Play, dance and get creative at the Isle of Wight’s new family festival The Great Wonderfest; join a programme of free lunar-inspired events in Dorset to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing; or try your hand at goats cheese making. England is packed with new inspiring child friendly holidays and activities for the summer and beyond.
Summer vibes and festival fun
New family festival: The Great Wonderfest, Isle of Wight
1-4 August 2019
This brand new family festival has announced an exciting line-up of live acts, DJ’s, family shows, TV stars and even magic, variety and cabaret. Kids will love live headline shows from boy band superstars Busted and The Vamps, plus performances from TV favourites Peppa Pig & George’s Summer Festival, Flawless, Rastamouse and a Robots Live Arena featuring stars of BBC Robot Wars, among many, many others. As said by hosts and kids’ TV legends Dick and Dom, “‘The Great Wonderfest’ will be the ultimate family extravaganza.” If you’d like to stay longer to explore the Isle of Wight, join the 7 day Wondercamp to plot up in your camper van or pitch up your tent from Monday 29th July. Family Weekend Camping costs from £300.00, 7 day Family Weekend Camping costs from £350.00 (day tickets, weekend camping, VIP packages and glamping available).
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lunar Landings at Bluedot Festival, Cheshire
18-21 July 2019
Join an audience of thousands on the plain beneath the great white dish of the Lovell Telescope, which captured the first images of the surface of the moon when Apollo 11 touched down in 1969, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lunar Landings. Explore the wonders of the universe at this family friendly festival, which has a stellar line-up from the worlds of music, science and cosmic culture. Family festivalgoers can discover a world of wonder in intergalactic family areas which are packed full of cool science shows, hands-on activities, amazing animations, a dazzling array of surprising tricks, science superheroes and weird brain illusions – designed for the young and young at heart! Day and night tickets cost: £65.70 for adults, £27.50 for children (6-10 years), and free for children 5 and under.
Bigger than before BBC Summer Social festival, Liverpool
3-4 August 2019
The Summer Social is back and this time it’s bigger than ever as it brings together the very best bits of the whole BBC for a packed weekend of music, sport and live performances for family festival fun. On Saturday, kids will love a big pop line up on the main stage along with CBBC favourites, broadcast live on the CBBC channel and on BBC Radio 2 with Jo Whiley. Sunday’s a day for little monsters as Mr Tumble headlines the main stage alongside Andy Day & The Odd Socks, Dr Ranj, YolanDa's Band Jam, Cook and Line from Swashbuckle, Hey Duggee and special live performances from big family shows. They’ll be broadcasting live on CBeebies from the festival for the first time ever. All of the activities on site are available to everyone, and included in the ticket price of £23.50 plus £1.50 (free for under 2s).
Teach ‘em a lesson
New goats cheese-making courses in Honingham, just outside Norwich
Join a new immersive experience of all things cheese-making at the Fielding Cottage Norfolk Holidays farm; learning about the science of the process, seeing the state-of-the-art factory (which supplies Waitrose) and of course getting hands on making your very own goats cheese to take home. Fielding Cottage Norfolk Holidays has three holiday cottages where attendees can combine their course with an idyllic stay. The courses cost £75.00, with a minimum order of two tickets.
Let kids control the city at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum
Opened 25 May 2019
MiniBrum, a major new mini city where children are in charge, is set to inspire children to think like scientists and engineers. The mini city allows children to explore and question their understanding of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) world around them. Through play, the city gives children the confidence to think like scientists in real-life scenarios where they will be testing their ideas, problem solving and creating. This exciting, interactive child-sized world has been created in collaboration with schools, families and community groups, and features recognisable landmarks, such as the Birmingham canals, Selfridges and the Old Joe Clock Tower at the University of Birmingham. MiniBrum may be smaller than Birmingham itself, but it can accommodate up to 300 people in its 900m2 space. Adult (age 16-64) £14.00, Child (3-15 years) £10.25, Child (under 3 years) free.
YHA's oldest youth hostel is transformed; and so is their plastic waste programme, Somerset and UK-wide
The oldest YHA youth hostel in England and Wales, YHA Street in Somerset in the South West, has been completely overhauled following a £300,000 investment. As well as having a complete refresh inside, the chalet-style hostel now offers camping pods and bell tents in its grounds, which will be available for guests to stay in between April and October each year and the pods can be booked year-round. The YHA is having a moment this year as they’re reducing plastic waste by planning to install water bottle refill stations across their entire hostel network in 2019, which will help save over 500,000 single-use plastic bottles that are used in packed lunches for school groups staying with YHA. They’re currently trialling this at 26 hostels.
If they can sit still…
The Czech National Symphony Orchestra perform Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, UK-wide
7-21 September 2019
This September, The Czech National Symphony Orchestra will delight fans by performing live to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as part of the Harry Potter Film Concert Series. Audiences will be able to relive the magic of the entire film in high-definition on a 40-foot screen while hearing the Czech National Symphony Orchestra perform John Williams’ unforgettable score live. Tickets costs from £44.95.
Beano Time Travellers! Mottisfont, Hampshire
20 July – 8 September 2019
This summer much-loved Beano characters are setting up home at Mottisfont, for a vibrant new exhibition exploring 80 years of mischief and mayhem, including work by Laura Howell - Beano’s first female illustrator. As well as original artwork, there will also be vintage collectors’ items on display such as a Beano bicycle and a pair of decorated Doc Martens. The exhibition promises to be a great day out for families and individuals alike – whether its adults re-discovering their favourite characters, or young children meeting them for the first time. Normal standard prices apply: £18.15 for adults; £9.10 for children with gift aid.
Stay for longer
Make it a Monster Summer with 40% off tickets to the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort, Berkshire
Until 1 July 2019
Families can make monster savings on visits to the Legoland® Windsor Resort, with 40% off on tickets booked online. Day tickets are from just £28 to visit the Resort until 2 November 2019. For visits during the school summer holidays, day tickets can be purchased online from just £36. There's something for everyone with LEGO Friends, Pirates, Adventure, LEGO NINJAGO, Kingdom, Knights or Wizard themed rooms to choose from, along with LEGO character meet and greets, a free LEGO gift for every child and early access to the theme park. Families can extend the monster summer with a short break at the unique LEGOLAND Hotel or the majestic LEGOLAND Castle Hotel, with packages from £123pp or a nearby partner hotel from £61pp.
Margate’s the place to be: new Roller Coast Festival and reopening of Margate Caves, Kent
Get ready for six weeks of super-charged, brain-bending, back-flipping, song bursting summer as Dreamland launches its Roller Coast Festival for the school holidays. The ‘all you can treat’ Margate amusement park will be rolling out daily entertainment for little kids and big kids from 19 July to 1 September, with different themed activity on the free to enter park every week. Dreamland Margate is free to enter, and guests can pay per ride or buy discounted ride wristbands in advance online.
Whilst there, check out Margate Caves as they reopen this summer, following their closure in 2004. At the heart of all this will be a new visitor centre, which has a dramatic exterior and will provide a new landmark on the route between Margate’s Old Town and nearby Dalby Square, Northdown Road and Cliftonville. Visitors can learn the story of the Margate Caves and how landscape, ecology and geology have impacted on the town’s rich social and cultural history.
New Viking Village at Kynren, Durham
Experience a more peaceful side of Viking life in the brand new Viking Village, before seeing the epic outdoor live action show. Visit the cookhouse complete with its own vegetable patch and the woodworker’s cottage built into the hillside, and watch the past come to life at the working blacksmith’s forge where you’ll be able to see real chainmail being made. Kynren – an Epic Tale of England is a multi-award-winning live action outdoor theatre spectacular set in the grounds of Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland which takes you on a spellbinding voyage through history as seen through the eyes of Arthur, the son of a mining family.
Don’t break the bank; under £10 for kids
Let your kids go wild behind the scenes at the Royal Opera House, London
June and July 2019
This summer families can immerse themselves in behind-the-scenes events at the Royal Opera House through a series of theatrical Family Sundays. The next Family Sunday, Beat Out That Rhythm (30 June, 11am to 3pm) will see the building transformed into a playground where children can make crafts and sing and dance in a host of activities inspired by the opera Carmen. Tickets cost just £10 for adults and £8 for children and can be bought in advance or on the day. The event is particularly suitable for children aged three to ten years old.
Robin Hood and the Monk, Nottingham
A brand new family show by Ezekial Bone brings a promenade performance of one of the earliest medieval Robin Hood ballads, adapted for young minds and family audiences. The promenade performance begins at Nottingham Contemporary and walks a short distance to the ancient St Mary's Church, the very setting for this ancient legend. Tickets: Under 14s: £6, Adults: £12, Family: 2 adults, 2 Under 14s: £30, 1 free under 5 yrs with 1 paying adult.
Culture Mile Explorers: A beastly family challenge, London
30 June – 1 September 2019
Intrepid explorers are needed for this new beastly adventure! The Beastly Family Challenge is an exciting digital treasure hunt connecting some of Culture Mile’s best family friendly spaces, with challenges, games and clues to help families explore a new route through the city. The trail will take you and the family away from the busy streets of the city, up to the City’s high walk and the streets in the air. All ages free, drop-in.
For more ideas check out www.visitengland.com/things-to-do/family
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