Summer is around the corner; half term is here, and the kids are hyperactive. You need to keep your easily bored children entertained somehow but what do you do? Where do you go? Luckily, we’ve done all the hard work for you with our list of child-friendly day trips you can enjoy together this summer.
1. Visit a museum
In the UK, we’re lucky to be surrounded by some of the best museums in the world. From awe-inspiring collections at the Natural History Museum, to unparalleled interactive exhibitions at the Science Museum, they offer a refreshing way to spend some quality time with the kids. Most museums have dedicated programs and events for children which not only introduce them to unknown worlds but also provide them with memorable and immersive learning experiences.
2. Go back in time to Beamish
Have you ever wondered what life was like in North East England during the 1820s, 1900s & 1940s? You and your little ones can experience it all for yourselves at Beamish, a world-famous open-air museum transporting you back in time to tell the story. Walk through the old towns where you can visit the farm, meet the pit ponies, explore the old railway or simply jump on the tram and take in the sights!
3. Take them to the Zoo or Aquarium
Kids seem to get more excited about a trip to the zoo or aquarium than anything else. Give them a day out to remember where they can explore all the weird and wonderful wildlife and sea creatures, sparking their curiosity and imagination. They’ll love the chance to make new discoveries, learn about conservation and animal care, and cultivate environmental awareness.
4. Explore Oxford
Oxford is so much more than just the University. It’s a bustling cosmopolitan town with the perfect mix of ancient history and modern charm. Visit Oxford’s 1000-year-old castle for a child-friendly history lesson or pick up a family trail at the Pitt Rivers Museum and explore it together. Finish off the day with a peaceful walk through the botanic gardens and if the weather starts to turn then warm up in the heated glasshouses.
5. Go punting in Cambridge
What would a day trip to Cambridge be without a punt down the river Cam? It’s the ideal way to see the beautiful riverside colleges while you sit back and relax. We suggest you book a guided tour when travelling with kids to avoid anyone falling in (which happens to about 4 or 5 people a day!) The benefit of having a chauffeur means that they’ll share all the historical facts and tales with you and answer any questions the kids may have.
6. Discover the Natural World at Kew Gardens
If the kids are getting tired of the local park and looking for something a bit more thrilling, then head to Kew Gardens for a mesmerising day out. With 37 acres of natural woodland you can immerse yourselves in a family forest adventure off the beaten track. Stop by The Palm House to discover the remarkable indoor rainforest and checkout The Hive to experience what life could be like inside a giant beehive. Finally, wander along the treetop canopy for breath-taking views of the gardens.
7. Enjoy the carnival in Brighton
If you’re planning an escape to the coast, Brighton makes for the perfect family seaside town. The famous Brighton Palace Pier offers a range of entertainment options for the kids from theme park rides and restaurants, to arcades and activities. Plan a family day trip to Brighton this summer because there’s nothing better than sitting by the pier eating fresh fish and chips in the sun.
8. Spend the day in York
One place that should be at the top of your list is the ancient city of York. Its incredible history and stunning architecture make it one of the most interesting cities in the UK. Your kids will love to wander through the medieval streets and walk along the ancient city walls for a truly unique experience. Famous for being York’s oldest street dating back 900 years, The Shambles is a narrow-cobbled street lined with crooked buildings that have been beautifully preserved. While you’re there, try not to get too tempted by all the sweet shops!
9. Visit a castle
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to castles in England, but we highly recommend Dover Castle in Kent for a fun day of adventure and discovery with the kids. It’s a great way to teach them about medieval life where they can climb The Great Tower, explore the wartime tunnels and even take a seat on the royal throne. If they’re lucky, costumed characters may even come out to play bringing the whole Castle to life.
10. Go on safari to Port Lympne
Transport yourselves across South America, Asia and Africa without ever leaving the UK! This award-winning wildlife attraction in Kent offers one of the most authentic safari experiences where your kids can discover over 700 rare and endangered animals. There’s so much to explore at Port Lympne including the life-size prehistoric creatures in the Dinosaur Forest that will have your kids mesmerised. If you’re planning a weekend away, you can stay overnight in one of their unique accommodations.