Events for Children and Young People

HAYDAYS brings audiences together with authors, poets, illustrators and performers in a varied range of events for children and young adults, to engage and inspire reading for pleasure and understanding other people's lives and experiences. Find all your favourite authors plus some new discoveries below. To find more events and workshops for students visit our Education page

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Event HD1

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Cressida Cowell

Creativity & Magic

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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Join Cressida Cowell, bestselling author-illustrator of the much-loved How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once series, in her final festival appearance as UK Waterstones Children’s Laureate. Cressida talks about her books and their inspirations, dragons, wizards and sharing writing and illustration tips. She will also be giving Hay an exclusive sneak peek of her sketchbooks and will read from her new book series, Which Way to Anyway.

Family, 8+ years
This event has taken place
Cressida Cowell

Event HD2

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

BBC World: Click Live from Hay Festival

Centenary Innovation Special

Venue: Marquee
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Over its 100 years, the BBC has pioneered many now-ubiquitous technologies. The BBC’s tech programme, Click, looks at some of the remarkable stories of innovation from the BBC microphone to the famous ‘pips’. In this special show from Hay Festival, host Spencer Kelly brings together a panel of guests to unpack the history of BBC tech before looking to see what the future may hold.

Family, 8+ years
Unreserved seating
This event has taken place
BBC World: Click Live from Hay Festival

Event MT1

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Make & Take Crafting

Morning Session

Venue: Make & Take Tent
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An opportunity to get crafting! Activities differ every day, including everything from print-making to junk modelling with recycled materials. Get messy and creative: your imagination is the limit.

Book for the session and you can drop in at any point during the 2.5 hour duration. An accompanying adult must attend at all times but does not require a ticket.

3–11 years
This event has taken place
Make & Take Crafting

Event HD3

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Jacqueline Wilson

The Magic Faraway Tree

Venue: Festival Friends Stage
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Join Jacqueline Wilson on a magical adventure into Enid Blyton’s Enchanted Wood. A lifelong fan of Blyton and The Magic Faraway Tree series, Jacqueline has written a new Faraway Tree exploit to delight readers of all ages. There are new and familiar faces to meet and a whole new set of fantastical worlds for readers to explore. Jacqueline Wilson is one of Britain’s bestselling children’s authors. She writes for a wide age range and has legions of fans both in the UK and around the world.

7+ years
This event has taken place
Jacqueline Wilson

Event HD4

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Dom Conlon

Wild Wanderers

Venue: Starlight Stage
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With the aid of a giant world map, Dom Conlon takes children on a journey through the natural world to see how hares adapt to climate, how sharks protect the air we breathe, how the wind brings life to the Amazon rainforest and how life without light would be a difficult thing. Children will leap across the room and make their own Wild Wanderer stories to take away.

3+ years
This event has taken place
Dom Conlon

Event HD5

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Michael Morpurgo talks to Julia Eccleshare

When Fishes Flew

Venue: Starlight Stage
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A chance to hear Michael Morpurgo, bestselling author of War Horse and Private Peaceful, talk about his novel When Fishes Flew, a sweeping story of love and rescue. A memorable journey to the Greek island of Ithaca, and back in time to World War Two, it’s an unforgettable hymn to personal courage, quiet heroism and the legacies of storytelling.

Australian-Greek girl Nandi travels to her ancestors’ home in Ithaca, and discovers, through a friendship with an extremely unusual flying fish, the extraordinary story of her great-aunt Elena and how she became an unsung hero of World War Two – and still is…

Family, 9+ years
This event has taken place
Michael Morpurgo talks to Julia Eccleshare

Event HD6

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Daniel Morden

A Ship of Fools

Venue: Cube
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Award-winning author and storyteller Daniel Morden tells tales from long ago with relish, passion and gusto. Expect magic spells, flying ships, mysterious strangers, dastardly kings, calling out, joining in, foolishness and terrible jokes.

Family, 6+ years
This event has taken place
Daniel Morden

Event MT2

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Make & Take Crafting

Afternoon Session

Venue: Make & Take Tent
Read more

An opportunity to get crafting! Activities differ every day, including everything from print-making to junk modelling with recycled materials. Get messy and creative: your imagination is the limit.

Book for the session and you can drop in at any point during the 2.5 hour duration. An accompanying adult must attend at all times but does not require a ticket.

3–11 years
This event has taken place
Make & Take Crafting

Event HD7

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Lemn Sissay and Greg Stobbs

Don’t Ask the Dragon

Venue: Starlight Stage
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You’re invited to Alem’s birthday party, but where will he be celebrating? Maybe the bear, the fox, the treefrog or the bulldog know? But don’t ask the dragon… or he will EAT you! Join Lemn Sissay and Greg Stobbs for a fun, interactive reading with colouring activities from their new picture book – a heart-warming story about finding joy and home wherever you are.

Family, 4+ years
This event has taken place
Lemn Sissay and Greg Stobbs

Event W2

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Workshop with Linda Davies

Money: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Venue: Summerhouse
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What every young person needs to know. Join this interactive workshop with bestselling author and financial empowerment guide Linda Davies, where you’ll learn how to create a healthy relationship with money.

14+ years
This event has taken place
Workshop with Linda Davies

Event HD8

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Lenny Henry talks to Nathan Bryon

The Boy With Wings

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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Join actor, comedian and author Lenny Henry as he talks about his brilliantly funny, action-packed adventure story The Boy With Wings. Twelve-year-old Tunde is an average kid with average friends whose life is turned upside down when, in the middle of a football match, he leaps for the ball and stays in the air – on an enormous pair of wings. He discovers newfound powers and a secret past, and finds out how an average kid can become an extraordinary hero.

9+ years
This event has taken place
Lenny Henry talks to Nathan Bryon

Event HD9

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Smriti Halls

Who Are You?

Venue: Cube
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Join award-winning author and former BookTrust Writer in Residence Smriti Halls for a fun-filled event, jam-packed with games and storytelling. First, it’s all about you as Smriti introduces her new picture book Who Are You? which celebrates the pieces, places and people that make us who we are. Discover Smriti’s inspiration and draw a doodle that represents you.

3+ years
This event has taken place
Smriti Halls

Event MT3

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Make & Take Crafting

Morning Session

Venue: Make & Take Tent
Read more

An opportunity to get crafting! Activities differ every day, including everything from print-making to junk modelling with recycled materials. Get messy and creative: your imagination is the limit.

Book for the session and you can drop in at any point during the 2.5 hour duration. An accompanying adult must attend at all times but does not require a ticket.

3–11 years
This event has taken place
Make & Take Crafting

Event HD10

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Julian Clary & David Roberts

The Bolds Go Green

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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Give a hoot and don’t pollute! The Bolds have decided to do their bit for the planet and go green. They’re reducing, reusing and recycling as much as they can. Not all of their eco-friendly ideas are welcome though – especially when it comes to ‘watering’ the neighbours’ front garden with wee. An eventful trip to the charity shop leads to a new rescue adventure for the Bold family, and an old friend returns with an unexpected list of demands. Can the Bolds keep their cool as temperatures rise? The much-loved comedian and award-winning illustrator reveal the answer!

Age 7+
This event has taken place
Julian Clary & David Roberts

Event HD11

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Madeleine Finlay

Beetles for Breakfast

Venue: Cube
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Find out why eating insects, getting inspiration from desert-dwelling bugs and even using poo for power could help us lead more environmentally friendly lives in the future. Author, scientist and BBC presenter Madeleine Finlay will discuss some of the weird and wacky ideas scientists have to live greener. You’ll get the chance to try some insects and design your own bug-based menu.

5+ years
This event has taken place
Madeleine Finlay

Event W6

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Theraplay Workshop with Vivien Norris

Venue: Summerhouse
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Theraplay is a way of playing with your child which builds and enhances attachment, self-esteem, trust in each other and joyful engagement.The ideas can be used in everyday parenting and in any setting where relationship connection is important. It is based on the natural patterns of healthy interaction between parent and child. Join our family Theraplay group and experience what it’s like! The group will be playful, physical, personal and fun. Everyone joins in so come prepared for activity.

5+ years
A parent/carer must attend but does not require a ticket.
This event has taken place

Event HD12

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Pamela Butchart

Wigglesbottom Primary: The Talking Lamb

Venue: Starlight Stage
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It’s time to return to the hilarious Wigglesbottom Primary with superstar author Pamela Butchart. Expect mayhem, chaos and a school trip that goes a bit pear-shaped because of a lamb that’s just been introduced to Year 2. Let your imagination run riot in this laugh-out-loud event.

5+ years
This event has taken place
Pamela Butchart

Event HD13

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

David Farr talks to Francine Stock

The Book of Stolen Dreams

Venue: Cube
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Step inside the pages of an immortal adventure with master storyteller, BBC film and screenwriter David Farr and discover a truly unforgettable journey of wonder, courage and magic. One of the UK’s leading screenwriters, David has a knack for creating magical stories and this tale of a stolen book, inspired by David’s own family history, will have you riveted.

9+ years
This event has taken place
David Farr talks to Francine Stock

Event W7

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Theraplay Workshop with Vivien Norris

Venue: Summerhouse
Read more

Theraplay is a way of playing with your child which builds and enhances attachment, self-esteem, trust in each other and joyful engagement.The ideas can be used in everyday parenting and in any setting where relationship connection is important. It is based on the natural patterns of healthy interaction between parent and child. Join our family Theraplay group and experience what it’s like! The group will be playful, physical, personal and fun. Everyone joins in so come prepared for activity.

8+ years
A parent/carer must attend but does not require a ticket.
This event has taken place

Event MT4

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Make & Take Crafting

Afternoon Session

Venue: Make & Take Tent
Read more

An opportunity to get crafting! Activities differ every day, including everything from print-making to junk modelling with recycled materials. Get messy and creative: your imagination is the limit.

Book for the session and you can drop in at any point during the 2.5 hour duration. An accompanying adult must attend at all times but does not require a ticket.

3–11 years
This event has taken place
Make & Take Crafting

Event HD14

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Michael Morpurgo talks to Ian McMillan

There Once is a Queen

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Michael Morpurgo discusses his commemorative gift book There Once is a Queen, published to honour the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and gorgeously illustrated by Michael Foreman. This very special book begins with the Queen as a child, planting an oak tree with her father, and follows her story in a way that brings her historic reign vividly to life for readers around the globe, big and small.

Family, 4+ years
This event has taken place
Michael Morpurgo talks to Ian McMillan

Event HD15

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Michelle Paver

Wolfbane

Venue: Cube
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Travel back six thousand years into the Forest of the Stone Age: a world of myth, menace, natural magic and exhilarating adventure. Michelle Paver shares the secrets behind her bestselling Wolf Brother series and reveals how Torak, Renn and Wolf face their deadliest challenge yet in Wolfbane, the thrilling final book. Will this adventure be the end for Wolf?

9+ years
This event has taken place
Michelle Paver

Event HD16

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Dr Ranj

Brain Power

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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Discover how to train your brain and become the best you can be with the nation’s favourite doctor. Dr Ranj not only tells you how it works but also shows you how to train it to get better at stuff you find difficult. Following Dr Ranj’s advice will help you learn how to make the most of your brain and to keep your mind happy and healthy.

7+ years
This event has taken place
Dr Ranj

Event HD17

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Petr Horácek

A Best Friend for Bear

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Pencils at the ready in this interactive event with the award-winning picture book illustrator, creator of Puffin Peter, Blue Penguin and Silly Suzy Goose. In Petr’s new book A Best Friend for Bear, finding a best friend isn’t easy, especially when you’re a bear. How lonely Black Bear meets Brown Bear and how together they decide to search for a friend for them both is a touching story that everyone can relate to.

3+ years
This event has taken place
Petr Horácek

Event MT5

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Make & Take Crafting

Morning Session

Venue: Make & Take Tent
Read more

An opportunity to get crafting! Activities differ every day, including everything from print-making to junk modelling with recycled materials. Get messy and creative: your imagination is the limit.

Book for the session and you can drop in at any point during the 2.5 hour duration. An accompanying adult must attend at all times but does not require a ticket.

3–11 years
This event has taken place
Make & Take Crafting

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