Friday, 18 July 2014

Great ways to spend Summer days in London, Hampshire & Surrey

Want to know what to do with the little ones over the Summer? I've put together some great ideas to inspire you and yours, throughout the six week holiday.



WE LOVE SURREY’S…

1) With good facilities that include three fun slides, Guildford Lido brings summer heat relief to families through its well-maintained outdoor water pools. There are lots of trees, and therefore shade available, making it a cool choice for mums of young children. But don’t worry’ it’s not overly cool - the pool is heated to 24ÂșC. Pack a picnic and stay all day. Open from 10.30am. Adults £5.90, juniors £4.50

2) Everyone remembers that iconic photo of Princess Diana with her two little princes on the log flume water ride at Thorpe Park (thorpepark.com) Question is, will you and yours take the plunge? Thorpe Park, Chertsey, open daily from 10am, with lots on offer for tots to teens. Tickets from £22.99

3) Ride a tractor and a pony, watch a pig race and cuddle a rabbit; these are all available at the award winning Bocketts Farm (bockettsfarm.co.uk), a seriously fun and fabulous day out for all, come rain or shine. Open daily from 10am. Adults £9.20, children from £8

4) Do not under-estimate local holiday theatre classes. More affordable than big franchises, and just as much fun, drama groups such as West Surrey based The Man in the Moon (themaninthemoon.co.uk) offer flexible days and week long fun themes, helping to keep children entertained throughout school holidays. Be sure to check out the show at the end of each week! Prices from £20 a day.

FREE FOR ALL

5) The Haslemere Educational Museum (haslemeremuseum.co.uk) in Southwest Surrey won the Telegraph Award for the most family-friendly museum in the country. With all the events going on, it is easy to see why. Its three galleries are devoted to Natural History, Geology and Human History. Be sure to say hello to mascot favourite Arthur the bear when you visit! Open from 10am.

6) While away the hours messing about on the river at Tilford near Farnham (GU10 2B). This quintessential beauty spot with its medieval stone bridge is a haven for paddling. The nearby pub serves delicious ice cream too!

WE LOVE HAMPSHIRE'S...

1) For small children, the interactive Winchester Science Centre (winchestersciencecentre.org) is like a giant toyshop with handles to turn, cranes to operate, ropes to pull and so on. For their older siblings, the 100 hands-on exhibits will both excite and fascinate. Opens 10am. Adults £9, children £6.50, under 3’s go free.

2) Ride Thomas the Tank Engine (dayoutwiththomas.co.uk), meet the fat controller, have your face painted, and take part in lots of other Thomas themed activities too, when the popular little engine steams into action from August 9-17 at Alton, Alresford and Ropley stations. Travelling up and down the Watercress line between 9.35am and 4.30pm, this really is a fun day out with Thomas. Adults £18, children £12, Family ticket £54 *booking fees apply online.

3) No Summer holiday is complete without a trip to Peppa Pig World, near Romsey (peppapigworld.co.uk). Yes, this very pink and very bossy pig turned Hampshire Hog, has an attraction all of her own. Prepare to be as equally enthralled as your tot. Oh and take a towel. Opens 10am. Adults and children over one metre high from £23.50, Family of four from £90.

4) Fancy horse riding in the wilds of the New Forest? Fun, enjoyable and safe, The Arniss Equestrian Centre (arnissequestrian.co.uk) in Godshill near Fordingbridge, takes children as young as three for lead rein pony rides, and caters for four years plus with ‘Pony Fun’ sessions, which include grooming, making ponies feeds, and a lesson. Hats and boots are provided. Prices start from £20

FREE FOR ALL

5) Feed the ducks at Petersfield Pond (Heath Road, Petersfield GU31 4EA) then enjoy this great picnic site and recently renewed toddler play park too.

6) The New Forest ponies and the picturesque scenery will delight you as you drive through pretty villages such as Beaulieu, Burley, Brockenhurst and Bolderwood. The latter has a purpose built viewing platform overlooking a large meadow area where a herd of fallow deer regularly gather in the summer months.

7) Come and behold some spectacular stunts at the Portsmouth International Kite Festival 23-25 August 2014 held on Southsea Common from 10-5pm. With children’s kite making workshops available on Sat and Sun. Also go crabbing at Canoe Lake on Southsea Esplanade (opposite the seafront), then delight in the fun splash pools and park. Next door is Cumberland House Natural History Museum (chnhm.co.uk) with its brilliant butterfly house.

WE LOVE LONDON'S...

1) Over August the enchanting Puppet Barge of Little Venice (puppetbarge.com) moors up opposite Terrace Gardens in Richmond-on-Thames, TW10 6UT. This Summer creativity flows in the form of The Town Mouse & the Country Mouse for two weeks, followed by A Child’s Garden of Verse for two weeks. Something the children (and you) won’t want to miss. Adults £12, children £8.50.

2) How long since you visited London Zoo? (zsl.org) This summer, Pygmy Hippo’s are in town, complete with hilarious toilet tricks. (They use their tails to scatter their poo everywhere). Small children will love the potty humour, the hippo talks, and story telling, along with the rest of the animals at the zoo. Adults from £24, children from £17.50, under 3’s go free, (see family ticket offers online).

3) The musical theatre experience In the Night Garden Live (NightGardenLive.com) is running two separate shows this summer. Choose from either The Pinky Ponk Show or the Ninky Nonk show at the 02 from May 29 – June 14 and at Richmond Old Deer Park from June 21 - July 5. Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy and friends, are all brought beautifully to life on stage using full-size costumes, magical puppets, enchanting music and breath-taking projections. Tickets priced £12.50 - £33

FREE FOR ALL

4) The Southbank (southbankcentre.co.uk) is London’s much-loved urban hub for culture, with loads going on daily from 10am. Jeppe Hein’s fab aquatic sculpture will be back on display all summer, so don’t forget your swimmers and towels.

5) Inspired by Peter Pan, the Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens, is a monument that celebrates the life of the late princess and offers a magical play area for children. Open from 10am. Combine your visit with a trip to the Serpentine Gallery, (serpentinegallery.org) where the new ovate pavilion will be unveiled in late June.

6) Children of 3-12 years are invited to get creative at Peckham’s South London Gallery (southlondongallery.org) in their Sunday Spot workshops between 2-4pm. These free sessions encourage exploration of the work on display in the gallery. No booking required.

7) Children will love the National Trust's Morden Hall Park Estate, Deen City Farm (deencityfarm.co.uk). It provides a unique educational source with various animals to feed at certain times of the week. It is closed on Mondays.

DON’T FORGET having fun means staying safe

Teach your baby or child to swim as soon as you can. It could save their life. Find baby and toddler classes near you at www.waterbabies.co.uk or lessons for older children at www.swimlessons.com

Stay safe around water and refresh your First Aid with St John’s Ambulance. Find a course near you at www.sja.org.uk

We love the Rockley Cove (rockleycove.co.uk) cool and contemporary UPF50+ beachwear.

Keep feet neat with Crocs (crocs.co.uk). Protective shoes great for wearing in the sea when stepping on stones. With flashing lights, they look the business too.



This is an amalgamation of three features which first appeared in the Baby London, Baby Hampshire & Baby Surrey Summer 2014 magazines.  

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