School’s out for summer. But while as kids beat their chest with joy, there is more than one parent in a cold sweat about how to keep them busy. Well, fear not as you’ll be on to a winner with a varied hive of activity and theatre at the Mill.

Among the treats on offer are a Wizard Workshop and programme of shows for kids aged three to 12 – sure to earn you cultural brownie points, even if you do rely on the telly for the rest of the holidays. “Families depend on us to get the holidays off to a good start with some stage entertainment as a traditional holiday treat for the children,” said the Mill’s programme manager Deborah Clarke.

“Once again we’re confident that our selection of colourful, entertaining specialist theatre will inspire our family audience in the wonderful, sociable surroundings of the Mill Theatre.”

The fun starts next Thursday, July 26, when Tall Stories Theatre Company presents The Snail and The Whale, a stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved picture book. It tells the story of a snail who hitches a lift on the tail of a humpback whale and goes on an amazing journey.

On Wednesday, August 1, The Three Billy Goats Gruff is staged by the talented actors of Garlic Theatre. From the start of this morning show the children are involved in the action, sitting on either side of the stream as the story unfolds. This production offers beautifully crafted puppets, live music and comedy and is suitable for youngsters from three to six years old. In the afternoon the company presents Fiddlesticks – in which a violin takes on human form with limbs and eyes, a smile as wide as its body and a fingerboard that curls above its head. The stars of Garlic Theatre’s wonderful show are made out of gorgeous old violins.

And on Thursday, August 9, there is all kinds of magic afoot when the Magic Carpet Theatre Company performs The Wizard of Castle Magic. Things will never be the same when the Wizard’s nephew and an invisible cat arrive at Castle Magic. Magic, mystery and a secret in the Spell Chest all feature in this ‘spooky and hilarious’ play.

The company will share the secrets of how to make things float and disappear in the air in a separate Wizard’s Workshop at 11am. Materials will be provided and organisers promise participants will be able to amuse and amaze their friends afterwards with their newfound skills.

The workshop is suitable for children from seven to 12-years.

n For more details about any of the shows, visit www.themillarts or call the box office on 01295 252050.