For Kids By Kids: KidRated Reviews
With the Easter holidays fast approaching – and even the summer holidays looming large on the horizon – it’s good to be prepared when you want to keep the family busy. And there’s plenty to do right here in the United Kingdom.
Our friends at KidRated have come up with a great selection of suggestions for activities that all the family will enjoy…
The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre
Situated in Roald Dahl’s home village of Great Missenden, this award-winning Museum is aimed at 6 to 12 year olds and their families. It has three fun, fact-filled galleries with lots of interactive displays that kids adore.
Kids will love: dressing up, sitting in a replica chair where Dahl wrote his stories and making up nonsense words.
Adults will love: the biographical aspect of the tour that explores Dahl the writer, inventor, husband and father. Plus Café Twit is not only very reasonable pricewise, but also serves great food as well.
81-83 High Street, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16 0AL, 01494892192
Bletchley Park was the central site for Britain’s codebreakers during World War Two. Restored recently with an £8million Heritage Lottery fund, the huts, house and blocks where the staff worked have been lovingly recreated with maps, typewriters and projected images to transport visitors back in time.
You can also see the famous machines built by the team led by Alan Turing and used to break the German’s Enigma codes.
Kids will love: the state of the art iPod guides which combine video and audio to give them additional information about the site. Plus the interactive exhibits which they can use to crack codes by using ciphers.
Adults will love: The Imitation Exhibition in the main house that includes props and costumes from the Oscar nominated film starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
The Mansion, Bletchley Park, Sherwood Drive, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK3 6EB, 01908 640404
Hat Works Museum – Stockport
Take the family on a journey through the history of Stockport’s world-renowned hatting industry by visiting this popular award winning museum.
Situated on two floors Hat Works combines exhibits, interactivity and 20 fully restored and fully functioning Victorian style machines.
Plus, you’ll be able to explore over 400 hats from all across the world. There are break-out areas for kids to dress up and make their own hats, and a café that’s large, spacious and serves good value meals.
Kids will love: The recreated Hatter’s Cottage.
Adults will love: The friendly staff who are on hand to take visitors on a fact-filled tour.
Hat Works Museum, Wellington Road South, Stockport, SK3 0EU, 0161 4742399
The Roman Baths
Built around Britain’s only hot spring, the Roman Baths is both an extraordinary archaeological site and a first class museum.
The ruins comprise four main features: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman bath house and finds from Roman Bath.
Unbelievably, natural hot, spring water still flows through the bathing complex and temple.
We’ve all studied the Romans and how they lived at some point in our lives so this really is history brought to life, and an unforgettable experience.
Kids will love: The character actors who interact with visitors telling the stories of their lives as Roman citizens.
Adults will love: The impressive collection of jewellery, cooking accessories and gilt head of the goddess Minerva from the temple.
Abbey Church Yard, Bath, BA1 1LZ, 01225 477785
The Doctor Who Experience Cardiff
Hosting one of the largest collections of props and exhibits ever assembled from a television show – visitors to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff will be bowled over by its sheer size and volume.
There are monsters costumes galore, as well as TV sets from throughout the history of the world’s longest running sci-fi series.
Highlights include the entire collection of Doctor’s iconic costumes from 1963 to the present day, and the Tardis set as used by the X Doctor – David Tennant.
Plus you’ll also see all the enemies the Doctor has faced and defeated including Weeping Angels, Cybermen…and of course the iconic Daleks.
Kids will love: The mini adventure they feature in that casts them in the role of Doctor’s helpers as they explore the exhibition.
Adults will love: Taking a trip down memory lane to see the monsters that made them hide behind the sofa.
Discovery Quay, Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF10 4GA, 0208 4333162
Broadway Tower & Nuclear Bunker
Built by Capability Brown, the 65 foot tall Broadway tower lies on top of a Cotswold hill, from which you can see 16 counties. On your way to the turreted rooftop, you can catch exhibitions featuring the work of William Morris, the Arts and Crafts movement, and the Royal Observer Corps.
Fifteen feet below a field on the Broadway Tower estate, you’ll find a fascinating relic of the Cold War – a former monitoring bunker built to study and report the effects of nuclear explosions, and the resulting radioactive fallout. Manned by men and women, they would be expected to spend three weeks below ground during a Nuclear Exchange.
The Cold War Bunker is open at Weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays from Easter.
Kids will love: the chance to operate the manual air raid siren, but be warned…it’s loud!
Adults will love: the beautiful scenery, and the fascinating and relatively recent Cold War history – the bunker was only decommissioned in 1991.
Broadway Tower, Middle Hill, Broadway, Worcestershire, Cotswolds, WR12 7LB, 01386 852390
Longleat – Safari and Adventure Park
Britain’s first Safari Park celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2016, but the house itself is over 450 years old. Not only can you get up close to every imaginable animal from Asia and Africa in the heart of Wiltshire, there’s also an adventure park with miniature trains, a maize and flight simulators.
Whether on foot, inside your car, or onboard a sea lion escorted boat cruising around the long leat (or lake), there’s plenty to see and do.
Kids will love: the monkeys climbing on your car as you drive through their enclosure (watch out for your windscreen wipers though).
Adults will love: The sheer variety of things to do and the beautiful historic house.
Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7NW, 01985 844400
The Beatles Story
Located on Liverpool’s historic waterfront, The Beatles Story is a must see museum for any music mad families. The amazing and surprisingly moving story of how four working class Liverpool lads shot to fame is told brilliantly, with replicas of the famous Cavern Club and Mathew Street.
To get the most out of your visit, we’d recommend using the excellent audio guide – even for the kids. It’s voiced by John Lennon’s sister and is included in the entry price. Leave time to enjoy the kid friendly Discovery Zone at the end and for a look around the brilliant Fab4Store.
There’s a second site at the Pier head showing the animation “Fab4D” set to Beatles music in a state of the art theatre.
Kids will love: The Yellow Submarine – both inside in the museum and the one in the docks round the corner!
Adults will love: The Albert Dock setting – packed with restaurants & other museums, it’s the perfect place to spend a whole day or weekend.
Britannia Vaults, Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AD, 0151 7091963
The National Football Museum
Right in the heart of Manchester City Centre in a cool, curved glass building is The National Football Museum, an absolute must for sport loving families.
Amazingly, admission is free and the museum puts on a lot of events for families such as badge making and free skills sessions – and there’s also a good discovery zone for the under 5’s with colouring in and games.
We’d recommend paying for a few Football Plus+ credits to take part in some of the excellent interactive games. There’s a great shop and a café and the museum is in easy walking distance of lots of other Manchester attractions – plus you could even take in a match at one of the many North West stadiums while you’re in town.
Kids will love: challenging themselves in the Football Plus+ Penalty Shoot Out and Pass Master.
Adults will love: lifting the trophies and finding out about the history of the Beautiful Game.
Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4 3BG, 0161 6058200
Anfield Stadium Tour
Obviously a real treat for Liverpool fans – but anyone with an appreciation of this famous club will enjoy this tour. You’ll get to see all the classic landmarks such as the Shankly Statue and Paisley Gates – and you’ll be shown round the Centenary Stand and into an Executive Box.
Combine it with a trip to The Beatles Story for a great day out in Liverpool.
Kids will love: Getting to walk round the dressing rooms, touching the famous This Is Anfield sign and pretending to answer questions in the Press Room
Adults will love: Realising you don’t have to be a Liverpool FC fan to be transported back to your childhood – when The Reds reigned supreme both at home and abroad.
Anfield Road, Liverpool, L4 0TH, 0151 2606677