Are your mini marauders are already running out of ways to keep themselves busy just one week into the holidays?

Then why not send any sparring siblings to the National Civil War Centre where they can properly hone their skills of devious deception this summer?

The Newark museum’s family activities programme starts today and includes performances full of pretence and cunning craftiness all on an intriguing espionage theme.

Invited to the launch of Summer of Spies earlier this month, our mini mischief makers were immediately absorbed in a task to search for 10 gold coins hidden around the Appletongate venue’s courtyard area.  Their swag could then be swapped for the chance to fire a cannon.  They obviously felt this well rewarded their efforts as they insisted on repeating the task numerous times.

But when we were finally able to prise them away from their quest for bounty they discovered lots of other ways to become duplicitous detectives.

Apprentice secret agents had the chance to learn the science behind their subterfuge by making periscopes to see round corners, cracking codes and writing messages in invisible ink.

But it’s not just ciphers that need to be secret, identities do too, and the chance to create their own disguises was the choice they made that quickly filled up the rest of their time at the evening event.

Just like last year, the minis loved sampling all the hands on activities that will featured at the centre at different stages of its Summer of Spies but the thing that impressed mummy the most were the friendly, thoughtful and helpful staff who didn’t bat an eyelid at our slightly delayed, divided and disheveled arrival but simply concentrated on getting the minis having fun straightaway.

Summer of Spies runs from July 28th to September 2nd and the centre is offering 20% off admission for families with at least one paying child during this time.

Family Craft Activities:
July 28 – August 5: Seventeenth Century Spy Kit
August 6 – August 12: Locked Letters and Secret Seals
August 13 – August 19: Cloak and Dagger
August 20 – August 26: Hide and Seek
August 27 – September 2: How To Be Invisible

Performances by either Aphra Behn: Mistress of All Trades or The Anonymous Spy take place every day (except Sundays) at 11am, noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.

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