Family fun in the sun


Summer’s here so make the most of what we hope are sunny days and balmy nights with our suggestions for family days out everyone will enjoy…


Summer Lavender Festival, Banstead, Surrey, 6-7 July

Activities include lavender wreath making workshops, children’s entertainment, demonstrations, relaxing massages in the field, a hog roast and photography sittings with the best backdrop around. You can also take part in a mini bioblitz to record as many species as possible, from bugs to beetles to butterflies, and learn how to attract them to your own garden.


International Youth Arts Festival, Kingston Upon Thames, 6-28 July

The International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) showcases some of the best work from young artists – through dance, theatre and other art forms. There will be workshops, competitions, a variety evening and a street carnival so get ready to release your creativity!


Polesden Lacey, nr Dorking, 6 July

Jubilocity is a community evening for all the family and features picnics, music, torchlight procession, mini beacon, fireworks, fancy dress and cupcake competitions. Held 5-10pm, tickets are £5 per adult and £2.50 per child (under 2s free).



Sky Ride, Leeds City Centre, 7 July

Join thousands of other families taking part in a Sky Ride as the centre of Leeds becomes traffic-free for one day only. The aim is to encourage people of all ages to get out on their bikes and there will be plenty of free things to do on the day. The Sky Ride will also form part of the ‘one year to go’ celebrations when Leeds welcomes the Grand Depart, the opening stages of the world’s largest cycling event, the Tour de France.


© Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, Wales, 9-14 July

Six days of the best music and folk dance from all over the world. The 67th Eisteddfod is expected to welcome over 4,000 singers for around 25 different competitions that celebrate song, music and dance, climaxing with the prestigious Choir of the World where winning choirs compete for the Pavarotti Trophy.


Pirates and Smugglers Weekend, Arundel Castle, West Sussex, 13-14 July

A notorious band of smugglers and pirates has set up camp in the grounds of the castle and the 2nd Regiment of Foot has been called on to assist the local customs officers in dealing with the rogues. Families can enjoy the fun of this re-enactment plus the chance to have a go at fencing and archery.


Larmer Tree Festival, Dorset, 17-21 July

This five-day festival promises a mix of comedy, film, theatre and family entertainment alongside headline music acts including Van Morrison and KT Tunstall, all held in 11 acres of Victorian gardens on the Wilts/Dorset border. Children will be kept busy with a daily programme of activities, the YouthZone offers a teen-friendly environment while grown-ups can enjoy a massage, learn circus skills or enjoy a little retail therapy.


Wild Weather Workshops, Ironbridge, Shropshire, 20 July-1 September

Take part in interactive activities to discover how our weather is shaped and the science behind its changing patterns at these workshops held at Enginuity, one of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums. You can make your own kites, windmills and rain sticks and find out how wind drives turbines, how a rainbow is made and see a hurricane being formed.


Birdoswald Roman Fort, Gilsland, Cumbria, 20 July-26 August

Let the kids step back in time to the Roman era and learn how the soldiers spent their time at this historic site. Craft fun and games will run all day, including making paper Roman helmets, handling Roman artifacts and even taking part in a Roman drill. The day is hosted by the site’s own centurion and kids will have the chance to dress up like him.


Silent Picturehouse, London, 22-26 July

From Disney films for kids during the day to travel-themed movies for grown-ups in the evening, London’s Vinopolis is hosting the second British Airways event where you watch films while listening through personal headsets – as you might on a plane. The films will be shown on five screens simultaneously and include Skyfall, Jaws, The Beach and Top Gun while children’s films include Up, Cars 2, Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland and Oz The Great And Powerful.


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