How do you keep your younger children busy in the summer holidays without long journeys and a second mortgage?
Here’s my list of tried and tested favourites, I hope you enjoy them as much as my own family have.
Close to Home
Bedgebury is great for the fun play areas and bike tracks. Fill your car up to get your moneys worth in the car park! Taking your own bikes will also cut costs.
Get lost in the maze at Maze Moon – which one will you choose?
Himalayan Gardens is another great place to head out for an afternoon or morning and it’s right on our doorstep. Stunning gardens, fun areas for the children to play, a comprehensive summer schedule to keep the children entertained, plus you may get to see the yeti! As a bonus – the cafe offers delicious food.
There are lots of places locally to cater for families looking for an active day out, just pack a picnic!
Leeds Castle has plenty to do and see, playgrounds, mazes, obstacle course, the black swan ferry and the mystical underground grotto to name a few.
Visit the maze at Hever Castle or enjoy the fabulous play area, find the dragons eggs in the castle or enjoy the jousting and participate in the shield quest. There is always plenty going on there.
See the toys in the toy museum at Penshurst Place, have fun on the adventure play area, or have a walk round the woodland trail, you wont be short of things to do here.
We had many a fun day at Groombridge when the children were little, they loved playing in the play areas, seeing the Zeedonks, (yes they are a thing!) and plenty of fun and imagination playing on the Crusoe ship and boardwalk.
A Day in the Capital
There is lots to do in London and it can cost as much or as little as budget allows.
We would often get off the train at London Bridge and walk to Waterloo along the Southbank or vice versa. There is always loads going on any time of the year, the little ones can watch the entertainers, play in the Southbank Park, have fun in the tunnels under the bridges and plenty more.
If they aren’t fond of walking, why not take their scooters up to ride?
Between London Bridge and Tower Bridge there are some water fountains, so if it’s hot day take a change of clothes and if the river tide is out you can play on the sandy shores.
Covent Garden is always busy and full of entertainment, well worth a wander around or a stop for lunch.
Hamleys is always a popular choice, lots of fun to be had with the entertainment there and if they’ve not spent all of their pocket money by then, there’s also the Lego Store to look round in Leicester Square.
Download these treasure hunt maps – these are good fun at any age – also ideal to do all around the country – we have done a few – the ones in London will guarantee to take you to places you have never been!
There are bound to be rainy days, this is England after all! Fortunately, there is plenty locally to stop them climbing the walls.
Ninja Warrior is fun for all ages, believe me!! Little Street is great for their imagination and we had many a great day at Kidzania, children earning ‘kidz money’ while trying out various ‘jobs’ from being a pilot to making chocolate, to be a racing car mechanic to a fireperson.
Another universal family favourite for kids of all ages. I’ve listed some great options in our local area here.
Farms and Nature Trails
Christmas Tree Farm is a lovely local farm where you can feed the animals or I recommend heading to Willows nature trail in Coolings Garden Centre to watch the birds and see some animals in their beautiful nature area.
And For Free..
Big days out are great fun but not for every day! Give your pocket a break with my suggestions for free or inexpensive days out.
Choose Knole Park if they would enjoy the added bonus of seeing the deer or try Battersea Park or Swanley Park where you’ll find water, animals and a miniature railway to keep the little ones amused, plus plenty more. Danson Park is also lovely, we’re lucky to be so spoiled for choice!
Crystal Palace Park is ideal for dinosaur fans and Tonbridge Park is close to the castle and local pool. Make it more fun for small children by taking the train there!
Bewel Water has lots of walking routes and the is plenty of fun to be had in the water at Shoreham or Enysford. Take fishing nets and towels and let them splash around.
There are numerous walks here of different lengths and many are suitable for families.
We are lucky to have some great beaches close by, head to Margate, Joss Bay, Camber Sands, Hastings, or Brighton. Go crabbing, eat fish and chips, take a picnic – just dont forget to check those tide times!
Crack open the popcorn or enjoy your freshly baked treats and have a movie afternoon at home, that never disappoints.
Or why not design a treasure trail in your garden and home.
If in doubt.. Hide the crisps and chocolates – a whole summer of fun with the kids trying to find them, and keeps you entertained too!
Have fun and I would love to know where and what you get up to over the summer, share the love if you find some great places during the summer holidays.
Let me know what you try! Tag BR6Life in your own recommendations if I’ve not listed them here, I might even add them!