The best things to do with kids in school holidays

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May half term events Royal Institution space travel

Make the most of the school holidays with our round-up of family days out and things to do around the UK

Looking for a family day out – or perhaps a short break together? There’s a huge range of fantastic family experiences to enjoy across the UK.

May half term events Royal Institution space travel

Step into a sci-fi world

At the O2, the ‘DC Exhibition: Dawn of Super Heroes' celebrates DC’s Super Heroes and Super Villains including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and The Joker. You’ll see original artwork, plus costumes, models and props used in the famous films, with Superman’s cape from the Christopher Reeve films and the 1970s Wonder Woman outfit.

And the Royal Institution has family events throughout the year, such as Mark Thompson's spectacular science and a series of Summer Schools from late July and throughout August. Find out more about levitation, space travel and how life is created, plus much more.

Enjoy a wild encounter


Prefer to get closer to nature? Explore Britain’s zoos and wildlife parks; many offer special wildlife experiences for junior animal-lovers.

At Yorkshire’s Flamingo Land zoo park, kids can step into the enclosure for half an hour with penguins, meerkats or lemurs. At Drusilla’s Park in East Sussex, you can feed the mischievous coatis or even (by appointment) hang out with the pandas. And at Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire, brave souls can even feed the lions (through a fence, we’re relieved to learn).

Many wildlife parks also offer Junior Zookeeper experiences, lasting a half or full day and giving kids a real taste of life behind the scenes. Try Cotswold Wildlife Park just off the M4, Dudley Zoo near Birmingham, or Edinburgh Zoo.

Get outdoors

May half term events: cycling at Lee Valley Velo Park

At Diggerland kids will love having the opportunity to embrace their passion for diggers and other types of massive machinery at Diggerland and, perhaps for the first time, have a go at driving them.  Even if they don’t dream of operating full-size construction machinery, families will find plenty of entertainment at this theme park that also offers go-karting, dodgems and lots more. There are indoor activities for rainy days, at four locations in Kent, Devon, Durham and Yorkshire.

Boundless members can get 25% off standard Diggerland admission.

Experience cycling at a world-class velodrome! Visit the Lee Valley VeloPark in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, home to the 2012 Olympics. You can cycle the track in the famous velodrome or try the challenging mountain bike trails. Or at the Cyclopark in Gravesend there’s a programme of special kids’ events for half-term – great practice for the Boundless BikeFest coming up this autumn.

Take a theme park ride

The Gruffalo

Got little thrill seekers on your hands? The UK's theme parks have plenty of new rides for 2018. LEGOLAND has special new Miniland displays from master builders to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the LEGO brick.

Thorpe Park is always a family favourite, packed with more than 30 rides, attractions and live events, which include the UK’s top five rollercoasters. New for 2018 is The Walking Dead: The Ride (suitable for ages 13 and over) – zombies have taken over the park and you must make it to the Safe Zone if you want to survive…

Boundless members save up to 47% at Thorpe Park Resort and other Merlin attractions – you need to be logged in to the Boundless website to access your discount.

Chessington has a new Tiger Rock enclosure for a family of four endangered Amur tigers, with the Land of the Tiger – it has Europe’s first overhead ride. Plus for younger visitors there’s a new Gruffalo Groove, along with the Gruffalo River Ride.

And at Alton Towers there’s a new Wicker Man ride for teens and adults, plus the much-loved CBeebies Land has expanded, with a GoJetters Vroomster Zoom ride and Furchester Hotel Live experience.

Along with the many rides, attractions and zoo at Drayton Manor Theme Park, little ones can enjoy the 30 rides and a 15-acre zoo at Thomas Land. Things to do over May half-term at the theme park include celebrating ‘Love Your Zoo’ week, with a host of different activities to enjoy for the holidays, from completing a special trail where animal lovers can learn about 100 different species, to taking a tour of the zoo with its friendly mascot, Rory the Lion.

Boundless members can save on Drayton Manor Theme Park tickets, and on dining, bed and breakfast at Drayton Manor.

Step back in time

May half term events Cotswold Motor Museum

If you want to keep a young motor enthusiast happy, head to the Cotswold Motoring Museum in the chocolate-box village of Bourton-on-the-Water. This year the museum celebrates its 40th birthday with a 40 Year Flashback – an exhibition looking back to 1978.

Up in York, the Jorvik Viking Centre has reopened after 2015’s floods, and new technology now allows you to smell the streets of 10th century York (phew). At Hampton Court Palace, there’s the history-themed Magic Garden play area for kids to explore – complete with dragons.

Or catch a movie

May half term events Solo: A Star Wars Story

If the weather is against us (or even if it isn’t and you need some air conditioning and a sit down) a trip to the cinema always goes down well.

Boundless members can save on Odeon cinema tickets with special e-vouchers – adult prices start from £6.48.

Treat the grown-ups too

Do something new, treat the whole family or just yourself to a day out with a difference. With Virgin Experience Days you can choose from 2,000 offers, whether you’re looking for fun, relaxation, indulgence or just a memorable day. Enjoy a champagne afternoon tea for two, take the family to Kew Gardens and explore its newly renovated Victorian glasshouse (the biggest in the world and home to 10,000 plants), or choose from plenty more experiences – there’s bound to be something that’s up your street.

Boundless members save 20% discount on full-priced Virgin Experience Days.

At Cadbury World you can indulge those in your family who have a sweet tooth by taking them for a chocolately day out. You can enjoy a self-guided tour of the history of chocolate, where it comes from and the process that turns it into a delicious treat.

Boundless members save 10% at Cadbury World and other SuperBreak attractions.

May half term events food festival

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