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  • Writer's pictureTracy Tristram

50 fun-packed things to do in the summer holidays

things to do in the summer holidays

And just like that another school year is winding up next month which means we've got rather a long stretch with the kiddos to fill with fun. Lucky for you we've come up with a few things to do in the summer holidays: 50 things to be precise!

  1. With all the airport strikes still making overseas holidays a tad tricky, why not think about a sneaky narrowboating with kids getaway in the UK?

  2. Not feeling life on a canal? Then how about heading for the hills? Literally, with this guide to the Lake District. We went last summer and had the BEST time!

  3. We can guarantee fun, but we can't guarantee the weather: try these activities around London that the rain can't ruin.

  4. And if the sun comes out, then try the outdoor ideas in London the whole fam will love.

  5. School might be out for 6 weeks but that doesn't mean we're not on board with a bit of sneaking some learning in when the opportunity arises, starting with these top notch London museums.

  6. Free fun alert! Download one of our printable scavenger hunts: it's amazing what children can find when they actually want to find things.

  7. Save putting a kid-shaped hole in your wallet and try these London-based free activities for families.

  8. Discover Geocaching: family fun in the great outdoors at its best, and another freebie to add to your list of free stuff to do.

  9. Been thinking about adding a furry member to the family? Then check out the animal shelters around town to track down your new fur baby.

  10. Not ready to commit to adopting an animal? Then head to an animal sanctuary or farm for your furry fix instead.

  11. If you have bored teens or tweens at home, give them this guide of 50 things to do in London and let them crack on with it.

  12. More learning through play fun: this time at The Clink Prison Museum! A gruesomely fun adventure for sure.

  13. And if it's gruesome that floats your boat, then you definitely need to know about the terribly good river experience: Horrible Histories' Terrible Thames Tour! Packed with horrible but fun facts, this is a Thames boat trip with a difference.

  14. Go crabbing! Head to your nearest coast or estuary and get busy with this good old fashioned activity that you'll love as much as the kids do. Don't forget your crabbing nets!

  15. Raid the recycling bin and turn all those old toilet rolls into craft opportunities.

  16. Did you know that there is treasure to find along the shores of the Thames every time the tide goes out? Check the tide times and head to the banks for a spot of mudlarking this summer for a free activity that's sure to be a winner. Thames Explorer has some great tips for where to go and what to do.

  17. Feeling a day indoors? Then why not have a doughtally lovely time whipping up a storm in the kitchen with these easy recipes for kids.

  18. And if the baking doesn't quite go to plan, treat yourselves to a sweet treat of a delivery: afternoon tea brought to your doorstep!

  19. Snuggle down with a big bowl of popcorn and some tasty snacks, shut the curtains, dim the lights, and whack on a host of family films.

  20. Get yourself into the Surrey countryside to hang out with alpacas and send the kids down a zipline at Hobbledown Adventure Farm.

  21. Head to the coast for a day at the beach. Sandcastle building competitions are compulsory. Don't forget to take your trash home with you, folks, please (and then turn it into upcycling projects for another day). The Essex, Kent and Sussex coast lines have some lovely resorts perfect for a large dose of Vitamin Sea.

  22. For a high speed adventure that is sure to make a splash with the family, a Thames Rockets experience will launch you into 'cool parent' stratosphere. Use the discount code TRinsta20 and you'll bag yourself 20% off the total price. Let's get a 'woo hoo' to that!

  23. Make your own playdough. And then make your own slime.

  24. Turn plastic bottles into masterpieces.

  25. If, like so many of us, you've had your vacay plans postponed, bring the vacay to your home after heading over to this fab guide by Millets for the full lowdown on how to ace a night under the stars in your own garden.

  26. Have a squidgy, squelchy, sensory play day.

  27. Paint some rocks using our guide for some inspo, and then place them around your local park for people to find.

  28. Now that theatres have finally reopened, start ticking the fam-friendly belters off your 'must see' list! Book via Official London Theatre and you'll bag yourself FREE kids' tickets for selected shows! We've recently seen and reviewed Frozen, Grease and Harry Potter & the Cursed Child, so take a look before you book. We're off to see Wicked soon so keep your eyes peeled for that one too.

  29. Surprise the kids with a quirky kinda day out in London.

  30. Take your dog for a walk, and if you don't have a dog, borrow one.

  31. Have a family competition to see who can come up with the best smoothie recipe. Cheat sheet right here...

  32. And then if the sun is shining cool off with these fab ice lolly recipes.

  33. Strike it lucky with a game or two of bowling at your local alley.

  34. Banish boredom with a board game: hop into this guide for some of our faves.

  35. Have a think about ways that you can become more eco-friendly as a famalam and then implement the changes.

  36. Turn cardboard boxes into trains, TVs and fish tanks!

  37. Face masks (the beauty types, not the COVID-19 protection types), home pedicures, hairdressing and a makeover... set up your own home salon with the small humans.

  38. Take a wander around London's best country parks. And if you don't live near London, discover the ones in your area. Don't forget a picnic (and to check for train strikes before you set off!).

  39. Get the kids' imaginations firing on all cylinders by making some cool puppets with them, and then getting them to come up with a little puppet show of their own. If you need some 'how to make a puppet' inspo, then we love this adorable sock puppet craft by Schaeresteipapier.

  40. Order some washi tape and then create your own washi tape masterpieces.

  41. Break out the googly eyes and get busy with these arty boredom busters.

  42. Check out our guide to the Tower of London, and then get yourselves over there to check it out for real.

  43. Spend some time ticking off all the ideas on our bumper school holiday craft list.

  44. Score a parenting win by taking the kids for a spot of mini golf at your nearest course.

  45. Keep your little bees busy with our fabulous guide to gardening projects the whole fam can get involved with, including a rather spiffy bug hotel.

  46. One thing the UK is not short on is wide open spaces. No matter what part of the country you are in, there will be beautiful countryside not too far from home to explore. Bring binoculars, a picnic, plenty of water and your sense of adventure, and remember, tired kids = a decent night's sleep for parents! Maybe.

  47. Make lunch together every day, using these easy peasy ideas.

  48. Go old school and teach the kids how to play card games that are not Snap!

  49. Head into the Essex countryside to check out Hopefield Animal Sanctuary which has a whole summer of fun lined up, with all proceeds going back into supporting its 500+ rescued and previously neglected animals.

  50. At the end of the break, get back into back to school mode with these educational but fun documentaries.

And there you have it, you're all set for things to do in the summer holidays! Have fun, folks!

Don't forget to also follow us for more things to do in London with kids over on Instagram and Facebook!

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