I have a list for this summer, plenty of days out, so I can swap, change and ask my little ones what they fancy. I will also be posting a list of rainy day and days at home activities, because they will be needed for sure!!!
I have tried to keep the options within about an hours drive, as this is more doable for me and the two littles alone - danger naps are an issue for my 2 year old right now!
There’s a great selection of family events at the Southbank Centre’s summertime festival, ranging from free performances - like outdoor circus on the terrace or a sea shanty singalong - to paid for events. One highlight is ZooNation Presents the Next Generation, a stage show featuring some of the best young hip-hop artists in the country, performing everything from dance, music, spoken word to beatboxing.
• 22 July-28 August, prices vary southbankcentre.co.uk
Lark in the Park http://larksidcup.com/
The big museums and galleries are mostly free, so the Science Museum and Natural History museum are on my list too. If you are more arty, the National Gallery is running drop in workshops:
There is a working farm you can visit not far - they have a great summer option for animal lovers:
The Postal Museum and Mail Rail, a new heritage attraction, opens on 28 July. There is a play zone for under-nines called Sorted, designed as a miniature town, and an underground train ride into the old engineering depot (may not be suitable for under-fives). Family activities include arts and crafts, storytelling and science shows.
• From 28 July, £14.50 adults, children £7.25, postalmuseum.org
Bedgebury pinetum is lovely 😊 great for bikes and scooters.
Bewel water - take a picnic and enjoy.
Bluewater nature trail - very local and easy if you need to drop in and grab a few shopping bits!!
Botany Bay - a further drive but a great beach day.
Broaditch Farm - 30min drive
Buttercups goat sanctuary (Maidstone)
Buzy bees, New Ash
Cascades little train - 35min drive
Chatham Dockyard - currently has Lego through the ages. Tickets valid for a year, so you can get your monies worth.
Cheeky Dino, Maidstone (softplay, great for a miserable day)
Christmas Tree Farm
Cliffe pools is amazing too (45mins)
Cobtree Park - next to Kentlife (big play park £1.50 parking).
Danson Park - has play park & water play
Dartford Central park is free! Mini splash play area.
Eltham Palace grounds are free.
Foots Cray Meadows – picnic and paddling - I love shooting here and going for a wander!
Gravesend has the fort gardens. Chantry house museum is free and the bunker tunnels are £1! There's the prom and the park. A little cafe. A pretty, short walk around. It's lovely there. It's also part of the wheels of time trail around Kent.
Greenwich Ecology Park is free and often has special events in the holidays.
Groombridge place (45min drive) https://www.groombridgeplace.com/the-attraction/attractions/
Hall place - lovely, free to enter and beautiful grounds. Lots of trees and shade plus a little stream running through it, they run some fab activities for the kids.
Herne Bay - good for crabbing
Hobbledown Farm (1hr drive)
Jeskyns Park (30min drive)
Little fant farm
Little Street, Maidstone - My kids LOVE it here.
Lullingston country park
Maidstone Leisure Centre - has soft play and Ice Hills. It's also right next to Mote Park in Maidstone so great for a morning of activity then a picnic and a wander in the fresh air
Millbrook garden centre - check out events/butterfly experience
Milton creek country park - Dog walkers, cyclists & joggers frequent this large green space with a kids' play area & trails.
Oxleas Woods is lovely
Rare breeds centre
Ruxley Manor - Pixie Manor is always popular https://www.ruxley-manor.co.uk/events-attractions/
Shorne woods country park
Southwater country park. Has a mini beach, dinosaurs, kids park etc and it’s free (1hr away)
Swanley Park – great outdoors
Tilgate Park (apparently it is fantastic – 1 hour drive)
Trosley Park - lots of shade
Tyland barn - Kent wildlife trust (30min drive)
National Trust and English Heritage both run events through the summer:
National Trust are running craft days and pebble painting locally:
or if you fancy Knights and Jousting English heritage have got various events:
See what I have been up to recently!