30+ Things To Do In The Summer Holidays 2017
Image Credit: Dakota Roos
With six or more weeks to fill up what do you do?! Here are some ideas for things to do over the summer with the kids.
Including arts and crafts, places to go, games to play and things to do. Make this your easiest summer yet!
Out and About
- What's on at the Cinema this Summer? Latest Kids Movies.
- Check out your local library. Many libraries will be running summer kids activitiy sessions including reading trails, competitions and storytelling sessions and they will probably be free. If not you can always borrow some books....
- How many of the 50 things to do before you're 11¾ have you done? Visit the National Trust's website for your local family events including den building, pond dipping, bug hunts and tree climbing, and get some crossed off your list.
- Get the bikes out and go for a ride. If you don't have bikes, many local forests or bike trails may have bike hire facilities
- The Ulster Wildlife Trust run a series of bug hunts and wildlife watching days, along with night time bat watches at the Ecos Centre and Nature Park in Ballymena and Delamont Country Park in Killyleagh each summer.
- Kids Week In the West End runs from 1st to 31st August 2016 (Yes, yes, I know that's more than a week) and offers discounted tickets to West End shows, theatre workshops and other special events. Tickets go very fast so book up as soon as possible.
- Just Walkin’ the Dog! Try one of the 10 Best Dog Walks In the UK. Have lots of fresh air and fun with your four-legged friends.
- Pick Your Own. A great way to get lots of fresh air and find out how your favourite fruit is grown is to visit a pick your own farm. You also have the benefits of less packaging and you get to choose the fruit or vegetable you want.
- There is lots of summer fun to be had London's museums and galleries. More than 100 activities are planned for young people from 19 months to 19 years - and most of them are FREE. Teens can learn photography, drawing, animation and contemporary art. All ages can enjoy festivals, games, art classes, stories, performances and so much more. Get all the info at Art Exhibitions London.
- A-Maize-ing. Corn mazes are sprouting up all over the UK. A corn maze is a temporaty maze grown just for one summer. Visit your nearest one and help a local farmer - they are only available until harvest time!! To find out where the nearest maze to you crops up, visit maizemaze.org.uk.
- Take the train or bus on your next day out. The novelty of commuting may have worn off years ago for you, but if you usually drive the kids everywhere it will seem like a real adventure to them.
- Play Tennis for Free. Well almost - you have to bring your own racket and balls, but the Tennis For Free campaign has a list of free to use courts in the UK.
- The National Museum Of Scotland in Edinburgh has childrens event on every day of the week during the summer holidays, including craft activities, gallery safaries, colouring and object handling sessions.
- Go on the Mount Snowdon Railway, to the highest building in England & Wales and see one of the UK's most breath-taking views.
- Be a tourist in your own town. Visit your local monuments and museums. If you live near a big tourist town take a tour bus and see your hometown form a new perspective.
- Go Fly A Kite. Go to a local park or visit the Kite Society for a list of kite events. Remember kite safety and do not fly your kite too near to trees, phone masts or electricity pylons.
- Get a taste of being on stage with Chickenshed, who are running summer holiday performance workshops in London forall ages.
Related: 10 Childrens Swings that Will Get Your Kids Begging to Play Outdoors
Arts and Crafts
- Tie-dye those grotty old PE T-shirts and have something unique to wear on holiday this year. Clothes dye can be bought quite cheaply from your local hardware store or online.
- Make a recycled collage. Use old magazines and junk mail to make a picture. The only other things that you need are glue and a bit of imagination.
- Make some big art. Create your own version of Peter Blake’s iconic cover to The Beatles Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band which is celebrating it's 50th anniversary this year. Use photographs, colouring pictures and drawings of friends, family and your favourite cartoon characters. Stick them all on a huge piece of paper.
- Get messy with some papier mache. You could make a piñata or use a plate, bowl or dish as a former (Remember to cover it with petroleum jelly first or your work of art won’t come off!).
- The late summer Bank Holiday is the traditional time for the Notting Hill Carnival, so why not join in the carnival fun and Make Your Own Carnival Mask.
- Keep a scrapbook of your summer holiday. Stick in photos, leaflets, tickets and other mementoes of your days out. Include a written description of what you did or make a drawing of what you saw.
- Make your own jigsaws by cutting out pictures from magazines, sticking them onto card and cutting them up.
What if it Rains?
- Make an event out of the latest family DVD releases. Recreate that cinema experience - draw the curtains, get some popcorn and fizzy pop and squash together on the sofa for an afternoon’s viewing.
- Have a sort out of all the unused and outgrown toys and clothes in the house. Take the ones that are in really good condition to the local charity shop and enjoy all that extra space.
- Make your own restaurant. Get the kids to create menus and table decorations for your evening meal. Remeber to use a tablecloth and napkins. If you’re brave you could let them serve the food.....
- Kids always love Wordsearches plus they are fun and educational too. There are new ones on eParenting all the time, and you can print them all off for free.
- Have a picnic indoors. If the rain is pelting down, get out the picnic blanket, put it down in the front room and have lunch indoors. Great fun and you can collect all the crumbs up in the blanket afterwards. Picnic recipes from the BBC.
- Have a dress-up day. Get out all the kids dressing up costumes, find some old clothes, bags and jewellery and try everything on. Make hats out of card or newspaper.
- Have a treasure hunt by writing clues to find objects hidden around the house - or garden if the sun shines. You could hide tasty treats, pencils and colouring pictures or even hide their lunch!! Use picture clues for younger kids.
Related: 100 Screen-Free Ideas for a Rainy Day
In the Garden
- Be pavement artists for the day – well in your own garden anyway. Decorate the patio or stone steps with colourful chalks.
- Find a corner of the garden and Make A Worm Bin with peelings, apple cores and old teabags. Kids will be fascinated by watching the peelings rot and the worms will love you.
- Check the bottom of the garden for fairies. Take your camera and see what you find.
- Have a sports day with all the old favourites – 3 legged race, egg and spoon, backwards race, balancing a bean bag on your head and a sack race.
- If the sun ever comes out and it's warm enough, we love this idea from Inner Child Fun to make your own Sponge Bombs then lob them around to cool off. Chance'd be fine thing.....
- More ideas for chilling out - have a cool Pool Party on a hot day. Get out the paddling pool, lay out sun loungers, towels or garden chairs and cool off with a dip! Wearing glitzy sunglasses is optional, suncream is compulsary!
- Make paper lanterns to decorate the garden for a barbeque or party. They can be decorated with pencils, paints or glitter for maximum effect.
- Have your own boat race. Make a paper boat, decorate it and race it with your friends.
- Be really organised and get all your school uniform bought and named in good time. Maybe not the kids idea of a great afternoon out, but excellent for Mum's sanity!
About the Author: Jacqui O'Brien is the Editor of eParenting.