A festival just for youngsters will roll into town this weekend.

The Early Explorers Festival is coming to Bolton Central Library on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 March.

Families can join the team for two exciting days packed with engaging activities focused on stories for children under-five.

From sensory cinema and den making to messy play and puppet shows, there are lots of free activities to keep the little ones entertained.

See below for the full timetable

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Culture, Cllr Nadeem Ayub, said:“It’s so important that we give children access to libraries and books and encourage reading from a young age, to give youngsters the best start in life.

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“This festival is the perfect opportunity to introduce children to the library who may not have been before and welcome back regulars to take part in fun activities.”

The festival is designed to spark children's imagination and love for storytelling at the Early Explorers Festival.

This event is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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Day One

Friday 15 March, 10am – 2pm

The Gruffalo Sensory Cinema

11am - 1.30pm

Free drop-in event bringing the landscape of The Gruffalo to life through sensory play and discovery.

Play activities from 11am-1.30pm, pausing for Gruffalo film showings at 11.30am, 12.30pm, and 1.30pm.

Toddler Tales


Free drop-in session for under 5s featuring stories and nursery rhymes.

Meet Bolton’s Under 5 Providers

10am - 2pm

Come and meet organisations from across Bolton, providing information on services for children under 5 including Bolton’s Family Hubs and Speech and Language Therapists.

Spot the Dog will also be making appearances throughout the day.

Day Two

Saturday 16 March, 10am - 2pm

Den Making and Stories

10am - 2pm

Free session for children aged 2 and above to create a story woodland den and enjoy storytelling throughout the day.

A La Puppet Carte – Thingumajig Theatre

Join Thingumajig theatre as they bring stories to life through puppetry. Three performances will take place between 10am - 2pm. Free and no need to book, exact times to be confirmed on the day.

Messy Play with Sugar Lumps


Free messy play session but booking required as spaces are limited. Bookings open on Saturday 9th March in the afternoon. Tickets can booked via the Bolton Central Library Eventbrite page.



Enjoy storytelling with staff sharing their favourite stories.

Meet Bolton’s Under 5 Providers - 10am - 2pm

Organisations from across Bolton will be providing information on available services for children under 5.

Spot the Dog will also be making appearances throughout the day.

For further information about the exhibition and programme of events go to www.boltonlams.co.uk or check out Bolton Library and Museum Services socials.