Consult our Summer Holiday Survival guide for family days out, last minute holiday deals and top tips to keep the little ones entertained this summer.
It’s that time of year again. The school summer holidays are upon us and the streets are flooding with children finally free from the constraints of the classroom. But while your little ones are overjoyed at the prospect of no school or nursery for six long weeks, the daunting prospect of a summer at home with kids, tots and toddlers may have hit you like a lego brick to the face (or foot!).
Keep calm and carry on reading as we’ve compiled a summer holiday survival guide to keep the whole family entertained this summer.
Summer Holiday Survival Guide
When are the summer holidays: school holiday 2019 dates
This year the school summer holidays in the UK start around 19th July, and run until the first week of September 2019.
Many independent schools or local schools in various areas up and down the UK will break up earlier (from around 12th July), while some schools won’t close for summer until 24th July.
Summer Activity Deals for all the Family
If you’re contenting with time-consuming toddlers, while bigger kids are demanding days out or play dates, the summer holidays can be a logistical nightmare for parents. But fear not, as we’re here to help with our round up of activities for all the family to enjoy.
And if it’s the extra cost you’re worried about, our pals over at Picniq have put together their top ten money-saving deals for summer holiday activities.
The Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth
Deal: Save up to 33% at The Mary Rose Museum
£28 for a family (2+3), £12.00 Adult 16 yrs+, £6.00 Child 5-15 yrs
Take in the amazing sight of the only Tudor ship on display in the world from the ‘Upper Deck Gallery’. Watch the crew at work via the stunning projections and gain a real sense of what life was like for the men on board.
Oxygen Free Jumping, Leeds
Deal: 20% off at Oxygen Free Jumping
£7.56 1hr Session
Enjoy ‘bouncetastic’ fun across 9 different zones and 120 trampolines! Take on the challenge of the awesome assault course. Test your skills on the giant airbag and trial the world’s first fitness reaction track.
Body Worlds, London
Deal: Save up to 22% at Body Worlds
£67.50 Family Special Offer, £20 Adult 16 yrs+, £14 Child 6-15 yrs
Explore Dr Gunther von Hagen’s original BODY WORLDS exhibition, at its new permanent home in the heart of Piccadilly Circus London, and journey through the human body in an awe-inspiring environment featuring over 200 fascinating exhibits, which celebrate life.
Cheddar Gorge, Somerset
Deal: 20% off tickets at Cheddar Gorge
£15.96 Adult, £11.96 Child, Free for Under 5’s
At Cheddar Gorge explore stunning stalactite caverns and see the dramatic cliffs which rise 450ft above the ground. There are two very different caves to explore, a museum, cliff top walk and lookout tower!
UP at the O2, London
Deal Up to 12% off at UP at the O2
£27 Weekday, £32.40 Sunset, £32.40 Twilight
This exhilarating guided expedition will find yourself taking in the views of London from 52 metres above the ground! The impressive O2 walkway is 380 metres long and at it’s steepest point has an incline of 28 degrees on the way up and 30 degrees on the way back down. With three different climbs to choose from, there’s plenty of opportunity to take the climb that best suits you.
Lightwater Valley, Yorkshire
Deal: Save up to 20% at Lightwater Valley
£22.50 Over 1.3m, £15 1-1.30m, £8 <1m, Free for Under 3’s
Lightwater Valley is full of action-packed excitement and adventure, with over 35 rides and attractions for the whole family! Ride Europe’s longest rollercoaster, The Ultimate! Spin above the treetops on Apollo and discover the mysterious subterranean world of Raptor Attack’s and take to the skies in the powerful grip of the Eagles Claw!
Deal: Up to 20% at Longleat
£27.96 Adults, £20.95 Child, £25.16 Seniors
Explore Longleat’s incredible attractions; Jungle Kingdom, Drive Through Safari, Main Square adventure park, Longleat House and much, much more! A full-on, fun-packed day for all the family. With creatures from around the world, from the majestic and exotic to the cute and cuddly, there’s always another animal adventure just around the corner.
Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure, Norwich
Deal: Up to 29% off tickets at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure
£13.95 Over 90cm and free Under 90cm
Grab the family and head to Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure for a roarr-some day of family-fun adventures of the Jurassic kind. With animatronic dinos, a Secret Animal Garden, Neanderthal Walk, Dinosaur Trail, a huge Adventure Play Area and much more, there’s plenty for intrepid dino hunters of all ages to explore.
The National Museum of The Royal Navy, Hartlepool
Deal: Save up to 20% on tickets at The National Museum of The Royal Navy
£8.00 Adult, £6.50 Child, £24.50 Family (5)
Set in an authentically-created historic quayside of the 1800s, The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool will captivate the minds of all of the family as you travel through Britain’s story of the Royal Navy and its rich maritime heritage.
Deal: Up to 40% off at KidZania
£19.75Child 4-14yrs, £16 Adult, £10 Child 1-3yrs
Let kids live out their dreams of becoming a pilot, firefighter, radio presenter, police officer or more at KidZania, the indoor city where kids rule the roost!
Deal: Kids eat for £1 at Bella Italia restaurants
To celebrate the summer holidays and to take the pressure of playdates this summer, kids can eat for £1 at Bella Italia restaurants this summer.
Hungry bambinos can pick three courses off the new Piccolo or Grande kids’ menus, with Italian favourites and modern classics including Chicken Milanese, Bolognese Pasta, Risotto Verde and of course the famous Gelato Cart. Exciting create your own pizza and pasta options are also now available for kids to design their own dinner.
Disney West End Pop-up
Disney in the West End isn back for the second year running. From 23 July to 1 September, Disney Theatrical Productions has created a unique space, celebrating the very best of Disney in the West End.
This summer visitors will be able to explore the iconic masks, puppets and costumes from the Tony Award-winning The Lion King, as well as enjoy the ‘Circle of Life’ in a fully immersive 360-degree virtual reality experience. For the first time ever in the UK, fans of Frozen will have the unique opportunity to interact with the musical and strike a pose in a specially-created photo moment (an avid Instagrammer’s dream!).
Visitors will also be able to enjoy the nostalgic charm that made them fall in love with Aladdin the first time around and they may even catch a glimpse of the magic lamp in all its wonder. Guests will also be put through their paces with a Mary Poppins spelling challenge of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Free Activities this Summer
Fear of Summer Holidays (FOSH) is real and it’s sweeping the nation. According to research from family activity app Hoop, a quarter of parents dread the school holidays. The research also revealed 50% of parents claimed the biggest struggle was keeping the kids entertained while 66% admitted to having money concerns in summer.
To combat the summer holiday scaries, Hoop has teamed with celeb mum Giovanna Fletcher to launch its ‘Summer for Free’ guide.
Parents pick from a whole range of free activities, workshops and special events taking place up and down the country by visiting hoop.co.uk/summer-holidays or by downloading the Hoop app.
NOW READ: The Best Parenting Apps to Download Now
Catch up With Friends at the UK’s First Baby Aperitivo Hour
It’s no secret that socialising and catching up with friends over drinks can take a back seat with a baby on the scene. Throw in a load of toddlers and kids demanding your undivided attention in the summer holidays and that cool, crisp glass of rosé in the sun can seem like a far-off fantasy.
But fear not. There’s a Baby-friendly Aperitivo hour hitting London to help out.
Hosted at Minnow in Clapham, every Wednesday in August, Baby Aperitivo will make life easier for busy families looking to enjoy a spritz or two in the sunshine.
Families who order drinks and nibbles during this dedicated ‘Baby Aperitivo’ hour, will receive a complimentary baby friendly aperitivo from Piccolo. They can choose from a range of delicious and nutritious Piccolo snacks and meals from the limited edition menu, including Mediterranean inspired Tomato and Basil infused Breadsticks, Sweet Pea Squares teething wafers and Sweet Tomato and Mozzarella Spaghetti Piccolo baby food.
Family-Friendly Holiday Destinations
From resorts with luxury facilities for all the family to world class kids clubs, here’s our pick of the best family friendly holiday destinations to visit this summer.
Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi
The Sirru Fen Fushi resort is an island full of surprises for the whole family. A haven for parents to relax, there’s also plenty to keep the kids occupied.
Tiny travellers can make a splash in the resorts 200m infinity pool, the largest in the Maldives, before heading to the resorts Kids’ Club – Majaa, Toddler’s Play Garden or Teen Town. There’s an array of thrill-seeking activities on offer for the whole family including; kayaking the lagoon, Thai boxing classes, jet-skiing or cycling sandy walkways, cultural tours of local communities and taking part in authentic Maldivian cooking classes.
Those looking to get creative can even try their hand at coconut painting, jewellery making, or crafting custom-made dreamcatchers under the watchful eye of the resort’s resident artist, at the Fairmont Maldives very own Art Studio.
Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay
You may have thought your days of wild weekends in the hedonistic hotspot of Ibiza Bay were over when the little ones came along. But think again. Nobu Hotel Ibiza Hotel offers a taste of the Island for the whole family to enjoy. With a world class kids club even hosting its very first Posidonia themed mini party – the latest addition to Ibiza Bay’s signature schedule of iconic island parties including Flower Power, White, Mermaid and Pirate day parties.
With eco-tourism at the forefront of Ibiza’s new initiative, the hotel truly encompasses the island’s surroundings. Baby bohos will love learning about the environment through Balearic crafts lessons using repurposed material from the beach. Children can also make their very own body scrub with local ingredients including Ibizan salt, olive oil and lavender picked from the hotel’s herb plants.
Plus, with mini DJ lessons and sustainable sushi making classes inspired by Nobu himself, there’s plenty on offer for the next generation of Ibiza party-goers.
Now check out more the best family-friendly holidays around the world
Summer Holiday Survival Guide: Last Minute Holiday Deals
Is it just us, or have the summer holidays crept up out of nowhere. For those of you who haven’t found the time to book a trip away in advance, there’s still time to whisk the whole family away with a last-minute escape.
Last-minute family holidays
From £997 per person for 7 nights. Book your last-minute holiday at Rixos Antalya
Top tips for travelling with a baby this summer
Busy trains, planes and tourist attractions can be a stressful environment at the best of times. Throw in screaming tots and truckloads of baby gear, and it’s no wonder the summer holidays can spark added anxiety when it comes to travelling with a baby.
No rules apply!
Often, we’re up at the crack of dawn to catch that early flight or travelling at odd times of the day. The idea of sticking to your normal routine is impossible so don’t stress too much. Try to eat at the correct times but when it comes to sleep, the general motion of travel – whether on a boat, a plane or a car – will naturally lull you to sleep. During your journeys make sure you all keep hydrated, well-fed and rested. If you or your little one feels the need for a nap and it’s not technically ‘nap-time’ don’t stop it, travelling is tiring business!
Adapt to local time straight away.
Try your best to adapt to your destination’s time-zone as quick as possible. By getting into the rhythm of the day with correct meal-times and bedtimes routines, your little one will adjust more quickly.
Don’t be afraid to travel with your new-borns if they’re ready.
Babies under three months can be relatively easy to fly with as they sleep so much. It’s when they’re one year and above that it can become tricky as they want to walk around the cabin and need lots of entertainment! With a new-born, try feeding your baby during both take-off and landing as it’s a good way to ease earache and distract them. You may also want to use a baby sling, as it is an easy way to carry a baby and keeps your hands free, which is ideal for holding passports and tickets.
Create a familiar environment.
Your little one might take longer to get to sleep as they’re out of their comfort zones. Try bringing things from home with a familiar scent, such as a pillowcase or sheet. There are lots of things you can bring with you to help, such as a black-out blind, a nightlight and a sleep clock.
Adopt a Holiday ‘Routine’.
Don’t fret if you can’t do your normal routine when you’re on holiday, especially if you’re with family and friends. However, babies are very sensitive so it’s important to keep their usual bedtime routine if possible, even if that means settling them in the pushchair when you’re out for dinner. Be sure they get their required amount of sleep each day. You can easily fall back into your home routine when you get back.
Prepare for warmer or colder weather!
Wherever you go it will probably be a slightly different climate from the UK (most likely warmer!) Your little one might find this challenging at first so make sure you pack well when it comes to their clothing. Think about what you’re feeding them too; the right foods and drinks can help regulate body temperature and energy levels.
Summer Holiday Survival: Travel Essentials
We’ve handpicked the essential items you need to make moving around with little ones as smooth-running as possible this summer.
Designed to make those days out and about as easy and simple as possible, the Nuna Diaper Bag has all the essentials you need. It comes with a bottle bag and a changing pad clutch that unfolds for a super large, wipeable space to lay your baby on when changing on-the-go. Not only is it practical but with its luxe leatherette tote handle it’s extremely stylish.
Nuna Oxford PEPP Next Stroller, £250
The PEPP next flat fold design is so small it happily tags along wherever you’re heading and can be wheeled behind like a piece of luggage whenever your little one wants to break free and explore. The complete canopy system, silent pull-down UPF 50 dream drape and all-season seat with a three-position recline allow for super relaxed riding and plenty of space to sleep or stretch too.
My 1st Years Mini Adventurer Backpack, £25
My 1st Years has teamed with British Airways to treat your mini-travellers this summer holidays. The super cute rucksack comes with complimentary personalisation, but those adorned with ‘Mini Adventurer’ will be handed to youngsters travelling with British Airways from Gatwick and Heathrow on selected dated throughout August. Along with an activity pack to keep your tots entertained while travelling.
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