With so many weeks to keep the kids entertained, the summer holidays can be an expensive time for parents, carers and relatives. In this growing digital era, there is an additional challenge; tearing children away from their iPads and games consoles, which are increasingly glued to the palms of their hands
So, how do you tempt your children to break the habit and join in with something a little different this summer? Here, we offer some ideas for fun attractions across the UK and key dates for the diary to ensure your family has a summer to remember…
Looking for something a little bit different (and completely free) that you can do from home? Geocaching is a global treasure hunt phenomenon that seems to be the latest craze. All you have to do is visit www.geocaching.com and enter your home location – or perhaps that of somewhere you’re visiting – and you will be told the coordinates of secret containers (often filled with prizes) that are hidden near you. Fact: there are 2,176,906 “caches” hidden around the world!
If you don’t already, then you need to know about Kids Week 2016! The name is deceiving as it actually lasts an entire month. From 1 - 31 August, a child aged 16 or under can see a fantastic selection of theatre shows including The Lion King and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for free when accompanied by a full paying adult. Two additional children can also go at half price. In addition, if there are no shows that take your fancy, you can also sign your children up to take part in free activities organised by the shows, or attend one of Kids Week’s stand-alone events at an iconic London theatre.
For all animal lovers, Hackney City Farm is a must-visit. There are a range of events, including music classes and pottery, hosted at the farm on a weekly basis, which can be found here. Equally, it’s open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, so you can go along and see the animals and roam around at your own leisure. Outside of London, Trentham Monkey Forest in Staffordshire is another popular attraction, as monkeys are left to play freely in the forest, just as they would do in the wild! Alternatively, a trip down to the Dorset coast will give you the chance to visit Monkey World, the ape rescue centre, where your children can get close up with orangutans, chimpanzees and various other types of monkeys. The huge grounds, which also features cafes, restaurants and play areas provides a full day of fun for the whole family and with Bournemouth beach and pier less than an hour’s drive away, why not stop off there too?
If you’re into your ancient history, there’s no better place to visit than the ‘Dinosaur Coast’, North Yorkshire, where you can join in with an organised fossil hunting trip, or visit the popular ancient Rotunda Museum and learn more about the lives of dinosaurs. If this sounds like your sort of thing, further information can be found here.
For the more sporty types and those that don’t fancy travelling into the capital city, we’d recommend trying the new craze and fastest growing sport in the UK, Foot Golf! You can try it out by visiting a number of golf courses across the UK, including these locations in Surrey, in the South East. Under 16s can play for less than £5 and family deals are also available. Other similar sporting attractions in Surrey worth a visit are Top Golf, a driving range with a gaming points system and the themed crazy golf course, Mr Mulligan’s Pirate Golf, situated across the road from one another.
Still looking for more ideas? Here are a couple of organised events to add to the diary:
- Street Feast – every Saturday, in various locations across London
- Lambeth Country Show – 16 – 17 July, Herne Hill
- Hastings Old Town Carnival Week – 30 July – 7 August
- Huddersfield Food and Drink Festival – 4 – 7 August, St Georges Square
- Bristol International Balloon Fiesta – 11 – 14 August, Ashton Court Estate
- Portsmouth International Kite Festival, 13 – 14 August, Southsea Common
- British Firework Championships, 16 – 17 August, Plymouth Hoe
- Victorious Festival, 27 – 28 August, Southsea Seafront, Portsmouth
- Notting Hill Carnival, 28 – 29 August, West London
We wish you all the best for a fun-filled summer holiday and look forward to the new term!