The summer holidays are upon us, so here’s a list of ways to keep the kids entertained.
Live a life of leisure
North East Derbyshire District Council has a bumper load of boredom-busting activities taking place at its leisure centres until the end of August, with pool activities, and others on dry land as well. Eckington Swimming Pool and Sharley Park Leisure Centre are running a giant inflatable obstacle course on select days. There’s also football coaching, dodgeball, trampoline courses and junior gym sessions suitable for all ages at Dronfield Sports Centre, Sharley Park Leisure Centre, Clay Cross and Eckington Swimming Pool.
Enjoy our amazing Country Parks
This year’s fun-packed programme includes events to mark the 50th anniversary of the council’s countryside service. Derbyshire pioneered the way in 1966 ahead of the Countryside Act of 1968 to create country parks and established greenways and cycle trails, helped to restore the Chesterfield canal and much more besides. Activities include: - Under 16s can join the canal-themed photography workshop at Tapton Lock. - Teddy Bear’s Picnic at Elvaston Castle, Wednesday 27 July bring your teddy bears from 11am-2pm. - Trails and treasure hunts at Shipley Country Park (every day from 31 July to 4 September between 11am and 3.30pm). - Adventure days at Lea Green outdoor education centre, Matlock (5-12 years) make a good alternative to childcare, says the county council. - Activities for children at the Eco Centre near Wirksworth, using natural and recycled materials including den building, woodland crafts and bike maintenance. For more information about things to do go to www.derbyshire.gov.uk/countryside
Hunt for Pokémon at Gulliver’s Kingdom
Fans of the popular new game Pokémon Go, which entices players to get outside and explore, have PokéStops and PokéGyms at the groups theme parks, including Gulliver’s in Matlock. Operations Manager at the park Scott Clark even captured a Meowth in the theme park. Find out more at gulliversfun.co.uk or call the Gully’s Hotline on 01925 444888.
Get Edwardian for the day
The Old House Museum is holding child-friendly activities in the summer, including outdoor games, crafts and dress-up from July 25 to September 4, 11am-4pm. They’re also bringing back their Edwardian tea-parties on August 13-14 noon-3pm with delicious homemade cakes served by costumed waitresses - you can even borrow an Edwardian hat for the occasion.
Film screenings at the QUAD
Derby’s cinema and art space is holding a season of children’s film, including the BFG until August 4, anime classic Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (and other Studio Ghibli adventures), from July 29 and Finding Dory from August 26.
Hit the beach at Ilkeston-in-sea
Saturday 23 July marks a season of events at the Erewash museum in Ilkeston with a free purpose built beach offering Victorian Seaside event. (Weather dependent. There’s also an animals week, mini beast week, pirate week and crafts week. Find out more at www.erewashmuseum.co.uk.
Farmyard fun at Chatsworth
With animal demonstrations children can see cow milking, chicks hatching, piglets, trout rearing, and much more goings-on at the farmyard. They also have a newly refurbished ‘Guinea pig village’ where children can get up close to cavvies in daily animal handling sessions. For something a bit more special, Chatsworth also offer an exlusive day for young farmers, tomorrow (July 23) afternoon, with hands-on involvement with caring for animals including collecting eggs, grooming, milking cows and taking animals out to the field. It’s for older children, 12-16, lasting 1pm-5pm for an in-depth experience of working on a farm, £30 per person.
Let the National Trust keep you entertained
Our National Trust country houses have ample activities to take the kids, including bike rides around the Ladybower reservoir, picnics in Eyam Hall’s historic garden, and the Big Summer Quest at Mr Straw’s House, part of the Trust’s ‘50 Things to do before you’re 11¾’.