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Super summer guide: 35 things to do with kids

The summer holidays can be a long slog. Brain-frying childcare logistics, juggling work - you know how it goes. Six weeks can feel like sixty. But hurray! Not with our SUMMER GUIDE helping hand for kids from toddlers to teens. Save your sanity with this lovely lot.

Don’t hold a Diploma in Panto Artistry or the patience of a saint? Then it’s time to up your game… wrenching the kids from their ipads takes mammoth effort in the holidays, but it can be done.

Here are 35 of the best days out, workshops, shows, festivals, pop ups and more across Glos & Worcs to keep even the most reluctant toddler to teen happy.

Read on and book these …

Theatre fun

The Pantaloons Present Wind in the Willows, Berrybank Park Amphitheatre, Sun 07 August

Muddy’s fave new outdoor venue! We love this new amphitheatre near Moreton-in-Marsh. Book to join Mole, Ratty, Toad and Badger on a wild adventure here filled with motorcar madness, wicked weasels, exciting escapes and messing about in boats. The critically-acclaimed Pantaloons Theatre Company put their own affectionately anarchic spin on Kenneth Grahame’s classic countryside caper. Frantically feral fun for the whole family. Gate opens 2pm, Show at 3pm. Tickets: £20, U18s £15, Family £60.

Shakespeare Summer School, 24 July, Parabola Arts Centre, Cheltenham

History hounds

The Joust, Berkeley Castle, Glos, 28 – 29 August

Don’t miss this firm favourite on the Castle’s calendar, as the Knights and their stunning steeds from the Cavalry of Heroes battle it out in a spectacular jousting display in the Castle grounds – complete with incredible saddle stunts!

Knight School at Berkeley Castle, Berkley, Glos, 14 August

Learn the ancient skill of sword fighting as accomplished warriors Dressed to Kill descend upon the Castle to impart their expert knowledge. Watch the Warrior Show on the Lower Lawns each day and the display of incredible, authentic steel armor masterfully crafted by Dressed to Kill. Plus don’t miss the Wild Geese Theatre with Boudicca on 21 August, two brilliant interactive children’s theatre experiences where the audience takes part! Admission included in a castle admission ticket.

Sudeley Castle, Cheltenham Glos

Take them to burn off some energy at stunning Sudeley at the cool castle adventure playground, it’ll give them hours of fun whilst you have a leisurely picnic in the grounds and features a zip wire too. If you’ve got time explore the opulent castle rooms and St Mary’s Church where a real queen is buried. There’s 1000 years of history showcased here and it’s home to one of the largest collections of rare and endangered pheasants from across the world.

Water babies

Cirencester Lido and Sandford Lido in Cheltenham.

Take them for a super splash about in either of these fantastic local lidos – complete with slides, tuck shops and heated water. Open throughout the summer.

Nature nuts

Westonbirt Arboretum & Children’s Book Festival, Westonbirt, Glos, 29 – 29 August

This glorious tree-filled day out is perfect for kids. Don’t miss the incredible STIHL treetop walkway which goes through the tree canopy and is pushchair and god friendly!. Wander through the woods and flowers and meet the Gruffalo sculptures, build a den out of sticks, cross the troll bridge and crawl through tyre tunnels on the outdoor adventure trail for a thoroughly outdoorsy day out. Plus – new for 2022! – Join the team for Wild Wonder at Westonbirt; a new children’s book festival, where you can meet your favourite authors and illustrators and take part in a host of exciting activities, all surrounding stories set in and around nature.

WWT Slimbridge, Slimbridge

Take them for a nature-packed day out at the ever-popular Slimbridge Wetland Centre. Feed the ducks, geese and swans, who’ll happily eat right out of their hands then explore the watery world of Toad Hall, getting up close to frogs, newts, salamanders and other pond life, before heading to visit the family of otters and harvest mice. Then let off some energy with a splash around at Welly Boot Land and an indoor soft play session. Plus until 04 September enjoy extra activities such as the Science Show, Pond-Dipping, Living Wetland Theatre and more.

Cotswold Forest School, South Cerney

Let them go wild at Cotswold Forest School

Release your Lord of the Flies tribe into the real wild at Cotswold Forest School in South Cerney. Running brilliant courses and camps throughout July and August. The daily schedule looks pretty amazing to us; Tracking Skills, Woodland Shelter Building, Whitling Warrier Staffs and much more. Check site for dates and prices, soon to be released.

Festival fans

Fantasy Forest, Sudeley Castle, Cheltenham, 15 – 17 July

woman with fire

Transport yourself to a magical realm full of fairytales and enchantment when popular family-friendly festival Fantasy Forest takes over Sudeley Castle this summer. It’s a giant jamboree of sci fi and fantastical sights and sounds. The lively three-day event features a whole host of activities and entertainment. Take them to see talks by fantasy artists, medieval tournaments, falconry, workshops, the walkabout theatre, costume shows and lots more.

Gatcombe Park Festival of Eventing, Gatcombe, 05 – 07 August

horse

Taking place at the spectacular Gatcombe Park in Stroud, this Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing will be 3 days of the best horsey action, live music, entertainment and food. Kids 12 and under go free too.

Circus shows

Tolly’s Summer Circus, Cotswold Country Park and Beach, 22 July – 01 September

The circus is coming to town this summer at the fabulous Cotswold Country Park and Beach. With 3 x 40 minute shows a day, guests of Cotswold Country Park and Beach have the fantastic opportunity to sit back and enjoy some spectacular acrobatics. With the picturesque backdrop of the largest UK Inland Beach, John Lawson’s Circus Troupe host family memory generating performances inside their spectacularly colourful Big Top from 22nd July right through to 1st September. Admission is £4.00 per person (adult or child)

Sports fans

Tag Trojans, Bournside School, 25 July – 05 August, Cheltenham

One of the Tag Trojans fun actvities

Summer’s looking like a whole ball bag of fun over at Tag Trojans in Cheltenham. This multi-sport outdoor activity camp and Tag Rugby club runs from 25 July – -5 August and everyone is welcome between the ages of 3 to 8 and all ability levels. Let them get stuck into football, cricket, rounders, games and much more.

Of book on to one of the summer coaching sessions at Activate Camps taking place at Wycliffe School near Stroud. There’s Freestyle Soccer, Cricket and Hockey Masterclasses as well as Cooking Club between 01 – 24 August

Foodie fans

Cotswold Baking Workshop, dates in July (August tbc)

Ths super-fun baking school headed up by American Susie Whitfield has a whole array of fun classes to try, from Marvellous Macaroons to Delectable Doughnuts and an Italian Favourites class, they’ll have a brilliant time learning new skills.

Family Cook-Together, Daylesford Farm, 17 July and 14 August

Gourmand grazing at Daylesford

If you have a budding Blumenthal on your hands then book them into one of the kids’ cookery courses at Daylesford Cookery School. This fun activity you can all do together is a great experience. Have some fun in the kitchen together and learn some news skills but with no washing up to worry about.

Adrenalin Addicts

Cattle Country Park, Berkeley

Go to the award-winning Cattle Country. There’s so much to do here. They’ll get up close with calves, pigs and even alpacas. Pack the swimming stuff and let the kids loose in the waterplay area, splash pool and covered beach which is included in the ticket price and thrill out scaling the giant climbing net! One for those without wobbly knees methinks.

Aztec Adventure, Upton Warren and Lower Moor, Worcs

We’ve recently discovered Aztec Adventure and we can’t believe how much you can do here. It’s a fantastic place to keep kids entertained over half term. Take them paddleboarding and kayaking or book onto a junior sailing course. The brilliant and bouncy inflatable aqua park is open to fo bouncy fun.

Go Ape in the Wyre Forest, Worcs

We love a visit to Go Ape (nothing makes you feel alive like teetering on a 14m high pole). So why not book them on to the TreeTop Challenge at . For 10+ years they can swing between the giant Douglas Firs, holler down high rise zip wires and generally have the time of their lives.

Go high or go home at GoApe

Or, head for one of two locations in the Forest of Dean, Glos (Mallards Pike and Beechenhurst) Courses cost from £25. The Segway Forest School here is also brilliant fun (all ages, 1 hour)

The Warehouse Climbing Centre, Gloucester

This exciting place has special Activity Tickets for kids over the summer holidays so they can climb and cave to their heart’s content. Check into the Mini-Mice toddler sessions, hour-long sessions that give toddlers a chance to climb up to 6.5 metres and have a go on the touch-sensitive DigiWall, with lights, sounds and interactive games. Or book into the Rock Ratz (7 – 16) and take on the big boulders. All overseen by qualified climbing instructors, the sessions help kids develop fitness and confidence.

Animal antics
Cotswold Farm Park
, Guiting Power near Cheltenham

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There are all levels of farmyard cuteness going on at Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park and it’s a fabulously entertaining day out. Head for the Animal Barn where you can sit and watch lambs being born, plus see piglets, donkey foals, calves, and herds of rare breeds. Kids can interact with the animals too, including the gorgeous native Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs, then take them to burn off all their energy at the Adventure Playground, Farm Safari, Tractor School or Giant Jumping PIllows.

West Midlands Safari & Leisure Park, Bewdley

This fantastic day out is a family favourite, with more than 165 species of animal to see, a drive through safari and a mini theme park to boot. Entry to the park buys you so much fun, from Boj’s Giggle Park, the Sea Lion Show, Penguin Cove, the Aquarium, Meerkat Mayhem, Hippo Lake and much more. Watch daily feeds and animal encounters with the residents then wear the kiddos out on the 20 adrenaline rides.

All Things Wild, Honeybourne near Evesham

This great indoor-outdoor zoo is a super place to take the kiddos. Let them go wild at the adventure play park, beach area, pedal go-karts and the Jungle Mayhem indoor play area. There is a rainbow array of animals to meet and squeal at or ride the Dino Train. See the website for the latest on daily itinerary seasonal activities from Lemur Walkthrough, Outback Trail, bug hunting and arts and crafts.

Find more ideas here

Creative Cherubs

Camp 4-2-11, Cheltenham and Gloucester, 25 July – 24 August

Let your party animals loose

Rated Outstanding by Ofsted these camps are an award-winning holiday club for children aged 3-14. If you’re looking for an alternative to solely sports based camps, then take your pick from drama, art, crafts, baking, swimming and loads more. Located at St Edward’s Senior School in Charlton Kings, Cheltenham and Dinglewell School in Gloucester this family-run holiday camp is led by a team of experienced staff including two pediatric first aid trained staff. Prices are £30 standard rate for a full day and £130 for the week. Book here now.

Party Animals

Cotswold ClubHouse, Bourton on the Water, 29 July to 02 September

Bourton-on-the-Water is the setting for Cotswold Clubhouse, which offers holiday camps for children aged between two and 12 years old. A party-mix of gymnastics, dodgeball, arts and crafts, trampolining, bouncy castle fun, obstacle courses and soft play time.

Sessions run between 10am and 3.15pm with early and late pickup options available, ideal for keeping the kids active during the holidays (and getting some you-time).

Ofsted-registered Atlas Camps offer tremendous value if you need wrap-around care throughout the summer, from £26 for a 9am to 4pm day with late stay and early drop off options. Open from 08 July through to 07 September too.

Opt for one of 17 locations spread across Glos (eg, Tetbury, Fairford and Woodmancote), with loads of space for children to explore and relax in, sports halls for active play, and woodland for sports and games.

Paddle ‘n Plunge

South Cerney Outdoor, Cirencester, Glos

Book onto the Sailing and Discovery Club courses. Operating on a smaller 1:5 instructor ratio they can try out their sea legs with Sailing, Windsurfing, SUP. For 8+ years. Pay & Play booking is also open again – just pre-book then rock up for a go on the kayaks, canoes and paddle boards.

Or take them for a day at the blissful Cotswold Country Park Beach 

The UK’s largest inland pop up beach has brilliant things to do like the inflatable Wibit aqua course, giant swan pedalos, go-karting and The Beach Shack – one of the best lakeside food shacks we’ve eaten at, you’re in for an amazing day here. Car admission is £10, Aquadventure costs from £15. We went this weekend and loved it!.

Techy teens

FunTech Create Camp, Glos and Worcs, 25 July – 02 September

Yout tweens or teen will love this.FunTech is running virtual camps including Roblox Design, 3D Game Design, Coding, Game Developing, Minecraft Engineering, all aimed at teaching them tech skills in a fun way. Classes have an average of six kids per camp for ages seven to 16. Courses are priced £475 and you can use Childcare Vouchers (CCVs) towards it.

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