Need ideas for a family day out over the summer holiday? Look no further as this bumper post contains a suggestion for every day of the English school summer holiday. Whatever your budget or interest, I hope you’ll find something of use in the list below:
Saturday 19 July
Big nature count at the Nature Discovery centre in Thatcham, Berkshire. How many species can you spot? Tree walks, pond dipping, dragonfly walks, butterfly spotting; booking advisable. Free event.
Sunday 20 July
Festival of history at Kelmarsh Hall, Northamptonshire. Historical re-enactment on a huge scale! Two thousand performers taking part in recreations of battles, jousting and family shows. Family ticket £61 per day (£35 for English Heritage members).
Monday 21 July
Become a nature explorer at Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Gloucestershire. There’s a different theme every week of the summer holidays, activities may include pond dipping, moth trapping or a mini beast hunt. Family entrance charge £34.50 covers cost of activities.
Tuesday 22 July
Improve your biking skills at Brockhole, Lake District Visitor Centre near Windermere. Free event, bikes and helmets provided.
Wednesday 23 July
Seaside science at the Scottish seabird centre, North Berwick. Learn survival skills on the beach or take part in an environmental art workshop. Family entrance charge of £25 covers cost of activities, free to members.
Thursday 24 July
Time Travellers at the Museum of Liverpool. Archaeology arts and crafts, free drop in event. For more things to do with kids in Liverpool read our blog post here.
Friday 25 July
Roll up for the Big Cheese Festival in Caerphilly. Street entertainers, fire eating, music, fireworks and the Great Cheese race! Free event.
Saturday 26 July
CBeebies Prom at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Music and presenters from CBeebies programmes. Tickets £6-12 plus booking fee.
Sunday 27 July
St Andrews Highland Games. Caber tossing, tug of war and highland dancing. £6 adults, £4 concessions.
Monday 28 July
Bournemouth carnival week starts today. The programme kicks off with a sand building competition, treasure hunt and a duck race. The glamorous granny competition takes place later in the week! Small charge for some events.
Tuesday 29 July
CSI Classics: become a detective and uncover the culprit at the University Museum of Classical Archaeology in Cambridge. Free event, booking essential.
Wednesday 30 July
Dangerous Science of Mining show at Snibston Discovery Centre in Leicester. Interactive family show covering the interaction between science and mining. Family ticket £24.25
Thursday 31 July
Culdrose Air Day, Cornwall. Visit a working military Naval Air Station, includes ground and aerobatic displays. Family ticket £35 in advance.
Friday 1 August
Have a go day at Crawfordsburn Country Park at Helen’s Bay, County Down. Try out new activities from mountain boarding to zip wires. There is a charge for some activities, pre-booking required.
Saturday 2 August
Vikings Attack at Lindisfarne Priory, Northumberland. Explore a Viking encampment and witness a deadly battle. Adults £6.50, child £4.50. English Heritage members free.
Sunday 3 August
Saving nature day at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, near Stowmarket. Meet rescued hedgehogs and find out about badgers, bees and bats. Family ticket £25, 50% discount for local residents.
Monday 4 August
Marvellous Marine Day at Reculver Visitor Centre near Herne Bay, Kent. Go rock pooling and take part in other marine activities. Suggested donation of £1.
Tuesday 5 August
Robin Hood Festival at Sherwood Forest Country a Park in Nottinghamshire. Costumed characters, woodland walks, craft stalls and activities. Free event, £5 car parking charge.
Wednesday 6 August
Wild Wood Wednesdays. Make boggarts and clay faces at Wendover Woods, Buckinghamshire. Free event.
Thursday 7 August
The first day of the Bristol balloon festival. An evening display of balloons lighting up in time to music, followed by fireworks. Free event, charge for car parking. Ascent is weather dependent.
Friday 8 August
Watch a fireworks display, the Red Arrows and a RAF Typhoon to celebrate Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight. This is, of course, in addition to all of the sailing! Free event.
Saturday 9 August
Archaeology open day at Silchester Roman Town, Berkshire. Tours, talks and children’s activities at the excavation site. Free event.
Sunday 10 August
Flying displays at Blackpool Airshow. See the Red Arrows, Falcons, Typhoon and many more at this free event. How busy are the Red Arrows this summer?!
Monday 11 August
WW1 discovery day at the Staffordshire Regiment Museum near Lichfield, Staffs. Tour the trenches and find out what life was like for soldiers in the Great War. Adults £4, children £3, pre-booking essential.
Tuesday 12 August
For children that like big bangs and can stay up late, there’s the British Fireworks Championship in Plymouth, Devon. Funfair and entertainment on the Hoe from early evening. Free event.
Wednesday 13 August
Make your own plaster scarab beetle at the Ashmoleum Museum, Oxford. Free event, connected to the Discovering Tutankhamun exhibition. Exhibition runs from 24 July-2 November, £10 for adults, children under 12 free.
Thursday 14 August
Kite making workshop at Birling Gap, East Sussex. Fly your creation on the Downs afterwards. Children £3.
Friday 15 August
Nature night walk at Godolphin garden and estate near Helston, Cornwall. Meet nocturnal residents, including bats and owls. Adult £4, child £2, booking essential.
Saturday 16 August
World pipe band championships in Glasgow. Listen to thousands of pipers from >150 bands. Also includes Highland dancing and Highland games. Advance family ticket (online) £27.
Sunday 17 August
Roman weekend at Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire. Throw a pot, watch a falconry display and find out what it was like to be a metalworker. You can even get your hair done Roman style! Garden admission charges apply, National Trust members free.
Monday 18 August
Science at South Foreland Lighthouse near Dover, Kent. Learn about light, colour and the moving image. Family ticket £12.50 admission charge (free to NT members) plus £5 per science kit.
Tuesday 19 August
Celebrate Augustus the Roman Emperor at the National Roman Legion Museum in Caerleon, Gwent. Wear a toga, make a head wreath or Roman coin. Free event, drop in.
Wednesday 20 August
Make a miniature Japanese zen garden at the Oriental Museum in Durham. Family ticket £3.50.
Thursday 21 August
Find out about herbal medicine at Chelsea Physic Garden, London. Make your own ointments and syrups. Pre-booking required, adult ticket £11.90, child ticket (age 12+) £8.60.
Friday 22 August
Victorian Delights at Wrest Castle in Bedfordshire. Meet Queen Victoria and discover Victorian inventions and toys. Family ticket £23 (free to English Heritage members) plus £1 per activity.
Saturday 23 August
Sand sculpting at Millisle, County Down. Get tips from an expert and learn how to create sand sculptures and castles. Free event.
Sunday 24 August
Grasmere sports festival in Cumbria. Includes tug of war, wrestling, fell racing and a dog show. Advance family ticket (online) £20.
Monday 25 August
Big Bang at Royal Gunpowder Mills near Waltham Abbey, Essex. Rocket launching and explosions, bigger and better than the usual experiments! Family admission ticket £30.60.
Tuesday 26 August
Family stroll from the Lulworth Visitor Centre in Dorset. Learn all about the geology, ecology and ancient history of the area. £1 adult, 50p children.
Wednesday 27 August
Twilight bat walk around St Fagans Natural History Museum in Cardiff. £4 per person, booking essential.
Thursday 28 August
Pond dipping at Holkham, Norfolk. Find out what’s in the water at Holkham lake. £2.50 per child.
Friday 29 August
Falmouth Tall Ships regatta. Visit the sailing ships in dock before they start their race on Sunday. Free event.
Saturday 30 August
National Paralympic Day at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. Watch wheelchair basketball, swimming, boccia and goal ball. Tickets for events £5 each, lots of free entertainment throughout the park. Click here to read about our recent visit to the Park.
Sunday 31 August
Bunkfest, family festival in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. Folk music, dancing and a beer festival for the adults. Most events are free (charge for camping, boat trips and workshops).
Some events run across more than one day. Information is correct at time of publication but please reconfirm all details, particularly timing and booking requirements, before you visit.
I hope you’ve found something of interest. You can also check out my microadventures for families post which has lots of suggestions for local adventures.