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  1. Keeping the kids entertained during the school holidays can sometimes feel like a challenge, especially during the summer. There are only so many play parks that you can go to before your kids might start to get bored and so it can be easy to reach for the iPad or something electronic to keep them occupied. But kids benefit so much more from playing outside in the sun and if you are willing to get creative there are actually a lot of fun family activities that you can do to maintain your child’s enthusiasm for nature! In this blog I’ll give you some ideas to keep your kids happy whilst exploring and learning in the great outdoors.

    If you have a child who is inspired by nature, they will absolutely love this whimsical illustrated alphabet book that celebrates the beauty of the North East countryside through a child’s eyes!

    Summer holiday activities for children that you can do in your garden

    Some of the best creative summer holiday activities can be done from the comfort of your very own garden, such as a creepy crawly hunt! This summer holiday activity costs nothing and if you don’t have a suitable garden, any grassy area or local park will do just fine. I would recommend taking a magnifying glass and something to draw with so that your kids can spend the day discovering and documenting interesting insects! Now I know this may not sound like your idea of fun if you're squeamish about bugs but this is a learned fear and lots of kids love learning about them! If you don’t like bugs all you need to do is supervise from a distance and make sure the kids are playing safely.


    Another easy and creative summer holiday idea that can be done in your own garden is outdoor arts and crafts. The possibilities are endless here and this is a great way to keep kids engaged with nature for little to no cost. Making something pretty out of things that you find in your garden will also help kids to develop an appreciation for the natural world and hopefully get them to see the value in protecting it from a young age.

    If you need some inspiration for your garden arts and crafts session, I would suggest a collage made of leaves! You could also make a wind catcher out of twigs and leaves or if you have some heavy books to hand, try pressing some flowers! These pressed flowers can then be used for other fun arts and crafts activities. Kids also love to paint, so go and find some rocks in the garden (or local beach), take them home and turn them into little ornaments for your garden by painting them to look like animals or whatever you decide!

    Creative summer holiday ideas for hyperactive kids

     Some children require a bit more running around in order to tire them out by the end of the day, so I’m also going to give some suggestions for parents with particularly hyperactive children. One activity you can try is outdoor yoga! This is a fun way to spend time with your child and it is great for young kids’ minds and bodies. You can make it even more fun by making up your own animal yoga poses to do with your kids.


    Scavenger hunts are a great activity for active kids as you can tire them out by sending them running off to look for berries, trees, animals, birds, colours and even textures. Prepare for this activity by making a list of all the different things you want to find. If you don’t manage to find everything the first time, there is nothing stopping you from going on another scavenger hunt to complete the list from last time!

    If your children are fond of marine animals, try taking them for a day out rock pooling at the beach! You can find some really weird and wonderful creatures in rock pools that will be a delight for your children to discover. This summer holiday activity will keep kids entertained for hours and you could even bring a barbeque for lunch to make this summer holiday activity day even more exciting!


    More creative summer holiday ideas for children inspired by nature

    These last few activities are slightly more location and also weather dependent, so I’ve left them for last. However I assure you they are just as fun as the other activities. Fruit picking is an excellent summer holiday activity to do with kids as they will have fun picking the fruit and it will also instil a love for healthy fruits in them from a young age. Just make sure you know exactly what you are picking and DO NOT eat anything unless you are absolutely sure that it is edible. If your kids are old enough and competent swimmers you can also take them wild swimming or paddling in a lake, river or the sea! 

    All the activities I have mentioned so far are best done in the daytime so I thought I’d include some night time activities as well. If the weather is warm enough and you have access to a tent, taking your kids camping is a lovely and memorable way to get them inspired by nature. You can also take them stargazing on a clear night if your children are space enthusiasts! However, for these activities you will want to bring plenty of layers so you all stay warm enough.

    Get your kids inspired by nature this summer!

    There are plenty of ways to get your kids inspired by nature this summer and a lot of them cost absolutely nothing! Sometimes the simplest activities are the most memorable so when you use this blog post for inspiration I encourage you to try out anything that sparks your kids’ interest.

    If you care about the state of the world that your children are going to inhabit and you want them to develop an interest in nature, register your interest for this whimsical illustrated alphabet book that celebrates the beauty of the North East countryside through a child’s eyes! It’s the perfect unique keepsake for any nature loving child.

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  2. When it comes to family trips, Northumberland is a goldmine. There is something for kids of every age group to enjoy and I wanted to share some of them with you. From wildlife and educational trips to swimming and play parks, these are my top 21 places to visit with kids in Northumberland.

    1) Kielder Water and Forest Park - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    This is a great location if you want to take the whole family for an adventure. The forest and water in this beautiful park make it a fantastic low cost day out for families with kids. A day out to Kielder water and forest park can be completely free! As there is no admission cost. However there are also a range of fun family friendly activities and organised events such as zip wires, archery and snorkelling!

    2) Bluebell Woods Morpeth - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    Bluebell Woods - Morpeth

    I strongly advise you to save this activity for the month of May as it is exceptionally beautiful when the bluebells are in bloom! The walk route is approximately 2.6 miles long and circular so you will arrive back at your starting point when you finish.

    3) Chillingham Castle - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    This 13th century stronghold is another great educational and fun day out for the whole family. Known for seeing many battles, Chillingham has a rich history to explore which makes it the perfect place to let the kids run around while you explore. If you’re feeling brave, you can even visit England’s most haunted dungeon!

    4) Bolam Lake - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    Bolam Lake

    Bolam Lake and its surrounding country park have some of the best woodland and lake view walks in Northumberland. There is also a fully accessible path that goes all the way around the lakeshore. If you visit in the breeding season (spring & early summer) you have a chance to see swans, deer, red squirrels and more!

    5) Wicked Wizard of Alnwick Treasure Trail - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    Explore Alnwick and its beautiful surrounding areas whilst solving mysteries and having fun with the whole family. You can buy a booklet for up to 5 people and then head off on your treasure trail which will lead you through Baliffgate, St Michael's Church and Pottergate.

    6) Northumberlandia - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland


    Northumberlandia is one of the most spectacular locations on this list. Northumberlandia’s main attraction is “The Lady of the North”, a human landform sculpture of a reclining lady, scaling 100 feet in height and spanning a quarter of a mile. Standing 100 feet tall and with four miles of footpaths, this is a massive spectacle for all ages to enjoy.

    7) Alnwick Castle and Gardens - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    Be amazed by Anwick castle and its stunning 12 acres of garden space and woodland. This location is famous for featuring in the first Harry Potter film when Harry is learning to fly a broomstick for the first time!

    8) Seaton Delaval Hall - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    Seaton Delaval Hall

    There is so much to do at this venue depending on what of the year you attend! With beautiful fragrant rose gardens, outdoor theatre/music spots and summer family activities the possibilities for a fun family day out at Seaton Delaval Hall are endless.

    9) Farne Islands - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    Farne Islands is a trip that requires slightly more planning since it is highly recommended that you visit during the nesting season to get the best experience. But if you're willing to wait for the nesting season you will  be rewarded with a fantastic array of seals and seabirds to observe in their natural habitat. This is a great way to get kids excited by nature in Northumberland and the kids will love the boat ride! You will however need to purchase a boat ticket after arriving by either train or car.

    10) Simonside Hills - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland


    These hills are extremely popular with walkers and known well for its rugged and dramatic scenery. The climb is 430 metres to the top and hikers are rewarded with a stunning panoramic view of the Cheviots and the Northumbrian coastline.

    11) Heatherslaw Railway - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    A simple yet wholesome experience that the whole family can enjoy. With festive themed events throughout the year and very modest ticket prices, Heatherslaw railway is the best place to get an authentic steam train railroad experience.

    12) Bamburgh Beach - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    Bamburgh Beach

    Situated just outside Bamburgh castle, Bamburgh beach is perfect for long breezy walks at any time of the year. Despite the water never really getting warm at any time of year this beach is always populated with children playing in the waves and making sandcastles.

    13) Bamburgh Castle - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    Home of the Armstrong family since 1894, Bamburgh castle is a historical hotspot for Northumberland and will be adored by budding historians of all ages. They also host a range of entertaining historical re-enactments with their next being a Saxon re-enactment in July!

    Bamburgh Castle

    14) Kielder Water Bird of Prey Centre - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    Kids love animals and I promise you their little faces will light up when they see the owls, eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures and pelicans of Kielder Water Bird of Prey Centre. This venue is perfect for kids because it is thrilling but also educational! There are various talks and experiences where families can learn all about birds of prey and have fun doing it.

    15) Blyth Beach South - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    Blyth South Beach

    This gorgeous golden stretch of beach makes for the perfect scenic family walk. This beach is popular for many reasons including good surf, potential to spot marine wildlife such as dolphins and there is even a dedicated area for water sports.

    16) Ingram Village and Breamish Valley - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    There is so much to see in Breamish Valley you could get lost there all day! With bronze age settlements, stunning waterfalls and picturesque hidden waterfalls. A great outdoor day out for all age groups.

    Ingram Valley

    17) Treasure Island Morpeth - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland 

    This is a great option for rainy days as its main attraction is an indoor pirate themed play centre. There are also some organised events at this venue where kids can go to do arts and crafts and other fun activities.

    18) Plessey Woods - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    Plessey Woods

    This delightful country park is the perfect place to see beautiful flowers in the warmer months. Plessey Woods is a 100 acre woodland stuffed full of wild flower meadows and enchanting nature trails. This location is perfect for walkers, cyclists, picnickers or horse-riders.

    19) The Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    This 39 mile coastline stretches from Berwick to the Coquet Estuary and provides some of the most jaw-dropping views in Northumberland. The cliffs and beaches to be seen here are genuinely stunning and will leave you spoiled for choice when it comes to picnic spots!

    20) The Cheviot Hills - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    These beautiful rolling hills are situated just between the Scottish borders and Northumberland. With high peaks, sloping valleys and breathtaking waterfalls the Cheviots are a must visit for families who like a scenic walk.

    21) Wallington Hall - 21 Places to visit with kids in Northumberland

    Wallington Hall 2

    A historical house that intertwines with the beautiful rolling hills of the countryside, Wallington is the largest country estate in the care of the National Trust. With a beautiful walled garden and plenty of woodland to explore this is a great destination for a family walk.

    Visit Northumberland for your next family day out 

    There is no shortage of fun family outings in Northumberland. Many of the activities and locations on this list are either free or very low cost, they are perfect for families and they won’t break the bank. I hope that these suggestions will be more than enough to keep you and your kids occupied on your next family outing.

    Many of the places on this list have inspired my new illustrated alphabet book that celebrates the beauty of the North East countryside through a child’s eyes - join the book waiting list here.

    Wallington Hall