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Fun for all the Family

The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival offers a whole host of free family activities and paid for events to keep children of all ages entertained. Our Family Programmer has brought together a world-class line up to thrill young book lovers. Putting fun first, the festival gives children and young people a chance to meet the creators of their literary heroes, see illustrations come to life and fuel their imaginations.

We have added age suitability to our events to help you decide whether they would be appropriate for the members of your family. Running times and breaks are all age appropriate. See all of our family events.

We also offer a range of spaces and places buzzing with FREE family activities and pop-up events – perfect for a family day out! The activities are planned to be accessible to as wide an age range as possible: so they can be enjoyed and appreciated by all members of your family.

Secret Seven Mystery Trail

4 – 13 October, 10am – 4pm

Take part in our Secret Seven Mystery Trail celebrating 70 years of the world’s favourite detective club! Just pick up a quiz sheet from the John Lewis & Partners Trail Tent and follow the trail through The Woodland Trust Wild Wood.

The Den

5-6 & 12-13 October, 10am – 4pm

Join in with our free craft activities for ages 4–12 and their families. Become part of our living library, create antiquarian book creatures or join the Mad Hatter’s table to fashion a fabulous Festival hat!


The Woodland Trust Wild Wood

5-6 & 12-13 October, 10am – 4pm

Meet your favourite book characters, enjoy storytelling and visit the Woodland Trust hut for games, activities and more.

Saturday 5 October

Character Meet and Greet
10am – 10.30am
11.30am – 12pm
2pm – 2.30pm
3pm – 4pm

Circus Skills
10.30am – 11.30am
12pm – 1pm
1.30pm – 2.30pm
3pm – 4pm

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt with Sophia Lanciano
10.30am – 11am
12.30pm – 1pm
1.30pm – 2pm

Pirate Pandemonium with Louby Lou Stories
11am – 11.30am
12pm – 12.30pm
1pm – 1.30pm
2.30pm – 3pm

Sunday 6 October

Character Meet and Greet
10am – 10.30am
11.30am – 12pm
2pm – 2.30pm
3pm – 4pm

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt with Sophia Lanciano
10.30am – 11am
12.30pm – 1pm
1.30pm – 2pm

Circus Skills
10.30am – 11.30am
12pm – 1pm
1.30pm – 2.30pm
3pm – 4pm

Post a Story with Lucy Walters
11am – 11.30am
12pm – 12.30pm
1pm – 1.30pm
2.30pm – 3pm

Saturday 12 October

Character Meet and Greet
10am – 10.30am
11.30am – 12pm
2pm – 2.30pm
3pm – 4pm

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt with Sophia Lanciano
10.30am – 11am
12.30pm – 1pm
1.30pm – 2pm

Circus Skills
10.30am – 11.30am
12pm – 1pm
1.30pm – 2.30pm
3pm – 4pm

Mysterious Stories with Vanessa Woolf
11am – 11.30am
12pm – 12.30pm
1pm – 1.30pm
2.30pm – 3pm

Sunday 13 October

Character Meet and Greet
10am – 10.30am
11.30am – 12pm
2pm – 2.30pm
3pm – 4pm

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt with Sophia Lanciano
10.30am – 11am
12.30pm – 1pm
1.30pm – 2pm

Circus Skills
10.30am – 11.30am
12pm – 1pm
1.30pm – 2.30pm
3pm – 4pm

Doggy Doodles with Shoo Rayner
11am – 11.30am
12pm – 12.30pm
1pm – 1.30pm
2.30pm – 3pm

The Chatterbox

4-13 October, 10am – 4pm

Drop into the Chatterbox and become a secret agent, decoding mysterious messages. Create your own detective mask and then head out on a secret kindness mission.

John Lewis & Partners Trail Tent

5-6 October & 12-13 October, 10am – 4pm

On either Festival weekend, take part in our wonderful Bedtime Story sessions and get your trail sheets for the Secret Seven Mystery Trail here!