Summer holidays are just around the corner, and we know it can be hard to find activities to fill the days until school starts again. With most of the country opting for a staycation this year, we’ve put together a list of our favourite places and things to do all over the UK. From zoos to theme parks, fruit picking to beach days, there’s something for everyone!
For the animal-obsessed in your family, farms and zoos are a great day out during the holidays. Whether you want to pet pigs and goats or go on a more exotic safari – the UK has some great zoos and farms to visit. For farmyard fun, we love our local Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm Park in Salisbury, but also Pennywell Farm in Devon and the Cotswold Farm Park in Cheltenham. Cholderton and Pennywell are perfect for days out with the whole family, children and adults can enjoy pig racing, feeding animals and even alpaca trekking! Both farms boast a wide range of animals spread across expansive land – there are also wonderful cafes to regroup and enjoy a spot of lunch in. The Cotswold Farm Park (Adam Henson’s farm, for Countryfile fans!) is great for immersing yourself in the countryside, with a discovery barn, wildlife walks, outdoor play and a rare breeds trail. What’s more – you can stay overnight! With a specific camping or glamping area, families can stay and enjoy a ‘total countryside experience’.
If exotic animals are what you’re after, we’ve included our two favourite zoos to visit. For a safari-style adventure, Longleat is the place! You can safari drive through the park taking a journey along ‘Cheetah Kingdom’, ‘Wolf Wood’ and the infamous ‘Monkey Mayhem’, feed the animals and walk the rest of the grounds meeting smaller animals and playing in the outdoor adventure parks. You can even take a boat ride to meet hippos and the incredible gorilla colony! Chester Zoo is another great place to see exciting wild animals! The team at Chester are committed to wildlife conservation and preventing the extinction of endangered species. You can explore the 128-acre zoo whilst meeting and learning about wonderful wildlife. Kids can also enjoy trails, fact files and identification sheets with Chester Zoo’s learning resources. Other great zoos to visit this summer include Marwell, Bristol Zoo Gardens, Whipsnade, Regent’s Park and Shaldon Wildlife Trust.
If your children want to step back in time this summer holiday, why not take them to one of the UK’s fantastic museums? For those prehistoric pals, we can recommend Dinosaur Isle for interesting and educational visits, guided walking tours and fantastic Isle of Wight dinosaur fossils; or New Walk Museum with its colossal fossilised Cetiosaurus skeleton that towers over visitors and lots of great activities for little ones. Visit The Dinosaur Museum based in Jurassic Dorset, and discover and learn about prehistoric creatures, enjoy fun dino-themed activities and even take on your own dinosaur discoveries. Kids will love this interactive museum! More museums with fascinating dinosaur exhibitions to explore are Manchester Museum, Dinosaurland Fossil Museum and the Natural History Museum.
Sometimes, summer holidays call for good old beach days and we are not short of beautiful beaches here in the UK. Grab the swimsuits, towels, bucket, and spade and get ready to dive into British beaches waiting to be explored. Some of our favourites are; Sandbanks, Durdle Door, Ainsdale, Sennen Cove, Filey Beach, Southwold Pier Beach and Woolacombe Bay. All perfect for a day of fun in the sun. Whether you’re staying on the sand or you’re the first one in the water - these beaches offer you a great day out with your little ones.
If fruit and veg take your fancy, we’ve found some great places to pick your own! Both children and adults will enjoy the pick your own experience at Craigies Farm – with seasonal fruit available, kids can pick summer berries to their heart’s content. Perfect for little farmers! Another great place is Stanhill Farm, with more berries waiting to be picked! Stanhill features an incredible maize maze – a fun day out for all the family. If you’re near Enfield, pop over to Parkside Farm - fruits and vegetables galore! Parkside has a great farm shop with meringues, ice cream and their own Parkside honey – yum!
Worried about the rain taking over this summer? You’re not alone! We’ve come up with a few rainy-day activities to keep kids entertained. Baking is a great way to fill a dreary day! Perfect skills and make delicious treats for the family. Some of our favourite recipes are homemade pizza, Jamie Oliver’s recipe which is fab for feeding the masses. You can’t go wrong with cute cupcakes and simple iced biscuits. Kids will also love these flapjacks – with lots of ways to make them even tastier!
Arts and crafts projects are perfect for keeping little ones amused on grey days. If you saw our recent 10 tips to get summer holiday ready blog, you’ll know that we like to put things like egg boxes, empty jars and cereal boxes to one side – so we’re always ready for crafting! We found a great article with all sorts of crafts perfect for children to do at home.
Have you got a wildlife fan in your house? We’ve recently discovered WWT Wetland Centre which is great for exploring and learning about nature! With centres in Martin Mere, London, Llanelli, Arundel and more – the WWT is the perfect place for young natural scientists! For the butterfly enthusiasts among us, there are a few wonderful butterfly attractions around the UK. We’ve discovered Stratford Butterfly Farm, Tropical Butterfly House, Butterfly House and Magic of Life – each one the perfect day out for nature lovers!
Maybe you’re looking for a themed day out…if so, we’ve got just the thing for you! We were recently introduced to Diggerland – the ultimate day out for mini-construction and digger lovers! Children will get lost in a world of excitement with go-karts, digger rides, dumpers and mini tractors. There’s so much to enjoy! Fairytale fanatics will love visiting the Fairytale Farm in Chipping Norton. There are six zones for little ones to explore, with all their favourite storybook characters including sleeping Snow White, Rapunzel with her golden hair and Jack climbing the beanstalk. With animals, rides and play areas, kids will enjoy a magical day out!
Looking for something exciting and educational? We’ve found three of the best science and space centres for your mini-astronauts to enjoy! Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium is a great day out for all the family, with interactive exhibitions, science demos and planetarium shows. We The Curious is all about play and experimenting. Children are encouraged to touch and interact with the exhibits, encouraging curiosity and creativity. Visit the National Space Centre for a space adventure! Your little explorers can discover the solar system, gasp at the incredible rocket tower and admire space suits!
And of course, eatsleepdoodle’s all-time favourite activity – colouring! Whether you’re going away or staying home this summer, we’ve got something for every occasion! Our tablecloths double as great picnic blankets, and our world map backpack and butterfly crossbody bag are perfect for going on adventures. Don’t forget to stock up on pens and paper, too!
So, we hope we’ve offered some inspiration when it comes to planning the summer holidays. Whether you’re planning a staycation or staying at home, there is so much on offer! We hope you enjoy a sun-filled summer (…well, fingers crossed!) and do tag us in all your fun adventures and pics - @eatsleepdoodle_.