The summer holidays are fast approaching, and as we know, that calls for some serious planning! While the break is always a fun family time, we can't be the only ones to underestimate how tricky it is to keep the kids busy and occupied for the whole two weeks of holiday.
Unless you have big plans for this time or a possible vacation in the diary, it is likely going to be a struggle finding things to do - so if you are looking for some inspiration, we are here to help! A case study in the Neuromarketing Science & Business Association’s annual yearbook has revealed that the “perfect formula” for a child is to enjoy 17 minutes of thrills, eight minutes of mental activity, 15 minutes of relaxation, followed by 20 minutes of independent play every hour.
Speaking about the finding, Dr. Eamon Fulcher, said: "‘It’s obviously impossible for parents to get those exact timings, but this shows the mix of activities that give children the best, most memorable experience. Within this ideal hour youngsters go through a mix of excitement and fun, and feel happy, calm and relaxed.”
SEE: 22 fun things to do with the kids at home
Whether your child is a thrill seeker, thrives with adventures, is artistic, or an animal lover, we have found something to suit everyone and every budget. If you are planning to let your child run wild, or enjoy a family day out with the whole brood, there are plenty of options to book now, and we have compiled an array of activities to meet the “perfect day” formula.
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CBeebies Land at Alton Towers
Alton Towers is guaranteed to be a great day out, and something the entire family can enjoy, with rides suitable for all ages. The CBeebies Land in particular has caught our attention.
With over 40 rides and attractions, the possibility to save £30 when you book in advance, and the fact under three's go free, makes this a no-brainer when planning your weekends, or family days out.
Shoppers can select from day passes, or turn it into a longer stay too with weekend passes.
Day pass at Cbeebies Land at Alton Towers, £36, Alton Towers
Cadbury World is a fun-filled day out for your little ones. Your kids will learn how their favourite confectioneries are made, play in virtual chocolate rain, and add be able to customise their own pot of warm melted Cadbury Dairy Milk. Discover the origins of the cocoa bean, before hopping aboard the magical 'Cadabra' ride, and meeting the infamous Cadbury drumming gorilla!
You can also join Freddo and the whole gang of Cadbury characters as they whisk you away on a wondrous journey in the 4D Chocolate Adventure cinema experience, complete with motion seats. Dive into a bowl of liquid Cadbury Dairy Milk, ride the Crunchie Rollercoaster and take to the skies in a Cadbury Creme Egg airship, piloted by the Caramel Bunny.
Book a day pass from £18.95, Cadbury World
The National Trust
The National Trust boasts an amazing selection of family friendly places to visit around London. Connect with nature together in the great outdoors and have fun discovering the stories behind famous historic houses.
We love the sound of Mog's Imaginative Adventures at Osterley Park and House, which runs until 30 June. Explore Mog’s world through extracts from Judith Kerr’s classic stories on this fun family trail around the garden, produced in partnership with HarperCollins Publishers.
National Trust days out, National Trust
The Making of Harry Potter World
Whether your child is a Harry Potter fan, or obsessed with wizards and potions, there is no better place to book than a Harry Potter World Studio Tour.
Take a closer look at the props, the set, and so much more, with this hugely popular experience to while away the hours over the school holidays.
The Making of Harry Potter with Return Transportation, £99, Virgin Experience Days
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A trip to London Zoo
London Zoo is often the first place we think of when we are planning activities with children. It doesn’t matter how many times you visit, it is guaranteed to be a great day out for all the family.
Learn all there is to know about all animals, witness feeding time, or book in to try your hand at being a zookeeper too.
Entry for Two Adults and Two Children to ZSL London Zoo, £130.90, Red Letter Days
Pig petting at the farm
A visit to the farm is a fun, educational, and therapeutic activity, children of all ages can enjoy.
But instead of looking at the animals, and feeding them, you can get up close and personal at the pig farm with micro pigs and piglets.
Pig Enthusiast Experience at Kew Little Pigs for Two, £123.99, Buyagift
A trip to the theatre to watch your favourite musical is an extra special treat, no matter how old you are.
Lastminute.com has made it more affordable to enjoy a luxurious day out, belting out the hits, and being inspired by the dancers and actors on stage in some of London’s bestselling West End Shows. Select from Mary Poppins, Matilda The Musical to Wicked, and many more.
Lion King Theatre Tickets, from £36, Lastminute.com
Make your very own den
Outdoorsy children may love nothing more than a camping trip, but if you are strapped for cash, or the weather isn’t the best, an alternative is to invest in a DIY Den.
Upgrade from the table and chairs in the dining room, and countless bed sheets, with The Den Kit Company’s Den Kit Set, so your little one can be distracted channeling their inner Bear Grylls.
The Den Kit Company Forest Kit, £65, Selfridges
For the little ones out there who love an adventure, are fearless, enjoy rollercoasters and the outdoors, a Forest Rollercoaster is the activity to book.
An adult and child can race through the forest on an all-weather alpine coaster ride, which reaches a speed of 25mph on a sled, and drops to a 710 metre decent, while weaving in and out of trees.
Zip World Forest Coaster Shared Sled Ride, £37, Buyagift
Steam train day trip
We all know a child who loves everything about trains, and if that is your little one, why not book them onto the East Somerset Railway.
Enjoy a family outing on the old fashion steam train, and take in all scenic spots of the South West countryside en route. You can also enjoy stop offs, tuck into a picnic or check into a cafe on your day out, as well as get a closer look at the trains, and into the engine shed.
Family Steam Train Trip with East Somerset Railway, £38, Virgin Experience Days
Sealife Boat Tour
We love nothing more than a boat trip, and if your child is the same, or obsessed with animals, or both, this is for you.
Some may be planning a trip to the seaside over half term, or live in Cornwall, either way booking on the Sea Life Safari Boat Trip where you can see a variety of dolphins, basking sharks, while whizzing across the waves, will no doubt go down a storm.
Sealife Safari Boat Trip for Two Adults and Two Children, £140, Virgin Experience Days
Climb the O2
Climbing the O2 is not for the fainthearted, especially not for those with a fear of heights, so if your children are thrill seekers like their parents, this is for you.
You can climb the London sight during the day, evening to watch the sunset, or enjoy a special treat at the top.
Up At The O2 Climb For Two, £84, Virgin Experiences
Young Driver Experience
Let the kids be adults for the day and have a blast at this young driver experience! Designed for 10-17-year-olds, this activity will let your child learn, and let off some steam in a safe environment - all whilst you kick back and relax!
Young Driver Experience, £47.99, Buyagift
Aqua Park Experience
Booking into a swimming lesson, or aqua park is always fun for the kids, and you don't have to be on holiday abroad to enjoy it.
Aqua Park Experience for Two at Oxford Wet n Wild, £40, Lastminute.com
Football Ground Skywalk
You may have climbed The O2, but why not get a clearer view of your favourite football team's grounds with this Skywalk.
Parents and children can enjoy a weekday, or weekend, 90-minute climb over Tottenham Hotspur's stadium where you can take in all the surroundings.
The Dare Skywalk, from £39, Get Your Guide
The Arch Climbing Wall
Your little ones may try to climb on everything when they're at home, so why not give them an actual climbing wall to try their skills at?
The Arch Climbing Wall, £10, Groupon
Biscuiteers biscuit icing class
Cake making and decorating is a failsafe option when it comes to giving the kids something to do, but let’s up the ante - and save our kitchens the mess - by booking an icing class with Biscuiteers.
Children from 14 years old and up can experiment hand icing their own biscuits, while sipping on a beverage, and after you’ve perfected your ice, you will get a certificate, and Biscuiteers apron. Mary Berry - watch out!
School of Icing at Biscuiteers, £90, Biscuiteers
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For the little ones who enjoy a day at soft play, go one step further with a tampoline park, so your child can bounce around on trampolines, leap into foam pits, and practice their somersaults.
Whether you book for an hour experience, as a group, or for a party, it’ll certainly wear them out for the day.
Two Hour Trampolining Experience for Two, £40, Virgin Experience Days
Science Museum visit with a difference
When it comes to the holidays a trip to a museum is always high on the to-do list, and The Science Museum in particular never fails to impress, and pass the time.
For those who want to shake up the classic museum visit, The Science Museum has you covered with its Wonderlab, where you can let your creative juices run wild, enjoy live science experiments, learn more about science, and feel inspired.
Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery, £9, Science Museum
Sleepover at The Natural History Museum
Bring your kids’ favourite film, A Night At The Museum, to life with a sleepover at The Natural History Museum.
Book your children or the whole family into this exciting experience, which is not only educational, but super fun, and includes breakfast too.
Dino Snores for Kids, £70, Natural History Museum
Peter-Rabbit family afternoon tea
Adults often book in for an afternoon tea, but there are family-friendly afternoon teas out there for the entire family to enjoy too, and London’s hotspot The Dilly has come up with an innovative experience perfect for those wanting to book an experience over the Easter weekend.
The whole family can tuck into a Peter Rabbit inspired Afternoon Tea, sitting on the terrace, which boasts impressive views of London. With prices starting at £35, we think this is pretty affordable.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea, from £58.00, One Aldwych
Howletts Wild Animal Park
Howletts is a unique adventure like no other!
A dedicated animal conservation charity set in glorious 90-acre parkland and home to over 300 animals, including the largest herd of African elephants in the UK and more gorillas, leopards and monkeys than any zoo in the county, Howletts is offering a guaranteed fun-packed day out with their supportive ‘kids go free’ teachers strike day initiative.
Howletts Wild Animal Park tickets, from £16.36, Howletts
Disney on Ice
Get ahead for Christmas and secure your tickets for Disney On Ice presents 100 Years of Wonder. Encanto joins the show for the very first time in the UK, inspiring families to make magical memories they will treasure forever.
The production will travel throughout the UK, visiting Birmingham, Nottingham, Belfast, Exeter, Sheffield, Newcastle and London from 1 November to 31 December. Priority Customers can take advantage of the pre-sale from Friday 19th May 2023 heading to www.prioritycustomer.co.uk to sign up.
Disney On Ice presents 100 Years of Wonder, tickets on sale from Friday 26 May, Disney On Ice
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