Summer starts here: 15 new things to explore this July
With just four Friday’s left until the school holidays begin (or zero if you live in Scotland!), summer is well and truly here. Come rain or shine, we’re here to help guide you through the full six weeks, with ideas and inspiration for days out across the UK. We’ve found dinosaurs, bears and little fish, speedboats, buses and even some jousting, all handily taking place throughout July – so what are you waiting for?
As always, don’t forget to share your photos and days out with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and don’t forget to tell us where you’ll be heading this July. Your location not listed? Don’t forget you can search for days out near you by clicking here.
1. Oxygen Freejumping, various locations
Jump for joy this July, with a little help from the trampolines at Oxygen Freejumping! Guaranteed fun for the whole family, whether your skills stop at a seat drop, or we’ll find you somersaulting on the performance trampolines. Freejumping sessions are the best way to find out what it’s all about, with the whole park being yours to explore for your hour-long slot. Expect to find giant airbags, foam pits, dodgeball courts, slam-dunk basketball and much more, plus we hear the special trampoline jump socks are very stylish… Plan your visit to Acton, Manchester, Southampton or Wigan now.
Are you brave enough to take on the world’s highest and longest tunnel slide? If the answer is yes, then step right up, and book your place on the ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide. Hold on tight as the thrilling ride loops the iconic London 2012 Olympics sculpture 12 times, before taking you straight back to ground with a 50m straight drop. Don’t forget to take in the stunning views at the top too, we recommend a game of I-spy with London’s most iconic landmarks! You can book your tickets direct with us too, so what are you waiting for?
Tigers, penguins and… dinosaurs? There’s a brand new species heading to the capital this month, as Zoorassic Park opens at ZSL London Zoo on 22nd July. Visitors will be able to come face to face with life-size, moving dinosaurs from the gentle brachiosaurus to the terrifying T-Rex. All included with normal ticket price, families will be given their own passports for the time travel safari, plus there’s fun trails, fossil digs and baby dinosaurs to meet too. But be quick, the dinosaurs are only in town until 3rd September!
Eureka! was exactly the reaction we had when we saw all of the exciting events taking place here this month! The popular attraction is celebrating its 25th anniversary from 8th – 9th July, with a weekend packed full of birthday fun. To celebrate its birthday, the museum is welcoming the European premier of digiPlaySpace, where kids can use digital animation to make a dance video, and build their own robot and bring it to life! At the end of the month, there’s also the Summer Festival – so there’s plenty of reasons to visit this month!
If you’ve already read Laura’s 6 reasons why you should visit Cardiff Castle this summer, then chances are you’re already planning a trip. But just in case you need any extra persuasion, the castle kickstarts July with its popular Joust! event. The rip-roaring medieval adventure is a huge favourite with families, as knights battle it out to be crowned the champion. Cheer, jeer and get your little ones involved in the children’s parade, all before enjoying everything else the castle has to offer. Joust! takes place from 1st – 2nd July.
6. The Big Sleuth, Birmingham
Did you know that a sleuth is the collective term for a group of bears? That should give you an idea of what The Big Sleuth is all about, as it takes over Birmingham this summer. Follow the trail to find over a hundred hand-decorated honey bar sculptures, all designed by local artists in partnership with some of the city’s biggest brands. Download the app and see how many you can find, there will be bears around town from 10th July to 17th September.
7. CBBC Summer Social, Manchester
Join some of CBBC’s biggest stars, for a free to attend live event at MediaCityUK on 8th and 9th July! If your little ones are into sports, science, storytelling and creativity, then they’ll love this hands on day out, filled with lots of familiar faces. Hacker T Dog, Blue Peter’s Barney and Lindsey, and Go Jetters’ Ubercorn and Grandmaster Glitch are just some of the names on the bill, with a special CBeebies zone for younger visitors too. There’s no need to book, just turn up from 9am to 5.30pm!
Have you got a need for speed? Take a turbocharged boat ride along the Thames, specially designed to combine fact and fun. Hold on to your hats as you take in the sites of the capital at speed, with the engines revving to speeds of up to 35mph under Tower Bridge! With award-winning guides from London’s stand-up and acting circuits designed to have you laughing the whole way, these 50 minute tours are the ultimate way to see the city. Tempted? You can now book your trip directly with us!
9. Deer Shed Festival, North Yorkshire
Kids are the main event at this festival, which is why it was one of our top picks for family festivals you should try this year. Taking place from 21st -23rd July at Baldersby Park, it combines music, comedy, sport, science, food and more all in one place, and all designed with families in mind. Don’t forget to tick off our top 5 must-dos too!
Perfect for inquisitive little ones, a visit to At-Bristol combines learning with lots and lots of fun. Until 21st July, bring your ideas and put them to the test in the Experimentation Station, or discover some weird and wonderful flavour combinations in Kitchen Chaos. Don’t miss the exciting space themed shows too, with Space Explorers 2D for under 6s, Summer Stargazing 3D for ages 6+ and much more too!
This striking castle is filled with hundreds of years’ worth of dark tales, myths and more, there’s plenty to explore during your visit to Bamburgh Castle. With 14 public areas, including several grand State Rooms, plus stunning grounds and a beach too, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. If it looks familiar, the adjacent beach featured in the recent remake of The BFG, and the castle has also been used as a backdrop for the upcoming Transformers movie too! Mixing history with a little touch of Hollywood, book your visit with us now and save up to 20%.
Budding young scientists will love a visit to Winchester Science Centre, where they can get well and truly stuck into lots of interactive games. Home to the largest standalone planetarium cinema in the UK, kids will love shows including Little Stars and We Are Aliens. This month, there’s also an exciting range of events, like the Science of Sound with BBC presenter Jon Chase on 8th July, Ministry of Science Live from 15th – 16th July and a Magnificent Minibeasts free trail all summer long!
13. City Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off, various locations
Take your pick from 18 cities all over the UK, as you jump on board a bright red double decker to take in the sights! The best bit is that you can Hop-On and Hop-Off as often as you like at dedicated bus stops en route, allowing you to explore as much of the city as possible! From history and heritage, to some fab photo opportunities, there’s also a multi-lingual guide to listen along to. Ready to hop on board? Get your tickets now for Bath, Belfast, Bournemouth, Brighton, Cambridge, Cardiff, Chester, Derry Londonderry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Llandudno, London, Newcastle, Norwich, Oxford, Windsor and York. And breathe.
14. RSPB Summer Holiday Wild Challenges, Perth and Kinross
Are you ready for a really wild summer holiday? RSPB in Scotland is putting kids to the test this summer, encouraging them to get out and about and taking a walk on the wild side. From 23rd June to 13th August, kids can discover the wildlife of Loch Leven in Perth and Kinross, with self-led activities. Collect kit from the visitor centre and get stuck in, with themes including brilliant birds, tracks and signs, bug safari, pond dipping and amazing moths!
15. Big Fish Little Fish family raves, various locations
Are you ready to revive your raving days? Think top DJs, free glowsticks and fancy-dress themes, just all with your kids in tow! Specifically designed for families with kids aged eight or under, these family friendly raves were featured in a list of the 101 best things to do with kids two years ago, and we’ve been loving them ever since. This month, there’s a ‘Once Upon A Time’ Fairytale Rave at Groombridge Place (8th July), an ‘Animal Fantastical’ rave in North Wales (9th July), an ‘Around the World’ themed rave in Newcastle (16th July), plus a ‘Summer of Love’ rave at Alexandra Palace on 22nd July. With lots more events planned for the rest of 2017, are you ready for a dance-off with your toddler?