The best summer events for kids 2021

by Charlotte Duck |

Embrace summer in the UK at one of the amazing kid- and Covid-friendly events going on across the country in 2021. From drive-in cinemas, jousting tournaments, interactive exhibits and kids’ yoga, there’s plenty to keep them entertained, come rain or shine.

Jousting at Hever Castle, Kent

Most weekends in July and August; included with general admission, adults from £15.85, children from £9.95.

Watch the king’s most valiant knights battle it out in the arena, as they delight visitors with fights, falls and one-to-one combat, in an attempt to be crowned the season’s ultimate champion. You can sit in the medieval spectator stands or bring a blanket and picnic and watch from the sidelines; whichever you choose it’s an excellent afternoon’s entertainment.

Paddington: The Story Of A Bear, British Museum, London

©P&Co. Ltd. 2021. Photography: David Jensen.

Until 31 October; £8.00.

To celebrate 60 years of that most cuddliest of visitors from Peru, the British Museum is hosting a family-friendly exhibition which goes behind-the-scenes of Michael Bond’s famous creation. Visitors can take their own self ‘pawtrait’, follow the trail of marmalade left by Paddington and see just how much havoc a little bear can cause.

Kids Yoga at Holkham, Norfolk

3, 31 August; £5.00.

Get your little ones perfecting their Downward Dog and Child’s Pose in the fresh air and beautiful surroundings of Holkham’s Walled Garden. Sessions are aimed at 5-11 year olds and taught by Nana Lavender, who encourages them to be mindful for a moment and become lost in their movements.

Jurassic Encounter, Bute Park, Cardiff

21st August - 5th September; family ticket from £38.00

Cardiff is set to be invaded this August as 50 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs stomp their way into Bute Park. As you make your way through the grasslands and woodlands you’ll come face-to-enormous face with a robotic beast from the Jurassic, Triassic and Cretaceous period. Each dinosaur moves with tails swaying, heads nodding, eyes blinking and jaws gnashing. Be warned, they even roar!

Drive-In Cinema, Watergate Bay, Cornwall

Until 5 September; £6.00 a person or £26.00 a car.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the clifftop of Watergate Bay Beach, this is the ultimate way to enjoy your favourite flick. The chilled out experience sees delicious Cornish food delivered straight to your (car) door, singalongs and socially distanced games. There are 21 screenings throughout the summer and highlights include The Lion King, Pirates of the Caribbean, Moana and Jurassic Park.

Gone Wild Festival, Devon

26-29 August; Adults £165.00, kids from £63.00

After a year of being stuck inside, Gone Wild is just what kids (and parents) need. The festival combines the best in music with adventure, so you can hop in a kayak, take on an obstacle course or learn how to light a fire without matches from the Bear Grylls Survival Academy, before settling down and listening to likes of Razorlight, Morcheeba and Kaiser Chiefs.

Robin Hood at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

7, 8 August; Adults from £15.00, children £7.50, under 10s free.

The Three Inch Fools Theatre Company is bringing its own brand of comedy to the grounds of Alnwick Castle this summer for an outdoor performance of Robin Hood. Five actors, with all manner of musical instruments, struggle to remember the story of Britain’s most famous hero and the consequences are hilarious.

Activefest, RAF Museum, London

Until 15 August; Adult £7.00, child £5.00.

Do they have what it takes to face the ninja wall? Or to tackle the cargo nets? This summer, kids can battle it out against each other on The Hercules, the RAF Museum’s outdoor obstacle course, which sees them do everything from wading through water to climbing rope ladders. The prize? A coveted spot on the official leaderboard, plus bragging rights among their friends.

Shapeshift at Eureka!, Halifax

Until 31 October; included with entry to Eureka!, £13.95

Perfect for a rainy day, this digital exhibition explores how interactive technology can react to your movement. If you’ve got little ones who can’t sit still, let them jump, dance and move around and see how thousands of tiny particles respond on a huge projection screen. They can then watch as butterflies appear floor-to-ceiling as they sense movement. And, when they are all tired out, draw their own creation on a tablet and watch it come to life.

5 On The Farm Festival, Yorkshire

August Bank Holiday weekend; Adult tickets from £49.95, children from £24.95

Where else can you meet the likes of Peppa Pig, the PAW Patrol and Fireman Sam in the stunning Yorkshire countryside? But there’s so much more to the brand-new 5 On The Farm Festival. Think dog shows, arts and crafts, survival skills and delicious food and drink too!

Edinburgh Fringe, Scotland

©Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

6-30 August. Prices: various.

It’s easy to get the kids excited about the Edinburgh Fringe this year with plenty of child-friendly performances on offer. There’s tonnes to choose from but very little ones will enjoy the puppets in The Adventures of Sleepyhead, while older kids will appreciate Bicycle Boy, an outdoor, bicycle-powered, eco-musical packed with songs and jokes.

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