Free family events for the summer holidays

Bottlenose Dolphin
The summer holidays are perfect for spending quality time outside with your loved ones. Need inspiration for what to do? These nine National Lottery funded ideas are a breath of fresh air.

Watch dolphins at the Big Wildlife Picnic

As one of the best places in Europe to see bottlenose dolphins, Aberdeen should be your next destination for marine life fun. On 17 August, Dolphinwatch is throwing a picnic for families to spend time together while discovering the surrounding wildlife. Nature walks, rockpool scrambling and dolphin watching are only a few of the exciting items on the agenda.

Take part in festivities

Two years after undergoing a major renovation, the magnificent Piece Hall has lots on for visitors. One of the highlights is the Sunday Street Festival taking place on 4 August. With fun things to do for the whole family including circus acts, workshops, theatre and music make sure you check it out next week.

Piece Hall
Credit: Kazimier Productions, Tom Woollard


Delve into the Welsh coast

The Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas Wales project is reconnecting people to a rich ocean world that can’t easily be seen. Join them on 7 August for family-friendly fun at the seashore, including a virtual reality trip into the ocean! Back on dry land, they’ll be searching the beach for creatures and sharing stories.

Living Seas Wales
Credit: North Wales Wildlife Trust


Listen to live music at Hanley Park, Stoke-on-Trent

Concerts will be held at the bandstand at Hanley Park every Sunday until the end of August. The bandstand is the crown jewel of what is one of the biggest Victorian parks in the UK, recently re-opened after a £4.5million National Lottery funded restoration. For those who want to be more active, the park also hosts free multi-sports and activity sessions on Thursdays for children aged 5-12.

Hanley Park bandstand
Credit: Stoke-on-Trent City Council


Support endangered species

Whilst on their way to help save some of the most endangered species in the country, Back from the Brink has not forgotten to have fun. Arts and crafts, quizzes and zine-making are only the tip of the iceberg of things to do all across England this summer.

Credit: Sian Hughes


Claim back the streets in Leicester

Every last Sunday of the month until October, the streets of Leicester’s Old Town are shut down for cars and opened up for people to enjoy. Open Streets Greyfriars uses the seldom-available historic setting for free games, exhibitions, historical tours, workshops and much more. Upcoming monthly themes include Victorian Leicester, King Richard III and wartime Leicester.

Open Streets Leicester
Credit: Ride Leicester: Andy Salkeld


Count the nation’s butterflies

Taking part in the biggest survey of butterflies in the world has never been easier. The big butterfly count has created a useful smartphone app from which you can record how many butterflies and moths you see in 15 minutes. Not seeing any butterflies is useful information as well! You can help measure the health of our environment anywhere across the UK until 11 August.

Marsh Fritillary Butterfly
Credit: Alan Stapleton


Party in the Park

A range of events is taking place in the beautiful scenery of the 400-year-old Antrim Castle Gardens this summer. On 3 August, the 8th anniversary of Party in the Park is packed with fun activities such as crazy golf, face painting and trampolines. On 10 August, children are invited to go looking for mini beasts and discover the wonderful world of insects with the help of park rangers. Alternatively, allow your ears to be filled with live music every Sunday afternoon until the end of the season.

Party in the Park


Immortalise your favourite places in poems

Share your perspectives on the diversity, heritage or personality of a place in England or Wales by writing a poem and pinning it to Places of Poetry’s interactive map. You can join a local poet-in-residence in events which vary from workshops to historical programs and walks. Upcoming events are taking place at locations such as Hadrian’s Wall, Sherwood Forest and the Peak District, however, you do not have to attend one to contribute to the map – just get writing wherever you are!

Hadrian's Wall quarry
Credit: University of Newcastle