It’s that time of year when teachers rejoice, children celebrate and the reality of keeping the kids entertained for six weeks dawns on parents up and down the nation. But there’s no need to start pulling your hair out just yet. We’ve put together our top 10 things to do that’ll keep everyone happy. There’s something for every one to enjoy in our top picks, from Hogwarts to paddle boarding, you’ll be spoilt for choice this summer season!
1) Wizarding Wardrobes, Hertfordshire
In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Warner Bros Studio Tour has put together a fabulous exhibition of costumes worn by the cast in the films (21 July-4 Sept, wbstudiotour.co.uk), but you’ll have to book soon as tickets sell out quickly! Alternatively, you could try out your broomstick skills at the Broomstick Training at Alnwick Castle (£13.95 adults, £7.20 children when booking online), or take a guided Harry Potter walking tour in Oxford (£18 adults, £17 students, £14 children, under-fives free).
2) Dinosaurs in the Wild, Birmingham
Get up close with a T-Rex (if you dare) with the Dinosaurs in the Wild walk-through tour. With the incredible audiovisual effects and powerful storytelling, this experience will make you feel like you’re actually there! Combining live-action theatre and theme park adventure, they’ll not only have a blast, but they’ll learn all about these breathtaking and terrifying creatures which once roamed and conquered the Earth.
(Running until the 23rd August, tickets are £29.50 adults and £26 children, available at https://dinosaursinthewild.com/visit)
3) Zestival, Falmouth
Ever wondered if Zumba is your thing? Ever wanted to try a spot of paddle boarding? Well, the Zestival in Falmouth offers the perfect opportunity to try out something new and for absolutely free! With an exciting range of activities, including tennis, climbing, hockey and even circus skills, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
(Running from the 27th-30th of July, free entry)
4) Outdoor Cinema, Essex
With stunning venues throughout Essex, including RHS Hyde Hall and Braxsted Park, Outdoor Cinema offer a wide range of block buster films that kids of all ages will love, from Jurassic World to Deadpool, you can watch the action unfold on the big screen under the stars! What’s more, each venue offers a variety of excellent caterers if you don’t quite have time to put a picnic together.
(Tickets start from £8 and are available from https://www.essexoutdoorcinema.com/tickets)
5) Bournemouth Air Festival
Watch the stunning procession of RAF Red Arrows roar across the sky at the annual Bournemouth Air Festival. Offering four days of seaside family fun, the UK’s biggest air festival includes amazing feats from wing-walkers, performances from the Red Arrows, as well as live music, fireworks and buzzing arcades.
(Running from 31 August-3 September, free entry)
6) Star Wars Identities Exhibition, London
Become a certified Jedi and face the imperial Darth Vader at the Star Wars Identities Exhibition at the London O2 Arena. With over 200 props, models, costumes and artwork from the original Star Wars films, this stunning exhibition features an interactive identity quest where you get to follow in the footsteps of your favourite characters and create you very own Star Wars identity.
(Running until September 3rd, tickets range from £15-£25, available at https://www.axs.com/starwarsidentities )
7) Power Up, The Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester
Get your game on cause The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester have put together a super summer schedule together, with the gaming spectacular Power Up as their crowning glory. Here they’ll get to put their awesome gamer skills to the test. Games such as Pacman, Minecraft and Mario are but a few of the games you can try out.
(Tickets start from £5 for a 90-minute session, £15 for a full day pass, or £10 for adult-only events. Find out more at http://www.msimanchester.org.uk/whats-on/activity/power-up.)
8) Summer Sleepover, London Zoo
Give them a sleep over they’ll never forget! Throughout the summer, London Zoo are putting on Summer Sleepovers from July to September. Your little ones will get to experience the sights and sounds of the Zoo at night and will have access to exclusive animal tours. On this fabulous overnight experience, kids will get to meet some incredible species and learn lots about the amazing animal kingdom. They’ll even get to meet animals from the past, including dinosaurs, as well as the animals of today.
(Tickets are £85, with ZSL members receiving a 10% discount, available at https://www.zsl.org/sleepovers)
9) Sand World, Weymouth
This year at Sand World you’ll find wonderful life size sculptures, from Nemo & Dory to a magnificent Bengal Tiger, from Kung Fu Panda to the cast of Madagascar, all beautifully sculpted in stunning detail. What’s more, your little ones will get the chance to have a go at sand sculpting themselves. A great family day out that even the dog can come along to!
(Kids go free on Saturday mornings- before 12:30pm, £1 off each ticket when booking online- Adults £5, Children £3. Wheelchair and dog friendly)
10) New Forest and Hampshire County Show
There’s literally something for everyone at the New Forest county show, there’s tug of war games with a vintage tractor, ferret racing and falconry, spectacular displays of horse show jumping and dizzying displays of motocross aerobatics. What’s more, the local produce market is a foodies heaven. The only problem you’ll have is fitting it all in!
(Running from July 25th-27th, tickets are cheaper book online and are £19.95 for adults, £7.13 for children. Children under 5 go free. Well behaved dogs on non-retractable lead are welcome)
What ever you decide to do this summer, it’s a perfect time to have some family fun. So go out together, try new things and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!