Review: The Best Things To See And Do This Autumn

Wondering what to do with the kids this autumn? With half-term fast approaching, we’ve round-up a list of UK family days out so you can keep the kids entertained. Let us know if there’s anything we should add to our growing list of adventures! Email [email protected]

Don’t forget to check the websites of all locations below and book tickets in advance.

From 17 October – 1 November, Kew Gardens is busy celebrating childhood favourite character, The Gruffalo. Families can enjoy a trail around Kew Gardens Arboretum as the ‘little brown mouse’ to track down the Gruffalo and the other much-loved characters in the best-selling book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. With the help of a guide, children can follow the tracks of each animal leading them to the characters’ hiding spots.

Visitors are encouraged to come to Kew Gardens donning their own face-painted whiskers, ready to step into the role of the little brown mouse. On your way to find the Gruffalo, you’ll come across fox footprints, an owl feather xylophone, and a snakeskin gong inspired by the story, while you learn more about the characteristics of each of these animals as they go.

Besides the Owl, the Fox and the Snake, you’ll spot all sorts of other wildlife and enjoy the autumn landscape your adventure unfolds. Kew Garden is home to 14,000 trees, and all will become immersed in the world of The Gruffalo.

Brave explorers might even get the chance to encounter The Gruffalo himself in the form of a costumed character making timed appearances throughout the half-term period.

WHEN: From 17 October – 1 November 2020
WHERE: Kew Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE

From 1st October (and after extensive safeguarding preparations), KidZania London has now opened its doors once again! Kidzania is an indoor city run by kids, combining learning through interactive role-play in a range of job professions within a scaled city replica of real life.

Suitable for children from 4-14 years Kidzania is designed to empower and inspire.

WHEN: Check the website for available days and times
WHERE: Westfield London, Ariel Way, W12 7GA

Head 800ft above the streets for incredible panoramic views across the Capital for a great family day out in London.

Step into the smooth high-speed “kaleidoscopic” lifts and be swept over 800 feet up to London’s highest observation deck. The View from The Shard is a must-see attraction and is sure to impress everyone from kids to grandparents. From the top, you’ll have a 360-degree panoramic view of the capital that stretches as far as 40 miles around on a clear day.

Don’t forget your cameras as the views are truly spectacular, and take as much time as you need to spot all of London’s famous landmarks. You’ll have plenty of time to capture the perfect family selfie with the best backdrop imaginable!

WHEN: Sunday to Wednesday, 10am-7pm; Thursday to Saturday, 10am-10pm
WHERE: 32 London Bridge Street, SE1 9SG

Beamish is a living, working museum that uses its collections to connect with people from all walks of life.  and tells the story of everyday life in the North East of England.

The vision of Dr Frank Atkinson, the Museum’s founder and first director, Frank wanted the new museum to “illustrate vividly” the way of life of “ordinary people” and bring the region’s history alive. Beamish remains true to his principles today and brings history to life for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

It’s known to be one of the best Open-Air Museums in the World!

WHEN: 10am to 5pm
WHERE: Beamish Museum, Beamish, County Durham. DH9 0RG

Learn to ski or snowboard with family and friends at Chill Factore, the longest indoor real snow slope in the UK.

The Snow Park caters to guests as young as 4 years of age, and at Chill Factore your little ones can enjoy real snow without the need for skis or a snowboard.  Whizz down the slopes on a sledge, or race the entire family on the doughnuts.

WHEN: Monday to Friday: 12 noon – 8pm Saturday and Sunday: 10am – 6pm
WHERE: Chill Factore, Beyond, 7 Trafford Way, Trafford City Manchester, M41 7JA

Discover a safe haven of wide-open spaces bursting with wetland nature at the 100 acre-wide Slimbridge Wetland Centre. There are many trails and walks bursting with nature just waiting to be discovered.

Remember to pay a visit to the Fabulous Flamingos and Playful Otters.

WHEN: Open from 9.30am
WHERE: WWT Slimbridge, Bowditch, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT

Walk in the footsteps of your Neolithic ancestors at the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, Stonehenge. With a history spanning 4,500 years, Stonehenge has many different meanings to people today. It is a wonder of the world, a spiritual place and a fabulous day out for all the family.

People come from far and wide to experience this royal tradition, so it’s definitely worth heading down to Buckingham Palace to catch the Changing the Guard ceremony at least once. It’s free to watch and will be happening daily throughout September. The colourful spectacle sees the Buckingham Palace Old Guard change with the New Guard. The ceremony lasts around 45 minutes and is accompanied by music. Head down earlier than 10.30am to ensure you get a good view.

WHEN: 10:30 am St James’ Palace & Wellington Barracks, 11 am Buckingham Palace
WHERE:  Buckingham Palace Road, SW1A 1AA

A 329-acre working farm paced with exciting adventures. There are three magnificent walking trails, pony rides and a 45-minute deer safari.

Kids can bottle feed lambs in the spring, collect fresh farm eggs and meet all of the other farm residents – including pigs, goats, rabbits and more!

Pleasure Beach is located in the seaside resort town of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, on the English east coast.

The resort offers an exciting mix of white-knuckle and child-friendly rides makes it ideal for a fun family day out for all ages.

Birdworld is home to over 2000 birds as well as lots of other animals. There are regular displays, including the ‘Owl Prowl’, a daily feeding tour filled with fascinating and interesting facts about Birdworld’s birds of prey.

You can also take a trip around the farm, home to everything fury from goats to rabbits and even reindeer. There is also an aquarium and a safari train ride!

The Tower Of London experience dives right into the heart of London’s dark and horrible history. Spend the day engrossed by tales of murder and mystery and learn about deadly plots that took place in the tower as you walk around the famous stone walls. Take a peek at the magnificent Crown Jewels too, which are made up of an incredible 23,578 gems. Book tickets here!

WHEN: Tuesday – Saturday, 9am-4.30pm; Sunday – Monday, 10am – 4.30pm
WHERE: The Tower of London, EC3N 4AB

Home to the biggest man-made lake in Northern Europe and the largest working forest in England, Kielder Water and Forest Park bring you nature on a grander scale.

From cycling, water activities and horse riding to art architecture and breathtaking views there is something suitable for everybody, but we think this is a particularly fantastic trip for families with older kids.

Take a trip on the ferry over to the Isle of Wight for the day and head to Blackgang Chine, the action-packed, magical adventure, and an age-old favourite of ours at My Baba.

Its eclectic mix of attractions inspire and fuel the imaginations of little ones. From pirate ships, cowboys and the Wild West, to fairy princesses and underwater shipwrecks, your little ones will be captivated by every inch of the park.

For our full review, click here.

The Tower Of London experience dives right into the heart of London’s dark and horrible history. Spend the day engrossed by tales of murder and mystery and learn about deadly plots that took place in the tower as you walk around the famous stone walls. Take a peek at the magnificent Crown Jewels too, which are made up of an incredible 23,578 gems. Book tickets here!

WHEN: Tuesday – Saturday, 9am-4.30pm; Sunday – Monday, 10am – 4.30pm
WHERE: The Tower of London, EC3N 4AB

Explore the home of Henry VIII, The Renowned Magic Garden and get lost in the famous Maze. Discover more about this majestic palace and its unique history and explore the gorgeous gardens and stunning rooms. You’ll experience the public dramas and private lives of Henry VIII, his wives and children in the world of the Tudor court.

Home to over 350 rare and exotic animals, Blair Drummond Safari Park is one of Scotland’s most exciting visitor attractions and the perfect place for a family day out.

Enjoy their on-foot safari and spectacular raised viewing platforms for our giraffes and lions. If you dare, visit the dinosaur world, located in a pre-historic forest behind Jurassic Park-esque gates. It’s billed to be one of the UK’s best dinosaur experiences!

The Monument is the tallest isolated stone column in the world and if you and the kids can hike up its 311 steps, you’ll be able to experience the incredible views from the top. The Monument is a reminder of the Great Fire of London which took place in 1666 and is still one of the most famous events in London history. Climb to the top of the tower and learn all about the ghastly event that began on Pudding Lane and engulfed the city of London in the 1600s.

WHEN: 9.30am – 6pm daily
WHERE: Monument Street, EC3R 8AH

Speaking of dinosaurs, from swinging on high ropes and navigating mazes to unearthing treasures in the dino dig, there is so much to do at Roarr. An all-weather, all-year and all-inclusive expedition to remember

Explore the large 240 acre garden and glasshouse at RHS Garden Wisley. Discover their newly opened Back To Nature Garden for children. It is a place for families and friends to have fun in nature, while hopefully igniting a love for gardening and growing plants.

Fun play elements include two treehouses linked via an aerial walkway, swings, slides and trampolines, as well as a hollow log for climbing on and crawling through, a stream with water pumps, dens for hiding, a living willow pod, hidden burrow and giant sand pit.?

The garden’s design is based upon a peaceful, woodland setting surrounded by trees, relaxed planting and a wildflower meadow, and aims to encourage children and families to engage with nature and the great outdoors.

Home to the most thrilling, interesting and memorable Lake District Adventures, the Honister Slate Mine is the last working slate mine in England.

There’s a range of indoor and outdoor adventures to be had for a variety of ages and abilities. There are mine tours, vertical climbs, cliff edge ladders and climbing in the mine.

Bocketts Farm is a working family farm set in the beautiful Surrey countryside.

Watch the pig race, take a pony ride, hop on board the tractor and trailer, cuddle cute rabbits and feed our many wonderful farm animals. Being a working farm, there are always baby animals to see, including lambs, kids, piglets and chicks.

With trampolines, giant slides, a bouncy pillow, two large indoor play barns and outdoor adventure trails, plus lovingly homemade food in our gorgeous Old Barn Tearooms, Bocketts Farm Park makes for a brilliantly exciting day out for the entire family!

One for the Potter fans!

The Making of Harry Potter is a public attraction in London and quite possibly the only permanent filmmaking exhibit of its size in the world. Step back into the world of Harry Potter and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the films.

With over 80 species and breeds onsite, the Wildlife Park plays host to traditional, rare and exotic animals. From crocodiles, camels and capybara to pigs, skunks and guinea pigs – there’s lots to see!

The WonderWood is a magical free-play area where kids, big and small, can build their own unique den. There’s a land of ancient dinosaurs that once roamed East Anglia. A Butterfly House that teaches kids about the life of our butterflies and insects, and a Tropical House, where you can meet some colder blooded friends as well as friendly, free-flying birds.

Perhaps you would like to walk with the animals? Book in for a private animal encounter!

Introducing Wales’s biggest theme park. The Oakwood Theme Park is jam-packed full of thrills and spills for a wide range of ages. Whether it’s an adrenaline-fuelled experience or a magical adventure, you’ll find everything here for the perfect family day out.

Alton Towers Theme Park is an adventure park with over 40 rides and attractions, there’s something for everybody, even the younger kids too.

It operates a total of ten roller coasters and offers a range of accommodation and lodging options alongside the theme park. Facilities include Alton Towers Waterpark, conference facilities, a crazy golf course, and a high ropes course.

Experience over 30 thrill rides, family attractions and unique events on a day trip or short break at one of the UK’s best theme parks.

Reach new heights with Stealth the UK’s fastest roller coaster launching riders to 205ft at 80mph in just 2.5 seconds. Take flight on THE SWARM the UK’s only winged coaster, or face one of Jigsaw’s most twisted traps with SAW – The Ride the world’s first horror-themed roller coaster featuring a 100ft “beyond-vertical” drop.

Which child does not dream of becoming a knight, an explorer, a test driver or a pilot and entering into a fascinating world of adventure?

At the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort there are over 55 rides and attractions where children can fly through the treetops to escape fearsome dragons, ride the thrilling rapids with a Viking fleet, join LEGO® divers on a magical underwater adventure and so much more.

Marwell Zoo is home to an incredible range of exotic and endangered species, from endangered Amur tigers to majestic giraffes.

A 140-acre wildlife park home to hundreds of animals, the zoo’s aim is to conserve global biodiversity and pursue a sustainable future. Marwell Zoo’s talented scientists work to create adaptive initiatives to identify some of the most important animal habitats and help restore destroyed ecosystems.

Home to over 720 different species of animal, London zoo is the perfect way to connect with nature and animals in the heart of the city.

This animal kingdom in Regent’s Park offers some excellent experiences to help children and families learn about wildlife from around the world. Enter the Lion Temple to see the big cats roaming about. Head down to the Penguin Beach for feeding time. Don’t forget to meet the monkeys! The kids will love monkeying around in the monkey play area, designed to teach them about the way monkeys move in their environment.

WHEN: From 10am daily
WHERE: Regent’s Park, Outer Circle, London NW1 4RY

The UK’s biggest zoo at 600-acres is home to more than 2500 animals including Amur tigers, brown bears, elephants and lions. Plan your day with tours, adventure play areas and classes.

Due to its size, visitors may walk, use the zoo’s bus service, or drive their own cars between the various animal enclosures, or through an ‘Asian’ area where some animals are allowed to roam free around the cars.

Longleat Safari and adventure park is based in Wiltshire, and is a land of adventure where lions roam, tigers stalk, and monkeys swing. Travel through time in a grand stately home, lose yourself in one of their magical mazes, and hold exotic creatures from the ends of the Earth.

Wind up your windows. Hide all the sandwiches. You’re going on a safari tour that’s wilder, furrier and growlier than you ever dared imagine.

Eagle Heights is one of the UK’s largest Bird of Prey Centres. Packed with eagles, falcons, owls and an Andean condor, they have also become a wildlife sanctuary and house a variety of animals including, meerkats, African servals, farm animals, reptiles, huskies and more!

There are also flying displays to showcase these fantastic birds at their very best.

 

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Discover the secret underwater world in our oceans and coastline. Experience the habitat of thousands of seawater creatures. The Shark Walk immerses you in the world of sharks. Get up close with Sand Tiger sharks, Bow Mouths, Black Tips and Grey Reefs. Don’t forget to remind the little ones that the sharks can’t harm them from behind the glass! You’ll also learn about how Sea Life are helping support ocean conservation and marine welfare.

WHEN: 10am – 7pm daily
WHERE: County Hall, Riverside Building, SE1 7PB

Chester Zoo is a 51-hectare zoo at Upton by Chester, in Cheshire, home to many rare and endangered species. Situated in lush, ornate gardens, with a water bus and a monorail, there are over 35,000 animals and 128 acres of zoological gardens to explore.

Chester Zoo is the most visited zoo in the UK and a conservation and education charity committed to preventing extinction.

Full of wild, open moorlands and deep river valleys, with a rich history and rare wildlife, Dartmoor is a unique place where you’ll see wild ponies roaming over the landscape as you and take a trail through valleys with Neolithic tombs, Bronze Age stone circles and abandoned medieval farmhouses.

There’s approximately 368 square miles to explore! From striking granite tors and steep wooded river valleys to swathes of heather-covered moorland and hidden villages, Dartmoor is a land of contrasts, with so much to see and do.

The Science museum holds a collection of over 300,000 items located over seven floors and categorized by topic, such as medicine, nuclear power, photography, electricity, food, technology, transportation, and much more, there is SO much to see a do.

Located in South Kensington, The Science Museum is one of the city’s major tourist attractions. It’s a great place to see, touch and experience science first-hand.

Painshill is an award-winning 18th century landscape garden where you are invited to walk around a work of art.

Winding paths will take you on a journey to discover a living canvas with simply stunning views and beautiful garden buildings. Stroll around the Serpentine Lake, wander through woodland and promenade past follies, including the Ruined Abbey, Gothic Temple and Turkish Tent.

Enjoy a family picnic in the natural children’s play area with dens, balancing logs and stepping stones.

A World Heritage Site and a top UK attraction, Kew Gardens is the world’s most famous garden. Visitors of all ages will be fascinated with the sheer range of climates, native and exotic plants and the beautiful collections of botanical art. Explore a tropical rainforest in the Palm House, where temperatures reach a balmy 27°C, stroll the tree-top walkway, see the serene lake and waterlily ponds!

This experience for two is truly out of the ordinary, and will make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world – and you’ll learn about the 250 years of science and history behind this world-famous attraction, too!

Willy Wonka here we come! Cadbury World is a visitor attraction in Birmingham, England, featuring a self-guided exhibition tour, created and run by the Cadbury Company. The tour tells the history of chocolate, and of the Cadbury business, so you can learn how your favourite confectioneries are made.

And yes, according to TripAdvisor, you do get some free chocolate – about four bars each and a mini cup of melted as a taster if you do it all!

Beer is a beautiful place to visit, and if you’re there, you must check out the Beer Quarry Caves.

You’ll enjoy fascinating guided tour of 2,000-year-old man-made caverns in a limestone underground complex.  The caves are open every day at 10:00am until Sunday 1st November 2020.

The Eden Project is a visitor attraction in Cornwall. Nestled in a huge crater are two biomes containing plants collected from many diverse climates and environments. The Project’s purpose is to demonstrate the importance of plants to people and to promote sustainable use of plant resources.

With exciting all-year-round events, Eden is unlike any other attraction in the UK and it’s great for kids of all ages

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