Activities for Kids

Summer Holiday Activity Guide
Guide to Summer Holiday Activities 2018

Heaps for kids to do locally this summer holiday – congratulations to our lucky winners who have won free tickets to four attractions in our prize draws (see details below)!

There is a lot to be said for letting your kids get bored so they have time to find out what they are interested in. However, in our experience, this only works if you can get them away from their phones/wifi signal…so it’s lucky there is plenty of great activities in our area this summer!

Summer Activities 


Karate Summer Camps with Matt Ward Karate for six years and over. Every Weds in Swindon, Thurs in Lambourn 1-30 Aug, 9am – 3pm each day. Activities include Kata training, fun and games, nerf gun shooting, keep fit and Kumite. £25/day. Book with Matt on Facebook or or 07774 645 476. Matt also runs weekly karate classes for 4-8 years and 8-14 years – click here for session times in Swindon, Marlborough, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wroughton, Ashbury, Chilton Foliat, Lambourn and Pewsey.

Summer Football Camps for 5-15 year-olds, run by Swindon Town Football in the Community.   Click here for dates in Swindon, Wantage, Ramsbury and Marlborough – there is also goalkeeping available.

Ignition Tennis  exciting summer tennis camps in Hungerford, Park House (Newbury) and Chieveley during the summer holidays for two age groups: 5-9 years (mornings) and faster-paced and more intense 10-16 years sessions (afternoons). For further details please contact or 01635 876755.

Hungerford Leisure Centre is offering activities for children on top of their normal sports and classes, including a non-swimmers’ crash course and a diving course. For more information, see the full article or drop in to the Leisure Centre.

Drop Them Off

Hungerford Leisure Centre offers a Camp Adventure for 5-11 year-olds, every weekday from Mon 23 July to Fri 24 August. Full day 8am-6pm; or half days 8.00am-1pm or 1pm-6pm. For more prices and to make bookings, please call 01488 683303 or drop into the Leisure Centre.

Youth clubs: There are plenty of things to do at Riverside Junior Youth Club, Newbury, Great Shefford Youth Club, Thatcham Youth and the other various youth groups in West Berkshire.

Outdoor Adventure

Outdoor Activities at Growing2gether, RG20 4SY (south of Newbury). Fun, free outdoor and gardening activities for families.

Make mini Tudor knot gardens  with herbs and plants in a square container to take home. Drop-in activity run by Growing2gether at the Family Activity Days (Weds 25 July, 8 and 22 August) at Shaw House.

Forest First FREE toddler group. 9:30-11:30am Tues 7 Aug Child-led activities and play in the mud kitchen. Open to all walkers – babies welcome. Dress for the weather as we will be outside. Growing2gether, RG20 4SY (south of Newbury)

Teen Rangers 12-16 years Take practical action for nature while having fun. Monthly sessions on the first Weds 6-8pm or at weekends, at Nature Discovery Centre in Thatcham or local site. Booking is free and essential: email  Tools provided.

Summer of Play at Avebury World Heritage Site, with activities for children including yoga, archaeology afternoons, curate your own museum, sports days and 50 things Friday. To find out more, visit

Wantage water fountains: Wantage Water Park in Manor Road Memorial Park has a free car park, loads of space for children to run and splash around, about 10 different fountains, also a playground with slides, swings and a round-about. Scheduled to open daily 10.30am-7pm.

Dinghy Sailing Courses at Coate Water Park in Swindon for adults and children: two-day beginners (RYA Level 1/Stage 1) dinghy sailing course 9.30am-4pm Sun 26 and Mon 27 Aug 2018 (Bank Holiday). (£80 for adults, £40 for under 16s). three-day course (RYA Level 2/Stage 2) Tues 28 – Thurs 30 Aug. (£120 for adults, £60 for under 16s). Group sailing lessons can be arranged during the summer at your convenience.  For more info contact Susan Bridge at or Coate Water Sailing Trust on facebook

Kite Flying & Orienteering at White Horse Hill 2-4pm Tues 14 Aug. Free entry, booking not required. Click for more.

Help Re-chalk The White Horse Sun 26 and Mon 27 August – free but booking essential

Creativity & Challenges

Children’s Macaron Baking Days for 7-12 year-olds. Contact or 07887 870 274. Private “Bake with Me Parties” can also be booked.

FREE French fun at The Vici Language Academy in Newbury in July for 2-12 year-olds. Contact or (01635) 813273

Family Arts Workshops Fri 27 July, 10 and 24 Aug Creation Station offers creative arts based activities for ages 18 months to 11 years at the Corn Exchange Learning Centre in Newbury. 

Mini Professors offer fun, hands-on Science classes in Newbury for 2-7 year-olds, including slime-making, building circuits and learning about dinosaurs and space. Ten sessions this summer through August. Visit the website to book.

The Summer Reading Challenge theme for this year is Mischief Makers. Click here or visit your local library to learn more about the Reading Challenge – which is free to take part in and offers rewards along the way. A great way to get reading this Summer!

Sleuth Training for 7-12 yr olds Fri 27 July Sign up for the Detective Training Workshop at Theale Library. Go back in time and find out how the Earl died!

Indoor Adventure

Young Indoor Play at Cobbs Play Barn at Cobbs Farmshop just outside Hungerford. Fun indoor play area for children up to eight years old. Soft zone for younger family members and a café in which parents can enjoy coffee and home-made cakes. Congratulations to Cheryl for winning tickets to Cobbs Play Barn in our prize draw.

Indoor Skatepark ATBShop SkateWarehouse, Swindon’s only indoor skatepark. Skate, scooter and inline, with BMXs and bikes allowed at certain times. Minimum age eight years. Congratulations to  Morven, Lisa and Debbie for winning vouchers to ATBShop Skate Warehouse in our prize draw.

Urban Activity Centre Freedog UAC, Swindon Europe’s largest trampoline park. An old industrial warehouse transformed into the ultimate play area with over 150 trampolines for children and adults alike. Get active, get fit and have a ton of fun while you do it. Congratulations to Lorraine for winning passes to Freedog UAC in our prize draw.


Play in a Week: Mon 30 July to Fri 3 August. For ages 12-16 (1pm-4pm) at The Watermill TheatreDevise, rehearse and perform a play all in one week. 

Musical Theatre Afternoon: Mon 30 July to Fri 3 August. Ages 8-11 (1pm-4pm) at The Watermill Theatre. Learn some of your favourite songs and sequences from hit musicals and present them to family and friends at the end of the week. 

Scribbles from the Margins: Mon 6 to Friday 10 August. For all ages at The Watermill TheatreAn all-ability holiday course to explore, rehearse and perform a showcase of scripts written by Watermill participants. Additionally, if you have an unheard story you’d like to share with the wider world, we welcome you to submit your script anytime before August.

Play in a Day: Weds 8 and 22 Aug. For 9-12 yrs at Corn Exchange in Newbury. A jam-packed day of exploring characters, settings and plots in order to create a brand new performance for family and friends at the end of the day.

Twisted Tales in the Garden: Mon 13 to Fri 17 August. For ages 4-7 (9am – 12 noon) and ages 8-11 (1pm-4pm) at The Watermill Theatre. Create a site-specific play to be performed in the beautiful Watermill gardens, based on traditional fairy tales.

Musical in a Week: Mon 20 August to Fri 24 August. For ages 12-16 (10am-4pm) at The Watermill Theatre. Devise, rehearse and perform a musical all in one week.

Movies, Movies, Movies

Cinema Club Thurs 9/16/23/30 Aug Film-inspired summer holiday fun for 7 to 11 yrs at the Cinema Club at the Corn Exchange in Newbury. Each session is 10am – 3pm to take part in the workshop and watch the film. Children who would prefer to watch the film without attending the workshop can attend from 1pm – 3pm.

Saturday Kids Movies & Lunch at Wildwood, Wantage. Films start 10am, lunch served 1-2pm. Meal & movie: £19.95 (adults) £9.95 (kids). Click here to book for Sat 14 July: Wonder, Sat 21 July:- Nut Job 2. Sat 28 July: Trolls. Sat 4 Aug: Pete’s Dragon. Sat 11 Aug: Mary Poppins. Sat 18 Aug:- Maya The Bee: The Honey Games. Sat 25 Aug: Peter Rabbit (also Tues 21 and Thurs 23 Aug).

Peter Rabbit (PG) Sun 29 Jul 11am The Beacon , Wantage.

Dates for the Diary

Trindledown Open Day & Fun Dog Show 11am-3pm Sat 21 July Peter Egan (Downton Abbey) and Rosie Marcel (Jac Naylor in Holby City) will be officially opening the new Guinea Pig Village, Trindledown Treasures and judging a few dog show classes.

City Arts Mural Painting Day 10am-4pm Sun 29 July Kennet Centre, Newbury for 10 -19 yr olds. No previous experience required (help provided) £5 pp. Book your timeslot with

Growing2gether Family Fun Day 10-2pm Tues 31 July Join us at  for a butterfly hunt as we record and identify all butterflies we find. Self-led trail around the site with craft activities in the orchard. All ages welcome, bring a picnic. FREE event but donations welcome.

Playday 10am-2pm Wed 1 Aug Fieldgate Centre, Kingsclere. Free activities for 4-12 years (accompanied by adult) including bug hunting with Growing2gether.

Big Butterfly Count 2018 10am-12noon Fri 3 Aug, Riverside Community Centre, Turnpike, Newbury.

The Snail and The Whale 3pm Sun 5 Aug, The Beacon Wantage. Join a tiny snail on her trip round the world in Tall Stories’ magical, musical production inspired by the bestselling picture book by The Gruffalo’s Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Growing2gether Family Fun Day 10-2 Tues 14 Aug Follow the self-led trail around the site to find the dinosaur footprints with craft activities in the orchard. All ages welcome, bring a picnic. FREE event but donations welcome.

Thatcham Youth Summer Family Fun Day 11am – 4pm Tues 21 Aug at Moorside Community Centre. Arts & crafts and sports on offer as well as bouncy castles. Totally free!

GCSE Results-day Clinic at Newbury College from 12 noon to 5pm Sat 25 Aug. An opportunity to discuss your options following your GCSE results with the College’s Information, Advice and Guidance Team.

Growing2gether Family Fun Day 10am-2pm Tues 28 Aug Come and learn about things that change, like tadpoles that become frogs. Self-led trail around the site with craft activities in the orchard. All ages welcome, bring a picnic. FREE event but donations welcome.

Days Out

Wantage Lego EXPO 2018 9.30am-4pm 28 July to 8 Sept Vale and Downland Museum Wantage. Treat for Lego fans this summer with professional Lego models, Lego treasure trail across Wantage, build your own Lego. Entry by donation.

Trindledown Animal Welfare Farm near Great Shefford. Rescue and rehoming centre, family attraction open seven days a week 11am-4pm. Lots of animals to see including alpacas, dogs, cats, Barry the pig (who loves a scratch behind the ears), rabbits, goats, sheep, guinea pig village, ponies, horses. Teas, coffees and loos available. You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in outdoor area. Tours of the centre available on request in exchange for a donation.

The Living RainforestHampstead Norreys. Explore the rainforest this summer without leaving the UK! Discover free roaming animals and birds and identify some of the world’s most popular food plants including bananas and cocoa.

Didcot Railway Centre, a living history museum with lots for kids. Open daily. Trains run every weekend and Weds from 25 July to 29 August. Congratulations to Jason for winning a family ticket to Didcot Railway Centre in our prize draw.

London and South of Englandclick here for lots of ideas of places to visit

Home Activities (whatever the weather)

Science Fun at Home – five easy experiments to do (that don’t require any specialist equipment!) from Ruth at Mini Professors

Thatcham Photographic Competition – for children under 10 years, 11-13 years and 14-17 years who live or go to school within 10 miles of Thatcham. Deadline: 21 September

Top tips on low budget parenting in the hols free ways to entertain your kids by local stand-up comic Toni Kent

For some great ideas of 50 things to do during the summer holidays before you turn 11, have a look at this checklist created by pupils at Lambourn Primary School. Click image to enlarge.





For lots more individual events see the Penny Post calendar (select Categories: For Children)

For those parents who find themselves waiting while their children have the time of their lives, why not check out some of our Summer Reading suggestions to help you find the perfect book to amuse yourself with this summer?

© Can Stock Photo / MaszaS

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