Enjoy An Amazing Summer of Fun At Twelve Top UK Attractions
There is a lot happening at museums and attractions around the country this summer. So when schools break for the summer be sure to check out what’s on offer to keep your children entertained, keep learning, and to help you keep sane and smiling!
1. Summer explorer trail at the Bank of England Museum, London - 22 July – 30 August 2019
Calling all Museum explorers! Visit The Bank of England Museum during the summer holidays to see our new exhibition which celebrates the Bank’s 325th anniversary. From 22 July to 30 August, families can work their way round with a trail and discover some of the fascinating stories our objects have to tell. Complete the trail to claim a small prize at the end. You can also get creative during your visit – make your very own gold bar money box to colour in and take home.
That’s not the only excitement - everyone can try their hand at safe-cracking, and even pick a real gold bar (if you're feeling strong as each bar weighs a whopping 13 kilos!). With lots of interactive displays everyone in the family is guaranteed a great fun. Activity sheets are also available for children of all ages.
And the best bit? The museum and all of the activities outlined above, are completely free. There's no need to book, either — just turn up between 10am and 4.30pm, Monday-Friday and let the summer fun begins. Admission to the museum and the event are both free. There is no need to book in advance.
2. Beamish,The Living Museum of the North, Co. Durham
NEW FOR 2019! Experience the excitement and community spirit of the 1950s with our new welfare hall. The building is a replica of the Leasingthorne Colliery Welfare Hall and Community Centre, now known as Coundon and Leeholme Community Centre. The exhibit will play host to 50s dances and games, and will explore the story of the birth of the NHS, among many other activities and events.
Every day during the school holidays, from Saturday, 20th July to Wednesday, 28th August, there’ll be amazing activities taking place across the museum for all the family to enjoy. Can you help solve the murder of poor Joe the Quilter during Mystery Mondays? Take part in science, technology, engineering and maths-based activities with Tinkering Tuesdays.
Grab a placard and sash and join in the campaign to get women the vote during Women’s Wednesday. Try your hand at a range of traditional skills on ‘Try it Thursdays’. Find out all about the 1950s during 50s Fridays.
Take part in Home Guard drills at The 1940s Farm during Soldiering Saturdays. Enjoy tales of homecoming from the First World War as peace is declared during Celebration Sundays.
The fun doesn’t stop there!
Join us as we Dig for Victory, from Thursday 29th August to Sunday, 1st September. Do your bit and Grow Your Own for the war effort, black out those windows and stick to your rations… there’ll be plenty for the whole family to do during Dig for Victory at The 1940s Farm.
Dig For Victory is the first event in our Great North Festival of Agriculture which also includes the Leek Show (7th and 8th September), the Agricultural Show (12th to 15th September), and Hands-on Heritage Skills (21st and 22nd September).
All of our daytime events are included in the museum admission and are free to Beamish Unlimited Pass holders and Friends of Beamish members – pay once and come back free for a whole year! To find out more about Beamish, visit www.beamish.org.uk.
Arty Animals - Wednesday 31 July
Join professional artist Christine Allison and her mixed-up animals! Together you’ll explore the museum’s wildlife collections looking for animal inspiration. Sketch your ideas before designing a mixed-up creature of your very own. Two sessions at either 10am-12pm or 1pm -3pm. Suitable for ages 7-10 years. 8+ may attend alone by prior arrangement.
Marvellous Masks - Wed 14 August
Handle amazing masks from around the world. Explore museum collections looking for ideas. Will it be scary, patterned or pretty? Design your very own marvellous mask to take home. Suitable for ages 6-8 years. A parent or carer will need to attend with their child.
Dinosaur Detectives (Almost FULL) – Wednesday 21 August
Budding palaeontologists can find out all about dinosaurs in this hands-on roar-some workshop. Meet the Bristol dinosaur, handle fossils, dress up and even make a keepsake fossil cast. Suitable for ages 6-8 years. A parent or carer will need to attend with their child.
Egypt Explorers (Almost FULL) - Wednesday 28 August
Children will love this hands-on session exploring pyramids, pharaohs and mummification! Discover Egyptian artefacts, make papyrus paper, practice hieroglyphic writing and decorate a mini sarcophagus, all inspired by our fantastic Egypt gallery. Suitable for ages 7-10 years. 8+ may attend alone by prior arrangement.
How to be a Roman - Tue 6 August
Find out about the Romans in Bristol. Taste Roman food, dress up in Roman clothes, play Roman games, make crafts and handle real artefacts in this hands-on workshop. Suitable for 7-10 year olds. 8+ may attend alone by prior arrangement.
What a Knight! - Tue 20 August
Take part in a merry medley of Medieval-themed activities… you’ll learn about knights’ armour and Heraldry, design pilgrim badges, try brass rubbing, handle historic objects, taste Medieval food and make a stained glass window decoration. Suitable for ages 7-10 years. A parent or carer will need to accompany their child.
All workshops cost £10 per child and must be booked online in advance
All sessions will run from 10.30am – 1pm (2.5 hour) unless specified
For full event details go to; Bristolmuseums.org.uk/whats-on
4. British Motor Museum, Warwickshire
This exciting, topical new exhibition exploring the future of the car entitled “The Car. The Future. Me.” is now open and will run until July 2020.
Over the past 100 years, the motor car has made a big difference to social mobility around the world. Today our streets are more congested than ever and the car makes a significant contribution to climate change. This, coupled with rapidly moving developments in technology, means that the car as we know it is changing; fast.
The exhibition will begin by looking back at the inventors of the first cars – some of which were powered by electricity – and their visions for the future. Visitors will be able to discover what designers in the 20th century thought cars would look like in the 21st century and whether their predictions have come true. The exhibition will explore the latest car technology, looking at how electric cars work and if they are the best solution for today’s roads and travel. Visitors will also discover the world of autonomous vehicles, how much technology is in our cars today and how connected, shared transport systems might be closer to reality than we think.
Included in the exhibition are visions of the future from times past, such as the Triumph XL90 conceived in 1967 as the car of the year 2000, right up to the latest Aurrigo PodZero autonomous pod, which is built in nearby Coventry and is playing a crucial role in the first international trials of driverless vehicles for communities with reduced mobility.
Finally the exhibition will look ahead to what the future could hold, bringing together visions of designers, engineers and the general public. Visitors will then get a chance to use their imagination and design what they see as the car of the future.
Stephen Laing, Curator at the British Motor Museum said “We are delighted to be hosting this thought provoking exhibition which we hope will spark debate amongst our visitors. Will there still be cars in 100 years’ time? How we will drive them? Will we drive at all? As visitors journey through the exhibition they will be asked a series of questions about how they think the car might change in the future and how it may affect them. For example, do they like the idea of being a passenger in a fully automatic pod and would they miss driving? Finally they will be asked to decide how they feel about the future, as it has many unknowns!”
The exhibition is included within the Museum entrance fee. Museum entry is £14.50 for adults, £12.50 for concessions, £9 for children (5-16 years) and under 5s are FREE. There is also the option to Gift Aid or donate your entry fee and get an Annual Pass in return, at no extra cost.To find out more about the British Motor Museum and the exhibition please visit https://www.britishmotormuseum.co.ukor call 01926 641188.
5. Forbidden Corner, North Yorkshire
The Forbidden Corner keeps on creating and installing new surprises and facilities for their guests and have recently installed a school hut in their picnic area, which seats around 50 -60. This new facility is to offer groups somewhere dry to have their picnics in while on site, and can also double up as a class room environment to be used to give lessons while here.
There is also a new play park area, which is best suited to 4 – 11 year olds, following the same theme that has been used to create this magical garden and has been very well received by the children.
Plans are also in motion to launch a new children’s lunch box, again themed on Forbidden Corner and schools can order these when booking their visit.
6. Help Godstone Farm, Surrey Celebrate Their 40th Birthday With Festival On the Farm Themed Activities This Summer.
A fun-filled summer is ahead for Godstone Farm as they celebrate 40 years in action since Jackie Flaherty bought the farm in 1979. The farm started out with a small collection of animals in order for schools to visit and learn. Since then they opened their doors on weekends and holidays for families to Explore, Discover and Play. The farm is now open all year round with fun for all ages.
Nicola Henderson, Chief Executive Officer of Godstone Farm said “It’s been lovely seeing pictures and hearing all about the fond and fun memories of time spent at the farm over the past 40 years. The coming years for the farm will be exciting too as we have lots of plans and our loyal customers are at the heart of them.”
Set in the beautiful Surrey Hills and a short, easy distance from the M25, Godstone Farm now have over 500 animals both large and small, extensive indoor and outdoor play areas and many exciting events and themes each year.
Jackie Flaherty, Owner of the Farm recalls starting all those years ago “I can’t quite believe how quickly the past 40 years gave gone but then again, when you’re always thinking of the next thing you don’t have much time to stop still!”
2019 has been an epic year for Godstone Farm so far, from mini New Year’s Eve countdowns to Wiglet’s Easter Eggstravaganza and most recently their Wildlife Discovery Week was bursting with creepy crawlies as everyone got involved in the Big Bug Safari.
This summer Godstone Farm have Festival on the Farm returning for even more holiday fun and festival vibes. Celebrations for their 40th Birthday will continue all summer as Festival on the Farm runs from 27th July to 1st September.
Godstone Farm have confirmed their Special Guest Weekends for the summer, with Music from Local Artists, Fiery Jacks – Medieval Games Emporium, Punch & Judy, Meet the Characters (such as Mr Bump, Paddington Bear and Godstone Farm Mascots), Family Yoga with Annabel Broom and Mr Bungle. These activities will run on weekends in the holidays, alongside the jam-packed Festival on the Farm schedule.
Godstone Farm employs over 120 staff, who all like to get involved in the planning for events. Nikki Roberts, Operations Manager commented “it’s always fun when we brainstorm and get a range of ideas from the team, we can then take the best ones and make them happen!”
There’s heaps to do at Godstone Farm for all the family!
With no roped off areas, Leighton Hall is perfect for younger visitors to experience how we used to live and much more. As well as Leighton’s rich history, interactive themes cover geography, literacy, art, music and science, with plenty to explore, participate and create.
Kids need to be active, so what better way than spend a day which includes plenty of outdoor fun and activities too. Explore Leighton’s wooden play equipment, woodland walks, brass rubbings, tree face trail and hungry caterpillar maze. During the summer months there is a birds of prey display (weather permitting), giving parents and carers time to relax and enjoy, too.
For further information and bookings, contact the Estate Office on 01524 734474
Leighton Hall is open all year round for pre-booked school groups
Open for families and general admission 1st May – 30th September Tuesday - Friday and Sundays in August, 2pm – 5pm (also bank hols)
For further information and bookings, contact the Estate Office on 01524 734474
8. Enjoy Live Music This Summer At Lightwater Valley, North Yorkshire
Visitors to Lightwater Valley Theme Park will be able to enjoy live music as part of the entertainment for the first time with the launch of their Summer Saturday Sessions (27th July – 31st August). As well as the North Yorkshire park’s mix of rides and attractions this summer will also see a selection of tribute acts taking to the stage on Saturdays. Among the tribute acts taking part will be Robbie Williams on 27th July, Spice Girls on 3rd August, Little Mix on 10th August, Bruno Mars on 17th August, Olly Murs on 24th August and Ed Sheeran on 31st August.
The Summer Saturday Sessions are all included in the general admission price and the park is hoping they will provide visitors with added musical entertainment.
With over 35 rides and attractions, suitable for all ages, Lightwater Valley offers fantastic adventures for all the family.Ride The Ultimate rollercoaster, Lightwater Valley’s signature ride that provides a thrilling 1.5 mile cocktail of speed, cornering and airtime.
Take to the skies in the grip of the Eagle’s Claw, venture into the underground world of Raptor Attack, see the Park from a whole different viewpoint aboard Black Pearl and then hop on Apollo and take a spinning ride above the tree tops. Enjoy wet ‘n’ wild fun on the Wild River Rapids, and swashbuckling adventures aboard speedy Skull Rock and the tummy-tickling Flying Cutlass. Plus jump around on the huge Jumpin’ Jack’s bouncy pillow.
There is something for little ones too including the Lightwater Express train ride around the park, Eagle’s Creek Farm tractor ride as well as Jester’s Jungle Fun indoor play area.
9. Marwell Zoo, Hampshire, Are Showcasing Their BRICKOSAURS!
Unleash your inner wild explorer with a trip to Marwell Zoo this summer. Home to an Incredible range of exotic and endangered wildlife in beautiful landscaped surroundings, there’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy. From July 18tyh until September 1st discover the world exclusive LEGO® brick expedition of BRICKOSAURS! Get creative in the brick pits and marvel at the whopping 8-metre T. rex. New for summer, see even more stunning LEGO® brick sculptures around the park including a towering four-metre tall Plesiosaurus, a super spikey Stegosaurus and more…
We welcomed some little hoofed babies:
Marwell Zoo recently welcomed a male plains zebra foal. Both foal and mum, Neve, are doing well and settling in alongside the other two female zebras and the forest buffalo they share a paddock with. In 2018, Marwell reintroduced this sub-species of zebra back to the zoo and is now the only zoo in the UK that’s home to the endangered Grevy’s zebra, vulnerable Hartmann’s mountain zebra and near threatened Plains zebra.
The zoo also gave a warm welcome to a female scimitar-horned oryx calf. First time mum, Kristina, and the yet-to-be named calf are doing well. The birth is particularly important for the zoo as this species has been considered extinct in the wild since 2000. Scimitar-hrned oryx only exist today as they have been kept and bred in captivity. The tiny calf can be seen in Marwell’s Wild Explorers exhibit alongside Grevy’s Zebra, white rhino and ostrich. [More info]
Last, but by no means least, two Lesser Kudu calves are on show to the public and can be spotted playing together in a shared paddock with mountain bongo. The calves have been named Shaka and Kojo and are the first Lesser Kudu calves to be born at Marwell. Marwell Zoo animal keeper, Lauren Arthy-Miles, said: “Both calves are doing really well. It’s always a pleasure to have baby animals and having two is wonderful - not just in terms of breeding success, but the calves tend to “play” more when they are born at a similar time.”
Lauren continues: “This is the first time we have bred Lesser Kudu at Marwell, so as well as contributing to the population of a species which is declining in the wild, it’s wonderful to successfully breed not just one but two healthy lesser kudu calves.” [More info]
10. Africa Comes To Bristol
To celebrate World Lion Day, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is hosting their African Carnival. On Saturday 10th August 2019, a pride of African dancers will be making their way through Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm. The carnival will feature acrobats, African dancers, drummers and a range of giant African carnival animals. The performance has been created by Unika Dance Events a London based, bespoke dance company.
The Zoo is raising money for Safina Lion Conservation Trust. Noah’s Ark is home to four Lions, Masai and Arusha, and their cubs, Kojo and Tau, who will no doubt, be the stars of the day. Visitors can learn about the Lions and Tigers in a special Big Cat Keeper talk at 1.30pm.
The parades will be at 12:30pm,1:30pm and 2:30pm and there will be a dance and drumming demonstration at 3.30pm. Visitors are encouraged to join in with the parades and demonstration for no extra cost to the day.
Ben Gregory, Carnivore Keeper at Noah’s Ark said “Our male lion, Masai, is the son of Safina, the namesake of the Safina Lion Conservation Trust, so this cause is close to our hearts here at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm. We believe it is important that we raise awareness of lions, as they are vulnerable to extinction in the wild, and for us to fundraise for their conservation. What better way to do this than with an exciting African Carnival that our visitors can enjoy.”
11. Are You Contagious? York Dungeon
Prepare for the most disgusting summer ever at The York Dungeon. Plague has spread throughout The Dungeon. From Vikings to torturers, everything and everybody is infected. Experience our 11 shows in the most stomach-churning ways possible. There will be more smells, slime and rotten bits that ever before Do you have the stomach to discover York’s most putrid history? More importantly…are you contagious?
12. Sign Up Now For Ranger School! Monday 29 July – Friday 2 August 2019, Northumberland
Northumberland National Park are offering this is a unique opportunity during the summer holidays for children aged 11-14 to join our Park Rangers for a week, and find out exactly what it takes to look after some of the UK’s most protected landscapes. Each morning the children will meet with our Ranger Team and head out into the National Park and spend the day working with them on a variety of different tasks, including:
Visit The Sill and meet the Rangers.
Take part in conservation activities at Greenlee Lough, one of the Parks most important ecological sites.
Take part in insect surveying and understanding the habitat for these important creatures.
Learn how to monitoring clean air with Lichens.
Learn about how we look after the Hadrian’s Wall path on a guided walk along the Wall.
Take part in mammal monitoring.
Learn navigation skills.
Children who take part in at least four days will have the opportunity to gain a John Muir Award – a nationally recognised environmental award scheme designed to encourage people to connect with, enjoy, and care for wild places.
Each day will run from 9.00am – 4.00pm.
Spaces are limited so book now to avoid disappointment.
Cost: £25 per child per day. Book 4 days and get the 5th one free!
Information for parents:
Children can be dropped off and picked up from The Sill, or at the National Park office in Hexham (£5 supplement per day). Further transport to sites out in the National Park will be provided throughout the week.
All staff are DBS checked and have Outdoor First Aid qualifications.
Children will need to bring their own lunch and drinks each day, and wear suitable clothing for the outdoors. More information on this will be provided with the booking confirmation.