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20 things to do with the kids this summer

Read on for the best workshops, festivals, outdoor cinema, music and more this summer for the kids.


If you’ve not had the chance to take the kids to Aqua Park Rutland, this is your perfect chance. Perfect for little kids and big ones too. They can slip and splash their way around a variety of inflatable water obstacles and take on the UK’s tallest obstacle: The Rutland Mammoth. Plummet from the giant slides or experience free fall with its staggering 5.5 meter drop! Sound exhilarating! 

While we’re on the subject of water, explore some of Leicestershire’s pretty waterways along the River Soar. Experience how to navigate and travel along the river while exploring its natural beauty in a kayak with Let’s Get Lost Leicester. Across the border, head to the Rutland Sailing Club and cruise along 3000 acres of safe, non-tidal water. There’s plenty of family activities with regular fun events, some light-hearted boat handling training and organised races for juniors. You’ve also got the chance to canoe, paddle board or kayak here too and they’ve got sailing course for juniors (under 16s) and adults so you can join in with the fun! 


From 19 July, Rocket Round Leicester is a brand new public art event that will blast its way across Leicester for 10 weeks this summer. The city will be brought to life by an out-of-this-world trail of giant rocket sculpture, each individually designed by an artist that will form a stunning, free art trail through the city’s streets and open spaces. 

We’re a little bit thin on festivals this summer but, Barefoot Festival is still going ahead from 30 July – 2 Aug over at Prestwold Hall. There will be everything from yoga to meditation, music and plenty of workshops for the kids and a family rave too. Get your glow sticks ready!

And now for something brand new: The 2021 Summer Festival of Light is taking place at Market Harborough Showground on 24 July. It’s basically a celebration of everything colour, light and fireworks. There’s a great line-up including hot air balloons, a night glow light show, an aerobatic display team, pyro skydivers and of course an enormous, breathtaking closing fireworks display to music. Plus, a street food village, bars, a giant funfair and there’s free parking with your ticket. It all kicks off from 5pm. See you there!

The city’s Funfair will be open this summer from 9 – 30 July at Abbey Park. Expect all your fave fun fair rides including the waltzers, bumper cars, carousel, rollercoasters and more. If the kids still need to burn off some energy, head down to Funtopia, Central Park, Syston on 17 July for a fantastic fun-filled event. Expect everything from bouncy castles, to activity inflatables like Bungee Run, Inflata-bull, an under 5’s area, Nerf Wars and much more! There will also be plenty of stalls selling heaps of food, drink and crafts. No need to book just turn up on the day. Tickets from £2. 

Meanwhile, Muddy-award winning family attraction, Wistow Maze is reopening for the summer (from 19 July)! This year the ‘maize maze’ has been designed in the shape of a Phoenix rising from the flames to mark a new beginning of hope and freedom. The Quiz Trail will be themed on other mythical creatures; will you be able to find all 12 puzzle boards hidden within the maze?

Need some company during the summer hols? Visit the monkeys, meerkats and even giraffes over at Twycross Zoo from 24- 30 July and have fun in the giant sand pit, meet the Island Princess and discover how you can save our oceans and morel

More than 3 million people in over 40 countries have already enjoyed Alan Parkinson’s architectural ‘tunnel-like’ installation and now the Katena Luminarium is coming to the city’s Leicester Green Dragon Square from 21- 25 July. Lose yourself in a labyrinth of colour, shapes, and winding tunnels and explore a stunning kaleidoscope of colours, shapes and subtle sounds. Tickets from £16.

Book tickets to watch Toy Story and Mamma Mia on Saturday August 21. The line up is part of a weekend film fest over  at Leicestershire County Cricket Club, this August. Bring a picnic or you can Bring a picnic or you can order snacks onsite. There will also be children’s activities including a bouncy castle and face painting.

Over at 1620’s House and Gardens, Donington Le Heath, pirate ships, hidden treasure and a swashbuckling new adaptation of the classic pirate adventure, Treasure Island on 30 July. For little ones, Peter Rabbit is showing at Bradgate Park, 5 Aug. Bosworth Battlefield Country Park is showing David Walliams Mr Stink on 5 Aug and there’s also outdoor cinema in Rutland at Oakham Castle from 20 – 21 Aug and then also at Stanford Hall 2, 3 and 5 Sept. Here, as well as films, there’s car bingo, quizzes, live music and food and drinks for some pre-film entertainment. Watch Knives Out, A Star is Born, Grease, Top Gun and/or Jurassic Park.

Lastly, Rockingham Castle, 3-4 Sept will be returning with two blockbusters in their stunning grounds. Bring a picnic and watch Baz Luhrmann’s extraordinary, Moulin Rouge and Disney’s 2019 film, Aladdin starring Will Smith as the Genie.


Looking for some arty crafty fun for the kids? The Art Studio and Ten2 Gallery in Hinckley is hosting a number of cool art classes this summer. Led by Debbie Miles, an archaeological Illustrator and award-winning Outreach Officer with the University of Leicester’s Archaeology Department, the classes are suitable for 7-14 year olds, and they can expect to make anything from nature-inspired nature mobiles to stain glass window panels and much more. Classes are running throughout July and August.

Meanwhile, the Leicestershire Craft Centre in Market Harborough have already got classes being booked up for summer. They’ve got everything from how to make night light jars to patch-work quilts, children’s silversmithing to comic book workshops and so many more.

If you’ve got any young, aspiring chefs, book them in for a summer class with Cooking Caterpillars in Braunston, Rutland. They’ve got four different workshops planned, Mad Hatters Tea Party, American Classics, Pizza and Pasta Playtime and Great Summer Bake Off. The workshops run from 10.30am – 2.30pm and everything is included in the price. Suitable for kids 6-15 years.

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