No one deserves a pat on the back more than those who’ve been stuck indoors with young children during lockdown! Over the past four months, we’ve learnt to become expert bakers, den makers, painters and of course skilled influencers and negotiators. Suffice to say, it’s been challenging at times!
As we emerge from lockdown and enter the summer holidays, we can all breathe a sigh of relief as our favourite venues begin to reopen. So how are you planning to keep the little ones entertained this summer?
All creatures great and small
Kent Life, Maidstone is open again with plenty of things to do including tractor rides, cuddle corner and animal talks. If you prefer more exotic wildlife, how about a trip to Wingham Wildlife Park, Canterbury, the only animal park in the UK where you can meet a Moon Bear! The indoor play area remains closed, although there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained, including the outdoor play area, electric go carts and mini diggers. Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, Ashford is home to 900 animals including the largest herd of black rhino in the UK. Safaris are not currently running, but don’t despair, there are still plenty of awesome creatures to visit including big cats, small cats, primates, gorillas and don’t forget the life-sized prehistoric creatures in Dinosaur Forest! There are plenty of other zoos across Kent and Sussex, including Howletts Wild Animal Park, Canterbury, Sandwich Wildlife Park, and Rare Breeds Centre, Woodchurch.
Every parent’s favourite go-to…the park
A visit to the park is a childhood staple and it’s been a joy watching our children enjoy them once again. Here are a few of our favourites: Mote Park, Maidstone, where popular activities include the Watersports Centre, Segways and the Model Railway. The large play park was refurbished in 2019, catering for children of all ages. Cobtree Manor Park, Maidstone has a large zoo themed fort and play area to keep children amused with climbing, rope bridges and slides. Swanley Park, Swanley is an absolute must visit for the summer as there really is something for everyone – the splash pool, miniature railway, bouncy castle world and play park, to name a few.
For all you train spotters out there!
We’re extremely lucky here in Kent and Sussex with access to a number of historic railways, two of our most popular being Kent & East Sussex Railway, Tenterden and Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, New Romney. Both of these are currently accepting advanced bookings. Other railways in Kent include Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway, Sittingbourne, which re-opens on 5th August, and Spa Valley Railway, Tunbridge Wells, which has selected dates in August. Meanwhile, Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway Adventure Park is open daily for advanced bookings.
For those little dare devils
Diggerland, Medway is celebrating 20 years this year and remains a firm favourite with kids of all ages, giving them the opportunity to ride and drive some awesome construction vehicles! Dymchurch Amusement Park is also back open for business. This popular park is free to enter with rides to cater for all ages. Brighton Palace Pier is widely acknowledged as the finest pier ever built and is ready to welcome visitors again. They have rides and attractions for the whole family, from traditional fairground favourites to rides that will make your stomach leap and head spin.
For something equally adventurous, visit Action Watersports, Lydd, where everything is open, even the Aqua Park! Children as young as 6 can join in, so why not hire the park exclusively for your friends and family as part of their Covid-safe offer?
Drusillas, East Sussex, is truly one of the best days out you can have with your kids. Most of the attractions are open, even the Get Wet splash pad!
Trampoline parks have really taken off (pun intended) in recent years, so we’re seriously excited to see them open once again. Why not try Gravity, Maidstone, Flip Out, Ashford, or Soar Trampoline Park, Gillingham?
It’s clear to us that our zoos, parks and other attractions have been working tirelessly to welcome us back safely this summer, so let’s fulfil our end of the deal and, where possible, get out and spend some money!
Please be aware that most sites mentioned in this article require customers to pre-book.