The summer holidays are quickly approaching. The kids are breaking up from school. The pressure entertain the kids is on. So here’s 19 things to do to act like you’re on holiday in Northamptonshire, writes Elisha Dexter.
1. Wicksteed Park
Wicksteed Park is one of the best places to take those kids who just love being outside! There is something to do fo the whole family from rides and play equipment to walking around the beautifully kept grounds and lakes. The park is located in Kettering, Northamptonshire and there is a small charge for rides and car parking. Throughout the year there is also a number of events that take place at Wicksteed Park, some of these include the Summer Scavenger Hunt taking place throughout the summer from 23rd July until the 24th August.
2. Royal & Derngate
Royal & Derngate is the perfect solution to those long indecisive evenings. With a selection of performances and entertainment with an appeal to everyone! The venue is located on Guildhall Road in Northampton. The summer is packed with performances from the likes of The Overtones, Titanic: The Musical and Kinky Boots. The venue also hosts a theatre bar for the pre-show drinks along with a grab and go snack options to accompany you through the performance. In addition to this, Royal & Derngate also have a sister venue in the The Core at Corby Cube with a variety of performances happening there throughout the summer to.
3. Wellingborough Aquatic Playground
This aquatic playground is the solution for boredom on those hot summer days! The playground is completely free and is open daily throughout the summer holidays from 12 noon to 6:30pm. The playground hosts a variety of play equipment that have the added extra of water! This is perfect for endless hours of fun for the children while parents can soak up the sun!
4. Catanger Llamas
Catanger Llamas is a gem hidden in Northamptonshire’s countryside, with the llama breeding centre accompanied with the llama trekking centre. The trekking centre is open all year round allowing a new and unique experience. The centre is located in Weedon Lois, near Towcester, with varying costs for the variety of packages offered. For those who feel they’ve already done everything in Northamptonshire – think again! Experience something completely different!
5. Shambala Festival
The Shambala Festival is a family-friendly festival that take place from 23rd August until 26th August 2018. The focus of the festival is diversity and entertainment for the whole family. Across 12 live stages there will be over 200 musical acts along with cabaret acts, workshops, stand-up comedy, inspirational talks, circus and acrobatics, interactive theatre and poetry readings. For kids there is the dedicated ‘Kids’ Fields’ with free face paintings, puppet tents, craft tents and much more. The festival will take place in a secret location near Market Harborough in Northamptonshire…
6. Santa Pod Raceway
Santa Pod Raceway is the home of drag racing, being the host of the FIA European Drag Racing Championships. The track is also host to over 50 events including modified car shows, VW Beetle and Camper festivals and retro and classic car shows. Prices for each event vary so be sure to check their website for further information. The raceway is located in Poddington, near Wellingborough, Northamptonshire and makes an exciting packed day for the whole family!
7. Virtual Aerospace Flight Simulator
If you’re looking for an experience like no other then stop here because this is it! There is wide variety of different packages to choose from including 30 minute flight simulators to Vulcan Bomber experiences. The simulation is located at Sywell Airport, Sywell, Northamptonshire.
8. Salcey Forest
Salcey Forest offers an up close and personal experience with nature for all of the family, whether that’s walking, cycling or even on horseback! The forest is located only 7 miles from the centre of Northampton, even offering adventurous play for the kids! The forest is home to the treetop walk, 15 metres above ground, allowing a look at the beautiful scenery of the forest! It offers a birds eye view of the forest with resting points every 24 metres, although it is currently closed awaiting repairs. There is an online petition demanding it reopens.
9. Laser Maze Wellingborough
Laser Maze offers the ultimate laser tag experience for any age! Shooting players and destroying bases are just some of the features of the fast paced game. The main objective of the game is to score as many points as possible to be the winner! Located in Wellingborough, the Laser Maze offers hours of fun for all of the family with a dark laser labyrinth featuring lighting effects, music and even fog to create the atmosphere. From just £5 a game, hours of fun are to be had!
10. Northampton & Lamport Railway
Northampton and Lamport Railway showcases a steam and heritage diesel railway in the countryside of Northamptonshire. The railway has 1 ½ miles of track running alongside Brampton Valley Way in addition to the routes from Northampton to Market Harborough. Not only can you ride upon the steam and diesel train you can only walk alongside the track, experiencing the trains fully! The railway also features a variety of summer events, the next one being the ‘Cream Tea Special’, which includes a ride accompanied with a cream tea and a drink. Why not take a look back in history this summer?
11. Silverstone Circuit
The Silverstone Circuit is home to almost all racing events within the county, also being used for the Formula One Grand Prix during the summer months. The Grand Prix is a major event for the circuit and takes place from 5th July to 8th July 2018. The experience marks the 70th anniversary of the circuit with extra celebrations being held. The circuit is located in Towcester, in between the Northamptonshire villages of Silverstone and Whittlebury. The Grand Prix is a major event for Northamptonshire so celebrate it in style!
12. Rockingham Castle
Rockingham Castle is a historic castle that has been living history for over 900 years. The castle is available to tour around at your leisure with guides dotted around ready to answer any questions. Furthermore there are guided tours daily that last around 30 minutes, for those looking for that extra slice of information. The castle gardens are a beautiful accompaniment to the castle itself, with 18 acres to explore. The large gardens allow the flourishing wildlife to be seen, from Snow Drops to Roses, each season see’s a different look for the gardens. This is the perfect place to visit regardless of the weather!
13. Northampton Balloon Festival
Northampton Balloon Festival returns to Billing Aquadrome 17th – 19th August 2018. The event is now into its 29th year is a spectacular sight across the skies. Balloons will be flown at both 6am and 6pm each day, weather depending, with a variety of activities taking place across the entire weekend. Furthermore, on the saturday a ‘Balloon Glow’ will take place, turning all of the balloons into giant lanterns! This weekend offers a whole load of family fun at low cost!
14. Billing Aquadrome
Following on from the Balloon Festival, Billing Aquadrome offers a huge variety of events throughout the summer, at a low cost too! Over the summer there is an event held that will appeal to every member of the family in addition to the camping in the park. The park has a selection of things to do onsite even when there isn’t an event on, these include a fair, go karts, hovercrafts and much more! The holiday park hosts weekends of Comedy and Rock ‘n’ Roll to Panto in the Park and a Country and Western weekend. The holiday park is located in Northampton with full details of each event featured on their website.
15. Fermyn Woods Country Park
Fermyn Woods Country Park is the perfect place to relax amongst the wildlife of the British countryside! The park features a diverse landscape of woodlands, ponds, lakes and marshes – perfect for both walking and fishing. The park is located in Brigstock, near Kettering and has a free admission. There is an onsite cafe offering refreshments and a bite to eat. The route through the country park is dog friendly so every member of the family can wander through the stunning countryside of Northamptonshire.
16. Ride and Stride – Cycling and Walking Festival
Ride and Stride is a walking and cycling festival taking place in Northamptonshire this summer. The event is completely free and is based upon promoting cycling and walking within the county. Cycling and walking groups from Northamptonshire will be at the event with a demonstration by the Extreme Mountain Biking Show. The event is taking place on 23rd June 2018, on the Racecourse, Northampton from 12 noon until 5pm. This festival is suitable for the whole family with an opportunity to ride crazy bikes and have a go on cycle powered Scalextric.
17. Rushden Transport Museum
Rushden Transport Museum is a showcase of road and rail transportation of the past, it is real delve into the history of our transport. The museum features all kinds of memorabilia before the technology took over! For many it is a complete eye opener to the world before the technology we know today. The museum hosts a variety of transport as well as the old ticket office. This is the perfect place to understand the developing transport around us, for completely no cost. The museum, located in Rushden, also holds events such as ‘What Your Dad Drove’, a real blast back in time to reminisce over.
18. Stanwick Lakes
Stanwick Lakes is a countryside gem in the heart of Northamptonshire’s Nene Valley. The park features imaginative play areas, open space, paths for families, walker and cyclists and nature lovers. As well as this, there is an adventure trail featuring climbing rocks, a rope bridge over the water, hexagonal swings, balance beams and lots more. Stanwick Lakes also has its very own gift shop and visitor centre, for anything from honey form the lakes as well as endless information and Cafe Solar. This should definitely be on your summer checklist, as an all round brilliant place to visit, no matter your interest.
19. The Pinnacle Climbing Centre
The Pinnacle Climbing Centre is the perfect place to let off some of that built up steam! Wear the kids out or just simply fancy a climb yourself, this is the perfect place to do so! The centre is located in Northampton and is home to over 55 climbing ropes and a 12.5m climbing wall. This is the ideal place to begin and build on those climbing skills on those rainy days throughout the summer. Prices vary for each type of session, so for more information visit their website or call the centre. No matter what your age or ability take on the challenge and develop a new hobby!