Best Family Days Out this Half Term

Many family-friendly attractions are re-opening their doors across the UK in time for the half-term holidays.  Indoor activities can now take place – so there is something for everyone to get involved with – whatever the unpredictable weather may throw at us.

Here’s our pick of the best family days out for you to enjoy this half term to help you plan some fun family time together:

Leeds Castle, Kent

Little explorers will love taking part in National Garden Wildlife Week at the beautiful Leeds Castle. From May 29 to June 6, the venue is offering a range of green-fingered activities including a wildlife trail, learning how to plant seeds and finding creepy crawlies on the Bug Safari.

Families can also lose themselves in the Leeds Castle Maze – a warren of 2,400 yew trees that winds its way to the centre – where visitors can then return via an underground grotto complete with mythical figures crafted from wood, shells and minerals.

The Knight’s Stronghold Playground is modelled on the design of the castle and is designed for youngsters aged 6-14. It’s equipped with fireman’s poles, zip lines and a giant cargo net – and a shop and seating area so parents can watch their little ones explore.

Book in advance online – adult tickets cost £28 and £19.50 for children.  The attraction is currently offering a promotion where your ticket is valid for 12 months for as many free return trips as you like!

West Lodge Farm, Kettering

West Lodge Farm is located in the leafy Northamptonshire countryside and is an award-winning farm park where families can experience farm and country life.

Youngsters will love petting the rabbits and guinea pigs in Cuddle Corner, before trotting around the paddock on a pony ride.  Other attractions include the cute and popular piglet race and a children’s adventure playground.

Bad weather won’t stop the fun either, as West Lodge Farm has a large indoor timber play barn and café where the adults can relax with a coffee and watch the little ones play after an energetic walk to the Witch’s House or Troll Bridge. Visitors can also take a bumpy barrel ride around the farm which takes unsuspecting visitors past Donald The Sleepy Dragon!

Peak time tickets are £8.50 and under-twos tickets are £2. All tickets must be booked in advance at the West Lodge Farm website.

Shipwreck Treasure Museum, Cornwall

Shiver me timbers!  The Shipwreck Treasure Museum explores life and loss at sea, where salvaged treasure from over a hundred wrecks is on display. The exhibits include an intact barrel of coins, gold bullion bars and copper ingots.

Visitors can feel the weight of a real cannonball and hear stories of plunder and pillage that will send shivers down their spine! The museum offers an insightful view into life at sea in times gone by, with the manillas use to sell people into forced slavery on view – and tales of hope and hardship at the heart of every one of the 8,000 exhibits.

Pre-booking is essential, with tickets available online. Prices are £6.50 for an adult ticket and £4.50 for children aged 5-17.  Under-fives go free.

Manchester United Stadium Tour

Calling all football fanatics!  Take a trip to Old Trafford and get a behind the scenes glimpse of the player’s dressing rooms and follow in the footsteps of legends such as Bobby Charlton and George Best with a walk alongside the pitch as you emerge from the player’s tunnel.

The tour also includes a trip to the dugouts and a spectacular view of the pitch from the Ability Platform. The tour lasts 80 minutes and runs every day from May 21 – except on home match days!

After the tour ends, enjoy a meal in the Reds Café before taking home memories of a super soccer-themed day out.

Tour prices start from £15 for kids and £25 for adults, concessions are available from £16 and all tickets must be booked in advance.

Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum

For mini-scientists and curious kids, Thinktank provides a fun-packed and educational day out.  Children can get hands-on with the intriguingly named ‘gurgling guts’ display and chat with a talkative robot.

Located inside the spectacular Millennium Point building, families can explore four floors of interactive displays that explain the world of science all around us.

Must-see highlights include the 4k Planetarium and MiniBrum – an interactive mini-city with play zones that include a construction site and park for the under-eights to explore.

The venue is also home to the Signal Box Café with a family-friendly menu, hot drinks and sweet treats, plus a science-inspired gift shop.

Tickets must be purchased online in advance of your visit. Adult tickets are priced at £14, children £10.25 and under-threes go free.

Sheringham Park, Norfolk

Spend some time in this glorious Royal Park with almost 1,000 acres to explore by foot, scooter or cycle.

Take a stroll through the Bower Garden where a host of plants will awaken all your senses  – from sweet-scented lavender and rosemary to smell to the different textures of the leaves and spiky sea holly, the sensory garden will appeal to old and young.

Sheringham Park encourages visitors to bring a picnic and blanket and enjoy the surroundings of the flower meadows and wildlife pond. There are also plenty of accessible walks which are wheelchair and buggy-friendly and a Courtyard Café serving soup, sandwiches, cakes and drinks.  The café does a particularly good kids’ hot chocolate – which is always welcome after a long walk around the estate!)

Canine companions are welcome on the grounds (except the Bower Garden and flower meadow) so the whole family can enjoy spending time in the great outdoors and burn off some energy after a long time in lockdown. Entrance is free, but there is a £6.50 car park charge (free parking for National Trust Members).