31 Super Activities for Summer Holiday and Half-Term Fun
31 fun things to do with the kids this summer. Save this list for summer holiday and half-term planning!
Your ultimate guide to family-friendly fun in SW London and Surrey
We’ve pulled together sunny weather ideas and rainy day destinations to inspire you with things to do during the summer holidays – and during half term when the kids are back in school.
Visit Bockett’s Farm
Get up close to hundreds of animals including sheep, goats, llamas, donkeys, ponies, pigs and cows, as well as guinea pigs, rabbits, chinchillas, degus and more. Enjoy a short pony ride (for ages 3+) for £2, hop on board one of the tractors or trailer rides for £1.50 per person, and don’t miss the twice daily pig races at 12.45pm and 3.45pm.
Open 7 days a week, Bockett’s farm offers plenty to do for all ages, with jumping pillows, play houses, sandpits and an impressive treehouse with net climbers, bridges, slides, tunnels and mounds. Inside there’s a huge soft play area open to all ages, including slides and trampolines.
Bocketts Farm, Young St, Fetcham, Leatherhead KT22 9BS, bockettsfarm.co.uk. Open Monday to Sunday 10:00am-5:30pm, tickets are £16 for adults, £17.50 for children.
Explore Beaverbrook Hotel’s play area
Right next door you’ll find upmarket Beaverbrook hotel. Book for lunch and enjoy a glass of wine on the terrace, while the kids explore the impressive tree house and playground at the bottom of the garden. The interiors and grounds are nothing short of jaw-dropping, and the woodland outdoor play area is equally stylish.
Beaverbrook Hotel, Reigate Rd, Leatherhead KT22 8QX, beaverbrook.co.uk
Go strawberry picking
Pile your baskets high with fresh, juicy strawberries at Garsons Pick Your Own in Esher. Open from the beginning of June each summer, it’s the perfect family day out. Pre-book your Farm Pass online before arriving to gain entry to the farm fields. Dates are released to book 7-10 days in advance.
Garsons Esher, Winterdown Road, West End, Esher, Surrey, KT10 8LS. Open from 09:00 – 18:00, and 11:00 – 17:00 on Sundays. garsons.co.uk
Go kayaking on the Thames
Explore Richmond and Twickenham by kayak, canoe, or on a stand-up paddle board. You’ll find everything you need for a self-guided cruise at the Back Of Beyond Adventures stand on the Richmond riverbank near Petersham Nurseries. Book ahead online to avoid disappointment.
Under 18s have to be accompanied by a guardian/ parent. The river adventures priced from £37.50.
River Lane, Richmond, Surrey TW10, Backofbeyonduk.com
Rent a powerboat with GoBoat in Kingston
Pack up a picnic and book a self-drive boating experience with GoBoat in Kingston. The motor-powered boats offer plenty of room for groups, with a handy table in the middle perfect for sharing drinks and snacks. You are the captain, and you choose the route. Just book online, then collect your boat from from Riverside Walk just near Kingston Road Bridge.
GoBoat is open 7 days a week until sunset. Boats are £95 for 1 hour, £135 for 2 hours, and £175 for 3 hours.
Bishop’s Palace House, Bishop’s Hall, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1QN, goboat.co.uk/kingston/book
Visit Hobbledown in Epsom
Hobbledown in Epsom offers a packed day out and has enough to keep you coming back, with several adventure playgrounds, zip wires, bouncing pillows and underground tunnels as well as zorbing, high ropes, and an impressive sandpit area with slides, funnel systems and a play village. Inside there’s an enormous soft play area as well as wooden play area and mini maze, with a water play area just outside it. And that doesn’t even take into account all the animal enclosures and walk-throughs, from farm animals to tortoises and wallabies.
Hobbledown, Horton Ln, Epsom KT19 8PT. Open from 9:30 to 5:30, book ahead online – tickets from £17. hobbledown.com
Visit the Hampton Court Palace playground
Chances are you’ll have heard of Hampton Court Palace, but the Magic Garden playground there is well worth a visit in itself, with tents, play houses, bridges, walkways and a water play area.
For access to the playground, you’ll need to buy tickets to the palace. Tickets are £26.10 for adults, £13 for children, or £45.60 for a family saver ticket.
The playground is open daily from 10:00 to 18:00, with a quiet session between 09:30 and 11:00 aimed for children and young people with autism or special needs.
Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace, Molesey, East Molesey KT8 9AU. Hampton Court train station is just a short walk away.
Feed the animals at your local city farm
Take your kids to see the animals at your local city farm. At Deen City Farm you can book riding lessons for ages 4+, pony rides for ages 2-7, and you can book animal Meet & Greets too. Get up close with alpacas, donkeys, goats, sheep, pigs and cows, as well as smaller creatures like rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, turkeys, ducks and chickens.
There will be a Community Street Party on Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th June. Entry is free, but advanced booking is essential. There will be traditional fairground style games, crafting activities, lots of animals, entertainment and a big table set up for the community to bring their own picnics to join in the national celebrations.
Deen City Farm, 39 Windsor Ave, London SW19 2RR, Open Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays 10:00 to 16:30. Ticket price: donation, deencityfarm.co.uk
Ride a pony through Richmond Park with Stag Lodge Stables
Go horse-back riding through Richmond Park with Stag Lodge Stables. Located at the Robin Hood entrance to Richmond Park, Stag Lodge Stables offer one-off riding lessons and sessions for children aged 3-6, and 7+. Priced at £30 for a 30 minute session (£35 at the weekends), £45 for a one hour group lesson.
Stag Lodge Stables, Robin Hood Gate, Richmond Park, London, SW15 3RS, staglodgestables.com
Ride a steam train
Step back in time and board a miniature steam train. Perfect for little ones, the Hampton Kempton Waterworks Railway offers rides on a restored steam train, around the site of the industrial railway that served Kempton Waterworks. There’s a children’s play area, picnic tables and a kiosk selling hot drinks and snacks.
Open on Sundays from 10:30 – 16:00, tickets are £4 for adults, £2 for children 3 to 15 years (under 3s go free). Hampton Kempton Waterworks Railway , Snakey Ln, Feltham TW13 6XH, hamptonkemptonrailway.org.uk
There’s also the Great Cockrow Railway in Chertsey, Surrey, also open every Sunday. Choose from two different routes, both are about 1 ¼ miles in length and journeys take about 15 – 20 minutes. Tickets are £6 for adults, £5 for children, or £18 for a family.
Great Cockrow Railway, 4 Hardwick Ln, Chertsey KT16 0AD, cockcrow.co.uk
Visit the playgrounds and boating lake in Wimbledon park
With a café equipped with high chairs, caffeine for parents and hot lunches for kids, and with not one but two playgrounds, it’s no wonder Wimbledon Park is a popular spot. Feed the ducks on the lake (duck feed available from the café), run through the water fountains and splash area (open July and August) and swing by the fun fair which opens every summer.
Wimbledon Park, SW19 8AU. Catch the district line to Wimbledon Park tube station, or find parking near the football fields.
Spend a day in Battersea Park
Another park which offers fun for all ages is Battersea Park. Here you’ll find a zoo, Go Ape for adventurous kids, with a massive playground right next door, as well as a smaller playground for younger children next to the lake. Then there’s a mini golf course, pedal boats for hire for exploring the lake, and live music on Wednesday evenings at the Pear Tree Café.
Battersea Park, London SW11 4NJ. Nearest tube stations are Sloane Square and Battersea Power Station.
Make a mess at The Mud Club on Clapham Common
Tucked away behind the main playground on Clapham Common you will find the messy play area of toddler dreams. Here anything goes; you can paint a fence, make all sorts of mud concoctions, fill and push a wheelbarrow, bang on pots and generally make a big mess without the cleanup.
The Mud Club at The Spinney Kitchen runs on Tuesdays from 10:00 – 11:30, Thursdays 15:45 – 17:30, Fridays 10:00 – 12:00, and Saturdays from 10:30 – 12:00. No booking needed, suggested donation £5. Arrive early to avoid the queue, and don’t forget to pack wellies and a puddle suit!
Windmill Dr, London SW4 9DE, @spinnethe on Instagram
Try skateboarding lessons
My Little Boarders teaches children aged 4-15 how to skateboard, and offer weekend clubs, after school clubs and holiday camps.
Private lessons are available from 4+ years, £50 for a one hour 1-1 session. There’s also a scooter club for 2-3 year olds.
My Little Boarders is based in Clapham Skatepark on Clapham Common, see mylittleboarders.co.uk
You can also find weekend skate clubs and holiday camps at Kimber Skatepark and BMX Track in Wandsworth. The free-to-use skatepark is staffed and monitored during opening hours and provides a small snack shop for refreshments. For more info contact email@example.com.
Get hearts racing on a Thames RIB experience
Fasten your seatbelts and experience the capital in fast-forward on a speedboat tour of London with Thames RIB Experience. The high-speed ride takes you along London’s top attractions in a rigid inflatable boat. Enjoy adrenaline-fuelled fun with speeds up to 35 miles per hour, soaking in epic views along the way.
Go on a treetop adventure
For an adrenaline-fueled day for both adults and kids, take to the trees at Skywalk Adventure in Esher, Surrey. The treetop adventure course will have you tiptoeing along ropes, balancing on logs, racing down zip wires and more.
Skywalk Adventure, Sandown Sports, More Ln, Esher KT10 8AN, skywalkadventure.co.uk
Walk through fields of lavender
Often described as one of the UK’s most Instagrammable places, Mayfield Lavender Farm boasts 25 acres of picturesque lavender. There’s an alfresco café on site serving lavender dishes and drinks including a signature afternoon tea. No picnics.
The lavender farm is open from June 11th to the end of August, 7 days per week, from 09:00 to 18:00. Entry costs £4.50 per adult. Children under 14 go free. Mayfield Lavender Farm 1 Carshalton Road, Banstead, SM7 3JA. mayfieldlavender.com
There’s also a sister Mayfield Lavender Nursery near Epsom, at 139 Reigate Rd (near Driftbridge Audi Garage), KT17 3DW, which is open 09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Saturday.
Visit the Children’s Garden at Kew
Cool off on a hot day at the Children’s Garden at Kew Gardens. Based in a natural setting the size of 40 tennis courts, the sprawling playground boasts wooden structures, water pumps, a splash area, balancing balls, play houses, slides and more.
Book a free play session online. kew.org
Splash around in the Diana Memorial Playground
Another great playground for cooling off in is the Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Palace. A big wooden pirate ship takes center stage, with teepees, a beach, and water area all set against the lush backdrop of Kensington Gardens. It’s worth noting that as the playground is free and you can’t book ahead, it gets very busy so get there early.
Kensington Gardens, Broad Walk, London W2 4RU, royalparks.org.uk
Book tennis lessons
Help them get their energy out by enrolling in a few days of summer camp. The Teddy Tennis camps in Wimbledon Park offer tennis lessons for ages 2-3, 3-5 and 4-6. Book now for remaining July and August slots. All the equipment is provided. Alternatively you can book a tennis court at Wimbledon Park and just get some practice in – from £12 for an hour.
Wimbledon Park, SW19 7HR. For lessons see Teddytennisuk.co.uk, for tennis courts see clubspark.lta.org.uk/WimbledonPark
Take the tube – to the beach
Yes, you read that correctly. Take the Metropolitan line or Piccadilly line to Ruislip, then a bus and you’ll find yourself at Ruislip Lido – a 60-acre lake with sandy beach. While swimming in the lake is not recommended, it’s a great spot for picnicking and building sandcastles.
Visit Chobham Adventure Farm in Surrey
Another farm with indoor and outdoor play areas is Chobham Adventure Farm in Surrey. Here you’ll find two indoor play areas, an animal barn and a massive outdoor play area with sandpit, slides and construction site, bouncing pillows and zipwires.
Chobham Adventure Farm, Bagshot Road Chobham, Woking GU24 8DB, chobhamadventurefarm.co.uk/
Visit RHS Wisley – Back to Nature Garden
Get in touch with nature at RHS Wisley. Aside from 240 acres of striking gardens to explore, including a world food garden, wellbeing garden, wildlife garden, walled garden and a glasshouse with 3 climatic zones, there’s a fab play area too. The Back To Nature Garden features two linked treehouses, an aerial walkway, swings, slides, trampolines, a water play area, dens for hiding, a living willow pod, a hidden burrow and a giant sandpit.
Set in a peaceful, woodland setting surrounded by trees, relaxed planting and a wildflower meadow, the playground aims to encourage children and families to engage with nature and the great outdoors.
RHS Garden Wisley, Wisley Lane, Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB, rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley
Wet weather? These ideas are great whether rain or shine…
Afternoon tea bus tour
Peppa Pig fans will love the Peppa Pig bus tour which takes you past some of the most famous London landmarks – all while enjoying Peppa Pig songs and a Peppa Pig themed afternoon tea.
Tables come with a built-in tablet showing a Peppa Pig guided animation of the London tour along with sing-a-long songs. The tour lasts for 90 minutes and it suitable for ages 2+. Prices start from £45 per adult and £35 per child.
The bus leaves Somerset House at 12:15 and 14:45 Thursdays to Sundays throughout the spring and summer. Catch the overground to Waterloo, walk over the bridge and board the Peppa Pig bus from Somerset House.
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA. b-bakery.com/london/bus-tours/peppa-pig-afternoon-tea
Paint some pottery
Try your hand at painting pottery at one of the Pottery Cafes, either on the Northcote Road near Clapham Junction or in Fulham near Parsons Green. Here you can decorate mugs, plates, jugs, vases, butter dishes and more. There are sponges and templates to help you, or why not use little hands and feet to preserve little handprints and footprints.
Pottery Café, pottery-cafe.com
See a show at Richmond’s floating puppet theatre
The UK’s only floating puppet theatre is back in Richmond this summer, stationed along Richmond’s riverbank from 16th July. Climb aboard to see The Hare and the Tortoise, showing daily on weekends and school holidays (16 July – 14 August), or The Three Pigs plus Captain Grimey (17 August – 18 September). There’s also a shadow show for an older audience – see puppetbarge.com for more info and tickets.
See a play at the Polka Theatre
There’s plenty on at the Polka Theatre this summer. Book to see Julia Donaldson’s story of The Paper Dolls (aimed at ages 3-7), watch The Pirate, The Princess and The Platypus (for ages 5+) from Saturday 18th June, or enjoy a comedic twist on the story of Snow White (for ages 5+) – on until 5th June. There are workshops, too, and a play area and kid-friendly café.
Polka Theatre, 240 The Broadway, London SW19 1SB, polkatheatre.com
Visit the Colour House Theatre
Meanwhile the Colour House Theatre in Merton Abbey Mills is showing a brand-new musical adaptation of Beauty and The Beast, on during weekends until the end of June. Dame Dolly Does (based on the story of Jack and the beanstalk) will run between 30th May until 3rd June. Tickets are £10 for children and £12 for adults.
The Colour House Theatre Merton Abbey Mills, Watermill Way, London SW19 2RD. Colourhousetheatre.co.uk
Let the tots run their own town
Little ones will love the Picnic Play indoor play village in Kingston, which features a pretend police station, hospital, bakery, supermarket, theatre and fire station. Here they get to dress up, ride on toys, put on hard hats in the construction zone, and run their own little town.
Open 7 days per week, it’s the perfect place to come with small children on a rainy day. Book ahead.
Unit 3 The Rotunda, Clarence Street, Kingston-upon-Thames, KT1 1QJ, picnicandplay.co.uk
Try out different careers
KidZania is a real-life mini city built just for kids aged 4 to 14 to work, earn and play. Here kids can experience different careers in a fun learning environment. The scaled city offers kids a glimpse of the future, where they can try out being an airline pilot, vet, actor, firefighter, dentist or even radio DJ.
Tickets are £16. KidZania, Westfield London Shopping Centre Ariel Way, London W12 7GA, kidzania.co.uk
Go to Gambado’s
Meanwhile if it’s soft play you’re after, Gambado near Imperial Wharf station in Chelsea offers an enormous three story soft play structure as well as a soft zone dedicated to crawlers and pre-walkers.
Let them race down the slides, climb the cargo nets, scale the climbing wall and then watch out for wayward traffic on the dodgems! There’s also unlimited rides on the fairground.
Tickets cost £8 for kids, and £3.25 for adults. Catch the train to Imperial Wharf from Clapham Junction.
Gambado, 7, Station Court, Townmead Rd, London SW6 2PY, gambado.com/locations/chelsea