Fun things to do during May half term in England, Scotland and Wales
With May half term just around the corner my thoughts have turned to what activities I’m going to fill our days with while the girls are off school. We’re going to be meeting up with family and have a mini break to Bath planned. If, like us you’re staying in the UK you might want to check out these fun things to do during May half term (2019) that I’ve spotted around England, Scotland and Wales. There’s family days out, festivals, country shows and adventure trails.
If you can recommend any other family events happening during the May half term holiday then pop them in the comments below.
Aberdeenshire – May half term events near you
Taste of Grampian food festival in Aberdeenshire – 1 June, 2019
If your kids love getting their hands dirty in the kitchen maybe they can pick up some culinary tips from top celebrity chefs like John Torode at Scotland’s largest one-day food festival. Taste of Grampian is a celebration of the region’s food and drink producers with more than 180 stands and plenty of cookery workshops. For more information visit tasteofgrampian.co.uk.
Somerset – things to do over May half term
‘Get closer’ at Haynes Motor Museum in Somerset – 25 May to 2 June, 2019
Motor mechanic enthusiasts young and old will enjoy lifting the bonnet and exploring the classic cars with one of the Museum’s engineers.. Tours are recommend for children aged 5+ and must be booked in advance. The Museum is open every day throughout half term. For more information visit http://www.himm.co.uk
Here’s our review of visiting Haynes Motor Museum with kids.
Walk with dinosaurs at Wookey Hole in Somerset – 25 May to 2 June, 2019
Wookey Caves is going Dinosaur mad for the May half-term! Meet and walk among the new animatronic dinosaurs and see how many you can name. Enjoy Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs at the 4D cinema, take a tour the famous caves, meet the Witch of Wookey Hole. There are more than 20 indoor and outdoor attractions included in the ticket price. For more information visit http://www.visitsomerset.co.uk/whats-on.
Countryside fun at the Royal Bath and West Show in Somerset – 29 May to 1 June, 2019
If your kids are as fascinated as mine by enormous tractors then the historic Royal Bath and West Show is a winner of a day out. It is one of the oldest surviving agricultural shows in England and takes place over four days so you have plenty of time to visit. There will be more than 4,500 livestock, sheep shearing, vintage machinery from the past 100 years and the very latest farming technology on display. In the main ring entertainment will include dancing diggers, horse and cart racing, live music and show jumping. For more information visit bathandwest.com/royal-bath-and-west-show.
If you’re in Somerset you might also enjoy Longlet Safari Park.
The Chilterns – May half term family events
Chiltern Walking Festival in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Hertfordshire – 18 May to 2 June, 2019
There are more than 50 child-friendly guided walks included in this year’s Chiltern Walking Festival across four counties. Families can pick from activities designed to excite children’s imaginations and give them a long-lasting love of the great outdoors. Why not go on a hike to spot wildflowers and butterflies or incorporate child yoga into a leisurely wander? You can also take a guided walk around the woods and fields of Roald Dahl’s home village of Great Missenden to discover the places which inspired his stories. Many of the events are free. For more information visit visitchilterns.co.uk/walkingfest.html.
Isle of Wight – May half term events near you
Celebrate some royal birthdays at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight – 24 May 2019 onwards
Celebrate the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s birthdays with a fabulous party at her favourite home by the sea. From 24 May, follow the birthday trail to discover gifts exchanged between Victoria and Albert, and explore the anniversary exhibition taking an in-depth look at how birthdays were spent at Osborne.. For more information visit english-heritage.org.uk
Looking for more Isle of Wight inspiration. Here’s what we got up to on the Isle of Wight in a day.
London – what’s on this May half term
Visit the National Portrait Gallery in London – open every day
Come face to face with historic figures like Henry VIII, Shakespeare and Jane Austen at the National Portrait Gallery. There are also three free family activity trails to enjoy over half term. Youngsters can visit the FAB (Family Activity Base) cart for free activities including a Pop-Up Gallery where they can create their own portraits or 3D models. For more information visit npg.org.uk
Looking for more? Here’s how to see the best views of London with kids.
Cotswolds – things to do this May half term
Meet penguins in the Cotswolds – 25 May to 22 June, 2019
Hop along to Birdland Park & Gardens over the May half term holidays and join in their Penguin Week celebrations. There’s a packed programme of penguin-themed events and activities taking place throughout the holidays. The Bourton-on-the-Water wildlife attraction is home to England’s only breeding colony of king penguins. The kings share their beach-themed home with a group of comical Humboldts. For more information visit birdland.co.uk.
Hampshire – May half term events near you
Train as a secret agent at Beaulieu in Hampshire – 25 May to 2 June, 2019
Enter the world of spies and secret agents at the National Motor Museum this half term. Follow the training programme at what was once a top secret school for agents of the Special Operations Executive during World War II and graduate as a spy yourself. For more information visit beaulieu.co.uk.
Meet the BRICKOSAURS at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire – open every day
Marwell is hosting the very first exhibition of giant brick dinosaurs. BRICKOSAURS is a prehistoric experience featuring a total of 50 sculptures built with two million LEGO bricks. As well as this interactive attraction, animal fans will love a visit to the Marwell Zoo Tropical House which opened last year, allowing visitors to step inside a rainforest habitat. Even better, kids will be fascinated to hear how the exhibition is powered by poo collected from enclosures around the zoo.
Climb up into the canopy for a birds eye view of the tropical animals, waterfall and forest floor. In amongst the foliage you might spot a Linn’s two-toed sloth, mouse deer, or pygmy marmosets on their private primate island. There’s also a Top Trumps challenge happening around the park during May half term. For more information visit marwell.org.uk/zoo.
If you’re looking for more things to do in Hampshire then these posts might be helpful:
- Things to do in Portsmouth with kids
- What to see in Southampton
- Things to do in and around Winchester
Cornwall – what’s on at May half term
Embrace dirt at the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall – 25 May to 2 June, 2019
Head to The Lost Gardens of Heligan near St Austell for its Wild Week of outdoor adventures. Begin at the Wild Tribe Yurt and pick your tribe before testing your animal instincts on an outdoor assault course. Take part in musical workshops and join in a sing-along around the campfire. All activities are included within normal garden admission prices. For more information visit heligan.com/
If you’re looking for more things to do in Cornwall over May half term I have plenty of ideas in these posts:
Staying for longer than a day? Take a look at my blog post all about a family holidays in Cornwall.
Devon – what’s on this May half term
Find the Golden Carrot at Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary – 25 May to 11 July, 2019
The Golden Carrot Hunt is back and The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, Devon. Visitors can explore a brand new trail around the Sidmouth sanctuary, searching for clues that lead to the treasure chest. Each clue relates to a special achievement or interesting fact that have defined the charity over the past 50 years. The ‘Golden Carrot Hunt’ runs until 11 July and is available daily between 9am and 5pm. Each hunt costs £3 and includes a ‘golden’ prize on completion. Find out more thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/
Visit Crealy Theme Park & Resort and enjoy the park for a week – throughout half term
Buy a ticket for £15 and return to the park for the rest of the week at no additional cost. Crealy has the most theme park rides in Devon and more than 60 attractions to choose from. If that’s not enough, Crealy is also opening its popular Soak Zone from Saturday 25 May 2019. Guests can enjoy the water fun or jump on the Aqua Blasters and zoom around the lagoon in a bumper boat.
The £15 tickets must be booked online and at least 48 hours in advance of your arrival date. To use the 7-4-1 offer, guests must validate their ticket at guest services before heading home. To book tickets visit: crealy.co.uk.
Flavour Fest in Plymouth – 31 May to 2 June, 2019
Savour a taste of the South West’s thriving food and drink scene at the region’s largest culinary festival. The weekend event will see Plymouth Piazza transformed with stalls brimming with local delicacies, live music and a marquee bar. With more than 100 traders showcasing the best regional produce – as well as cookery demonstrations from talented local and celebrity chefs. For more information visit: flavourfestsw.co.uk
If you’re looking for more Devon days out then I’ve got more than 50 to choose from in my top things to do in Devon post!
Manchester – May half term events near you
MakeFest at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry – 25 May to 2 June, 2019
Take your budding scientists to Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry over the Bank Holiday Weekend for a special event aimed at celebrating the art of making things. MakeFest gives visitors of all ages the chance to get involved in DIY tech, engineering, craft and creativity. You can solder, stitch, print, code and engineer products of your own design and a few under the guidance of the museum’s expert Explainer Team.
Family-friendly events, shows and workshops will continue throughout half term. There may be a small charge for some activities. For more information visit msimanchester.org.uk.
Staffordshire – things to do at May Half Term
Alton Towers Dungeons – every day
If you have children over the age of 10, take them to Alton Towers to check out its new interactive experience for 2019, The Alton Towers Dungeons. It includes five live shows based on the UK’s most controversial deviants, aimed to tantalise and terrify each of your senses.
Entrance to the Dungeons is included in your park ticket. Buy online in advance for a heft discount. Find out more: altontowers.com/theme-park/dungeon/
Kent – what’s on at May Half Term
Animals of the Ice Age at Howletts in Kent – 25 May to 2 June, 2019
Take a guided tour through the land that time forgot, marvelling at life-sized mammoths, giant sloths and sabre toothed smilodons hiding along wooded walkways. As well as the historical additions to half term fun at Howletts you can also see more than 400 animals, including Kent’s only giant anteaters, the largest herd of African elephants in the UK and more gorillas, tigers, leopards and monkeys than any animal park in the county. For further information visit aspinallfoundation.org/howletts.
Birmingham – what’s on at May half term
Cadbury World is choc-full of fun with Freddo – 25 May to 2 June 2019
As well as a self-guided tour of the attraction’s chocolatey zones, guests will also be able to enjoy a number of magical moments with Freddo and the famous Cadbury characters, including a brand new stage show and interactive dining experiences to delight young and old alike. Armed with a chest full of goodies and a barrel of laughs, Freddo will teach the audience what it takes to become a pirate in Freddo’s Treasure Trove. These also Freddo’s Treasure Hunt with clues hidden throughout the attraction’s chocolatey zones. For more information and to save 5% on your tickets, visit cadburyworld.co.uk.
What’s on over May Half term – various locations
Go back in time at some of English’s most historic sites – every day
Imagine being given a tour of some of England’s most historic places by characters from the past. The English Heritage Cities app has been designed to help people do just this and is a great way to bring the past to life for youngsters. The app merges information and videos about important moments in time with locations in country’s most historic cities. Trigger points at places like Durham Cathedral in Durham work with the app to share stories about the earliest stirrings of recorded English history and the Benedictine monks who worshipped there. Durham is one of 12 historical cities to host the project using ground-breaking augmented reality (AR) technology. You can also use the app in Carlisle, Lancaster, York, Lincoln, Chester, Stratford, Oxford, Cambridge, Greenwich, Salisbury and Bath. The good news is that using the free AR app isn’t restricted to half term. Download it and keep it for future holidays. For more information visit heritagecities.com/stories/explore.
Don’t forget to recommend your favourite fun things to do during May half term in the comments below.
Thanks to the attractions for supplying the images for this post.
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