Half term days out – our favourites

Fingers and toes crossed for sunshine this may half term! I’ve been having a good think about our favourite days out around our beautiful kent county. Here is a quick guide to help you out this school holiday. 

  1. Lower Leas Coastal Park

Lower Sandgate Road, Lower Leas, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 2JP

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Suitable for all ages

This is such a unique place – enjoy fabulous views of the sea and gorgeous gardens while the kids run wild in the huge, challenging playground. From climbing towers to sand diggers there is so much to do. Then pop down to Mermaids Cafe by the beach for lunch, ice creams and delicious coffee. 

Our Fav bits

  • Mermaids Cafe – Check out their Facebook page – a great selection of hot food, light lunches and superb ice-cream. 
  • The sunken pirate ship – great for imaginative play
  • The views – I’ve often said how you could be anywhere in the world with crashing waves and exotic plants
  • The stunning landscaped gardens – they cover such a huge area with little details for the kids to enjoy dotted around. Look out for the three billy goats by the bridge. 

 

2) Drusillas

Alfriston, East Sussex, BN26 5QS, England (not in Kent – but I had to put it in!!)

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https://www.drusillas.co.uk

Suitable for ages: Babies and Toddlers (0-3), Young Children (4-8) and Older Children (9-12)

I was taken here is a child and absolutely love it to this day. It’s compact for little legs but big enough for a whole day out. There are so many animals that you can get up close to, and learn about. Rides for all and of course the most fantastic playground EVER. 

Our Fav bits

  • The meerkat enclosure – the kids cab crawl in the tunnel and pop their head’s out the top! 
  • The hands on farm life exhibit – have a go at milking a cow.
  • The brand new Rainforest Carousel – so beautiful.
  • The incredible playground – its huge, with plenty of benches for you to rest your legs while they burn all that never ending energy.
  • The cafe at the ‘end’ nearer the exit (opposite the carousel) is the best for sandwiches and hot (proper) food ie not burger and chips style. They also do the classic kids lunch box combo. 

 

3) Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest

Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, Park Lane, Goudhurst, Kent, TN17 2SJ

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Suitable for all ages

Having a big age gap between my boys makes this place ideal. We always start off with the sprawling playground, followed by a walk or bike ride around the fab adventure play trail. You pass loads of amazing climbing/play-ground equipment – “lets move onto the next one” seems to ring out from every parent, as you try to convince them there is something even more exciting down the path. 

Our Fav bits

  • The giant communal swing – it really gets up speed. There is also a smaller one for little peeps.
  • Buggy friendly paths – so much easier – if you’ve got a buggy you’ll get it! 
  • The stunning lake by the cafe with its yummy food and hot coffee.
  • The sheer amount of stuff for kids to do – a great energy burner. Sleepy heads in the car guaranteed. 
  • Go Ape has an amazing site here too – but you’ll need to book. 

 

4) Ashford Picturehouse

Elwick Rd, Ashford TN23 1AE

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Suitable for all ages

We love our new cinema! It’s grown up, luxurious and all round gorgeous. With parking right next door (payable) it’s a breeze to visit.

Our Fav bits 

  • The reclining comfy red chairs or why not snuggle up on a sofa?
  • Proper food and drinks – from kids packs to ‘gin and tonic’ popcorn. 
  • Super friendly service with a smile
  • It feels so much nicer than standard cinemas – its so clean, modern and fresh.
  • Mondays are half price! (correct at time of publishing)
  • Kids Club on a Saturday – incredible value at £2.50 a ticket.

 

5) Rare Breeds Centre

Highlands Farm, Woodchurch, Ashford, Kent, TN26 3RJ

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Suitable for all ages

We always start at the petting area in the Children’s barn – Oh my goodness the piglets! Here they can climb in with little piggies, stroke the roaming turkey or snuggle with the fluffy bunnies who chill out on hay bails. Personally I’ve never made it into creepy crawly world – I shudder at the thought – but I hear its great. The rest of the day is filled with animals and packed with stuff for them to climb on and explore. We LOVE this place.

Our Fav bits 

  • The pig race – one word – HILARIOUS.
  • Hill fort is amazing for their imaginations – we’ve spent hours playing knights and dragons here
  • The butterfly house is lovely – last time we didn’t see much but I think it really depends on the season and weather. 
  • My youngest is convinced there is a real troll living in the Mysterious Marsh Venture Trail – he zooms round it. Hidden in a little patch of woodland its quite a challenge for them to get around.
  • The day is never complete without a tractor trailer ride. 
  • Another great cafe here – so much variety and always very fresh.
  • On a hot day take their swim things – there is a lovely little splash pool at the cafe. 

 

6) Riverhill Himalayan Gardens 

Riverhill, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 0RR

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Suitable for ages: Young Children (4-8), Older Children (9-12) and Teenagers (13-18)

A day outside in fresh air and nature with a whimsical vibe. The boys just love to climb, run and well … be boys here! 

Our Fav bits 

  • The gorgeous cafe servicing delicious food and drink – its got a lovely welcoming feel to it.
  • Himalayan Hedge Maze – sit on the grass and chill while the kids go crazy in the maze.
  • The beautiful gardens – something for you to enjoy. 
  • The den trail – perfect for little explorers – kids love to build dens.

 

7) Cyclopark

The Tollgate, Watling Street, Gravesend, Kent, DA11 7NP

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Suitable for ages: Young Children (4-8), Older Children (9-12) and Teenagers (13-18)

Pack the bikes up or hire them – this place is so much fun. There are different trails for different abilities meaning the whole family can enjoy a day on their bikes together. It has a huge car park, cafe and even a really lovely playground

Our Fav bits 

  • The state park is great for the kids scooters – benches are available for you to sit and watch with a cuppa in hand.
  • The 3000 square foot play park – there is a fee (£3 per family) 
  • For little ones they do a Under 8’s Skate session Monday – Friday 10am – 12pm

   Saturday & Sunday  9am – 11am.

  • The Family Route – great to get everyone peddling.

 

8) The Shell Grotto

Grotto Hill, Margate, Kent, CT9 2BU, England

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Suitable for all ages

It’s so magical! A tiny little place with so much mystery and wonder. You will all enjoy this one – it’s only a short visit really (probably about an hour) However there is loads to do in margate so a combined visit would be ideal. 

Our Fav bits 

  • The history – “The story goes that in 1835 Mr James Newlove lowered his young son Joshua into a hole in the ground that had appeared during the digging of a duck pond. Joshua emerged describing tunnels covered with shells.”
  • The 4.6 million carefully placed shells. 4.6million!!!
  • A lovely little shop full of – you guessed it – shells. 

 

9) Groombridge Enchanted Forest

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Groombridge Place, Groombridge, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3 9QG

Suitable for ages: Young Children (4-8) and Older Children (9-12)

This full day out is great for letting them run wild. As you make your way around the sprawling estate they can climb through the trees, play on the pirate ship and you can admire the pretty formal gardens and stunning house.

Our Fav bits 

  • The giant swings – the whole family can squeeze on… perfect memory making. 
  • The canal boat will take you from the gardens all the way to Crusoe’s World, and is oh so pretty. 
  • Mr Zedonk (half zebra, half donkey) is amazing! The kids are fascinated. 
  • As you walk you discover things to explore at every corner. Lots to fire up the kids imagination from the little wooden jail to the fabulous tepees
  • During the holidays there is always lots going on – the performances we’ve seen have been superb.

 

10) Dreamshapes 

Dreamshapes Crafts, Evegate Business Centre, Smeeth, Kent

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Suitable for ages: Babies and Toddlers (0-3), Young Children (4-8) and Older Children (9-12)

I love how crafts calm everyone down! For my crazy boys this has been a really therapeutic place for parties and workshops. Dreamshapes runs some great holiday events such as monster making through to slime workshops – of course not forgetting pottery painting! There is a little area to make yourself a cup of tea, sit back and watch the little darlings create. 

Our Fav bits 

  • The workshops are well organised and really fun – the slime one was a great hit.
  • Sam is really helpful and accommodating – always on hand to help.
  • The little tea making area is a godsend – a really lovely touch
  • The selection of crafts is great, there really is something to suit everyone. 
  • For up to date info on events check their facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/pg/dreamshapescrafts/reviews/?ref=page_internal

Where do you get your tickets? 

My favourite place to get tickets for all sorts of days out in kent plus other areas is ‘Lets All Go’ its a locally run company by a lovely lady. Ive been using them for years. You need to join, but it’s free of charge and simply an email sign up page. I can’t recommend them enough.

VISIT WEBSITE FOR AMAZING DEALS

PS. I’m not affiliated with this company – I just really like them!

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