19th Jul 2016
10 Fun Things to Do With Your Kids This Summer
Summer is nearly here and although it may feel as though the kids have only just gone back to school after the last half-term, they’ll need entertaining throughout the long summer holidays. There’s no need to break the bank though, our guide is jam-packed with great ideas to help you survive the school holidays. We have ideas for days out, plus some really simple ideas that kids will love, don’t forget we’d love to hear what you get up on our Facebook page.
Free tennis coaching
Check out Tennis for Free’s website to find out where there’s free ongoing coaching sessions in your area. https://www.tennisforfree.com/
Culture vultures can stroll through the history of art, find out about forensics or see the evolution of toys at more than 180 free museums and galleries nationwide.
Get creative in the garden
You don’t need to splash the cash on the biggest and best scooters, swings or slides. There are loads of activities you can get involved with for free, such as:
Make your own tent or hidden den
Get those tatty and unused curtains, clothes and sheets over a clothes horse and secure them with pegs for an instant tent – who needs Glastonbury? Thanks to forumite Elsewhere who posted in the Free ways to keep the kids entertained discussion thread.
Treasure hunt with small treats
With a few packs of sweets, little toys or another clue, you can bury them round the garden, hang them off tree branches or stick ’em to the fence for your kids to find.
Mini crazy golf circuit
Find pipes, trays, wood and anything in the garden to make your own mini golf circuit – just make sure you have a set of clubs!
Camp out and star gaze
For older children and if your garden’s safe and secure, then why not wrap up warm, camp out in the garden and star gaze? Hopefully you’ll be able to wish upon a star too.
Get their hands dirty with gardening
Kids will enjoy helping out in the garden or planting things of their own, making a fairy/gnome garden or creating a vegetable patch.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour, London
A great day out for all Harry Potter fans of all ages. Allow around three hours for this tour, which gives you an opportunity to browse at your own pace through the vast hangars where the films were made. Highlights include the Great Hall, Hagrid’s hut, the Gryffindor common room, the original Hogwarts Express steam engine and a recreation of Platform 9 ¾. Wander along Diagon Alley, learn the secrets behind the special effects and find out what butterbeer tastes like (buy a glass to share – it’s an acquired taste).
Price: adult £35; child £27; family £107; tickets must be purchased in advance.
Opening times: vary throughout the year; summer season mostly 9am to 10pm (last tour 7pm).
Thousands of small plastic bricks used to create “Miniland”, with London landmarks such as the Millennium Bridge, Canary Wharf and Tower Bridge. Also Lego-themed rides and adventure films within the 150-acre park.
Price: on the gate price adult £50.40; child £46.20; online discounts on advance tickets available
Opening times: from March 11; daily from April 28 until October 31; vary but generally 10am-6pm or 7pm in the summer season.
Contact: 00871 2222 001; legoland.co.uk
Dinosaur Adventure Park, Norfolk
Follow a wooded trail to find life-size dinosaurs, with Tyrannosaurus rex and vast Brontosaurus, and audio equipment used to create prehistoric grunts and roars. Also adventure play areas and farmyard.
Price: adult £10.95; senior citizen £9.95; child £13.95 until March 18
Opening times: daily 9.30am-4pm until March 18; 9.30am-5pm or 6pm until September.
Contact: 01603 876310; dinosauradventure.co.uk
Snettisham Park, Norfolk
Friendly 320-acre farm-turned-family-attraction where children can feed orphan lambs and collect eggs. A large adventure playground, deer safari, walking trails and ride-on tractors provide all-day fun.
Price: farm/deer safari – adult £12; concession £11; child £9; family £39
Opening times: daily 10am-5pm
Contact: 01485 542425; snettishampark.co.uk
National Railway Museum, North Yorkshire and County Durham
One of the best free museums in the country, across two sites, in York and at Shildon. Highlights include a Japanese bullet train, a Chinese locomotive, Queen Victoria’s railway carriage and Mallard, once the fastest steam train in the world. There is also a model railway, outdoor play area and train-ride simulator. The Shildon site has a Stirling Single from 1870 and family train rides.
Opening times: NRM York 10am-5pm daily; NRM Shildon 10am-5pm until October and 10am-4pm October-April
Contact: 08448 153139; nrm.org.uk
Chester Zoo, Cheshire
More than 11,000 animals housed in 110 acres of gardens. Newest arrivals are tiger cubs, and June sees the opening of Islands, which will recreate the habitats of six south-east Asian islands.
Price: Gate prices from £20 adults, child £16, but rates vary and are cheaper online.
Opening times: vary; mostly 10am-5pm or 6pm during the summer season
Contact: 01244 380280; chesterzoo.org
Big Pit Mining Museum, Torfaen
You really get a feel of what life was like underground on a guided tour of the mine, which starts with a 300ft descent by pit cage down the mineshaft, equipped with helmets and cap lamps. Or you can opt to take a new virtual tour of a modern coal mine. The original winding engine house, blacksmith’s forge and fan house are open to visitors.
Price: Free entry; car park £3
Opening times: daily 9.30am – 4.30pm
Contact: 0300 111 2 333; museumwales.ac.uk/bigpit/
Note: All prices are correct as at June 2016. Prices may vary at different times of the year. Please check Terms & Conditions prior to visit.