With 6 weeks of school holidays to fill, we thought we’d help out with a guide to what’s on in Berkshire over the summer holidays 2018. Here are all the best, not-to-be-missed bits for families from days out, to eating out, walks and special events – we’ve got your back. And we’ll be adding to this as more stuff is announced so keep checking back…
Maidenhead Beach at Norden Farm, Maidenhead
24 July – 2 September 2018, 10.00am – 4.00pm daily
The ever popular Maidenhead Beach is back, all summer long – this year inspired by the laid back tropical paradise that is Goa. It’s free to play on every day with beachside tables available for snacks and lunch from the Café Bar (including children’s picnic bags). Or why not peel yourself off the beach and get creative with your little ones in the daily Beach Craft sessions:
Arts and Crafts (45 mins) | £5 per child Monday – Saturday 10.30am
Or sit back and relax with them in the story den for Storytelling sessions:
Storytelling (20 mins) | £2 per person Monday – Saturday 1.30pm and 3.30pm
For more information on these summer holiday events at Norden Farm, click here.
Summer Fun at Wellington Country Park
This summer there’s loads going on at Wellington Country Park to keep the kiddies entertained, here our are highlights:
Pirate and Mermaid Weekend – 28 & 29 July is a pirate and mermaid themed weekend at the park. There will be shows, stories, workshops and the ever-popular inflatables, as well as a trail to enjoy.
Dinosaur Weekend – Come and see the magnificent dinosaurs on the main green on 4 & 5 August 2018, including T-Rex, Raptor and baby dinosaurs. There will also be inflatable fun and a treasure hunt.
Teddy Bears Picnic – On 11 & 12 August there will be a teddy bears picnic at Welly Park. Come down for stories and lots of children’s entertainment, inflatables, and of course a picnic!
Unicorn & Dragon Weekend – Stories, shows and a disco make up the agenda for this great fun weekend on 18 & 19 August. And don’t miss out on the inflatables and dragon treasure hunt.
The Big Inflatable Takeover – Come down to Welly Park for this fantastic fun event where children can bounce away the Bank Holiday. From 25 – 27 August there will be; castles, a ball pond, obstacles courses, and a bungee run.
Find out more about all of these events, click here.
Eton Mess Workshops at Bel & the Dragon, Cookham & Reading
This summer Bel & the Dragon Cookham & Reading will be opening up their chic doors to families for their delicious Children’s Eton Mess Workshops. We went on one of these last summer and can confirm we may have eaten our body weight in Eton Mess, oh and the kiddies had lots of fun at the same time. Bring the children down for a fun introduction to the world of cookery and learn to make their classic Bel & the Dragon Eton Mess, one of Britain’s favourite summer puddings. Little ones will get a lesson on making the pudding from one of their top chefs before trying their creation at the end. Make sure you bring a tuperware dish to bring home any leftovers. Oh, who are we kidding…
The workshops will run every Tuesday throughout August from 10.00 – 11.30am (7 August, 14 August, 21 August & 28 August), and cost £5.00 per child. You’ll need to book in advance and there are limited spaces on each date, so book early to avoid disappointed little faces. Suitable for children aged 12 years and under.
Lego Brick Safari, The Lexicon, Bracknell **FREE SUMMER FUN**
1 – 14 August 2018
Families visiting the Lexicon this summer will have a chance to walk on the wild side as the Lego Brick Safari comes to Bracknell town centre from 1 – 14 August 2018. The animal sculptures, created from thousands of Lego bricks, will be located around the Lexicon for little ones to find, discover and photograph – whether that’s an elephant, lion or gorilla.
Safari themed workshops will also be running from 1 – 3 & 8 – 10 August from 11.00am – 4.00pm. These fun and FREE arts and craft sessions will allow little ones to make and take home safari themed crafts including mini jungle jars, peg crocodiles and stick animal bookmarks. There will also be a safari treasure hunt across stores in the centre. Pick up a sheet from the craft workshops and go on a hunt to find 10 hidden smaller animal sculptures for your chance to win a Lego prize, including a Premium Annual Pass to the Legoland Windsor Resort!
For more information, click here.
Summer at The Jelly Lounge, Windsor
This summer over the school holidays there’s loads of fun to be had for kiddies at The Jelly Lounge in Windsor. They have summer camps, workshops and great activities running throughout July and August. As well as their amazing soft play space with creche options, you’ll find things like; Jelly Mini Chefs, Jelly Slime Club (some including a pizza dinner), messy play, yoga workshops. The Jelly Lounge is a great place to take the kiddies this summer, there’s also a fab café offering a big selection of healthy and tasty meals, snacks, and drinks including a great wine and G&T menu! Who said the summer holidays were all about the kids!
To have a look at sessions, dates and to book your spaces, click here.
Live & Unwind Festival at Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor
This year the Live & Unwind Festival will take place at Oakley Court Hotel in Windsor on Sunday 29 July 2018, from midday – 5.00pm. This event promises to be full of fun and entertainment for all the family, and once again it’s free with no tickets needed. With so much going on, set within a stunning riverside location on the banks of the Thames, Live & Unwind is sure to be a smash hit summer event, so pop it in your diary now.
You can expect: live music, a BBQ, champagne tent, woodfired pizza, and face painting and a balloon artist for the children. To find out more, click here.
Splash Pads, Pools & Lidos in Berkshire
With summer on our minds and thoughts turning to long hot days with the little ones, we started thinking about all the family friendly splash pads, pools and lidos in Berkshire and just beyond, to cool down and have some fun with the kids this summer.
Click here to check out our suggestions.
Beale Park, Pangbourne
Pond Dipping Detective Sessions – Back by popular demand, free pond dipping sessions will run at Beale Park every Wednesday from 25 July – 29 August 2018, 10.30am – 12.30pm. Youngsters will have the chance to discover what lurks beneath the water from a new pond dipping platform on the lake.
Meet the bugs – Get up close and personal with some of the bugs and creepy crawlies that live at the park over the summer holidays! Experience the amazing world of giant insects, meet a snake, stroke a giant African snail, or get close to a tarantula. Runs every Wednesday from 25 July – 29 August 2018, 1.30 – 3.30pm.
For more information on these events, click here.
Eating out with the Children this Summer in Berkshire
Fancy getting a bite to eat out and about this summer with the kids? If you’re looking for a fantastic family friendly restaurant in Berkshire we’ve done a lot of research (tough job but we took one for the team), and you can check out our guide to eating out with children in Berkshire here. From great children’s menus, to outside play spaces, and entertainment at the table, there’s something for everyone. Click here.
Braywick Nature Reserve, Maidenhead
Bring the children to Braywick Nature Reserve this summer for great activities which will see them learning and having fun at the same time.
Minibeast Safari – Monday 30 July 2018, 10.00am – midday & 2.00 – 4.00pm – Hunt for beetles, bugs and butterflies in the gorgeous wildflower meadow. Ideal for children aged 4 – 11 years. Tickets must be purchased in advance, click here to book now. Tickets are £6.00 per child.
Forest Fun – Wednesday 1 August 2018, 10.00am – midday & 2.00 – 4.00pm – Make a brilliant den, play in the woods and enjoy a real campfire – with marshmallows for everyone! Ideal for children aged 7 – 11 years. Tickets must be purchased in advance, click here to book now. Tickets are £6.00 per child.
Summer Pond Dip – Thursday 2 August 2018, 10.00am – midday & 2.00 – 4.00pm – Discover fantastic water creatures in the fabulous wildlife pond. There’s always something new to find, from sticklebacks to water scorpions. Ideal for children aged 4 – 11 years. Tickets must be purchased in advance, click here to book now. Tickets are £6.00 per child.
The Best Family Friendly Beaches on the South Coast
Even with all the fun on offer in Berkshire this summer, sometimes you just need to escape for a day and we’re so lucky to have some amazing family friendly beaches just a short drive away on the south coast. We’ve pulled together a list of our favourites with some of the fun and practical details you’ll want to know before heading off. So, read on to find out what our suggestions are for the best beaches nearby, and why we love them, click here.
The Slime Show at The Lookout Discovery Centre, Bracknell
Why are slugs and snails so slimy? Can you really cut, bounce or stretch slime? Come and find out in this sticky, gooey and slime filled show!
Shows run throughout the day on weekends and during Bracknell summer holidays. Suitable for children aged 3+ years, who can sit still for half an hour. Shows cost £1.95 on top of your admission cost to the Lookout Discovery Centre. You don’t need to pre-book tickets for the shows, just book them on the day at reception. Plus you’ll get to enjoy all the exciting activities and hands-on science exhibitions at the centre. For more information, click here.
Squires Garden Centre, Windsor
23 July – 29 August 2018 – Mondays and Tuesdays only
This summer there are loads of fun activities taking place for children at Squires Garden Centre in Windsor. Running from 23 July – 29 August on Mondays and Tuesdays there will be great fun sessions which will change weekly letting little ones get creative and have fun at the same time. Activities include:
- Plant and decorate a strawberry pot – 23 & 24 July, 9.00am – 12.30pm – £6.00 per child + a free spot the difference activity
- Paint a sunflower terracotta sunflower pot – 30 & 31 July, 9.00am – 12.30pm – £5.50 per child + a free paper sunflower maze
- Paint a pair of pebble animals – 6 & 7 August, 9.00am – 12.30pm – £3.00 per child + free wildlife work search
- Plant and decorate a beautiful summer pot – 13 & 14 August, 9.00am – 12.30pm – £6.00 per child + free spot the difference activity
- Decorate a trio of bug catcher wind chimes – 20 & 21 August, 9.00am – 12.30pm – £4.50 per child + free bug word search
- Go on a wildlife hunt trail and enjoy a sweet treat – 27 & 28 August, 9.00am – 12.30pm – £2.50 per child + free paper butterfly maze
With plenty of free parking, a café, family friendly toilets and baby changing, Squires Windsor is a great choice for holiday activities. To find out more click here. Always check online before travelling in case of changes or cancellations. No need to pre-book just turn up and pay at the tills.
Mermaids & Pirates at The Oracle Shopping Centre, Reading **FREE SUMMER FUN**
9 – 30 August 2018
This summer throughout August bring the kiddies to The Oracle Shopping Centre in Reading for Mermaids & Pirates! There will be storytelling, dance workshops and crafts – lots of fun activities to keep children entertained this summer. The activities run every Thursday between 9 & 30 August (9, 16, 23 & 30 August) and are totally free for families. Activities will take place in the Upper Mall near Victoria’s Secret Pink.
For more information on these great free events, click here.
Fancy Something a Bit Further Afield…
Pirates, Pants & Wellyphants at the River & Rowing Museum, Henley
Nick Sharratt, the man behind the instantly recognisable illustrations for Jacqueline Wilson’s Tracy Beaker books, is the subject of this colourful, humorous and hands-on exhibition which runs throughout the summer until 16 September 2018.
This fun packed exhibition explores Nick’s passion for drawing, from childhood to his current status as an internationally renowned illustrator and author.
For more details, click here.
Millets Maize Maze, Abingdon
Millets Farm ‘Maize Maze’ is back again this year and it’s definitely worth a visit for families, plus there’s so much more at Millets to see too. As well as a range of mazes you’ll also find; woodland and courtyard games, pan for gold, bouncy castle, trampolines, ride on tractors, go karts, crazy golf, sand pits and much more.
The theme this year is the Wild Wild West and it will be open from 18 July – 3 September 2018 with lots of activities to explore. For more details, click here.
Storytelling at Greys Court, Henley
Everyday in the summer holidays, Greys Court will be telling the stories that Lady Brunner loved as a child in the secret garden at Greys Court. Rediscover the childhood classics adored by Lady Brunner this summer, as you join our storytellers in the secret garden, an area not normally open to the public.
Sessions run at 1pm and 2.30pm every day of the summer holidays, subject to availability. For more details, click here.
Summer of Colour at Cliveden, Taplow
The summer gardens at Cliveden are in full bloom and waiting to be discovered by little legs. Come along for Cliveden’s fun summer adventure trail where children will get to explore nature and create their own gift to take home.
The trail runs from 25 July to 5 September on weekdays only, and will change every fortnight over the 6 week school holidays. So plenty of reason to keep visiting. £2.00 per child. Normal admission to the grounds applies, free admission with national trust membership. For more information, click here.
Amazing Summer Adventures at Odds Farm Park, Wooburn Common
21 July – 2 September 2018
The Oddsocks Family return this summer to Odds Farm Park, bringing with them themed shows, arts, crafts and summertime games. Runs from 21 July – 2 September 2018. You’ll also not want to miss the new water feature play attraction, H2Odds, plus all the usual fun at the farm! To find out more, click here.
We hope you found this useful and have a great summer! For other ideas on what’s on for families in Berkshire, click here.