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Family Friendly Favourites

The Summer Holidays are finally here! Yes, the sun might be taking a little longer to arrive, but as usual, Heritage Open Days have a whole raft of family friendly events. To help you choose, here are some of our favourites, whether it is toddlers, tweens, or teens you have in tow…

For the animal lovers…

It would take too much ‘quill power’ not to fall in love with these adorable creatures / © Tomaž Demšar

Sign up for a classy afternoon of Hedgehog High Jinks and High Tea

Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Learn about the Old School’s resident hedgehog, Brian, and his spiky friends. Discover the eating habits of Britain’s favourite mammal and make a hedgehog feeder for your garden.

Make some fast friends at the Horse Racing Museum

Newmarket, Suffolk

Meet former racehorses and find out how they are retrained on a ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour of the museum. And you can’t say ‘neigh’ to riding the famous racehorse simulator in the King’s Yard Galleries (age limits may apply). 

For the story lovers…

Have a bewitching evening of twilight tales / © Future Wolverton

Let the heavens be your roof during Stories under the Stars

Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Gather around the fire for an evening of storytelling under the stars. Experience the magic of the twilight hour, sharing tales as the (almost) full harvest moon rises.

Listen to the saga of George and his Chocolate Factory

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Discover why George Cadbury’s marvellous chocolate factory was built and how it transformed the lives of factory workers. This children’s storytelling and craft workshop is suitable for under-12s.  

For the motor fans…

Beep beep! See Gosport’s green buses on parade / © GHODs

Grab a go on Gosport’s Green Buses

Gosport, Hampshire

Visit the Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower, and hop aboard these famous green and cream Provincial buses. The vehicles faithfully served the area from the 1940s to the 2000’s, so you might even have some memories of your own to share with your family! 

Journey to the past on a Free Heritage Train Ride

North Shields, Tyne & Wear

All aboard! Catch a vintage locomotive for a return trip to the glory days of steam. Settle inside a 1950s passenger carriage to retrace the all-important route taken by coal trains as they hauled freight from the collieries to the River Tyne.

For the crafty kids…

Make your own ghastly ghoul! / © Norwich Historic Churches Trust

Scare your friends by making Ghastly Gargoyles!

Norwich, Norfolk

Learn about fantastic beasts and where to find them… in the architecture of historic churches. Create your own scary clay beastie to take home, and design medieval heraldry using animal symbolism. Activities are open to all but most suitable for children aged 6-12.

Test your ‘metal’ in Children’s Medal Making

Winchester, Hampshire

Make your own medal in the surroundings of the brand new Royal Logistic Corps Museum. Take inspiration from the uniforms, medals and badges on display then set about designing your own. Suitable for children of all ages.

For the intrepid explorers…

Get a passport to travel for this trail / © Tavistock Heritage Trust

Follow the clues on the Children’s Heritage Stamp Trail

Tavistock, Devon

‘Check in’ to the Tavistock Information Centre on the 11th of September and receive your very own heritage passport card! From there, embark on a quest to find all the historic buildings on the trail. Don’t forget to get your passport stamped at each of the six locations, as the keenest detectives will be in for a certificate!

Get moving on the Children’s Walk

Gloucester, Gloucestershire

Fancy learning new facts about Gloucester? Get in the know on this guided walk specifically for children. The walk lasts approximately 1 hour and is suitable for children aged 9-12 (accompanied by an adult).

For those who might prefer the comfort of home…

Try your hand at Nana Springett's rock cakes / © Geoff Springett

Take a leaf out of Woodbridge’s cookbooks by making some of their Local Recipes

Woodbridge, Suffolk

Mixing bowls at the ready! Download a free book of recipes from local residents and have fun making them at home. As well as a section on quirky dishes, such as Crunchy Lemon Ice Cream, there will be recipes suitable for smaller chefs.

Find out more

PLEASE NOTE - These events were accurate at the time of publication but this year more than ever the details are subject to change. Please check the individual entries for more.