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Top 5 Family Friendly Public Art Trails

Ever thought your hometown would be a bit more exciting if it was invaded by an army of penguins? Or a host of hopping hares? If yes, then you’re in luck! There are some great public art trails lined up this summer, where you can have some family fun searching for sculptures around your city!

Minerva’s Owls, Bath
Hoo hoo’s ready for a parliament of owls to descend on Bath this summer? Named after the goddess of wisdom and hence celebrating Bath’s Roman heritage, Minerva’s Owls will take up their perches across the city on 25 June to celebrate 10 years since Gitte Dawson’s King Bladud’s Pigs trail, to raise footfall to the city, and later raise money for charitable causes at auction in October. Whilst the birds have been produced with innovative 3D scanning and printing technology at the University of Bath, they will each be individually decorated by different artists, including Chris Packham, BBC’s TV and Wildlife presenter. If you think owls are a proper hoot, and can’t get enough of the clever creatures, also head to the Roman Baths Museum, where you can see the stone owl that was carved into the pediment of the Roman Baths Temple, which was dedicated to Minerva in 1AD.

Image Credit: Minerva's Owls of Bath 2018 via Twitter
Miverva’s Owls runs round the city of Bath from 25 June – 10 September 2018.
Hare Trail, Cotswolds
For another Roman inspired trail, head to the Cotswolds for their Hare Trail as part of the Cotswolds Hare Festival! The Cotswolds have a significate association with the brown hare, with the town of Cirencester being the original home of the famous Roman Hare Mosaic, which you can view in the Corinium Museum. The Hare festival has been running since 2014, and this year you can hop, skip and jump around the county to try to find over 130 hare sculptures decorated by different artists. You can download the trail guide from the internet, and even enter a prize draw for an 18 inch Leveret if you find over 20 hares, or your own 5 foot hare if you find all 130!

Image Credit: Cotswolds AONB Hare Trail via Twitter
The Cotswolds Hare Trail runs throughout the county from 22 May – 9 September 2018.
Gromit Unleashed 2, Bristol
If you’re just crackers about Wallace and Gromit, head to Bristol for its third Aardman inspired public art trail. Following on from Gromit Unleashed in 2013, Gromit Unleashed 2 sees the return of everyone’s favourite animated pooch, to raise money for Bristol Children’s Hospital. Featuring over 60 giant dog sculptures decorated by famous artists, designers and local talents – 2013 decorators included the likes of Sir Quentin Blake, Cath Kidson and Nick Park himself - this year Gromit is also joined by his trusty inventor friend Wallace, as well as the pesky penguin Feathers McGraw.

Image Credit: Pata Negra via Twitter

Gromit Unleashed 2 runs in Bristol from 2 July – 2 September 2018.
Worcester Stands Tall, Worcester
A collaboration between St. Richard’s Hospice and Wild in Art, Worcester Stands Tall aims to celebrate the artistic talents of Worcester and beyond, by inviting people of varying experience to create a vast collection giraffe sculptures to grace the city, in locations including in Worcester’s famous cathedral. But why giraffes? There certainly aren’t many roaming free in the Worcestershire countryside! Worcester Stands Tall explains the lofty decision by stating “Giraffes are majestic, but elegant, gentle but giant. They are sociable creatures but do not form herds, instead they meet in changing groups each day, rather as we do in our own communities.”

Image Credit: worcesterstands via Instagram
Worcester Stand Tall runs in the city of Worcester from 9 July – 16 September 2018.
Maggie’s Penguin Parade, Dundee
Another collaboration with Wild in Art, Maggie’s Penguin Parade welcomes 80 giant penguin sculptures to the Dundee region for the whole summer, culminating in farewell events on 22 and 23 September. They will then go to an auction to raise money for Maggie’s Centres, which offer social and emotional support for people with cancer and their families. There is an accompanying learning programme in which schools will each get to p-p-pick up a 3ft penguin to decorate. These chicks will then accompany the main parade, displaying the creativity of the areas youngest artists.

Image Credit: maggiespenguinparade via Instagram
Maggie’s Penguin Parade runs throughout Dundee from 29 June to 23 September 2018.