Norse invaders in 866AD, when the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Eoforic was reborn as the Viking city of Jorvik. The event includes a real smithy where a traditional craftsman will be making arrows, living history encampments and a dramatic combat performance.

7. Other Viking-themed activities are on at the Yorkshire Museum as well as at York Minster - where children can make their own Viking-style decorations to take home on February 15.

8. The Castle Museum and York Art Gallery are focusing their attentions on the suffragettes, with a celebration of the working lives of women during the First World War and a trail to find works of art by leading female artists.

9. Tim Peake’s battered space capsule is on display at the National Railway Museum, with daily talks, and there’s also a range of other activities at the museum for budding astronauts, including Space Code:ettes - where kids can discover the coding behind space exploration - an astronaut training school challenge, and virtual reality (VR) sessions.

10. There will also be a customised double-decker on Parliament Street, York on Saturday, which will feature VR, videos and electronic games that take a look inside a spacecraft.

11. Between Tuesday, February 13 and Saturday, February 17, York Theatre Royal are hosting a performance of Benji Davies’s award-winning book Grandad’s Island - aimed at five to eight-year-olds - and have a range of story sessions, drama sessions and workshops on Wednesday and Thursday.

12. There’s slightly more disgusting fun at Barley Hall, off Stonegate, York, who are holding a “Poo Day” - where kids can explore “the messier side of archaeology”, including finding out how poo is really used to crack ancient mysteries.

13. There’s also plenty going on at York Explore libraries that will keep youngsters entertained for an hour or two.

14. Piglet’s Adventure Farm in Towthorpe are offering lambing live, tractor trailer rides and dancing sheep.

15, Meanwhile, there are crafts and lantern-making at Fountains Abbey, near Ripon. Also at the abbey, you can also enjoy a guided walk of the snowdrops from 2pm on Saturday, February 17.

16. As well as bug and bird hunting, Beningborough Hall has an and an owl trail at Beningbrough Hall and other activities.

17. For those who don’t mind getting messy, Harlow Carr, near Harrogate, has a Mud & Machines trail,with activities including Worm Day and the Great British Mud Pie-off.

18. To tie in with Aardman’s latest claymation comedy Early Man - which is in cinemas now - Scarborough Castle has an early man quest where young adventurers must follow the clues and complete the quest to uncover centuries of history. There’s an Early Man mini model-making kit for successful adventurers.

19. Meanwhile, at Scarborough’s Rotunda museum, kids can learn more about dinosaur footprints in fossil sessions and make crafts linked to the Chinese new year celebrations. Chinese new year celebration at the Rotunda museum - as 2018 is the year of the dog, youngsters can make doggy charms and intricate Chinese crafts inspired by the collection.

20. At Scarborough art gallery, there are sessions for kids to dress up, get into character and jump into the paintings - all thanks to the magic of green screen technology.

21. There are more tales to be told over at Whitby Abbey, with exciting - and often gruesome - anecdotes of highwaymen, full of facts about crime and punishment in the Georgian and Regency periods.

22. Over in the East Riding, there are a number of fun storytime sessions - including readings of Timothy Knapman’s Pirates in the Supermarket - at the East Riding libraries.

More details about all of the events listed here - including dates, times, prices and booking information - can be found at the attractions’ websites.