What's on for kids this Summer

The summer holidays can seem very long and thinking of how to entertain the kids can be a headache but worry not, we've come up with some suggestions to make your life a whole lot easier.

Family Fun Days Out

We can always rely on the National Trust to offer families great days out during the holidays. As well as stunning historic buildings and acres of parklands and grounds to explore, most lay on some special activities for the summer. At Waddesdon, enjoy outdoor theatre starting on 22nd July with 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny' as Quantum Theatre return with an enchanting new adaptation of two of Beatrix Potter’s best-loved tales. This is followed by Unbound Theatre's 'Hamlet' on Sun 24th, free with grounds admission! On Aug 2nd, how about a workout with Joe Wicks as he comes to Waddesdon's grounds for a group PE session? Aug 5th sees a funny yet faithful adaptation of 'War of the Worlds' by the Pantaloons theatre group. Pack a picnic and a blanket and enjoy this live entertainment with the stunning backdrop of the manor.  At Hughenden, discover nature’s finest on their Royalty in Nature trail, which is along the Woodcock Wood (blue waymarked) walk. Discover which tree has the biggest crown, build a castle, and spot a queen. Cliveden is the perfect spot from which to hire electric boats, rowing boats or canoes or head out on a skippered cruise, plus you can enjoy their Come Out & Play summer adventure. Stowe Gardens are the perfect place for a picnic amongst the Greek inspired temples, follies and statues and you can visit Stowe House and view the elegant interiors and enjoy some self-led craft activities.

If the kids are climbing the walls, send them up some trees instead! Go Ape at Wendover Woods, Black Park and Treetop Extreme at Willen Lake will give them that burst of adrenaline and burn up some energy too. Riverside activity centre Longridge offers activities for kids and taster sessions for families you fancy trying your hand at kayaking or paddleboarding. Kids activities suit different age groups and involve all sorts of fun activities from the climbing to rafting to laser tag. 

Or how about something creative? Keeeps on Marlow High Street has a range of fun pottery classes running in the holidays, from Clay Taster Classes to a 2-Day Pottery Club.  Children will learn pottery techniques and make their own unique pieces, as well get a go on the wheel. 

Marlow is a great day out destination. The attractive High Street has plenty of child-friendly options like stylish kids’ clothing boutique Angel & Rocket, Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shop and Marlow Toys, plus family-friendly eateries like Megan’s and newly opened Amorino, a must-visit for authentic Italian gelato in an array of flavours, located just opposite Higginson Park. The park is perfect for picnics and offers an exciting playground, ideal for younger children, mini golf during the holidays, and relaxed riverside walks along the towpath.  You can also hire a small boat in the park from The Little Green Boat Company or enjoy a short river cruise on the Thames with Salter’s Steamers.

Colne Valley Park is running a Festival Fortnight which includes guided walks, children's craft sessions, boat trips and river dipping from July 24th to Aug 6th. 

If you have a train fan in the family, then climb aboard Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway for a fantastic steam train ride through the countryside, with kids travelling for only £1 on selected school holiday days. Or enjoy a day out at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre in Quainton with lots of rolling stock and exhibits to look at, a miniature train to ride on and a Day out with Thomas the Tank Engine on 23rd to 25th July & 4th/5th Sept or Paw Patrol's Marshall & Skye on 14th August, plus a classic car show on 29th August.

Green Dragon Eco Farm has animal encounters, a large outdoor play area with a splash pool, go karting and sandpit, as well as lots of animals to visit on the 45 acre site. 22nd - 28th August, they are hosting a 'Miracle Week' when a 'Miracle Keeper' will be dishing out magic and fun (more details are yet to be revealed).

Missenden Abbey is holding a summer fair on 17th July with tombola, circus performers, pony rides, live music and gift and food stalls.

Caring for Animals

Most children love animals and learning all about them and how to look after them can be a very enriching experience. So how about being a pig keeper for a day? Kew Little Pigs are offering this unique opportunity on July 25th to care for their pigs, feed them, groom them and even exercise them on an agility course! Be prepared for mucky kids! For over 130 years the Home of Rest for Horses has specialised in providing retirement and respite for working horses and ponies. You can visit some of the horses in their stables and learn their incredible stories, and enjoy refreshments at their cafe with outdoor seating with a view over the countryside. Horsewyse in Long Crendon is offering pony activity days where your child can learn how to look after ponies, from feeding, to grooming to mucking out, as well as ride them. Perfect fun in the fresh air for any horse lovers.

A Trip to the Museum

Nowadays, museums aren't just galleries of old things to look at but wonderful interactive places, often hosting special events and performances. Chiltern Open Air Museum has loads happening this summer with the re-enactment of a Viking Raid 16th - 17th July, a classic vehicle show on 23rd-24th July, Wellington's Army on 20th - 31st July and Terrific Tuesdays running throughout August. Bletchley Park has a 'Puzzles & Pastimes' activity for kids, plus an 'Amazing People, Amazing Machines' family guided tour. Silverstone Interactive Museum have a new exhibition on but the kids might be more interested in their simulator ride! Race the circuit, race your friends, race the clock in this ultimate racing experience. They are laying on loads of extra activities for kids this summer including quizzes, challenges, a build your own air-powered car and car design brass rubbing! Discover Bucks Museum has a Feel the Force Summer Science Festival from 25th July to 3rd Sept which will amaze families with hands-on interactive exhibits about forces, together with lots more fun science activities to discover all around the museum and garden. Plus its permanent galleries exploring everything about Buckinghamshire with its 5 new galleries and of course its Roald Dahl Children's Gallery. They also have a lovely walled garden in which to enjoy treats from their cafe. In Great Missenden, the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre celebrates the county's most famous writer with loads to see and do, including an immersive Roald Dahl's Wondrous Woods exhibition and self-guided Tree Trek (part of Bucks Open Weekend). The Amersham Musuem has a Time Travel Trail of Old Amersham and throughout the summer are running creative textiles and sewing sessions for kids.

Bucks Open Weekend - now finished but will be back next year

Get ready to immerse yourself in 4 days of creativity and culture from July 28th to 31st as Bucks once again celebrates its 'Open Weekend'. This year’s topic of ‘trees and green’ was originally inspired by the Platinum Jubilee 2022 ‘Queen’s Green Canopy’ project. It will encourage people to engage creatively with nature, trees, green spaces, landscape, and their heritage. Activities are inspired by, or take place near, local trees, in woodland, parkland and other green spaces. There are walks, art projects the public can participate in, exhibitions, story sessions, concerts, tours and so much more. Take a look at the full programme through our article here.

A Trip to the Theatre

Buckinghamshire's premier theatre, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, has some great shows for kids this summer. 'Gangsta Granny', July 28th - 31st, is based on David Walliams best selling book and continues to be a family favourite. Milkshake Live! is on Mon 29th August with all the firm favourites your kids love from the TV show and 'The Zoo That Comes to You' on Sat 3rd Sep, follows the attempts of two animal enthusiasts to share their love of and concern for animals as they discuss their life experiences and the challenges they face in a rapidly changing world dominated by humans. An adorable production for young audiences.

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