5 new things to do with kids this summer
1/5 Star Wars at Madame Tussauds, London
Come face to face with Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker himself in Star Wars at Madame Tussauds in London, a new multi-million pound experience created in collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm.
The exhibit was a year in the making and every detail has been painstakingly considered and perfected. Scenes from the sci-fi classics are staged before your eyes, from Luke Skywalker confronting Darth Vader to a pensive Yoda living in his swamp.
As is the tradition at Madame Tussauds, guests are free to interact with the wax figures and become part of the scene which makes for incredible photo opportunities. Sit with Hans Solo and discuss a new deal, fly the millennium falcon with your first mate Chewbacca or relive scenes inside Jabba The Hut’s throne room.
Entry is included in the main admission price so it is the perfect new attraction for a family with different interests. From royals to Marvel super heroes, Madame Tussauds has something for everyone.
Where it is: Marylebone Rd, London NW1 5LR
Price: adult £24.75; child £21.60.
Opening times: 9:30am – 5:30pm
Find out more: madametussauds.com/London
2/5 Shrek’s Adventure! London
Your whole family is invited to join the fun on this unique walk and ride attraction. Visit the Far Far Away kingdom and meet the characters who call it home. If you loved the films, you’re sure to adore the new Shrek’s Adventure! London at County Hall on the South Bank. This fantastical DreamWorks misadventure includes a Magic 4D Bus Ride and The Magic Mirror Maze, among other attractions.
Your adventure begins with a ride on a magical 4D tour bus with Donkey as your mischievous driver and tour guide. As you’ve probably guessed, this isn’t an ordinary tour with Donkey at the wheel. Your family will be laughing out loud throughout the journey. After the bus is parked, your kids can interact with ten fairy-tale themed shows. Explore Shrek’s swamp, have your fortune read in a crystal ball or visit with the gingerbread man and other film favorite characters.
Shrek Adventure! London features other DreamWorks characters from your favorite Madagascar zebra to Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon.
Where it is: Riverside Building County Hall Westminster Bridge Road London SE1 7PB
Price: adult £23.40; child £18.72.
Opening times: 10am – 6pm
Find out more: shreksadventure.com/london
3/5 Dreamland Margate, KentT
Dreamland Margate has reopened as an old-fashioned, yet oh so fashionable, day out, with retrofitted rides and amusements from the golden age of British seaside holidays.
Once one of the UK’s best-loved summer holiday attractions and described as the heartbeat of Margate, Dreamland was almost destroyed in 2003 when plans where made to build a residential district where the park was. Britain wouldn’t allow it and a “Save Dreamland” campaign was started. The people where heard and Dreamland Margate was saved and given £18m in public funding. The future for the amusement park now looks bright, with a host of beautiful vintage styled amusements, modern conveniences and family-friendly events happening all summer.
One of our favorite events this summer is the Dreamland High Divers show. With multiple dates and times available, the dare devil dives are taking place from Friday 24 July to Sunday 6 September 2015. The sky high diving board peeks out behind the big wheel and is stories above the crystal pool below. A breathtaking event that is free with your admission ticket is a popular attraction so check times before your visit and find a seat in the splash zone early.
Where it is: Marine Terrace, Margate, Kent CT9 1XJ
Price: adult £14.95; child £12.95, under-threes free
Opening times: 10am – 5pm
Find out more: dreamlandmargate.com
4/5 Butlin’s West Lakes Chalet Village, Minehead
Imagine waking up with your family to a peaceful lake view on your private veranda. Eighty years after Sir Billy Bultin’s original chalets opened, 16 million has been poured into the Minehead holiday park, funding the new West Lakes Chalet Village. Two- three- and four-bedroom chalets are spacious, with free scooters for kids to use. A land train ferries guests to the famous Skyline Pavilion, traditional fairground, Splash Waterworld and seafront.
Space is not an issue at these chalets, families as large as eight sleep comfortably in these bigger, better and new style chalets. These beautiful family friendly chalets hold to the Butlin’s tradition of care and comfort with added 21st century touches that provide ultimate convenience in each room. Chalets also include a TV and DVD Player for those nights when you would like to cuddle on the couch with your kids and watch a summer flick.
Where it is: Warren Road, Minehead TA24 5SH
Price: Two-bedroom chalets start from £199 per person.
Find out more: www.butlins.com
5/5 Dinosaur uproar, Cornwall
Do your kids have what it takes to survive a day with dinosaurs? Your family can find out at Dinosaur Uproar, opening this summer at Eden Project. Kids can play and explore the grounds while they search for signs of dinosaurs. Keep an eye out for the ravenous Australovenator Dinosaur that will be running free throughout the area and have your kids screaming in delight.
This interactive experience will turn your little ones into certified dino experts. Journals are available at the visitor centre and information kiosk for kids to use while they explore Dinosaur Uproar. Journals can be used to collect stamps and challenge themselves to complete every dino activity. One of our favorite activities takes place at the dig pit. Here kids can help excavate what specialists believe is a Stegosaurus! While kids dig through the layers of history they will also learn how scientists discovered and pieced together these ancient giants.
Where it is: Bodelva, Cornwall PL24 2SG
Price: adult £25, child £14, under fives free
Opening times: 24 July – 2 September 2015; 9am – 6pm