Explore the blog
Sunday, 2 August 2015

Summer Activities for Kids // 2015

The summer holidays are here and for those that have children or younger relatives it can be hard to keep them entertained without repeating the same activities. 
I have younger relatives and actually thought of this post with them in mind as there are so many places I'd like to take them or activities I'd like to treat them to. I wrote down a few I'd seen as well as some that I even did when I had Summer Holidays and thought it may be useful to you reading.

Just a little F.Y.I some of these are free, some cost but they are all mixed and I didn't want to list all the prices/packages but instead leave a link to fee's and further information with each activity.

Movies Released Over The Summer

There are a couple of family movies out this summer that even I can't wait to see! Especially on a rainy day, the cinema may be something you do often but will definitely keep a child's attention for a couple of hours. 

Inside Out
Minions Movie
Jurassic World
Fantastic Four
I am unsure what classification The Fantastic Four movie is going to be, but hopefully it'll be okay to see for those who have children in the pre-teenage years.

Historical Activities

Growing up, my brother and I were fortunate to spend time over the summer in Wales with the grandparents. We were often treated to days out and trips to the beach and some activities we did are still going!
I've grown up in a family with a love for history and exploring castles in the South of Wales are some of my favourite memories.

I would personally recommend Caerphilly Castle, constructed by Gilbert de Clare in the 13th Century it is the largest castle in Wales and was built at the core of the Anglo-Norman expansion.
Caerphilly Castle
This August Bank Holiday, Caerphilly Castle is holding a medieval fate with lots of demonstrations and activities that all the family can get involved in. All the information for that is here
Cardiff Castle

Another Castle I'd recommend would be Cardiff Castle, it is believed that construction started in the late 11th century so has some faint links to Roman History but there have been many changes and expansions. This castle is also hosting a medieval fate on the 15th & 16th August but they also offer other packages like the House Tour or A Behind The Scenes Tour of the famous Clock Tower. All pricing and information can be found here
On this map you can see that South Wales has many castle but some have sections closed off to the public so please remember to research where you go thoroughly. 

Whilst still in Wales; In the top-right hand corner you'll see Caerleon and Caerleon Castle which is abundant in Roman History. In fact, I remember visiting Caerleon's Roman Amphitheater, which every year is host to the National Roman Legion Museum. 

Caerleon Roman Amphitheater
If you are in South Wales I would highly recommend putting a day aside and travelling over to Caerleon because it is fantastic.The event reflects a wide range of activities ranging from Everyday Roman Life to Army Training and it does feel like you are part of it rather than it being lectured to you. But if the shows and fates are not your thing, Caerleon also has ruins of the Roman Barracks, Baths and artifacts at National Roman Legion Museum that you can explore yourself without having a tour guide or being part of a big crowd. 
Roman Barracks in Caerleon
National Roman Legion Museum
If you need any more information that please click here.

Sticking with castles; Warwick castle is probably one of the most popular (according to online reviews) and is well known not only for its history but the restoration it's undergone over the last 10 years. 

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle
Similar to other castles this summer holiday there are a lot of events for kids with some differences. Warwick Castle have teamed up with The Horrible Histories company and it takes the more gruesome and gore side of history and makes it a little more appropriate? for kids. Appropriate may not be the right word but if you have experienced a Horrible Histories event or read one of the books the company do make what we see as horrible and gruesome being taught to our younger generation in a way that's not scary. 
There are two events this summer the Medieval Mayhem which is like a walk around with games and activities or the Wicked Warwick which is a live stage show. All information is here.
And finally, a stone-throw away from Warwick Castle is St Nicholas Park so if you only go along to the castle for a couple of hours and decide to stick around the park has fantastic rides, boating, play areas and even a mini golf course. If castle's are not for you or if you have a large family and decide to split the day it works out really well.

The last castle I would recommend would be Windsor. I think this is better for older children as it is a lot more talk/lecture based about our Royal History but I think if you are site seeing around London or exploring castles across the UK then why not. 

Windsor Castle
I also thought of giving this a mention because they have a Fair Ladies and Noble Knights activity/event in August for kids and there isn't usually something like that on at Windsor. All information is here.

Maybe Viking History is more for you?

The Jorvik Viking Centre in York in my opinion is one of the best places to not only learn and explore but do it as a family unit. Between 1976-1981 archaeologists revealed workshops, houses and remnants of Viking life which led to the centre being built on the excavation site.
Jorvik Viking Centre
The center will also be hosting their own fate with activities and demonstrations. All information is here. I loved it here, found it really enjoyable and I was around 14 at the time so it is fun for all ages.

There is so much history in the UK and a lot of landmarks, castles and museums to visit but if you want to explore world history then I would suggest going down to London as there are many museums that host exhibits from other countries.

The British Museum has a fantastic array of artifacts from all over the world ranging from art and figurines to objects such as money, cutlery and writing instruments. I would say this is more suitable to older children but they do have some lovely design activities where kids can make related items like their own mosaic. All information about family events is here

Animal Activities

Another museum in London that is wildly popular amongst families is the Natural History Museum. If you have any budding zoologists then here you'll find more on the history of animals. I think this is brilliant for all ages as there are many activities that engage the younger children whilst older children can experience more of the science behind the discoveries. Some events to mention; 
 A brilliant opportunity to see their life cycle and a chance to see rare butterflies from around the world up close. All information is here.
An event I would personally love, a virtual reef dive to see the beauty behind the habitats and a look at species that only live in coral areas. All information is here.

If as a family you decide that the museum isn't the ideal day out for you but you are animal lovers then there's always the zoo!

One of the most famous zoos in the UK is Longleat which even had its own TV show, Animal Park. This year they have two amazing events. 
The Za-Ji event is a performance by the Sichuan Chunmaio Acrobatic Troupe who specialise in Chinese theatrics. This is an amazing event to experience, I've personally seen a few Chinese acrobatic performances and it is mind blowing how precise, flexible and skilled these people are. And it's something different to have as an event when you think about going to the zoo, again you can split up if you go as a larger party. All the information is here.
For the younger children Longleat is hosting a Dinosaurs Alive event and to be honest I have seen many dinosaur events across the spectrum of family days out but I think the zoo's do it better as there is that reptile link. At Longleat there are 20 life size versions of dinosaurs that I believe are anamatronic as the website says to "keep your children close as they come to life around you" but I don't know if that is a definite. They also have a chance to make discoveries in the dinosaur dig or meet and learn about different reptiles. All the information is here.
The Park itself is wonderful; you can experience the animals up close and personal or go on your own safari style ride. Are you more of an art, nature or history person? then take the Longleat house and gardens tour or visit the new World War One exhibit. All ticket information is here.
As I said previously a couple of zoos are doing their own dinosaur events.
West Midlands Safari Parks event is called The Land Of The Living Dinosaurs, it is anamatronic and has more in depth facts about how they lived and the periods they lived in (e.g Jurassic, Cretaceous). That is what is really fascinating about this particular zoo, how much attention they pay to detail in terms of events and the zoo itself. I have been before and loved the fact posts as you walk around.
At this zoo you can "go on safari" or even pay for a V.I.P Experience and feed the animals yourself (it is 16+ so brilliant for older members of the family). Lastly this zoo has its own mini theme park and arcade which again is a great outing that gives a lot of choice. All ticket information is here.

Lastly, a place I would really recommend for a family day out would be The Think Tank in Birmingham which is right across the street from the IMAX Theatre so if you have older children that are not into science museums it's only a stone's throw away. 

My Dad took my Brother and I when we were 7 and 9, it was fantastic and always recommend it to friends with children. When we went there wasn't many summer activities that I wanted to get involved in and at the moment a lot are directed at 3-7 year olds but with all the exhibits and all year round indoor/outdoor activities there is a lot to do.
In particular I'd like to mention the Planetarium which wasn't there when I went but I would love to go see now at 23! 

There is so much to do this summer and what I've mentioned in this post is just the tip of the iceberg, to help find activities in your area a lot of town and city news webpages will have a list of exciting things for the summer. 

As a disclaimer all these opinions are my own and I've found these events when researching summer activities. I am not being paid by any of the companies mentioned in this post.

As always, thanks for reading...

Would you like to comment?

Latest Pins