Find The Best Family Days Out this May Half Term and Summer Season

The best family days out this may half term and summer

by Laura Riddell |
Updated on
Superheroes and Princesses at Bocketts Farm Park

1. Superheroes and Princesses Week at Bocketts Farm Park

Bocketts is always a reliably great day out with young kids, with so much to see and do. But over this May half term (25th May - 2nd June) they are hosting a Superheroes & Princesses Week. I visited on Saturday (25th) with my sons aged 8 and 5, and they had such a fun day out. They both dressed up as Captain America for their chance to meet and have their photo taken with fellow Marvel superhero, Spiderman. When he did a back flip, my five-year-old began to wonder if it was in fact the real Spiderman, and there was an Ice Queen there for photographs with any Frozen fans.

Superheroes and princess at bocketts farm

Toddlers seemed to be really enjoying the outdoor bubble disco, and my boys loved the Superhero Academy - the children's entertainers were fantastic and there were lots of smiles and laughter as the children completed their superhero challenges.

superheroes and princesses at bocketts farm park

The boys engaged with the activity of collecting stamps throughout the day to complete their Explorer Passport. Another huge hit was Water Wars. My husband and I took the kids on in a challenge to drench each other by launching giant water balloons. This was great fun but be sure to bring a change of clothes for the kids.

superheroes and princesses at Bocketts farm park

There was a craft corner to create your own superhero mask, wand and badge. But my boys spent so much time panning for gold at the Last Chance Mine, watching the pig racing, riding the karts and leaping around the bouncy pillows that we didn't have enough time fit in the crafts activities. Alongside all of this, was the soft play, animal feeding, playgrounds and all the usual fun you can expect at Bocketts. A trip to Bocketts never disappoints as there is so much to enjoy. But if your child is a fan of princesses or superheroes then this is the perfect May half term family day out.

Where: Bocketts Farm Park, Young St, Fetcham, Leatherhead, KT22 9BS

Price: This falls under their special events pricing so adults cost £19, seniors £17, children (3-17) £21, children (age 2) £18.50, and children under 2 go free.

Book here

Free Squishmallows

2. Squishmallows Tour (FREE)

Calling all Squishmallows fans! The Squish Tour comes to seven Smyths Toys Superstores this May half term from 25 May to 2 June. Fans will walk through the iconic Cam the Cat shaped arch and enjoy several photo opportunities, including the new look Squish Truck and Squishmallows plush sofa, interactive games with pinko board and claw machine, competitions, product giveaways and prizes including Smyths Toys gift vouchers. Squishmallows superstar, Cam the Cat will attend alongside Patty the Cow, who will be meeting fans for the very first time. Alongside the Squish Tour, Smiths Toys will have a nationwide May Half Term Giveaway with 6cm Squishmallows available for FREE for everyone who visits Smiths store on the 25 May from 9am while stocks last. So add this free fun half term day out to your diary. Here are tour dates and venues:

25th May – Smyths Milton Keynes

●      Unit F2, Central Retail Park, Patriot Drive, Rooksley, Milton Keynes, MK13 8PU

26th May - Smyths Basingstoke

●      Unit 2, St Michael’s Retail Park, The Harrow way, Basingstoke, RG22 4AZ

29th May - Smyths Kidderminster

●      Unit 1A Crossley Retail Park, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY11 6DY

30th May - Smyths Oldham

●      14 - 15 Elk Mill Centre Shopping Park, Broadway, Royton, Oldham, OL2 5HX

31st May - Smyths Leeds

●      Unit 15, Crown Point Retail Park, Junction Street, Leeds, LS10 1ET

1st June - Smyths Wallsend

●      Middle Engine Lane, Wallsend, Tyne And Wear, NE28 9NT

2nd June - Smyths Glasgow

●      10, M8, Unit 1 Glasgow Fort Shopping Park Provan Walk Junction, Glasgow G34 9DL

Splash landings waterpark 20 best summer days out for families

3. Splash Landings Waterpark

Enjoy a fun-filled day at this tropical waterpark, which is filled with a climbing structure, water canons, tipping buckets, pull ropes, water wheels, slides, and a lazy river. The waterpark is part of Alton TowersResort but is located outside of theme park, in Splash Landings Hotel, and separate ticketed entry applies. Children from 1.1m and above can ride on the Master Blaster, which twists and turns around the inside of the waterpark and the Rush 'N' Rampage high-speed slides. There is no specific height restriction on the Flash Floods slides. But riders must be able to swim or wear arm bands, as these slides enter a pool at the bottom. There is still plenty to keep kids under 1.1m entertained with Wacky Waterworks Treehouse, and Little Leak is an area specifically designed for toddlers and babies. This is a splash pool, where they can paddle, slide and play. Splash Landings Waterpark is part indoor, part outdoor, but there's a lovely warm temperature throughout, and poolside food is available should you get peckish.

Where: Splash Landings Waterpark, Alton Towers Resort, Alton, Staffordshire, ST10 4DB

Price: Book in advance from £18 per person. During peak holiday times, you're looking at more like £24 per person. Children under 90cm go free. Those with a Merlin Pass can save 20 per cent, and Parent & Toddler (under 5) tickets are available from £23 (excluding school holidays). It's timed entry and you choose your time on booking.

Book here

Port Lympne 20 best summer days out for families

4. Port Lympne Safari Park

This family-friendly wildlife park in Kent is a breeding sanctuary for rare and endangered animals, and home to more than 900 animals. It's as close to an authentic safari experience as you'll get in the UK. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a pushchair for toddlers as there's a lot of ground to cover. Port Lympne sprawls over 600 acres and there are four key zones - Basecamp, Carnivore Territory, Dinosaur Forest, and Primate Trail. The park is then split into different areas. The South American/South African and Asian experiences are only accessible by safari truck (included in entry cost). Animals include Kent's only Rothschild giraffe, spectacled bear, western lowland gorillas, black rhino, Barbary lions (these have been extinct in the wild since the 1940s), tigers, clouded leopards, drill (one of the most endangered African primates) and various other rare animals. After a day of roaming around the park, enjoy a drink at the Mansion Bar & Terrace, looking out over beautifully manicured lawns. If you've always dreamed of going on safari but the price tag has put this dream out of reach, then we highly recommend the Giraffe Safari at Port Lympne. A passionate and expert ranger will take a small group out on a truck to watch these beautiful animals wander freely. The experience lasts two hours and the ranger will share interesting facts about the giraffes. It says on the website that depending on the animals behaviour on the day, you may get to feed them. But in our experience, the giraffes came right over to the truck and everyone on board had a lengthy time of getting to feed them. They bent their necks right into the truck, and seeing their face up close was incredible. It's a pricey £90 per person. But it's a memorable experience that's well-worth the spend. Port Lympne works in partnership with The Aspinall Foundation - a charity, working to promote wildlife conservation. So, a trip to the park helps to support this great work and it's an opportunity to talk to children about animal conservation.

Where: Port Lympne Safari Park, Aldington Rd, Lympne, Hythe, Kent, CT21 4LR

Price: Adult £32, child £28, under 3s go free

Book here

Weymouth beach 20 best summer days out for families

5. Weymouth Beach

It goes without saying that one of the best summer family days out is a trip to the beach. And you won't find many beaches more child-friendly than the clean, soft and sandy Weymouth beach. This award-winning beach is overlooked by a charming Georgian seafront and the water is calm and shallow for metres in, making it perfect for toddlers and young children to paddle. Alongside splashing in the water and building sandcastles, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy such as a fairground with a vintage helter skelter, pony rides and pedalos. Baboo Gelato is conveniently located on the beach, so you can enjoy delicious award-winning gelato in a variety of flavours, and refreshing rhubarb or blood orange sorbet, or finish your day of sun and fun with a visit to Wafflicious ice-cream parlour, located right opposite the beach. Here you can enjoy sundaes, milkshakes, crepes and waffles. Kids will love the Smoreo - a waffle topped with mini-marshmallows and crushed Oreo biscuits, drizzled with Nutella and serves with Cookies & Cream ice-cream.

Upside Down House Gulliver's Kingdom

6. Gulliver's Kingdom

Located in picturesque Matlock Bath, in a hillside setting on the edge of the Peak District National Park, Gulliver's Kingdom offers thrills and adventures with impressive views. The beautiful location is one of the reasons Gulliver's Kingdom is a perfect summer day out, aimed at families with children aged two to 13. There are 20 rides and six themed areas. Dinosaur fans will be in for a treat on a Jurassic Trail to spot huge model dinos, and between 8-9 June Dinosaurs Unleashed will see 'living' dinos roaming around. Whizz down a log flume, enjoy the views as you ride a chair lift from the lower parts of the park to the higher points, or take a leisurely ride on the Cycle Monorail. There are both outdoor and indoor play areas, and daring children 1.1m tall or over can get their thrills on Riggers Revenge, an adrenaline fuelled zip line course. New for this year is the Upside Down House and Safari Kingdom, and Summer Sparks Spectacular will take place on 31 August, with select rides opening late and a fantastic fireworks display. Gulliver's Theme Park Resorts have parks in Matlock in Derbyshire, Rother Valley in South Yorkshire, Warrington in Cheshire and Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire. Wowcher have an offer on a stay and play package at Gulliver's, Milton Keynes, where you can enjoy overnight accommodation and theme park entry from £139 for one-day entry for up to four people, or from £179 for one-day entry for six people, valid until November 2024. Find out more here.

Where: Gulliver's Kingdom, Temple Walk, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, DE4 3PG

Price: Prices vary depending on dates and demand but as a guide online advance tickets cost - adult/child £20, senior £18, concessions £14, under 90cm go free.

Book here

Quex Farm Adventure Park 20 best summer days out for families

7. Quex Adventure Farm Park and Activity Centre

A visit to Quex feels like staying at a holiday park, as there are so many activities to enjoy, a choice of food outlets, and a glamping site. Kids can jump to their hearts content on the bouncy pillows, whizz along the zip-wire, dig and build in the giant sandpit, enjoy the climbing frame and explore the maize maze. Smaller kids have a dedicated area at Toddler Village, where they can play shops or pretend to be a tractor driver. For an additional cost, there are goat experiences, and when we visited in the spring we had the opportunity to bottle feed goats (£8 per person). This was a brief but really enjoyable experience. There's archery at an additional cost, and if your little one has always liked the look of paintball but is a little too young to participate, then Quex has the perfect alternative. Gel Battle Royale is a low pain, super fun activity for ages 6+, and adults will love joining in the battle and dodging behind rusted barrels, smashed vehicles and makeshift buildings as you reenact video games. This must be booked at an additional cost (a 90 minute session costs £16.95 per person). But it's a really fun family activity. And if all that hasn't worn you out, there's also a fantastic 18-hole adventure golf course on site, which has relaxing lush landscaping and pretty water features. When booked online in advance this costs £8.50 per adult, £6.50 per child, £3.50 for children under 4, and £6.50 for people over 60 (available weekdays only). On 1 June, Bluey and Bingo will be visiting the adventure farm and from 24 July to 1 September, there'll be a special Egyptian Family Adventure.

Where: Quex Adventure Farm Park and Activity Centre, Birchington, Kent, CT7 0BH

Price: Entry to the farm park costs from £5.95 for toddlers aged 1-3, from £6.95 for children aged 4-15, £1.50 for an adult accompanying a paying child, £4.50 for an adult without a paying child. Other activities listed are at an additional cost.

Find out more and book here

hobbledown heath 20 best summer days out for families in 2024

8. Hobbledown Heath Epsom

Kids can climb through tunnels and whizz down slides in giant wooden play structures that look like something from a fairytale. They can enjoy messy and sensory play, get soaked in the outdoor wet play area, chase each other round the huge indoor soft play, bounce on jumping pillows, visit the farm and zoo animals, step inside the lemur enclosure, and meet Hobbledown's real-life characters. This is a place where imaginations can run wild, and where fun feels less commercialised than other days out attractions. There are two Hobbledown Heaths, one in Hounslow, West London, and one in Epsom, Surrey. We visited the one in Epsom, and you can find out why we rated it a 5/5 attraction here.

Where: Hobbledown Adventure Farm Park and Zoo, Horton Ln, Epsom, Surrey KT19 8PT

Price: Timeslot tickets start from £15 per person and anytime tickets from £17 per person. Under 2s go free.

Book here


9. Gripped London

For older kids, teenagers and adult thrill seekers, there's Hobbledown's sister adventure park Gripped. Set your heart racing at this aerial and outdoor activity centre, where you'll enjoy a day of adventure, conquering high ropes, zip lines, bag jumps, two huge slides, a tree top net park, and a power fan activity - where you can experience the rush of free-fall. The minimum height for the high ropes, zip line trekking, and bag jumps is 1.4m, and the minimum height for the power fan and bag jump is 1.3m. The adventure net park is for ages 4+. You can book activities individually or in packages.

Where: Gripped, Staines Road, Hounslow, TW14 0HH

Price: The six-activity all-inclusive pass costs from £45 per person. Or you can choose from three activities (excluding the Power Fan) from £30. There's a three activities for 1.3m package (suitable for young thrill-seekers who haven't reached 1.4m) from £30. This allows them to enjoy the slides, net park, and the Power Fan. Or you can book activities individually, starting from £12 each. But we've got a 20% DISCOUNT on Gripped by using Take a Break's exclusive booking code valid until November.

Book here

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

10. Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Situated in the 500-acre, 18th century Bretton Hall estate in West Yorkshire, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is the largest sculpture park of its kind in Europe and was last year voted Yorkshire Tourist Attraction of the Year. It's a unique place to discover modern and contemporary sculpture, with around 90 fascinating sculptures to explore outdoors, by artists from around the world (including Damien Hirst). Explore woods, lakes and beautiful green spaces as you wander around the vast park. Little Wild Wood is a natural creative play space where imaginations can run wild. There are also changing indoor exhibitions to enjoy. This May half term, children will be able to take part in a Sculpture and Nature Hunt, where they can seek out artworks in the landscape, and from 23 July to 27 August children will be invited to stack, balance to assemble outdoor sculptures inspired by artists in the park. There's a café and a restaurant if you want to enjoy a bite to eat. If you're seeking art, nature and a relaxing day out, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a must visit.

Where: Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, WF4 4LG

Price: Standard entry £9.50, young person (19-25) £7, 18 and under go free

Book here

Folly Farm Best Summer Family Days Out 2024

11. Folly Farm

Animals, adventure playgrounds and a vintage funfair - Folly Farm packs a punch when it comes to family fun. Nestled in picturesque Pembrokeshire, this theme park-come-zoo will appeal to toddlers and older kids alike - and we bet mums and dads won't be able to resist a nostalgic ride on the 'Golden Gallopers' carousel. For up-close encounters with furry and feathery friends - there are pigs, goats, and miniature ponies to name a few. If you're after more exotic species, lions, rhinos and even red panda reside here, all in award-winning, welfare-focused enclosures. Between sloth-spotting and giraffe gazing, little ones can let off steam at one of the eight outdoor and indoor adventure play areas. The whole family will enjoy the vintage fairground, where you can take in the stunning views of the county on the big wheel and have old-fashioned fun on the dodgems and waltzers. If that all sounds a little exhausting, fear not. There's a land train to get around, and a coffee shop (as well as eateries) to refuel!

Where: Folly Farm, Beverly, Kilgetty, Pembrokeshire, SA68 0XA

Price: When booked online in advance - adult from £24.65, child (3-15) from £22.75, two-year-olds £15.15, under 2's go free, and seniors from £22.75. Note: some fairground rides are chargeable. Tokens cost £1 and most rides require 1-2, or a wristband, priced at £12 per day, can be used for unlimited rides.

Book here

Lilidorei 20 best summer days out for families

12. The Alnwick Garden and Lilidorei

The Alnwick Garden on a summer's day is a blissfully relaxing experience for the whole family. Lose yourself in the Bamboo Labyrinth, explore The Poison Garden (filled with toxic plants and by guided tour only - this is included in the entry fee) or gaze upon the Grand Cascade. Try (or like us, fail) to keep the kids out of the fascinating water sculptures in The Serpent Garden (I suggest bringing a change of clothes for the kids), or enjoy the symphony of colour in The Rose Garden. This summer, kids can take part in a free scavenger hut (ask at the entry gate). Relax outdoors at The Pavilion Cafe, where there's a wide variety of food and drink on offer, or for an affordable fine-dining experience there's The Treehouse Restaurant. If you're visiting Alnwick Gardens with kids, it would be a real shame to miss out on a visit to next door, Lilidorei. This is a magical village full of play, and home to nine clans who worship Christmas. Lilidorei, home of Elfwin Drin - the biggest play structure in the world. It's a wonderland filled with fir trees, celebrating Christmas all year round. It's home to elves, dwarves, hobgoblins and fairies, with speakers installed to get kids' imaginations going. There are lots of little fairy-tale structures and youngsters will enjoy peeking through the windows to see what's inside. There are a couple of huts selling hot food and beverages, magical muffins and Troll Snot ice cream!

Where: The Alnwick Garden, Denwick Lane, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1FJ. Lilidorei at The Alnwick Garden, Gardeners Cottage, Greenwell Road, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1HB.

Price: The Alnwick Garden and Lilidorei - Booked in advance - adult £22, child (3-16) £16.50, under 2s go free.

Book here

Paultons Park 20 best summer days out for families

13. Paultons Park

Located on the edge of The New Forest, the colourful and well-maintained Paultons Park, home of Peppa Pig World, picked up three prizes in the last years UK Theme Park Awards and is a great place to visit during the summer, when little ones can enjoy the splash park and you can combine a trip to the area with a visit to The New Forest National Park. Paultons is made up of five themed worlds: Peppa Pig World, Tornado Springs, Lost Kingdom, Critter Creek and Wild Lands. It has plenty of rollercoasters and thrill-rides for little thrill-seekers to enjoy.

Splash Lagoon Paultons Park

Splash Lagoon is a new ride opening at Paultons Park from 18 May. Traverse gentle rapids, discover new species of Dinosaurs, and hold on for an exciting drop on this mini Jurassic flume ride.

Where: Paultons Park, Ower, Romsey, The New Forest, Hampshire, SO51 6AL

Price: Entry is based on number of people, rather than adult/child prices. Entry for four will cost you £43.50 per person. But children under 1m go free.

Book here

Leeds Castle 20 best summer days out for families

14. Leeds Castle

Lady Baillie, an Anglo-American heiress, transformed Leeds Castle, in Kent, into one of the most desirable country houses of the 20th century and you can enjoy exploring its 1930s interiors, and learning about the glamorous people who partied within the castle's walls. Explore the beautiful grounds as you walk from the entrance to the Boathouse Cafe, where (for a small additional charge) you can catch the Black Swan Ferry across the Great Water. Enjoy the castle-themed 12-hole adventure golf (at a small extra cost) and have fun finding your way around the maze and spooky underground grotto. Watch a falconry display, and get up close to the owls during a meet-and-greet. There's an obstacle course for children, aged eight to 12. But the real highlight is the Knights' Stronghold Playground - featuring a castle tour, tunnels, climbing frames, zip wires and slides. Meanwhile, the Squires' Courtyard Playground caters for younger children. There'll be extra fun during the half term with a jousting event (included in ticket price) taking place between 25-27 May. Pack a bucket and spade, as from 26 July to 31 August, The Beach returns to Leeds Castle, with tons of sand for children to build their own castle. Catch a ride on Elsie the Castle Train (as a small extra cost) back to the main gate.

Where: Leeds Castle, Broomfield, Maidstone, Kent, ME17 1PL

Price: When booked online in advance - adult £31.50, child £22.50, Family £74. But the great thing is once you pay for a day you can visit free all year!

Book here

Zip World 20 best summer days out for families

15. Zip World

Fancy whizzing through a forest on a kilometre of track, with twists and turns aplenty? The toboggan style Fforest Coaster reaches speeds of up to 25mph and is an adrenaline rush for ages 3 and over. There are seven Zip World sites - five based in Wales, one in Manchester and one in Windermere. The Fforest Coaster can be found at the site in Betws-y-Coed. Here you'll also find the Zip Safari, where you can climb and swing through the trees, 60ft above ground. This is suitable for ages 9 upwards. But there's also the Tree Hoppers course, which is suitable for kids from age 5. Bounce, hop, slide, and climb around in Tree Nets adventure, with kids from aged 3 able to take part with an accompanying adult. The Llechwedd Zip World is about a 20 minute drive from the Betws-y-Coed sit, but if you've travelled a journey to visit, it might be worth going between the two so you can enjoy even more unique experiences, such as Underground Golf and Bounce Below, where nets in a disused mine make for the most thrilling playground. This has a minimum height of 1m. For teens and adults there are many more thrilling adventures at Zip World, such as Velocity - the fastest Zip Line in the world! This can be found at the Penrhyn Quarry site.

Where: Zip World, Betws-y-Coed, LL24 0HX

Price: This will depend on which activities you book. Find out more here

Terrible Thames 20 Best Summer Family Days Out

16. Terrible Thames

There are few things more enjoyable than a boat ride on a summer's day. But add entertainment and education to the mix and children are in for a wonderful experience. Prepare for an hilarious and historical ride, as you board the hugely popular Horrible Histories Terrible Thames boat tour, which is back for its fourth year. This is a history of the Thames, with all the nasty bits left in! Departing from Tower Bridge Quay, the journey incorporates immersive theatre as it delivers its own unique take on London. So, hoist the anchor and take in London landmarks as you learn all about the murky waters of the Thames, where every bend holds tales of treachery, tyranny and triumph. It's a fun and educational trip for children and adults alike.

Where: Terrible Thames Tour, Tower Bridge Quay, St Katharine's Way, London, E1W 1LD

Price: Adult £25 (15+), child £15 (4-14), senior £20, under 3s go free. Family ticket (two adults, two children) £70 or one adult, three children £60.

Book here

Alpaca feeding 20 best summer family days out

17. Charnwood Forest Alpacas

This 110 acre farm is one of the first, original and largest alpaca farms open to the public in the UK. There's a petting farm where you can get up close to alpacas, rare breed goats, sheep, pigs and more, and there are lots of experiences on offer from donkey walks and grooming, to horse riding experiences and special riding lessons for children aged 2-4. And you can enjoy a delicious afternoon tea. But best of all is the chance to get up close to the baby alpacas, and Wowcher has a special offer. You can enjoy a Baby Alpaca Feeding Experience at £13.50 instead of £25 for a one-hour experience for one person or £27 for two people. Find out more here

Where: Charnwood Forest Alpacas, Ashby Rd, Boundary, Swadlincote, DE11 7BA

Price: This will depend on what activity you book, find out more here

18. Pub on the Park: Music and Food Festival with Tom Kerridge

Tom Kerridge's food and music festival promises a great day out for families this summer. The festival returns to Marlow, Chiswick, Reigate and St Albans across four weekends, and is filled with family fun. There'll be bespoke kids' dishes specially crafted for younger palates, super pirates - a world of adventure including immersive storytelling and theatre, DJ BBQ & Chops family fire feast party, and a vintage fun fair (at an extra charge). There'll also be face painting, balloon animals and outdoor games. Kids can let loose at the Big Fish Little Fish family rave and immersive silent disco, and circus entertainment will keep the whole family captivated. As for the grown ups, they can expect tasty dishes from some of the UK's top chefs and a music lineup that includes Van Morrison, Busted, McFly, Paloma Faith, Sam Ryder, Gabrielle and Olly Murs. Different artists will be performing at each venue, so find out more here. But if you're looking for a fun day out the whole family can enjoy, Pub on the Park ticks all the boxes.

Where: Marlow, Chiswick, Reigate, St Albans

Price: Adults from £40, children from £25, under 5s free.

Book here

Inside Out 2 20 best summer family days out

19. Family cinema

Kids are in for a cinematic treat this summer, as lots of highly anticipate family movies are released. On hot days it can be nice to take respite in an air conditioned cinema, or a trip to see a movie can be the perfect way to entertain the kids on a long summer's evening. Here's what's in store:

The Garfield Movie: Join Garfield as he goes on a wild outdoor adventure. After an unexpected reunion with his long-lost father Vic, Garfield and Odie the dog are forced to abandon their pampered life to join Vic in a hilarious, high-stakes heist. In cinemas 24 May.

Inside Out 2: If you thought Riley had emotional baggage in Pixar's 2015 animation, just wait until you see her hit adolescence. By this point, Joy and her fellow emotions - Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust - feel like old friends. But now, from the swirl of hormones, emerge fresh feelings - including Anxiety - and a whole new life stage for Riley. In cinemas 14 June.

Despicable Me 4: Gru welcomes a new member to the family, Gru Jr, who's intent on tormenting his dad. However, their peaceful existence soon comes crashing down when criminal mastermind Maxime Le Mal escapes from prison and vows revenge on Gru. In cinemas 12 July.

20. Family Friendly theatre

There's an abundance of fantastic family-friendly shows to enjoy this summer. Here are a few:

Brainiac Live!

Science's greatest and most volatile live show Brainiac Live! returns to London for the first time in five years. Kids and adults will be thrilled by live experiments and demonstrations - think exploding dustbins, supercharged spinning chairs and live daredevil stunts. Suitable for ages 5+ but great for all the family. Running from 30 July - 24 August.

Where: Marylebone Theatre, 35 Park Road, London, NW1 6XT

Price: Tickets from £26.50.

Book here or here

Awful Auntie

The bestselling children's author David Walliams and the award-winning Birmingham Stage Company have teamed up for a brand-new production of the family adventure Awful Auntie. When Stella sets off to visit London with her parents, she has no idea her life is in danger! When she wakes up three months later, only her Aunt Alberta can tell her what has happened. But not everything Alberta tells her turns out to be true, and Stella quickly discovers she's in for the fight of her life against her very own awful Auntie! Suitable for ages 5+.

Where: On tour across the country from now until 10 November.

Price: Visit individual venues for pricing - book here

Phantom Peak best summer family days out

Phantom Peak

If you like immersive theatre and solving puzzles, and you're looking for something a bit alternative this summer, then Phantom Peak will be right up your street. Step into a wild-west town, inhabited by quirky characters and wonderful sets, where you can spend more than four hours interacting with actors as you explore the town, hunting down clues. There's food and drink, including themed drinks to purchase (mocktails too). Every few months a new season begins at Phantom Peak, and the summer season is soon to begin with new trails and storylines to follow. There are day-time shows on weekends and there is no age requirement for Phantom Peak. But, if you're going as a family day out, we'd say this is probably more suited to families with kids aged 10+.

Where: Phantom Peak, Canada St, Surrey Quays Rd, London, SE16 7PJ (Canada Water underground is the closest station)

Price: Tickets available from £20 for an under 16's ticket but you're looking £40+ for an adult ticket. There are reduced priced tickets for under 25s, and age 3 and under go free. Keep an eye on social media for discount codes.

Book here

The historic dockyard chatham 20 best summer days out for families

21. Historic Dockyard Chatham

Step back in time for Salute To The '40s, taking place at the Historic Dockyard Chatham from 14-15 September. This vintage festival is filled with nostalgia, laughter and a whole lot of fun of the entire family. Step on to the dance floor and jitterbug and jive, as the main stage comes alive with swinging beats from yesteryear. There'll be classic cars and military vehicles, time travelling performances and re-enactments, a vintage market, cream tea and air raid shelter experience, and lots of good old fashioned family fun and games. After working up an appetite, you'll be able to tuck into traditional grub such as pie and mash or fish and chips at one of on site restaurants or food stalls.

Where: The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Kent (when travelling by car use the postcode ME4 4TY, which will take you to the free onsite car park).

Price: One day ticket - adult (£29), child (4-15 yrs) £20, concession £27, family ticket £78.

Find out about events taking place at The Historic Dockyard Chatham here

Hoo Zoo 20 best summer days out for families

22. Hoo Zoo & Dinosaur World

Nestled in 32 acres of woodland and paddocks in the heart of rural Shropshire, Hoo Zoo & Dinosaur World has a great day in store for families. Walk amongst the lemurs, step back millions of year through a woodland walk where you'll encounter more than 30 moving dinos and other beasts, brave the snakes and reptiles, and coming in June 2024 is Land of the Beasts - home to animals from the Ice Age. Hoo Zoo offers a range of animal experiences at an additional cost. But Wowcher has a special offer on the Half-Day Junior Zookeeper Experience for Two. Pay £59 instead of £150 and watch your little one's face light up as they handle hedgehogs, reptiles, lemurs and meerkats. Suitable for ages 6+. Find out more here

Where: Hoo Zoo and Dinosaur World, Hoo Farm, Telford, Shropshire, TF6 6DJ. For sat nav enter 'Humber Lane' as the postcode may take you to the actual farm.

Price: Online general admission - adult from £16.95, child (2-15) from £15.95, under 2s go free, senior citizen from £15.45, family (4 people) from £64, family (5 people) from £75, Wowcher Experience Participant £9.95.

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