Top 12 Active Days Out for Kids

Are you stuck for ideas for things to do with the kids during the last few weeks of the summer holidays? Our friends at KidRated – the website where all the reviews are done by kids to help families make more informed choices – have chosen their top 12 active days out that should keep them (and you) entertained...

1. iFLY

iFLYing high.

This one is for all adrenaline junkies in your family. Bring them here, put them in a chamber, turn on four large fans to generate wind speeds of 120mph and watch them start flying. That in a nutshell is Ifly – the UK’s leading venue for indoor skydiving.

Kids will love: Pretending to be Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible.

Adults will love: The friendly staff who cater for everyone including the disabled.

Find out more: IFLY

2. The National Football Museum 

The National Football Museum.

Located in Manchester, this is the world’s biggest and best football museum. It explores the cultural and social impact of the game, while featuring iconic objects including the Jules Rimet trophy, the 1966 World Cup Final ball, and the shirt worn by Diego Maradona during his infamous 'Hand of God' goal.

An essential part of any visit to the city, the national celebration of the national game offers free entry, and is open seven days a week. 

Kids will love: A floor full of fun interactive exhibits.

Adults will love: All the memories of big games and tournaments it brings back.

Find out more: The National Football Museum

3. Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions.

Housed in a Victorian rooftop chamber beside Edinburgh Castle, this is a brilliant way to take advantage of the wonderful views of the city from Castle Hill. Inside, you can see moving images of Edinburgh's panorama projected onto the walls by the giant periscope. As the oldest purpose built attraction in Edinburgh, the Camera Obscura has been entertaining and entrancing visitors since 1892. The attraction also includes the World of Illusions which has a host of optical illusions and tricks of the light.

Kids will love: The room where you can become a giant.

Adults will love: The great gift shop – brilliant for early stocking-filler ideas.

Find out more:

4. Diggerland 

We dig Diggerland.

When we first heard a theme park existed that was full of mechanical equipment, we thought it must still be under construction. But that’s Diggerland’s USP and we can promise you, your kids will love it. Each venue has over 100 diggers and dumpers and if you’ve never seen the look on the face of a kid operating a JCB we suggest you leave for one right this minute – and take your camera.

Kids will love: Spindizzy – a digger that doubles as a high-speed fairground ride.

Adults will love: Didn’t you hear us? You get to play with Diggers!!!

Find out more: Diggerland

5. Daytona 

Let the kids put their foot down at Daytona.

Let kids release their inner Lewis Hamilton as they speed round a Daytona track, fully kitted out and inches from the tarmac.

There are several venues around the UK, all of which promise top-notch safety equipment and are staffed with professionals. This is a great thing to do with a bunch of kids, so it's perfect for a birthday party.

Kids will love: Coming first!

Adults will love: They won’t – they’ll stand there feeling jealous!!

Find out more: Daytona

6. Sandcastle Water Park 

Make a splash at the Sandcastle Water Park.

Open all year round, with attractions for all ages, this is definitely one to keep in your back pocket if it starts to rain.

In temperatures around the 28C, you can take a swim, plunge in to the 'Hyper zone' or enjoy the numerous water slides, shallow pools, peaceful lagoons and an action river.

The park is also launching the first sensory/quiet room in a UK water park to assist children and young people with additional and special needs.

Kids will love: The ‘treehouse’ storms.

Adults will love: Relaxing in state-of-the-art spa facilities.

Find out more: Blackpool Sandcastle Water Park

7. Visit a City Farm

Maidenhead City Farm.  

Kids never forget a trip to a farm. They’re immediately immersed in noises, smells and the sight of the cutest animals. Our top three favourites are Willows Activity Farm in St Albans; Stockley Farm in Northwich and Odds Farm in High Wycombe.

For kids in London, we recommend a city farm visit to Spitalfields or Hackney. All of the above have extra activities, decent cafes and don’t forget to drop by the farm shop before you leave.

Kids will love: The very patient animals who love being stroked.

Adults will love: Getting the kids away from the screens and into the fresh air 

8. Football Stadium Tours 

Chelsea Stadium Tours.

The flip side of paying footballers hundreds of thousands of pounds a week means clubs have had to explore other ways of raising money, resulting in more and more behind-the-scenes tours.

The format is pretty similar at each club. You can do a standard tour, or one with a ‘Legend’ – who not only shows you around, but does a Q & A as well. Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United all do really great tours, but check your local team does one, as not all of them do.

Kids will love: Anything that reminds them of their heroes.

Adults will love: See above.

9. London RIB Thames Rockets

Speed down the River Thames on a Thames Rocket.

With their distinctive red ‘Rocket’ boats, the London RIB Experience is exciting, informative and always fun – especially with their hilarious and knowledgeable guides. Don’t forget to take your camera because the sights look amazing from the Thames, and hang on tight because you go really fast….

Kids will love: Going really fast!

Adults will love: The clever commentary and nostalgic soundtrack.

Find out more: Thames Rockets

10. National Space Centre, Leicester

Kids will have a cosmic day out at the National Space Museum. 

Leicester isn’t just famous for Gary Lineker, you’ll also find the only UK visitor attraction that focuses on Space. Inside, you’ll be treated to hours of breathtaking discovery where the stories, personalities and technology of the past and present are used to explain our current understanding of space, and how it will affect our future.

Kids will love: The Rocket Tower and interactive exhibits.

Adults will love: The hi-tech planetarium inside the multi-media Space Theatre. 

Find out more: National Space Centre

11. The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead

Hit the slopes at The Snow Centre. 

It may be summer, but you can still enjoy a day on a ski slope – just get over to Hertfordshire, where The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead offers visitors the thrills and spills of real snow skiing complete with equipment-hire facilities.

Boasting a 160m main slope and a 100m nursery slope, The Snow Centre is perfect for parents to show off, while kids can practice falling over. Or should that be the other way round?

Kids will love: The snowboarding jumps.

Adults will love: Staying vertical for longer than a minute.

Find out more: Hemel Hempstead Snow Centre

12. Lee Valley White Water Centre

White water fun at Lee Valley.  

Situated just under an hour from London Lee Valley is one of the world’s best white water parks. The course was used during the 2012 Olympics so is definitely state of the art.

You can do all sorts of activities there - canoeing, kayaking or even get some other parents or older kids together and do a session in a big inflatable raft.

Kids will love: Hydrospeeding – navigating the choppy waters on a body board.

Adults will love: A great restaurant and bar to relax in and watch the kids having fun.

Find out more: Lee Valley White Water Centre


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