Lots of our parents are asking for ideas and things to do in the school holidays… So here are my first 30 ideas of local #SummerFun
- A trip to Willen Lake (above) – Willen Lake is Milton Keynes’ most popular park. With activities for all the family on and off the water, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in our beautiful setting. https://www.willenlake.org.uk/
2. Thrift Farm – There’s lots to see and do at Thrift Farm this Summer including brand new attractions to discover! ONLINE TICKETS NOW LIVE @ https://www.thrift-farm.co.uk/book.htm Thrifty’s new Adventure Playground and the new Animal Barn. To ensure social distancing, they are restricting numbers and taking online bookings only. Please read the other COVID-19 measures on their website.
3. Milton Keynes Play Association (MKPA) – https://mkpasummerplaysessionbooking.as.me/schedule.phpPlay Sessions Are BACK!
“As we all know, this year has been a year of great uncertainty. We at Milton Keynes Play Association are pleased to announce that we have faced these challenges and adapted our play sessions in line with government guidelines so that they can go ahead this Summer.In previous years we have months of preparation planned to fulfill the play sessions within the community of Milton Keynes, working work alongside parishes to cater for their needs in advance. This year many of our staff were furloughed until July and those that were working only had time utilised for operational activities. The past 3 weeks we have managed to pull off the IMPOSSIBLE!”
4. Teardrop lakes, Knowlhill – The Teardrop Lakes are an important part of the city’s balancing lake system, able to take storm waters to prevent flooding of housing areas. They also provide valuable leisure facilities for the city’s residents. while the variety of habitats, including dense reedbeds, makes the lakes an excellent spot to enjoy wildlife. See: https://www.theparkstrust.com/parks/teardrop-lakes/
5. Knebworth House, Park and Gardens, Hertfordshire – Have a fun-filled day at the Adventure Playground: enjoy the astro and drop slides, play on the swings and slides at Fort Knebworth, whizz down the zip wire, try the interactive splash water play features, bounce on the bouncy castle, and scale the new climbing equipment. https://www.facebook.com/Knebworthhouse/
6. Stockwood Discovery Centre, Luton, LU1 4LX – There’s so much to discover at Stockwood! Boasting a thrilling programme of exhibitions, an award-winning carriage display, an outdoor children’s play area, and breathtaking walled gardens.
Stockwood Discovery Centre will be open from Thursday 6th August 2020. *** Check all websites for details ***
New opening hours will be in place: Thursday – Sunday 11am til 5pm. The Garden Cafe will be open @ https://www.culturetrust.com/venues/stockwood-discovery-centre
7. Natural History Museum in Tring, Hertfordshire, HP23 6AP – Book your free tickets from the 16 July to enjoy a visit to the Museum. See: https://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/tring.html
It’s essential that all visitors (including Members and Corporate Supporters) book a free ticket in advance online. If you’re unable to book online, please call the Contact Centre.
8. Irchester Country Park – Irchester Country Park is open all day, every day with free admission. However, the toilets have separate opening times. See: https://www.facebook.com/irchestercountrypark/
“This is a brilliant place to take your kids to walk or ride their bikes! Ideal for children and adults too – A treetop walk and good clean park area for picnics, as the rangers do a great job looking after the park!”
9. Green Dragon Eco Farm, Buckinghamshire, MK18 3LA – With daily encounters, visitors can learn about and interact with our animals, including farm animals, pets, and wildlife. There are also VIP experiences and special events too! See: https://greendragonecofarm.co.uk/
10. Grove Farm Pick Your Own, Bedfordshire, LU7 9DZ – Opening again on Monday 20th July and have changed back to our usual weigh and pay at the end system. Restrictions are still in place, to see how it will operate please go to www.grovefarmpyo.co.uk and read our updated Covid-19 page before you visit.
11. Sunflowers – The Pop Up Farm, Hertfordshire, AL3 8HT
“Our beautiful sunflowers won’t be in flower until late August – We will update this website with our opening plans nearer the time, taking into account government guidelines.” See: https://www.thepopupfarm.co.uk/
12. Hitchin Lavender Farm
This Summer Hitchin Lavender is a pre-booked only attraction TICKETS they have limited the number of people into four daily sessions and to help with the flow they are not permitting cutting the lavender this year.
Hitchin Lavender Tickets Picnics are allowed and there are refreshments and plenty of cake on site. The farm shop will operate from the field but the barn, museum, and play area will not be open.
13. Leighton Buzzard Splash Park, Bedfordshire, LU7 1SD – It looks like the splash park is now open (after seeing some posts on Facebook) https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction
14. Bekonscot Model Village & Railway is the world’s oldest original model village, opening for the first time in 1929.
With over 90 years of history, a huge model railway, 1.5 acres of well kept gardens, and finely detailed model buildings Bekonscot is a great day out for everyone. Now open and tickets need to be bought in advance online @ https://www.bekonscot.co.uk/
15. Stanwick Lakes, Northamptonshire, NN9 6GY – Stanwick Lakes is a unique 750 acre countryside attraction and nature reserve located in the heart of Northamptonshire’s Nene Valley. There are extensive and imaginative play areas, open spaces, and paths that families, walkers, cyclists, and nature lovers can explore at leisure. The visitor centre, with café, shop and function space, hosts events, family celebrations, business meetings, and craft workshops throughout the year. Stanwick Lakes is managed as a social enterprise by environmental charity, Rockingham Forest Trust, in partnership with East Northamptonshire Council. *** Check the website for all updates *** https://www.stanwicklakes.org.uk/
16. Gravity – buy 1 hour get 1 free with MumsRates @ www.mumsrates.com
Feel the rush of oxygen as you experience the force of Gravity! There is no better feeling, whatever your move or style, you can jump, bounce, hop and dance through the air on our extreme trampolines. As a guest at Open Jump, you can use the general park activity areas – for 60 minute sessions, starting every half hour through the day @ https://www.gravity-uk.com/activities/open-jump
17. A no faff Train Adventure by The Outdoors Mum
“We have had a brilliant day today. We got the 0922 train from Milton Keynes to Berkhamsted which takes around 25 minutes.” https://www.theoutdoorsmum.com/post/our-no-faff-child-friendly-train-adventure
18. Captain Fantastic online – Keep your kids entertained through the school break with our awesome online summer camp! @ https://www.facebook.com/captainfantasticmk/
19. Easy Gardening with Children – The Outdoors Mum @ https://www.theoutdoorsmum.com/post/easy-gardening-with-children
20. TopJump – buy 1 hour get 1 free with www.mumsrates.com
Keep updated via Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/TopJumpInflatable/ for opening times.
21. Another great blog @ https://www.theoutdoorsmum.com/post/coton-manor-gardens-and-flamingo
The GARDEN and NURSERY @ Coton Manor Gardens and Flamingo will be OPEN every day except Mondays from 12.00am – 5.30pm – social distancing rules will apply. The CAFE will be OPEN at the same time for take away food and drinks – we now have tables and chairs in the yard for visitors to use (sorry no indoor tables at present).
Our toilets will be open for visitors to use – There is no advance ticketing – just head to the desk on the terrace.
22. Castle Ashby:
“About 8 minutes drive past Olney, so not far. Beautiful gardens to walk around. Animals to see, huge fish to feed. There’s a park too. The cafe wasn’t open last week so take a picnic. Have a lovely time if you go!”
“The Gardens have re-opened to general admissions. Please note that all tickets will need to be purchased on-line in advance. We have also limited the number of ticket sales per day to better control numbers @ https://www.castleashbygardens.co.uk/shop/
We have plans to put in place a ticket time-slot booking system (including Season Tickets holders) to better control numbers on the day. However for now there is no need to book just turn up with your ticket (image) to show at the Garden Entrance. Please note that tickets can not be purchased at ticket booth (only on-line in advance).
The toilets, play area and a section of the Orangery are also open. Our Tea rooms are open but with limited number of tables.
The Shop remains closed at the current time. As always the health and well-being of staff and visitors remains our top priority. We will naturally keep you updated, stay safe everyone and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.”
23. Audley End Miniature Railway – Saffron Walden, Essex CB11 4JB @ https://www.audley-end-railway.co.uk/
Looking for something to do with the kids this Summer? Open every day until the 6th of September for their spectacular Summer Festival!
Sold out for the next 3 days (at time of creation 22/07/2020) but tickets are still available next week, book now – https://bit.ly/SummerFamilyFunAEMR
24. Mr mulligan’s pirate golf in Milton Keynes – It may not be exactly the same as it used to be but for kids, it is still school holidays! Treat them, keep them busy and have good fun together with some outdoor crazy golf! Book today at mrmulligan.com/milton-keynes/ or try some FootGolf! Book online here: https://abbeyhillgc.co.uk/footgolf-abbey-hill/
25. Mini Meadows Farm – Online booking system is now live and you can now book tickets online to visit the farm.
Please read the terms and conditions carefully as they have had to change the way they operate slightly, at least for the first few weeks.
IF YOU ARE BOOKING AS A MEMBER, PLEASE REQUEST A TICKET FOR EACH PERSON THAT WILL BE VISITING TO ENSURE WE CAN MONITOR NUMBERS: Follow this link to book:
26. Gyosei Art Trail @ https://www.theparkstrust.com/our-work/public-art-in-our-parks/gyosei-art-trail/
27. Stoke Bruerne Canal Boat Ride: Stoke Bruerne is a wonderful and busy canal centre, with lots to see and do, including The Canal Museum, canal boats and locks, and is close to the famous Blisworth Tunnel which is a mile and three quarters long. See: https://www.facebook.com/stokebruerneboattrips/
28. Iron Trunk Aqueduct – a must for a photo opportunity. It’s a magnificent Georgian structure, which carries the Grand Union Canal over the River Ouse. Built in 1811 by canal engineer Benjamin Beavan, following the collapse of the previous brick-built structure, the aqueduct stands at an impressive 10.8 metres high and connects Wolverton with Cosgrove. https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/places-to-visit
29. The Big Butterfly Count is a UK-wide survey aimed at helping us assess the health of our environment simply by counting the amount and type of butterflies (and some day-flying moths) see: https://www.facebook.com/forestofmarstonvale/
30. Climb Quest, Kingston, Milton Keynes – https://www.facebook.com/climbquestmk/
Booking is now OPEN for the climbing sessions from 25th July – 2nd September.
“Please read our new booking information before you book as there have been some changes that we’ve made to keep us all safe. Please bear with us while we get other sessions ready to launch. We’ll also be in touch with everyone who postponed their booking, to get them into a new slot. It’s been a long lockdown, but it’s been great having the team back to get the centre ready for you all. Thanks for the messages of support and your pictures of your #lastnormalday that you sent in. In those days of lockdown/home schooling/what day is it craziness, it has meant the world to us! Book now for Summer Fun!” https://buff.ly/2B7mITs
I hope this helps with a little inspiration #MumsRate
Please share this blog with your family & friends so they can join in the fun too!