5 things to do with your children over the summer holidays
A continuation in our summer series, this week we explore the ways in which you and your family can enjoy the six week holiday, with fun activities outside your home. There’s a whole host of activities to keep your little ones entertained for a variety of tastes and budgets, so why not have a read through and get inspired in time for the school break.
Visit an adventure park
Adventure parks, be it big or small, are great fun for all the family (and a sure fire way to wear your little ones out). Of course there are a plethora of huge theme parks dotted up and down the country, from Thorpe Park and Alton Towers to Legoland, Paultons Family Theme Park and Chessington World of Adventures, these kinds of theme park are ideal for a family day out. There are also a whole host of smaller theme parks and funfairs, like Rye-assic Adventure Park, Gulliver’s Land, Go Ape and Adventure Island. The UK as a whole is lucky to have adventure parks across the country that cater to all age groups, from little ones to teenagers to adults, so there are plenty of locations to choose from to suit all stages of your family.
Visit a museum
Whether you want to spend money or not, there are a plethora of great museums across the country and throughout the capital, that are perfect for nurturing the curiosity of the youngest members of your family. Museums are a great way of finding something to interest all age groups, and so many museums have accessible activity packs to add an extra level of fun for your children. We are incredibly lucky to have such great and easy access to a whole host of museums, from art and science to history and natural history, and everything in between. The problem? Deciding which ones to go to! Thankfully, if you live in or are planning a trip to the capital, Visit London has provided a handy guide for the best museums for kids, so you can all be entertained throughout the summer.
Enjoy some sport
This year is a big year for sport, from the Olympic Games, Wimbledon and the Euros, to the British Lions tour, Cricket World Cup and Ryder Cup, meaning there are plenty of global sporting events to capture your children’s imagination throughout the year. The summer is a great opportunity to nurture these interests and, thankfully, there are so many wonderful people within the community who are committed to providing sporting opportunities to every and all children across the country. BBC Sport have created a fantastic guide to help you find places close to you where you can try a whole host of sports, be it for your little ones on their own or as a family, which you can find here. Equally, if you are keen to embrace the summer of sport from a spectator point of view, to inspire your little ones by taking them to see their favourite athletes in action, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the six week period to enjoy live sport. From athletics in the form of the "I Am Team GB’s Festival of Sport", the exciting new cricket competition The Hundred, or London 9s Rugby Festival. As well as this, Olympic Fan Zones across the country will offer you and your family the chance to support Team GB in Tokyo every step of the way.
Embrace theatre and the arts
It may have been a torrid time for theatre and the arts over the past year, but as things begin to open up once again the industry is excited and raring to go. Whether you want to opt for the more traditional method of theatre by enjoying a west end production of the likes of Mary Poppins, The Lion King or The Tiger Who Came to Tea as a family, or whether you want to embrace the (hopefully) warmer weather by enjoying an outdoor theatre experience across venues and properties up and down the country, such as Wind in the Willows at Kew Gardens.
Try new “experiences”
“Experiences” have become hugely popular and big business over the past few years, and they’re the perfect way to celebrate the summer holidays with you children. There’s a whole range of different experiences for different interests, and sites like Virgin Experiences or Buy a Gift are perfect for finding unique activities to do with your kids. Escape rooms are one of the most popular types of “experiences” and they have grown exponentially over the past few years, with themes including everything from Harry Potter to Sherlock Holmes, mad laboratories to prison breaks. Perfect for completing as a family, these are a great way to spend time together, work together and test your detective skills. There are escape rooms up and down the country, and London in particular has a wealth of escape rooms.
However, if that’s not your cup of tea, have no fear: There are experiences for foodies, like Inamo at Covent Garden where you can combine a lovely menu with a gaming session, cooking classes for kids or quirky afternoon teas based on children’s books. There are experiences for music lovers from musical tour buses to music workshops and sensory experiences for babies and toddlers. There are experiences for animal lovers, with many zoos and safari parks dotted around the country such as the infamous London Zoo in the capital and Paradise Wildlife Park. The beauty of these experiences is that you can tailor them to suit your family, be it the traditional visit or a more unique experience with packages such as “meet the meerkats” or “feed the penguins.”