The summer holidays can seem very long and thinking of how to entertain the kids can be a headache so we've come up with some suggestions to make your life a whole lot easier.
Caring for Animals
Most children love animals and learning all about them and how to look after them can be a very enriching experience. 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. For a more unusual experience, how about being a pig keeper for a day? Kew Little Pigs offer this unique opportunity to care for their pigs, feed them, groom them and even exercise them on an agility course! They are also offering 20% off their Pig & Play experience until the end of July. Be prepared for mucky kids! Goring Gap Wildlife Walks offer family friendly guided walks suitable for children over 5. Inspire a love of birdwatching with an expert and you may even see foxes, deer or other mammals whilst learning all about our native wildlife.
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. Back by popular demand, the Colourscape installation is at Waddesdon. Walk through over 56 interconnecting rooms of different colours with music and lights and immerse yourself in a surreal world that stimulates your senses. There is also a pop-up Festival of Children's Literature with stories, readings and performances in the Aviary area. At Hughenden, children can enjoy the natural play area whilst adults grab a coffee in the orchard and there is a plant hunters' trail around the gardens for little ones plus Get Set Go cards full of challenges to undertake in the woodlands. Cliveden is the perfect spot from which to hire electric boats, rowing boats or canoes or head out on a skippered cruise, plus the Summer of Senses trail will lead your round the beautiful grounds and which be changing every two weeks. Stowe Gardens are the perfect place for a picnic amongst the Greek inspired temples, follies and statues and you can take part in a play trail with challenges and exercises inspired by the nature around you.
The Chilterns Celebration is taking place throughout August and includes tours, walks, and workshops. Head to Wycombe Rye on Aug 8th for a Family Fun Day with free kids' actitives, face painting, falconry, food vans, stalls and more.
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.
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. Or enjoy a day out at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre in Quainton with lots of rolling stock and exhibits to looks at, a miniature train to ride on and a Day out with Thomas the Tank Engine on 24th July or Peppa Pig on 15th August.
Odds Farm Park has some amazing summer adventures planned including welly wanging, go karts, water park, tractor rides and a fitness trail. Green Dragon Eco Farm has animal encounters, a large outdoor play area with new splash pool, go karting and sandpit, as well as lots of animals to visit on the 45 acre site.
Immersion Theatre's delightful musical version of 'The Jungle Book' is on in Langley Country Park on 29th July. Bring rugs, chairs, a picnic or purchase refreshments on site and enjoy this classic in a lovely setting with little ones. Older children and adults will enjoy Immersion's interpretation of 'Romeo & Juliet' on Aug 14th in the same perfect setting. Waddesdon is hosting 'Tudor Tales' by Inbound Theatre on 25th July, 'Wind in the Willows' by the critically acclaimed Pantaloons Theatre Company on 7th August or how about 'Treasure Island' on 21st Aug by Quantum Theatre, again in the grounds of Waddesdon?
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 Great War Weekend 24th-25th July, Terrific Tuesdays throughout August, Arbor the Tree puppet performances, a 1690s weekend with re-enactors and a 1940s weekend too! Discover Bucks (formerly Bucks County Museum) has a stunning temporary dinosaur museum, plus its permanent galleries exploring everything about Buckinghamshire and of course its Roald Dahl Children's Gallery. They also have a lovely walled garden with a new sculpture celebrating the work of William Harding who helped the poor and particularly children in Aylesbury. In Great Missenden, the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre celebrates the county's most famous writer with loads to see and do, including a new Imagining Mr Fox exhibition, Tunnelling for Treats Trail and Make Stories Like Roald Dahl Walk (part of Bucks Open Weekend). The Amersham Musuem is focusing on the Tudors with its Tudor Walks. Costume guides will tell you about the Lollard martyrs and you can learn all about life in Amersham in Tudor times.
Bucks Open Weekend
This inaugural event takes place 22nd - 25th July and celebrates the culture, creativity and stories of Buckinghamshire with over 70 events! 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.