As the summer holidays roll on week by week, the list of things to do while the kids are off school may be running low. Wiltshire hosts lots of locations for great days out at a low price meaning you can have fun without sacrificing on the cost.
For a rainy day, museums are a must to make sure the great British summer weather doesn’t spoil your day. STEAM (Museum of the Great Western Railway) in Swindon boasts a variety of trains that your foster child can explore as well as learning trails around the vast museum that will keep you occupied for hours. Children go for only £1 this summer if you book online!
Visit the majestic Salisbury Cathedral, which contains the best preserved original of the 800 year old Magna Carta. England’s largest cathedral also holds Britain’s tallest spire and Europe’s oldest working clock. Drop in on one of the free art workshops held throughout August.
While you’re in Salisbury, you could also check out the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum. Let your foster children discover the history of the surrounding area, including objects found at Stonehenge and mosaics from the Roman times. The entry fee to the museum includes an annual pass so you can visit as many times as you like!
The free Trowbridge Museum is also worth a visit. With arts and historical workshops for children running daily, there is plenty for everyone to enjoy, including clothing from the 1920’s, Victorian toys and ancient chemist items.
If you want something a bit different, check out the River Bourne Community Farm just outside Salisbury. This is a traditional working farm with a variety of animals to see including goats, pigs and even two rescued donkeys. There are several walking and animal trails you can take from the farm to explore the surrounding area and look for more animals in the wilderness. Find the Old Sarum Airfield or explore the nearby Hampton Park!
If you want your foster child to have a playful day out, try Cholderton Charlie’s Farm located on the Wiltshire and Hampshire border. They have a whole range of activities for children, from an indoor three-storey playbarn, outdoor play areas, feeding, cuddling and petting baby animals to daily tractor rides and infamous Pig Racing (as featured on BBC3’s Don’t Tell The Bride!) they will keep your child busy and entertained all day long. During peak times, they also offer a large variety of hands-on farm activities, from walking a goat to cuddling a fluffy baby chick! Check out the list of their summer events here.
Alternatively, there is also the Studley Grange Garden and Leisure Park in Swindon. Here, they have Butterfly World where you can walk through a greenhouse with butterflies flying freely amongst topical plants and ponds. Butterflies aren’t the only things you can see at Butterfly World. The gardens also have an animal paddock with otters, meerkats, ducks and more. You could even catch these animals being fed!
Want to have a day in the sunshine? The picturesque Lydiard Park in Swindon is the place to have a picnic (or hire a BBQ) in the extensive parkland of the historical Lydiard House, where Sense and Sensibility was filmed. The Georgian walled garden, the Chinese Bridge and the ice house are worth finding within the park. It’s free to enter the gardens with an additional small fee to look inside the house.
Have your foster child entertained for hours at John Coles Park in Chippenham. Bring a ball and have a kick about on the lawns or play in the brand new Splashpad. Picnic in the stunning sensory garden or catch a summer concert at the band stand.
Make the most of the annual holidays and take your children to one of many festivals happening in Wiltshire this summer.
Salisbury Summer Spectacular on August the 22nd is a free event full of fun activities for both children and adults. This family fun day will include a main stage, large fun fair, live music, a tea tent, a children’s village and various marquees offering a variety of stalls from food and craft to Teenage Market and Vintage and Business stands. This year the main arena display is the Bolddog Lings Motorcycle Display team with their top ranked freestyle motocross riders, incorporating the latest heart stopping tricks as usually only seen on TV. For full event schedule go to http://www.salisburycitycouncil.gov.uk/summer-spectacular-2015.
Devizes International Street Festival on Sunday 30th and Monday 31st of August is a big, family event, featuring some of the very best in European street theatre and live music, kids entertainment, food, drink and festival stalls, and it's free. For two days Devizes will be transformed as we welcome some of the best street performers, contemporary circus acts, dancers, musicians and walkabout shows from across the UK and Europe to amaze, entertain and inspire. Read more about this event here. Ready for more fun? On Saturday the 5th of September, you can participate in 103 years old Carnival Parade.
Other interesting activities for children include:
Every Wednesday morning English Heritage is providing exclusive ‘Kids Only’ Stone Circle Visits at Stonehenge (needs pre-booking, more information can be found here)
Until 31st of August children can take part in free Magna Carta Treasure Hunt in the Cathedral. For a list of other free, family friendly events at Salisbury cathedral visit their website:http://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/events
Wild Wednesdays at Avebury Old Farmyard - a great place to come for a wild adventure with your family.