There’s plenty of family fun to be had across the UK this half term. If it’s fresh air and the exercise you’re looking for, there are lots of things happening in the great outdoors. If the weather’s not so good, why not learn some new skills and get crafty? School holidays are a great way to get together and make the most of all that’s on offer.
1. The Lost Gardens of Heligan
Best for: Rediscovering your wild side
Get ready to take part in a range of wild activities suitable for all ages at The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall. Daily creative outdoor play includes learning survival skills, bug hunts and target practice lessons. Explore the trees, meadows and hedgerows, take on the zipwire, scurry through tunnels, and balance over the large outdoor play space.
2. York Spring Fair & Food Festival
Best for: Traditional family entertainment
Enjoy a week’s worth of family entertainment and live music at York Spring Fair & Food Festival in Yorkshire. It features a huge vintage funfair and a food festival that showcases a range of artisan food, drink stalls, and gifts.
3. Kids Rule at Belsay Hall
Best for: Medieval merriment
Get ready for a right royal knees-up in the grounds of Belsay Hall in Northumberland to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. During Belsay’s Kid’s Rule programme, you can watch historic performers and enjoy some hands-on activities and fresh-air family fun. You’ll learn about castle building, how to stage a siege and even enroll into sword school to learn all the tricks of the trade.
4. Alice’s Adventure
Best for: Your first theatre experience
Alice’s Adventure invites audiences young and old to embark on a magical storytelling trail through the glades and hidden corners of Chester’s Grosvenor Park. Using a special map and collecting stamps along the way, as well as meeting a cast of curious characters, including the Queen of Hearts, Dormouse, Cheshire Cat and Alice herself.
5. Parasquawk’s Flight of Very Fancy Colours
Best for: Outdoor fun
May is a glorious time of year to visit the woods and have family fun a Parasquawk’s Flight of Very Fancy Colours in Norfolk. Enjoy storytelling, face painting, craft activities and a puzzling park trail.
6. The National Motor Museum
Best for: Car enthusiasts
Visit the National Motor Museum in Hampshire where over 800 years of history come to life. See modes of transport from medieval, Tudor and Victorian eras to vehicles from James Bonds latest films. Explore the abbey ruins, watch falconry skills and visit the impressive country house while you’re here too.
7. Amberley Museum
Location: West Sussex
Best for: Children’s craft activities
Nestled in the heart of the South Downs National Park in Sussex, Amberley Museum is a 36-acre open air museum. This half-term, you can get stuck into family activities such as wildflower block printing and follow the trail. Visitors can also enjoy a ride on the steam train and bus, though tickets must be pre-booked online.
8. Victoria’s Family Day Out at Osborne
Location: Isle of Wight
Best for: Victorian vintage festivities
Celebrate the Jubilee like a royal at Osborne on the Isle of Wight. Join Victoria and her beloved Albert, and get involved in hands-on activities, watch vintage sideshows, and enjoy traditional fairground rides like swing boats and a helter-skelter.
9. Hay Days
Location: Powys, Wales
Best for: Book worms and aspiring writers
As part of the famous literary Hay Festival, in Powys’ Hay-on-Wye, there is an exciting free programme of events for children, young adults and families called Hay Days. Young readers and aspiring writers can enjoy interactive workshops and could even meet the author of their favourite book.