February Half Term at the NVA


In line with Nottingham City half term, we’re super excited to be open every day from the 16th - 25th of February. If you’re looking for things to keep the kids busy, we have an action packed schedule for families with children that covers the whole of half term! We are open all week so come along and visit the galleries, and why not book the kids onto one of our workshops while you have a couple of hours of peace in the cafe. There are limited spaces on workshops so we recommend booking in advance, but entry can be paid for on the day, subject to availability.

Pixelheads Saturday club

Saturday 17th & 24th February, 12:30 - 3pm
Weekly Saturday sessions for kids who love to make games

PIXELHEADS is a group for 8 - 16 year olds to get together every week to talk about, play AND make videogames.

Join us for game tournaments, talks from experts, reviews, workshops, masterclasses, and debates to get you thinking differently about videogames. And obviously, at the NVA we do all this whilst having THE BEST TIME.

£8 per child per session.


Hands on Science (FoSaC)

Saturday, 17th February, 10am - 6pm
As part of the Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity, we are filling our lobby with SCIENCE for the day! Join us anytime througout the day and get involved in our FREE atrium activities including:

find out how gravity affects light with this online game

discover wonders of the microscopic world Magnetic Brain Stimulation Demos – see how we can use magnets to make our bodies move

develop your problem-solving skills and see fascinating exhibits

learn what can tiny worms tell us about the future of intergalactic life

discover the wonders of human perception

Atrium activities are free and open to all. Access to NVA galleries is by admission.


Escape The Lab: A Physics Escape Room Game (FoSaC)

Saturday, 17th February, slots available throughout the day, 10am - 6pm
An international crisis, and this lab contains the only means of survival. But you’re trapped in here, and running out of time. Can you escape the lab – and save the world?

Pit your team against our physics-themed puzzles – you’ll have to work together to discover the room’s secrets and overcome its challenges!

Suitable for ages 12+. Under 16s should be accompanied by an adult.

Booking essential. TICKETS: £15 per group of 4-5


Accessible Day at the NVA (FoSaC)

Sunday 18th February, 10am - 6pm
Everyone is welcome at the NVA, but we know that our galleries can be a bit overwhelming for some of our visitors. On the 18th of February, the house music will be switched off, the volume on the arcade games turned down where possible, and there will be extra free science activities!

This activity welcomes children and families with special educational needs and disability.

Atrium activities free and open to all. Access to NVA galleries is by admission.

Engine Room: Game Maker 2

Sunday 18th February, 10am - 12pm
For kids 8+ who have a keen interest in game making and want to take it further

Come along to Engine Room, our workshop series for kids to develop their own games using Game Maker. Game Maker is a 2D game program that is recommended for people who want to start developing a game without jumping into the deep end of coding. You can move gradually from the drag-and-drop style coding bricks, to writing 'proper code’

During these sessions we’ll share an interesting GameMaker feature and assist participants in drawing sprites, fixing errors and working on their games.

Please note: Participants should already have looked at GameMaker and be ready to start developing their own games. We recommend they head over to the gamemaker website and watch the 3 minute beginners guide video, where you can also register for a free trial of gamemaker which includes a tutorial that will get them started.

Ages 8+
£10 per child per session


Arduino Automation

Programming Puppets!

Arduino Automation, programming puppets

Monday 19th & Thursday 22nd February, 10am - 2pm
For kids 8+ who have an interest in automation programming

Come and explore puppets, programming and performance. Build an automaton that responds to the world around it, in less than a day!

Using materials provided on the day, and the very popular Arduino microcontroller your child will get to explore the basics of programming to create an automaton that interacts with the world.

They will also have the opportunity to exhibit their creations during the Nottingham Puppet Festival 2018!

£8 per child per session

Pixelheads: getting started with scratch

Wednesday 21st February 10am - 1pm
A beginners workshop for kids who want to learn their first programming language

Join us for an intro to Scratch, a 3 hour workshop for kids who want to learn their first programming language

Scratch is a visual programming language that allows you to easily create playable games, and offers a stepping stone into the more advanced world of computer programming.

This introductory workshop will teach the basics of Scratch. Students will be guided in designing and writing their own scripts, creating characters and experimenting with motion, looks, sound, data, events, control, and operators.

No previous programming knowledge is needed, just ideas and enthusiasm!

Age 8+
£25 per child per session

Pixelheads: Pixel art Animate!

Wednesday 21st February 2pm - 5pm
For kids who want to learn how to design and animate pixel art

Creating or modifying pixel art characters or objects for videogames (sometimes called 'spriting') is an art form that everyone can have a go at. This workshop will show you how to create pixel art on the computer, and how to create multiple looks to create sprite animation. Bring a USB stick with you so that you can take your creation home and continue to develop it.

Age 8+
£25 per child per session


Pixelheads presents: Light Night

Friday 23rd February 6pm - 8pm

As part of the Light Night celebrations we are opening our doors to showcase Light, Sound and Creativity in Videogames! We will be having an ever-changing projection of light affected by YOU! And your movements!

Join us and make your own DIY videogame controllers that affect a unique projection of light and sound.

You will also have an opportunity to try out our Virtual Reality Experience completely Free!* We will be letting individuals have 10 minutes time slots to paint in 3 Dimensions on a wonderful game Tilt Brush.

No booking necessary, this is a free event open to all ages!

*Please note there are limited slots available for the virtual reality experience and are allocated on a first come first served basis. Please arrive early to book your slot!



Friday 23rd February 1pm - 6pm
This event is taking place at the Nottingham Conference Centre, Burton Street, NG1 4BU.

Where writing and gaming come together.

Want to be a writer? Want to be a games designer?

Join us for a free afternoon of imagination and imagination and inspiration, with special guests, author masterclasses, workshops and the chance to play new Storysmash games developed by local creators.

Storysmash has assembled a fantastic line up of award-winning authors and writers. Find out what inspires them and take the opportunity to get advice into helping with your stories and characters.

To learn more about our full workshop schedule for kids, head over to the Pixelheads page.