We all love the long summer holidays but there is no denying that as a parent it can be challenging to keep the children busy for six whole weeks. There’s no need to break the bank with expensive days out every day though so why not explore our top three frugal things to do before summer is up…
- The Summer Reading Challenge
Sign up at your local library to read six library books of your choice to complete the challenge. There are exclusive rewards to collect along the way, and it’s free to take part! Find out more: www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk
- Swim for Less
Many swimming centres offer reduced prices or even allow children to swim for free over the summer holidays. Check with your local pool for entrance prices.
- Pick Your Own
Why not visit a local PYO farm and enjoy some sunshine whilst picking some juicy strawberries and raspberries. Better yet, cook up a tasty treat with what you bring home!
EVENTS FOR THE DIARIES…
Make the most of the summer this year with a fun filled family day out! There are some great events for children across the East so take a look at our pick below and get booking!
BEDS, BUCKS & HERTS
The Roald Dahl Museum www.roalddahl.com
Tuesday to Friday 10-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 11-5pm
Aimed at 6-12 year olds, the Roald Dahl museum in Bucks features three interactive galleries. Boy gallery looks at Roald Dahl’s school days while Solo gallery houses his original Writing Hut. The Story Centre puts your imagination centre-stage with fantabulous activities to inspire the writer in you.
Love Bedford Day www.lovebedford.co.uk
24 July, 11-5pm
A day of fun for all the family: celebrating history, heritage and culture in Bedford. Harpur Square will be packed with activities, shows, street entertainment and more!
Bear Grylls Outdoor Festival www.beargryllssurvivalrace.com/bg-festival
20 August, 9-5pm
There’s something for the whole family with bungee jump, Segway track, Parajet Flying Shows, Fire lighting, Air Rifle shooting and so much more. A great activities schedule is planned for children, including Waterzorbing, Falconry Flying & Bushgrubs Eating Challenges. Under 12s are free!
Woburn Safari Park Summer Activity Workshops www.woburnsafari.co.uk
Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire has two exciting summer workshop experiences for the holidays, giving young people the chance to help out the animal keepers at the Park for a week.
The Safari Park’s ‘Working With Animals Week’ course for teenagers (14 to 17 years) offers the chance to follow a keeper for a week and take part in many of their daily tasks and activities.
Woburn will also be running a summer workshop called ‘Week On The Wild Side’. Ideal for younger children (8 to 12 years), it offers the rare chance to help care for the animal residents.
‘Working with Animal’ Courses will take place on 1 – 5 August, 8-12 August, 15-19 August and 30 August – September. There will be a maximum of 15 students per week. The experience costs £360 per student.
The ‘Week on the Wild Side’ workshops run from 9am to 3:30pm on 25 – 29 July and 22 – 26 August. There will be limited places each week to ensure the best possible experience for everyone. It costs £185 per child (there is a 10% discount for annual ticket holders).
27 July – 26 August Art and Science Adventures www.royalgunpowdermills.com
With themed days throughout the holidays there’s adventure to be had for children of all ages. On ‘Secret Mission Mondays’ you see if you have what it takes to be a spy. In the Mad Lab you get involved with crazy experiments on ‘Experimental Tuesdays’.
See real rocket scientists launching real scale rockets on ‘Rocket Trial Wednesdays’ and learn about the site’s hidden history on ‘Throwback Thursdays’. On ‘Wild Fridays’ you explore the site’s fascinating natural environment. You might even get a glimpse of our wild deer! Let your artistic side shine with our ‘Creative Weekends’ as you create your own crafty creations. With Land Train tours, interactive exhibitions, armoury and much more, kids and Grown Ups too have fun in this unique site packed with history, nature and science for all.
Summer at the Museums www.museums.cam.ac.uk
Twenty-three venues across Cambridgeshire will be offering a jam-packed programme of drop-in and bookable creative activities, events and trails. Offering something to do on a rainy day, a day out close to home, or a bit of hands-on creativity, there are loads of activities and events for families to choose from.
Royston Kite Festival www.roystonkitefestival.com
7 August, 10.30-4.30pm
A spectacular festival, this colourful event is set to return again this year with kites, competitions, stalls and entertainment for all the family.
Fenland Country Fair www.fenlandfairs.com
27-29 August, 9-5.30pm
This annual bank holiday country fair has a fantastic line-up of events from gundogs and falconry to Cyril the Squirrel! Celebrate life in the British countryside and have fun with all the family. Under 11s free.
Puppet Festival www.southend.gov.uk/pier
6-7 August, 11-5pm
The Southend Pier Puppet Festival returns this August for a weekend of fun and entertainment. With Punch and Judy shows running throughout both days this event promises to appeal to families and people of all ages. Normal pier admission prices apply.
Inflatable Park at Hylands House www.chelmsford.gov.uk/hylands
9-11 August, 11-4.30pm
Island Inflatables brings this fabulously bouncy park to the Back Lawn of Hylands House! There will be a huge selection of inflatables for the kids to play on, so why not bring a picnic and relax while they burn off all that energy?
Saffron Walden Maze Festival www.saffronwaldenmazefestival.co.uk
20-21 August, all day
To celebrate Saffron Walden’s maze culture, the 3rd Maze Festival will be held this summer. The full programme is still to be announced, but expect free maze games and puzzles for both adults and children!
Jump Street to open a trampoline park in Chelmsford www.jumpstreet.co.uk
The owners of Jump Street, Colchester’s popular trampoline park, have been granted planning permission to open a new trampoline park in Chelmsford.
The new 55,000 square foot space on Richmond Road in Dukes Park, will be one of the largest Trampoline Parks in Europe and will offer a lot more activities: As well as the freestyle, Dodgeball courts, The Bag, The Wall and the Slam dunk areas that can be found at Colchester, Jump Street Chelmsford will also offer a Ninja Warrior obstacle course and the first ever ‘Clip’n Climb’ in Essex.
Clip’n Climb at Jump Street, Chelmsford will have 30 individually themed climbing challenges providing 39 exciting climbing lines. These exciting challenges include amazing climbs such as the ‘Stairway to Heaven’, the ‘Leap of Faith’ and the ‘Vertical Drop Slide’ to name but a few.
Minty’s Whizzy Windmill Garden Parade www.bewilderwood.co.uk
16 July – 4 September, 10.30-5.30pm
From fancy dress parties, storytelling, twiggle trails, treasure hunts, puppet shows and lots of craft making activities. There’s kazooodles of fun things to do at BeWILDerwood this summer.
Kids Theatre www.norwich.gov.uk
29 July – 26 August, various times
Be prepared for a fantastic outdoor theatrical treat this summer with a great variety of performances at parks across Norwich. Watch re-imaginings of literary classics, favourite children’s tales and a dramatic circus story. The full programme of events is available online.
Cromer Carnival www.cromercarnival.co.uk
13-19 August, all day
From dog shows, treasure hunts, a fun run and crab catching to the Carnival parade, there are competitions and oodles of family fun to keep everyone entertained! The full programme of events is available online.
Alive Leisure will be buzzing this Summer Holidays with every sporting activity you can think of for the children! At Lynnsport children will love the Holiday Clubs where a fun packed day of sport is guaranteed, plus there are Breakfast clubs, Football fun days and new for 2016 Tennis camps on the new outdoor tennis courts. At Downham Leisure there are Top Coaching football days as well as more swimming family fun sessions and crash courses. At the Oasis, Hunstanton children can take on the exciting Fun Castle Challenge plus there is Table Tennis, Junior Circuits, Roller Skating, Junior Fitness, Multisport, Rounders and more.
New for 2016 and a great scheme is Summer Holiday Passport. Pick one activity from Tennis, Swimming, Roller Skating, Skatepark or Funcastle and pay just £15 for unlimited use over the whole summer holiday.
Pigs Gone Wild www.pigsgonewild.co.uk
27 June – 2 September, all day
Organised by St Elizabeth Hospice, the charity has teamed up with Wild in Art. The interactive sculpture trail will feature more than 40 pigs across Ipswich and beyond. This summer, follow the trail, collect points with the Pigs Gone Wild app and to try to see as many of the sculptures as possible.
Meet the Normans www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/framlingham-castle
6-7 August, 11-5pm
Travel back to 1066 and meet the Normans at Framlingham Castle! Roam their encampments, hear about their battles with the Saxons and see their awesome weaponry. Watch them fight and admire their skill at arms, enjoy Norman music and see birds take flight in the Normal Falconry display.
Tudor High Summer Hands-On History Week www.kentwell.co.uk
20-25 August, 11-5pm
Don’t just meet the Tudors, get involved with Tudor crafts and activities – and it’s not just for kids, adults can join in with Tudor life too. Try activities such as arrow whipping, silk finger braiding, carving, butter churning and needlepoint; it’s your chance to try your hand at being Tudor!