197 Summer holiday activities for kids! (our bucket list)


So the summer holidays are fast approaching and I have to say that I am actually quite looking forward to them this year! I am looking forward to having the chance to teach, enjoy and spend quality time with the kids – but with that comes the kind of planning that is rarely seen outside of the military barracks – otherwise how the hell will we survive. So last night I sat down with Adam and we went through all the different things we thought would be fun to do/try out with the kids over the summer. Will we get through them all? Ha, don’t be soft, we’ll probably get through a few BUT we will have so many options and each week I will be able to sit down and make a plan for the following week that will fit in around my busy work schedule and the kids, allowing me to really make the most of the holidays. Just to note as well, I’m not suggesting that they should have 24/7 entertainment – quite the opposite as I really think that boredom is good for kids, but we will have to do some stuff otherwise I will require more than wine to see me through…. So, without further a-do, here is the epic list of ways to entertain the kids and summer holiday activities!

  1. Bake a cake
  2. Think inside the box with a giant box and some pens to decorate inside (mess prevention!)
  3. Have a day at work with a parent (for possible)
  4. Learn about a climate and the animals that live there (we’re doing arctic on one day)
  5. Bake brownies
  6. Pick some flowers to dry and press, then laminate
  7. Make your own candles
  8. Bake something we’ve never baked before
  9. Have a picnic in the garden
  10. Have a picnic at Wharram Percy (medieval village)
  11. Visit Dalby Forest and go on a nature trail
  12. Take a bike ride in Dalby Forest
  13. Visit the Railway Museum
  14. Visit Sewerby Hall and Gardens
  15. Take a trip to the beach and have fish and chips
  16. Have a day out with friends at Hunmanby Gap
  17. Learn an Olympic sport
  18. Visit Flamingo Land Zoo
  19. Watch a friendly football match
  20. Visit Chester Zoo
  21. Go stream dipping and see if you can spot fish
  22. Go for a walk and play pooh sticks over the bridge.
  23. Visit the Dinosaur Museum in Hull
  24. Visit Drayton Manor
  25. Visit Hesketh Farm
  26. Make splatter art with egg shells
  27. Chalk painting in the street
  28. Paint the playhouse
  29. Empty, clean and re-fill the pond
  30. Visit Playdales play park
  31. Visit York Maze
  32. Visit the Royal Armouries
  33. Visit Tropical world and Roundhay park
  34. Take a picnic to Roundhay park
  35. Make tye dye clothes
  36. Make jam
  37. Create a farmyard with your animal figures outside
  38. Make a wooden farm or zoo using craft supplies
  39. Have a garden tea party with your dolls
  40. Go strawberry picking
  41. Create a scrapbook each
  42. Go on a treasure hunt at the beach with metal detectors
  43. Go rock pooling
  44. Download printable fun worksheets and do them (take them to school at the beginning of term!)
  45. Create a holiday shoebox to save everything you’ve done
  46. Collect shells at the beach
  47. Have a movie night
  48. Go to the cinema
  49. Sleep out in the garden in a tent
  50. Go camping in a field
  51. Stay up late and sleep in the living room on a blanket bed
  52. Make popcorn and watch a film
  53. Visit the local pottery barn & make something
  54. Visit Goathland
  55. Feed the ducks in Pickering
  56. Visit Mother Shipton’s Cave
  57. Visit Knaresborough for a day
  58. Visit Brimham Rocks
  59. Visit Alton Towers
  60. Visit the SeaLife Centre
  61. Visit Peasholm Park
  62. Play football at the park
  63. Paint a wall picture outside
  64. Cover the kitchen floor with paper and design a mini world for cars/trains
  65. Visit a castle
  66. Take a day trip
  67. Visit Whitby
  68. Go to a country show
  69. Do some dog training with the puppy
  70. Make our own lemonade
  71. Make our own sausage rolls
  72. Visit Honeysuckle Farm in Hornsea
  73. Visit The Deep
  74. Do a car boot and sell some things
  75. Visit a local museum
  76. Visit a local art gallery
  77. Learn to knit with Maw Maw
  78. Buy some cheap trainers and design our own with fabric pens
  79. Fill up the paddling pool and spend the day splashing
  80. Create your own water pillow
  81. Make a puppet show and perform for Daddy after work
  82. Have a cultural food night and try something new
  83. Have a national themed day, learn words from that language & trivia about that country.
  84. Make some flavoured liqueur for Christmas hampers
  85. Practice letters on a letter hunt in the garden
  86. Make a fairy garden
  87. Make a milk bottle igloo
  88. Visit a birds of prey centre
  89. Visit Grandma & Pops
  90. Go puddle splashing
  91. Visit the local swimming pool
  92. Take a day trip to London and visit the British Museum
  93. Take a day trip to London and visit the Natural History Museum
  94. Visit Sheffield Tropical park
  95. Visit Yorkshire Wildlife Park
  96. Make stick wands & play wizards
  97. Make a lava pit in the living room
  98. Make pizzas and watch a movie
  99. Go on a moon walk at night
  100. Go on a bird hunt and see how many different birds you can find
  101. Create some ice art
  102. Visit York’s Chocolate museum and make our own chocolate
  103. Make Roald Dahl meals and tell stories all day
  104. Read a book collection (ours will be Harry Potter)
  105. Make firework art with paint and straws
  106. Make some flower bombs and plant them
  107. Dress up and have a pirate themed day
  108. Make a mud kitchen out of an old palate
  109. Create a new recipe
  110. Make a play dough kitchen
  111. Make play dough
  112. Play giant snakes and ladders in the garden
  113. Take part in a sponsored run, walk or bike ride
  114. Go on a bike ride with family
  115. Set off early and go walking on a planned Moor route
  116. Visit Thornton le Dale for a chocolate milkshake and to feed the ducks
  117. Spend a day being a photographer and camera man/woman
  118. Go to Creepy Crawlies or a soft play area
  119. Visit Clifford’s tower in York
  120. Visit the Jorvik Centre
  121. Learn about a historical event (we will be talking about several things)
  122. Make our own pasta for dinner
  123. Buy some hair chalks and dye your hair for the day.
  124. Learn 1-10 times tables
  125. Have a jelly baff
  126. Tidy up the front garden
  127. Visit the new Water Park at Scarborough
  128. Visit Bolton Abbey
  129. Visit the Festival of Archaeology between 16th – 31st July
  130. Check out the new Tree top nets in Lightwater Valley
  131. Set up a summer blog
  132. Go Geocatching
  133. Have a BBQ party
  134. Visit a trampolining centre
  135. Learn about a different religion for one day each week, visit a place of worship on each day.
  136. Go to a local crafting session put on through the holidays (literally all over)
  137. Have an olympics party
  138. Learn all about an animal
  139. Learn and write a poem
  140. Visit an outdoor theatre
  141. Enter into a family dog show
  142. Buy some body paints and go crazy in your swimwear!
  143. Go to a family disco
  144. Visit Legoland Manchester for the day
  145. Visit Cadbury World for the day
  146. Learn how to make bread
  147. Visit the local library for a reading session
  148. Make a flower crown
  149. Sort through toys/clothes and donate to a local charity shop or women’s shelter
  150. Sew a teddy bear’s outfit
  151. Visit a family-friendly festival
  152. Do an interview with family and friends on a topic of your choice
  153. Check the relevant curriculum and get a head start using teacher’s online resources
  154. Make our own cheese
  155. Make a collage from magazines
  156. Make some footprint art
  157. Make something with paper mache
  158. Make some handprint art
  159. Give in and go on a Pokemon hunt!!
  160. Go horse riding
  161. Go rollerblading
  162. Go bowling
  163. Go on a ferry to Amsterdam (not half as expensive as you may think!)
  164. Make a den in the forest using sticks, leaves and mud
  165. Visit a circus
  166. Make a worm house
  167. Have a movie day and watch films all day
  168. Have a day learning about Kings & Queens of England
  169. Learn and paint world flags
  170. Get some kinetic sand and play with sand on a wet day
  171. Attach chalk to your bikes and create some artwork!
  172. Make some animal footprint casts in the local forest
  173. Write a story
  174. Make a butterfly farm
  175. Learn how to juggle or do a circus skill
  176. Make an ant farm
  177. Make your own bubble bath or soap
  178. Make some mocktails and cocktails together
  179. Do some face painting together (let them do yours!)
  180. Learn about Vikings and dress up as them
  181. Design a cartoon character on the iPad (search apps – there are plenty, some paid, some free)
  182. Make a flicker book (cartoon flicker characters)
  183. Learn about Romans and dress up as them
  184. Plant some flowers in the garden – or do some simply gardening
  185. Make a dream catcher
  186. Learn how to play chopsticks on the piano
  187. Make a sun catcher
  188. Hire a bouncy castle and invite friends over
  189. Make a go kart
  190. Make ice cream or your own lollies!
  191. Play crazy golf
  192. Go indoor rock climbing
  193. Go zorbing
  194. Play foot golf
  195. Blindfold taste selections – guess what you’re eating (nothing too nasty)
  196. Have a Lego day – download some stuff to build and go crazy
  197. Get up REALLY early and visit a fish market (pick your dinner and cook it!)

Enjoy the summer holidays. I really struggle with this, especially as a self employed work from home mum – finding that balance is SO hard – but if you try to look at the holidays as a positive thing, something that lasts for a super short time you can step back from work with planning and enjoy it. I promise you can have a really good time learning, playing AND do it all on a budget.

H x


  1. Avatar August 2, 2019 / 1:41 pm

    Amazing! Just what I needed to read. I’m about to start maternity leave for the second time and have been having a mild panic about how to keep my two year-old entertained over the next twelve months. Thanks for this.

  2. Avatar July 24, 2016 / 8:58 pm

    Was just wondering what to do over the summer holidays, then stumbled across your list – some great ideas there! πŸ™‚ Already done a few like the York Chocolate Story, for example. You’ll love it there if you haven’t already been.
    Here’s to a fun filled summer! πŸ™‚

    • Harriet July 24, 2016 / 9:41 pm

      I’ve been to the cafe but not to the actual museum! Love it!

  3. Avatar July 23, 2016 / 4:20 pm

    So many good things to do – might have to steal a few of the ideas x

  4. Avatar July 22, 2016 / 10:31 pm

    I keep meaning to start making a scrapbook, it’s such a great way to remember what you’ve done and be creative! Such a great and very long list! Hope you have lots of fun ticking things off!

    • Harriet July 24, 2016 / 9:47 pm

      I’m featuring one on the blog tomorrow with a discount code Kira – look out for it πŸ™‚

  5. Avatar July 22, 2016 / 3:25 pm

    It’s definitely good to have options! You’re going to have an amazing summer even if you only get through a handful of these ideas πŸ™‚

    • Harriet July 24, 2016 / 9:50 pm

      Haha I went with as many options as possible!

  6. Avatar July 22, 2016 / 10:13 am

    Wow that’s an impressive list, should keep us busy til Christmas haha x

    • Harriet July 24, 2016 / 9:54 pm

      Haha let me know if you do it all πŸ˜‰

  7. Avatar July 20, 2016 / 1:36 pm

    Such a fab bucket list! I really want to do a road trip this summer

  8. Avatar July 20, 2016 / 10:38 am

    WOWZA – this is an epic list. I hope you get to do it all. I’d love to get up early and visit a fish market but summer holidays are for lies in in our house πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  9. Avatar July 20, 2016 / 9:40 am

    What an amazing collection of ideas! I know I will definitely be doing a lot of these over the summer! Thank you for taking the time to write them all x

  10. Avatar July 19, 2016 / 8:56 am

    So many great ideas here! I hope you get lots of nice weather to be able to spend as much time outside as possible!

  11. Avatar July 19, 2016 / 12:37 am

    Oh wow! Great ideas. It’s going to be a lot of fun checking these things off the list. This is a great mix of at-home activities and trips.

    • Harriet July 19, 2016 / 10:38 pm

      Thanks Liz – I will be interested to see how many we do!

  12. Avatar July 18, 2016 / 11:35 pm

    Wow that is one hell of a bucket list, good luck beginning to tackle that, I’ll be impresed if you get through it all x

    • Harriet July 19, 2016 / 10:38 pm

      I don’t think we’ll even come close, but hey, we will have plenty of options haha!

  13. Avatar July 18, 2016 / 11:09 pm

    This is SUCH an amazing list! I am going to be pinning it right now, for days when we just can’t think of anything to do!
    Thank you!

    • Harriet July 19, 2016 / 10:39 pm

      Thanks Sarah, that is so kind of you!!

  14. Avatar
    July 18, 2016 / 10:28 pm

    Such a great summer bucket list. Ive done a few of these already and can’t wait to have an awesome summer

  15. Avatar July 18, 2016 / 10:27 pm

    What a lovely list of activities filled to the bring, so many I want to do myself. Hope the weather continues being good and I can enjoy some of these

    • Harriet July 19, 2016 / 10:39 pm

      Thanks Anosa, I hope so!!

  16. Avatar July 18, 2016 / 9:24 pm

    Wow what an extensive and creative list to have on hand during the summer holidays!

    • Harriet July 19, 2016 / 10:39 pm

      Thanks Sam πŸ™‚

  17. Avatar July 18, 2016 / 9:16 pm

    I am quite impressed that you managed to come up with so many summer activities. I think that the dinosaur museum sounds like a lot of fun.

    • Harriet July 19, 2016 / 10:39 pm

      Haha so was I to be honest! I hope we can enjoy most of them!

  18. Avatar July 18, 2016 / 8:23 pm

    Wow! That is a long list. I hope you and your family enjoy ticking it off this summer. Great ideas!

  19. Avatar July 18, 2016 / 5:18 pm

    I am looking forward to seeing how many of these you manage to make your way through because that is some list x

    • Harriet July 19, 2016 / 10:40 pm

      Thanks Rachel, I think we’ll probably get a good 50 done but no more haha!

  20. Avatar July 18, 2016 / 3:46 pm

    Love theese ideas, perfect if you don’t have any plans for the summer! Thank you for sharing x

    • Harriet July 19, 2016 / 10:41 pm

      Thanks Cecilia πŸ™‚

  21. Avatar July 18, 2016 / 3:25 pm

    Great list of ideas which are going to be helpful for us to do this summer. We are going to a sea life centre this weekend so something to tick off the list.

    • Harriet July 19, 2016 / 10:41 pm

      Ahhh love it there!

  22. Avatar July 18, 2016 / 2:22 pm

    Now this would sure keep you & the kids busy lol which is good. I think Summer holidays are a great time to spend as a family and to get things done, explore and there’s more things to do activity wise. I sometimes feel sorry for the kids around my way cos they don’t do much come the summer holiday but kick footballs at everybody’s cars πŸ˜₯ mine included lol! xo

    • Harriet July 19, 2016 / 10:42 pm

      Oh no! That is awful, I hate to think of kids being badly behaved because they are so bored and have nothing to do. What happened to entertaining yourself in a safe, respectful manner… in your garden or a local center!!

  23. Avatar July 18, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    Wow! Fab list. This will be great for those days when you are really struggling to know what to do.

    • Harriet July 19, 2016 / 10:43 pm

      Ahhh thanks doll xx

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