Ideas for kids Spring fun

BeWILDerwood

For an amazing day out in Norfolk, not far from Norwich, visit the enchanted, award-winning Curious Treehouse Adventure Park, BeWILDerwood. Take lazy boat rides across The Scary Lake, cross jungle bridges, visit tree-houses, whizz down The Wobbly Wires, get befuddled in the marvellous Muddle Maze, build dens with bracken and sticks and dress up and join in with the enchanting daily storytelling.

This is a world with more than a little sprinkling of fairy dust; enough for the whole family! It’s also a great place for children to have the best birthday party ever in the woods.

Bodmin and Wenford railway

Discover the excitement and nostalgia of steam travel with a journey back in time on the Bodmin and Wenford railway, Cornwall’s only full size railway still operated by steam locomotives. Relax in style and enjoy a leisurely 13-mile round trip, through beautiful countryside, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of a bygone age, as the era of a Cornish branch line in the 1950s reveals itself during the course of your journey.

Battersea Park Children’s Zoo.

There’s a world of enjoyment at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo. From feeding the farm animals, saying hello to our parrots or spying on the meerkats in the secret lookout, children will have hours of fun. With monkeys, snakes, pigs, donkeys, ring tailed lemurs, rabbits, emu, chipmunks, coati, wallabies and chickens, plus a fun-packed adventure playground with a real tractor and fire engine, it’s a great family day out.

The Zoo is offering new Keeper, Mini and Junior Keeper Experiences for children and adults. The kids will love being able to find out more about their favourite animals and what it’s like to feed and care for them. Sessions last from 1.5 to 2.5 hours, there are a variety of Keeper Experiences available, and children must be accompanied by an adult, who goes free of charge.

More movie ideas for kids

Trolls 3D (U)
Pitched firmly at the younger spectrum of the kiddie market, this latest, wildly colourful DreamWorks musical animation, based on the toys (called Gonks in the UK), comes from the creators of Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.

Princess Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick) is the leader of the relentlessly optimistic and cheery Trolls who live in the middle of the woods and are always ready to burst into song. Unfortunately, they also live in fear of the Bergens, miserable giant ogres who, led by King Gristle (John Cleese), believed the only way to become happy was to eat Trolls.

For 20 years, the Trolls have managed to remain hidden, but, then, the light from a wild disco party gives them away and, as the Bergens prepare to revive their annual Trollstice feast day, Poppy joins forces with the Branch (Justin Timberlake), the world’s only unhappy Troll, to rescue her friends from the cooking pot.

Featuring the voices of Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Prince Gristle, the young ruler of the Bergens, Zooey Deschanel as the maid who’s secretly in love with him, Gwen Stefani as the Trolls’ DJ and Russell Brand, Icona Pop and James Corden as fellow Trolls as well as a whole bunch of new and old songs sung by its stars, this may not be for anyone older than their shoe size, but it’s still an irrepressibly fun ride. 92 mins. Also in 2D.

Storks 3D (U)
Back in the day, storks deliver babies, but, following an incident in which one of the birds (Danny Trejo) tried to keep the tot for himself, breaking her, quite literal, homing beacon in the process, they got out of the baby business and now deliver parcels from their Corner Store HQ on Storm Mountain.

Top of the delivery tables is Junior (Andy Samberg) who is thrilled to be told by Hunter (Kelsey Grammar), the big boss who uses little birds as golf balls, that he’s going to be promoted to take over from him at the upcoming StorkCon shareholders meeting. But first, he has to fire Tulip (Katie Crown), who, the baby that never got delivered, still lives with them. Now that she’s 18th (and also because she tends to cause all kinds of chaos), Hunter says it’s time she became part of the human world. However, faced with telling her, Junior just can’t get the words out and, instead, tells her she’s been given a job in the letter sorting office. Which she should never leave. Given that nobody writes asking for babies any more, she’s bored out of her head and spends the time talking to herself, acting out (with the help of a pliable hairdo) different personas, each of them excruciating annoying.

Meanwhile, out in people land, his real estate parents (Ty Burell and Jennifer Aniston) always too busy to spend any time with him, young Nate decides he’d like a baby brother, one with ninja skills. Mum and dad dismiss the idea, but, finding an old leaflet about the stork service, he writes a letter which duly winds up in Tulip’s hands and, before Junior can stop her, goes into and reactivates the baby making machine. Now they find themselves with an unexpected tot to deliver, before the meeting and before Hunter finds out. Junior, however, has injured his wing, but, fortunately, Tulip’s cobbled together a makeshift plane.

Without prolonging the agony of explaining things, suffice to say that Tulip’s maternal instincts mean the mission doesn’t go as planned, leaving the trio being pursued by wolves and, thanks to the aptly named Pigeon Toady, quite possibly the most annoying animated character ever, their secret is revealed to Hunter. And to top it all, Jasper, the stork who tried to abduct Tulip in the first place, also turns up, determined to rectify his screw up. All of which somehow manages to end up with Nate’s intended sibling in the custody of Hunter’s penguins and the baby machine churning them out like rabbits.

Mercifully, there are some good moments (almost all of them involving Alpha and Beta, the two wolves who fall for the cute pink-haired infant, and the way the pack is forever forming itself into things like a plane or submarine), but they’re mostly overwhelmed by the unrelenting screech elsewhere. Undemanding four-year-olds may be entertained, but, unfunny, relentless and charmless, the best thing to be said is that it’s not as bad as the profoundly tedious The Master: a Lego Ninjago Short that precedes it. A bundle of joy it is not. 87 mins. Also in 2D.

Take the kids to the movies

The LEGO Movie 2:

The Second Part, it’s been five years since everything was awesome in Bricksburg and the citizens are now threatened from outer space by LEGO Duplo invaders who are wrecking everything that the locals are trying to rebuild in the newly-named Apocalypse Burg. Builder Emmet (voice of Chris Pratt) has to step up again and go rescue would-be love Lucy/Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett) and other friends from a weird alien queen when she has them kidnapped. Courage and a belief in self-worth will be required. Is Emmet up to the task? Will his teaming up with the macho space wanderer Rex Dangervest (also Pratt) on his quest be a good or bad thing?

Kid Finn from the last film, is still avidly playing with his LEGOs in the basement and has turned “dark”, making their world a Mad Max-style wasteland of “un-awesomeness”. When his little sister Bianca tries to join in with sparkly toys, hearts and happy yellow stars, all heck breaks loose. They turn dangerous and attack Bricksburg. It stays wrecked and only cheery Emmet seems to be happy in this hopeless scenario. Batman is lonely and Judy is dark and brooding even when she sees that Emmet has built an adorable little house for them to inhabit.

Alien Commander
A ship with a force field attacks. Judy and Batman’s efforts to defend aren’t enough and Emmet accidentally destroys his own little house. Aliens land, led by General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) who tells inhabitants that her shape-shifting leader Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) of the Systar System wants to marry their leader.

Despite a good fight, Lucy, Batman, Unikitty (Alison Brie), astronaut Benny (Charlie Day) and others are taken hostage. Emmet tries to lead a group to rescue them but nobody will join him. He turns his destroyed house into a ship and takes off on his own rescue quest.
Batman, MetalBeard, Lucy and Unikitty are kidnapped

The Queen
On the Systar home planet, Queen Watevra wants to marry Batman since he says he’s the leader. No way. He is a Bat-chelor! She sings a song about how harmless she is and starts wooing the newcomers by giving them what they want.

In space, Emmet is aided by mystery man Rex Dangervest whose homies are LEGO velociraptors! He says he can help with the coming Armageddon. He’s bitter because he was left alone a long time under the clothes drier in the basement. Emmet asks him to teach him to be an ass-kicker which he thinks is necessary to pull off this rescue.

Emmet will have to grow up fast. Meanwhile, Lucy and the others are taken to a sparkly planet where they are pampered. Only Judy stays tough. Suddenly her black hair is multi-coloured again. She is sent to music therapy. Rex and Emmet discover a village where all the missing LEGO super-heroes are living in harmony. Listening to the music changed them. They’re evidently brain-washed.

The Rescue?
Lucy puts on earmuffs against the music and escapes, running into Bruce Willis in an air duct.
Can Lucy ever reunite with Emmet? Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Emmet has learned to channel his anger and busts open the sidewalk at the village breaking the happy mood. The Wedding Ceremony between Batman and the Queen is about to happen at the Space Temple but she admits in song that she is “Not Into Gotham City Guys”. She likes Superman! Batman can’t let Supe win so he says he loves her. Let’s get married. Rex and newly-empowered Emmet are on the way to blow up the temple before the wedding. Is the Queen evil or have they all misread her? Is Rex who he seems to be or….something totally different?

Wrapping Up
There is a lot going on in this 2nd film…maybe too much and too fast to follow easily but the movie is packed with fun cultural references, creative new characters, good morals and it supports teamwork. Jokes at Chris Pratt’s expense are hilarious and the actor is obviously okay with them. Even the name Rex Dangervest takes aim at his macho yet flawed Jurassic World hero. Message: learn how to play with your younger sister before she destroys your world. It’s teamwork people and it’s painted on pretty thickly but with a light-hearted and colorful brush.The rough and ready Rex Danger

Although songs aren’t as catchy as the annoying “Everything is Awesome”, they are fun and lyrics are a hoot. Voice acting is top notch all around.

Top tips for family trips

Making sure a family day out goes smoothly and everyone has a day to remember… for all the right reasons!

Plan ahea
Plan your journey to avoid the stresses of getting lost on route with excitable children in tow! It also helps to pack the bag you’re taking the night before to stop the morning scramble.

Pack some spare clothes
No matter how old your children are take spare clothes with you, then they can relax and get messy or wet even if it wasn’t in the plan. I take a unisex variety so that it doesn’t matter who ends up wearing them!

Snacks to the rescue!
You can never take too many snacks! Keep separate snack boxes/ bags for each child to avoid arguments! Even better if they can pop them in their own backpack.

Money Money Money
Take loose change with you, especially £1 coins and keep it handy. Many attractions have ‘extra’ activities you can do such as; feeding animals or rides and often this costs £1 or so, plus there might be parking charges.

Prepare the children
Keep behaviour on track by preparing your children for the frustrations they may experience during the day. For example ‘sometimes we will have to queue up’ or ‘you will need to stay quiet when we go in…..area’.

Take wellies/walking shoes
Some places might get muddy when it has rained and no one wants to get their shoes caked in mud. Also, take plastic bags to put the wellies in after so you can keep the car clean!

Plan for any ‘boring bits’
Have some games in mind encase the kids get a little bored. Make a bingo list or treasure hunt, if you are in a museum or gallery they might have a trail for you to follow or even activity packs, ask at reception when you arrive.

Sun protection
With the weather always being changeable it is a good idea to always carry sun cream, sunglasses and sun hats.

Keep a basic makeup set/ hairbrush in the car for the days when it was easier just to get everyone out of the house before making yourself look presentable!

Money-saving family days out

Find out what’s on at your local museum or library
Museums and libraries often have great children’s activities planned for the school holidays many of which are free! Don’t forget to check out our website for places to visit which are local to you. You can even filter your search to find attractions with free entry only!

We all know how much a family day out can cost at top attractions and we’re left thinking it would be cheaper to go abroad! However, when you’re planning a well-earned family day out check out our ticket portal for seriously great savings at top attractions around the UK! We’ve helped thousands of families save money on their days out, and we’d love to help you too! Find out more.

Enjoy the great outdoors
Check out local farms, parks and nature reserves as there is always loads going on during the school holidays such as nature trails and bug hunts. There are some great activities for the children at National Trust properties which include den building and fossil hunting. You’ll find some great days out inspiration on our website which includes farms, nature reserves and country parks so be sure to check it out!

Open (and close) your kitchen
Do you ever find that after a day at home with the kids, you’re left with a very bare looking fridge and cupboards? More often or not, bored children means ‘hungry’ munchkins, so why not open and close your own kitchen for meal times only! I’ve found that closing the kitchen by 9am after breakfast, opening for an hour at lunchtime, and then reopening for tea time really does banish the kitchen raiders.

Go to the cinema from just £2.49! – Vue Cinema
every Saturday and Sunday morning from 10am, plus every day during the school holidays
(check the website for updated price and availability)

Vue cinemas across the country are offering cinema seats from just £2.49 during the school holidays as a part of their ‘mini mornings’! There are some fab films on offer that children will love such as The Boss Baby, Smurf: The Lost Village, Spiderman: Homecoming and more! Probably best to book ahead, especially on rainy days!
Bowling from just £1 per person! – Superbowl UK, various location
9-10am everyday

For a truly traditional fun family day out why not take the kids bowling where Superbowl UK have prices starting from just £1 per person! Perfect for rainy days, and even super hot days there really is so much to do to keep the kids entertained as well as hiring a bowling lane!

Take a picnic
If you were to add up the amount spent during the day out with the kids, a large proportion goes on food and drink! Always pack a picnic, along with snacks and plenty of drinks for all the family. If you’re going somewhere where the kids are likely to clock the sweets – visit the pound shop beforehand and buy a stash of your own which works out so much cheaper!Save your change

Keep some change handy for car parking. There’s nothing worse than having to nip to a shop just to break into a note, plus paying for car parking using your phone often comes with a surcharge.

Try out new places

York, Yorkshire
This picturesque town, located in North Yorkshire, is the perfect place to bring your budding little historians! Head to the York Castle Museum to get an insight into Edwardian and Victorian life in York, or pay a visit to the Jorvik Viking Centre to discover why they’re so popular. It’s also a must for chocolate lovers with the fab York’s Chocolate Story! If you’ve got a little thrill seeker in tow, be sure to check out Lightwater Valley to take on Europe’s longest roller coaster; The Ultimate!

Cardiff, Wales
This beautiful town offers lots of varied and entertaining fun for all of the family! Explore Cardiff Bay on The Open Boat; a lovely steam boat that offers amazing views of the harbour, or head over to Cardiff Castle to learn all about this town’s fascinating medieval history. Fans of Doctor Who will love the Doctor Who Experience for an immersive journey through space and time!

Lymington, New Forest
For those after an escape to the forest, Lymington is the place to be! Situated on the edge of the New Forest, this port town is renowned as a sailing resort and is home to lots of lovely independent boutiques… perfect for budding little fashionistas! For those after a slice of culture, head on over to St. Barbe Museum and Art Gallery to marvel at amazing artwork and have a go at one of their family friendly trails. Hiring a bike and exploring the nearby woodland is also a must for active families looking to work up a pre-pub appetite!

Dartmouth, Devon
If you’re looking for active filled family day out with a spectacular backdrop, Dartmouth is your one stop destination! From cycling, walking and an array of outdoor activities, you really are spoilt for choice. This is as well as amazing historic houses, gardens, castles and museums, such as Dartmouth Castle. If you’re looking to delve deeper into the countryside, the Dartmoor National Park is only a short drive away from the town centre!

Falmouth, Cornwall
If you’ve got a budding surfer dude or dudette in tow, or are a lover of the seaside, Falmouth is the place to be! With a stunning beach that offers a variety of activities such as rockpooling, sailing, snorkelling and SUP paddle boarding, your little beach bums won’t know where to start first. Head on over to the National Maritime Museum to find out all about this lovely town.

Wild family days out

The Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre, Sheffield
It’s all about Dinosaurs this half term so bring the kids along for a week of prehistoric fun! Meet the fearsome T-Rex, play dinosaur games and take a tractor ride while you look out for an escaped dinosaur!

Legoland, Windsor
With 12 themed lands to explore from Ninjago to Lego city, Legoland is a day out all the family will enjoy! From the Dragon roller coaster to the Atlantis underwater submarine voyage there are so many rides and rollercoasters for the light- hearted and the thrill-seekers amongst the family! For the star wars fans, there is a very impressive miniland model display recreating seven famous scenes from the movies!

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle offers a great day out for all visitors. You’ll see shows, demonstrations, hear stories and be able to walk around the stunning grounds. Visit Merlin: The Dragon Tower, based on the popular TV show; it is a wonderfully interactive experience where you will join Merlin on his quest and speak to The Great Dragon himself. If you are feeling brave, head down to the Castle Dungeon and learn of the darkest, bloodiest history of the castle. This Half term the kids can get lost in the horrible histories maze, watch the spectacular birds of prey take to the skies and learn what it take to be a brave knight!

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
There’s so much to see and do at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard with indoor and outdoor activities suitable for the whole family. Learn about the Royal Navy as it is today and get an insight into what the future holds. Step on board historic ships that changed the world such as HMS Victory and HMS Warrior 1860. Don’t miss the new‐look Mary Rose museum, which gives insight into Tudor life. Could you make it in the Royal Navy by taking on the physical challenges at the high tech Action Stations indoor attraction? Test your skills as a helicopter pilot, scale the tallest indoor climbing wall and make your way through the Ninja Force assault course. Younger children under 1.2m will love the Sky Tykes area—a low rope assault course with bridges and beams for them to tackle!

The Eden Project, Cornwall
Eden Project is a living theatre of people and plants. It is set in a breathtaking location and provides an unforgettable experience for all. There are two enormous geodesic conservatories located in a 50 metre deep crater: the Rainforest Biome and the Mediterranean Biome. During half term from 10-18 February- there will be some great activities for children including the Schnookle Quest in the rainforest where you can go on an exciting quest to find your own schnookle coin and go on a journey along a timeline of civilisations. You can also take part in an archaeological dig.

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
There is so much for families to see at this iconic you will be spoilt for choice! Visit The Great Hall, The Royal Palace and even take a look at the magnificent Crown Jewels. Experience the roar of the One o’clock Gun and discover the Prisons of War. Inside the castle there is The National War Museum, which has 400 years of Scottish history waiting to be discovered.

Take your family out for the day

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth
There’s so much to see and do at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard with indoor and outdoor activities suitable children and for the whole family. Take a look at our summer events at Portsmouth Dockyards blog for inspiration! All our tickets include an annual pass valid from your first visit date so you can return as many times as you wish! Attractions include HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, Action Stations – indoor interactive attraction with Ninja Force assault course, climbing wall and more.

Fleet Air Arm Museum, Ilchester, Somerset
An all-weather attraction for aviation lovers this is Europe’s largest aircraft collection. Step on board the first British Concorde, look into the cockpit and also step inside a Sea King helicopter. The kids will also love the adventure playground inspired by HMS Queen Elizabeth.

DC Exhibition: Dawn of Super Heroes, The O2, London
Super Hero and Super Villian fans will love this exhibition. Featuring an extensive display of comic book, TV and film memorabilia, including Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, plus many more! Displays in the multi-room exhibition include costumes, sketches, props, video scenes, models and even a Batpod!

The National Showcaves Centre, Swansea, Wales
Explore the incredible natural wonders that are the caves, there are three in total including Dan-yr-Ogof, Bone Cave and Cathedral Cave. Also onsite is the museum where you can watch experienced cavers make their way through the further reaches of the cave.

The National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland
Set over 9 floors there’s something to interest everyone here! Go on a journey of discovery through the history of Scotland, taking in the wonders of nature, art, design and fashion and science and technology. The hall of animals will be a sure favourite!

The Natural History Museum, London
For a fascinating, FREE educational day out, head down to the Natural History Museum. Here you will learn about the natural world through amazing exhibitions and displays! Be sure to check out the Darwin Centre where you will discover science in action and collections. The Attenborough Studio is a fascinating audio-visual venue where you can learn all about life on earth. There are so many things to see at this amazing place, so don’t miss out!

The British Museum, London
The British Museum houses a vast collection of world art and artefacts and is free to all visitors! Explore the Egyptians, the Roman Empire, ancient Greece, and more. You can even see the Rosetta Stone which proved to be the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs!

Free Activities

Speke Hall – Liverpool
Speke Hall is a Tudor house set on the banks of the River Mersey and is a lovely place to bring the whole family. The house has survived a turbulent 400 years of history, been restored and here you can learn all about it. There are plenty of activities for children and the gardens are perfect for the kids to run around and explore. There is a fantastic maze for them to get lost in too!

Cycle routes at Nunnington Hall – Yorkshire
This fun and easy-to-cycle loop route is perfect for all of the family to enjoy! Start at the beautiful manor house Nunnington Hall, nestled within the banks of the River Rye, then head through the North York National Park towards Bransdale.

Great North Museum
This amazing museum brings together a world of fascinating things both natural and man-made. See Egyptian mummies, Greek artefacts and a brilliant interactive model of Hadrian’s Wall. Families can gaze into space in the planetarium and be just a little scared of the life-size T- Rex replica dinosaur!

Tollcross Children’s farm
Tollcross Children’s Farm is a wonderful place to take the kids for a couple of hours. You’ll see a random mix of adorable animals, including horses, peacocks, llamas, sheep, pigs and a pair of lovebirds. Learn all about the animal world, the life of insects and also see the story of Cock Robin in 3D!

Formby Red Squirrel Walk, Merseyside, England
Spot native red squirrels in the beautiful woodland surrounding Formby in Merseyside. Enjoy breathtaking sea views as you head out on a bracing coastal walk or find out about Formby’s fascinating coastal history with links to asparagus growing and the early days of aviation. The perfect place to get outdoors and active this winter!

Discovery Museum
If your little ones are interested in the wonders of history, science and technology be sure to take them to the Discovery Museum! Explore fascinating collections such as Turbinia, the first steam-powered turbine ship, regimental militaria and many other amazing displays!

Rainy day places

The Tank Museum, Bovington, Wareham
For a fascinating family day out for the family, The Tank Museum houses the world’s best collection of tanks dated from 1915 to the present day! Learn all about the history of tanks, how they changed warfare and how they were used in battle and advances in tank engineering.

Oceanarium, Bournemouth
Take a trip to the seafront in Bournemouth, which is home to the fantastic Oceanarium. Enter the dark abyss section and the very cool underwater tunnel, where magnificent fish swim around you. There are over 150 different species, from sharks to stingrays and a couple of new additions, The Penguin Beach Encounter, which is home a delightful colony of penguins! You can also enjoy the most adorable cutest furry otters in their very own oasis.

Rock Reef, Bournemouth
This indoor children’s activity centre is a perfect place to take the kids for a rainy day visit! They can wear themselves out on challenging climbing walls that cater for all ages and abilities. Other activities include an indoor cave experience and a high ropes obstacle course. Outdoors if you do fancy braving the wet weather is a fantastic zip wire ride from the end of the pier, over the waves to the shore!

The Dinosaur Museum, Dorchester
Discover real fossils, dinosaur bones and life-size models at this hands-on museum that is devoted to only dinosaurs. Are your little ones brave enough to touch the T-Rex?!

Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Bournemouth
This museum was once a Birthday present from Merton Russell-Cotes to his wife. A seaside villa full of history filled with beautiful objects from their travels around the world. It is as if the house has been locked away in time and never changed. Now you can take the family and enjoy what they would have many years ago as well as a number of temporary art exhibitions.

Blooming Kids at The Palm House Cafe Bistro and kids Activity Centre, Weymouth
Situated within The Palm House cafe bistro, Blooming Kids is a wonderful play area for kids under 5 with a lovely outdoor garden area and a walk-in craft studio! Kids can play while parents can relax on comfy sofas with a cuppa!

Mr Mulligans, Bournemouth
Always a good firm favourite indoor attraction on a rainy day, this brand new indoor golf venture offers 3 brilliant courses on two levels and everyone of any age can join in and have fun!

The Ark at Poole Park, Poole
Two great places to entertain the kids in one here! Not only is there a brilliant soft play area with plenty of fun slides, tunnels and interactive zones but next door is an indoor ice rink, where all the family can get their skates on and enjoy some fun!