The Best of the UK Summer – For Kids

The summer holidays take on a whole new meaning with kids!, we've created a guide to the best of the UK Summer for the kids and the whole family...stay sane and have fun! 

 

Family Friendly Summer Festivals

There are festivals for the young, and for the young at heart! Having kids in tow means choosing the right festival, here are some of the best.

 

The Just-So Festival

 Rode Hall Estate, Cheshire, August 19-21

 

Love the arts? then this is for you.

Every magical area has a different theme: The Spellbound Forest contains woodland theatre by day and bonfires at night. The High Seas includes rowing boats and outdoor showings of Swallows and Amazons. There’s children’s theatre including Around The World in Eighty Notes and a Just-So Bake Off, which invites you to bring your best cakes to the competition.

For the super little ones there's the Peekaboo area, where they can go crazy with a bubbly bath time, baby massage and baby yoga.

 

Latitude

Suffolk, July 14-17

 

 

A pop festival in the beautiful grounds of Henham Park, Suffolk.

A great line up including line-up includes New Order and the Maccabees. Arranged around the verdant banks of the Latitude Lake is a stunning Kids Area, where children are entertained with fire shows, pizza-making, traditional woodland crafts and a host of exciting science experiments. The older kids will love The Inbetweeners’ Teen Area. where they can take part in music, media, fashion and technology workshops, or learn wildlife survival skills.

Weekend ticket, £205.50 for adults, £8 for kids; latitudefestival.com

 

Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle

Dorset, July 28-31

 

A super charged festival for small kids, big kids and adults! 

Including the World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle. Bubble Shows and appearances from CBeebies’ LazyTown and Mr Tumble will keep the youngest happy.

Adult weekend ticket, £197.50, down to £15 for ages 4 and under and free for babies.

 

Curious Arts Festival 

 New Forest, July 22-24

 

A beautiful boutique festival held in the lush gardens of Pylewell Park on the south coast.

Attended by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, who will be hosting a children’s reading session as well as writer Deborah Moggach and musician Billy Bragg.

Children can enjoy a Curious Bear Hunt through the Park and budding writers may enjoy The Week Junior Journalism Course or Writing Workshop.

There are bedtime stories every evening as well as bat walks and an Alice in Wonderland Party.

All Festival Adult £120, under 13s free; curiousartsfestival.com

 

 

The Good Life Experience Festival

Hawarden Castle, Flintshire, September 16-18

 

Check out andgo off grid with this back-to-basics festival curated by Catatonia’s Cerys Matthews.

Craftsmen will demonstrate ancient skills such as mosaic-making, knot-tying and blacksmithery. Sit around a campfire with television presenters Ben Fogle and Jeremy Vine and enjoy outdoor cookery demonstrations from top chefs such as Thomasina Miers.Both family and pet friendly.

Kids activities are free: there’s a vintage fairground, axe-throwing for young Vikings, archery for and abseiling for the fearless.

Kids (12-17) camping for the weekend, £64.50, under 11s free; adults £99; thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk 

 

 

Events for the Kids

London –

BrickLive 

Got LEGO skills?

Then checK out BRICKLIVE London - it's also set to head out to Glasgow, Belfast and Birmingham from July until October 2017.

Never ending Lego fun including, BRICK PITS, Build Zones, and pop-up stalls where you can find exclusive items, the day is filled with activities to keep the whole family entertained.

Ticket prices are £21.75 for a standard admission, or £16.75 for a family ticket. Click here for more information.

 

 

The Beach at Brent Cross 

 

Enjoy a beach break in the city

The Beach at Brent Cross makes its return this summer, and this year it promises to be even bigger, better and wetter than before.

There'll be plenty of exciting water rides, an outdoor cinema, and a host of attractions and games sure to keep the kids entertained all day - including the thrilling Water Zorbing balls and Bumper Boats!

Ends on 10th September. 

 

 

NORTH OF ENGLAND

 

Rheged Centre - Dinosaur Encounter

 

Face off against dinosaurs at the Rheged CentreThe T-rex makes a triumphant return in this wild National History Museum Dinosaur Encounter exhibition, packed with animatronic versions of these prehistoric icons. The beast will be 4 metres high and 7 metres wide, joined by a whole host of fellow dinosaurs nestled away throughout the museum.

The interactive exhibition will also feature art workshops and explore 3D printing technology recreating ancient fossils - not to mention there's a huge cinema screen where you can watch BBC Earth Film Walking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Running until the 3rd September. Tickets from £6.50 for adults 

 

Explore Nickelodean Land at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

There's loads to do at this Blackpool institution, but Nickelodeon Land continues to be a firm favourite with little ones.

Go on a world voyage with Dora the Explorer, brave thrilling rollercoasters or squirt waterguns with Spongebob Squarepants.

 

 

Sage Gateshead in Newcastle

 

Go on a family quest at the Sage Gateshead in Newcastle

Let the Beat Go On! is a new quest orientate theatre with clues and puzzles. It’s a chance for the kids to make noise and for kids and adults alike to get a rare sneak peak behind the scenes of Sage Gateshead.

Grab a map, solve mysteries and release sounds trapped around Sage Gateshead on a mission that leads to an unforgettable finale!

Running from 27th July to the 26th August.

 

MIDLANDS

Octonauts at Sea Life Birmingham

Meet the Octonauts at Sea Life Birmingham

If your little ones love all things CBeebies then you'll want to head to Sea Life Birmingham where beloved characters Octonauts will be inviting you to join them on an exciting deep sea adventure!

The National Sea Life Centre’s Octo-Glow Explorers event runs from 15th July-13th August and includes a host of interactive activities to discover how creatures hide from predators using light.

 

 

Gruffalo in the forest 

Magic Light Pictures and Forestry Commission England have teamed up to bring The Gruffalocharacters to life in the forest through a new augmented reality app.

Designed for exclusive use at twenty six forests across the country where visitors can join the adventure through the deep dark wood.

Families will follow clues on an interactive self-guided trail and track signs of their favourite characters based on The Gruffalo, best-selling picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

Once families have spotted the characters, they can use the free app to bring the 3D character animation to life and take photos alongside them.

 

SOUTH ENGLAND

Bristol Harbour Festival 

Enjoy a brilliant free day out at the Bristol Harbour Festival

There are two miles of entertainment along Bristol's iconic harbour, including a Dance Village, three music stages, boating entertainment on the water and unusual vessels, not to mention a children's and circus mecca created by Cirque Bijou.

The regional markets tend to be a hit with foodies, and the prices don't tend to be too bad to satisfy your cravings.

 

 

Meet Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends

One of the world's most famous trains will be at the Watercress Line waiting to greet visitors this summer in Winchester who will be flocking there for unlimited rides, bouncy slides and even rides on a miniature railway.

Experience a ride on a real steam engine, shake hands with The Fat Controller and take part in Thomas themed activities in the Imagination Station, and make the most of the travel ticket which includes an entire day's travel on the steam trains on the line.

Tickets: £18 per adult, £12 per child, £54 per Family.

 

 

 

Meet the Marvellous Monsters 

 

 Wildlife enthusiasts should head to Longleat Safari Park where 20 larger-than-life animatronic bugs have taken over. Learn all about these impressive creepy crawlies from the majestic tailless whip scorpion to the striking Hercules beetle. See longleat.co.uk for more information.

 

Hang out with Peter Rabbit and his friends

 The Summer Spectacular at Willows Activity Farm in Hertfordshire is running from the 22nd July to the 3rd September will have a host of funfair rides, indoor play and a jam-packed programme of activities.

Not to mention fans can celebrate Beatrix Potter's birthday this year and meet and greet the characters of Peter Rabbit in real life - not to mention go exploring in the unique PETER RABBIT™ Adventure Playground.

Adult tickets from £15 online. 

 

SCOTLAND

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Cross the Edinburgh Fringe Festival off of your bucket list

One of Britain's most popular and largest arts festivals, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a must see. Every August Scotland's capital is transformed into a cultural hub. 

 

WALES

Big Pit National Mining Museum

Channel your inner miner. Go 300 feet underground with a real miner and see what life was like for the thousands of men who worked at the coal face. If you prefer to stay above ground there are also multi-media tours and exhibitions at Big Pit National Mining Museum, Blaenavon. 

 

 

Brecon Mountain Railway

 Go on an exciting train journey

Get on track for a thrilling day out and hop aboard the Brecon Mountain Railway, a steam train that travels through stunning Welsh countryside. 

 

 

Rest Bay in Porthcawl

 Make the most of sunny days by the seaside!

Grab your swimmers and head for the waves. Book surfing or bodyboarding lessons at Rest Bay in Porthcawl. With plenty of cafes and an ice-cream shop there is plenty to keep you busy for the day.  

 

NORTHERN IRELAND

Tour the world of the Titanic

Join a fascinating free Titanic walking tour and go back in time 100 years to when Belfast's Harland & Wolff was the busiest shipyard in the world. You will visit the key historic sites where the world's most famous ship was conceived, constructed and completed.

From July 2 to 5. 

 

 

BEST NEW ATTRACTIONS 2017

 Treetop Trek, Manchester

Forest playground company Treetop Trek will open its third centre this spring in Manchester’s Heaton Park, following on from courses at Brockhole in the Lake District and Ripon, North Yorkshire. The Manchester branch will be its biggest, with giant trampolines, and more than 20 zipwires. 

 

 

William’s Den, East Yorkshire

This brand new adventure attraction has an indoor area with sensory play zone, bridges, tunnels and climbing nets. The outdoor section will have trees, water play, discovery zones and den making materials. Its creators promise plenty of space for adults to relax too, including a cafe selling homemade food. It can be combined with the nearby North Cave Wetlands nature reserve for a big weekend of outdoor fun. 

 

 

Zipworld Forest Coaster, Snowdonia          

This will be the first ride of a kind now found in several sites in continental Europe, where thrill-seekers sit on a small sled that flies down through the trees on rails. (Guardian Travel tried the Hasenhorn go-kart coaster in the Black Forestlast summer.) 

 

 

Betteshanger Park, Kent

This huge activity park near Deal will have a new £8m visitor centre this spring. The 250-acre attraction has cycle routes, mountain bike trails and an outdoor playpark as well as the opportunity to try archery (£9pp), military fitness training, fossil hunting and den building. The new centre will also house the Kent Mining Museum as well as a new cafe and cycle centre and a Green Energy Centre. 

 

 

Underwater Kingdom at Blackgang Chine, Isle of Wight

Full details of Underwater Kingdom, which opens in spring, have yet to be released, but it will include animatronic creatures, as well as “underwater caves” and a “shipwreck”. Existing theme areas include Cowboy Town and Pirate Cove, as well as rides, slides and special events throughout the year. 

 

 

Well that should keep you busy! 

 

Have a fantastic summer :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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