Things to Do This Summer With The Kids in Kent!
It's the summer holidays at last and after the last couple of years we've had and a slight upturn in the weather, there's no better time to start getting out into the great countryside around Kent! Here are some of the great attractions and events on in the region for entertaining your little ones this summer.
Cobtree Manor Park
Cobtree Manor Park has over 50 acres of parkland featuring a diverse and maturing collection of trees and shrubs. It is part open country park, part woodland and part parkland garden all set on a sloping hillside with views of the North Downs.
It is the old site of Maidstone Zoo, which housed a private collection of Sir Garrad’s exotic animals , open to the public from 1934 to it’s closure in 1959. Remnants of the past can still be spotted, with an old cattle shelter, sheep wash and Elephant House still remaining.
In keeping with its history, a large zoo themed fort and play area keep children entertained with climbing, rope bridges and slides. There are swings for toddlers and a disabled accessible swing. A dragon swing and a double zip wire are situated in the lower part of the park. The park is s a great place for natural play.
The park contains a number of natural habitats, home to several species of mammals including rabbits, moles, squirrels, badgers and foxes as well as small mammals such as shrews. Bats have been seen on the edge of the park. There are plenty of birds to discover and listen out for the woodpeckers in the woods. Insects including dragonflies and butterflies can be seen in the spring and summer months, along with amphibians in the pond.
Visitors never forget their first breath-taking vision of Leeds Castle in Kent, rising majestically from the moat as it has done since the 12th Century.
With 500 acres of beautiful parkland and formal gardens, daily events and year round attractions, it’s not just the glorious history of Leeds Castle that will ensure you want to come back time and time again. Leeds Castle has been a Norman stronghold; the private property of six of England’s medieval queens; a palace used by Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon; a Jacobean country house; a Georgian mansion and an elegant early 20th century retreat.
There are many attractions to see at Leeds Castle from the beautiful English cottage style Culpeper Garden to the Lady Baillie Mediterranean Garden, maze and grotto, falconry displays, shops, children’s’ playgrounds and much more.
Hever Castle ad Gardens
Discover centuries of history at the childhood home of Anne Boleyn.
Explore the splendid Castle rooms containing fine furniture, tapestries, antiques, an important collection of Tudor paintings and two prayer books inscribed and signed by Anne Boleyn herself.
Enjoy the magnificent award-winning gardens set in 125 acres of glorious grounds. Marvel at the Pompeian wall and classical statuary in the Italian Garden; admire the giant topiary chess set and inhale the fragrance of over 4,000 roses in the quintessential English Rose Garden.
Kids can let off steam in the adventure playground, while visitors of all ages enjoy the challenge of finding their way through the Water Maze* and the 100 year old Yew Maze. There’s a fascinating collection of Miniature Model Houses, a boating* Lake, a Military Museum and a variety of shops and restaurants.
Howletss Wild Animal Park
Howletts, near Canterbury, offers a wild day out like no other!
Kent’s most successful animal park and consistently a favourite with Trip Advisor reviews. Enjoy park life as you explore wooded walkways and paths to discover some of the world’s most rare and endangered species, including gorillas, primates, big cats, small cats, giant anteaters and more.
Bring your herd to see their herd of African elephants – the largest herd in the UK and later, show off your skills on the Treetop Challenge or Animal Adventure Challenge.
Howletts is all about the welfare and protection of endangered species, so if you care about animals, come and see why they are world leaders in conservation.
Mote Park is a huge green space in the heart of Maidstone covering over 450 acres. It has been voted one of the top 3 parks in the UK in the People’s Choice for their favourite Green Flag Park.
An award-winning park.
In 2020, Mote Park was voted one of the top 3 parks in the UK in the “People’s Choice” for their Favourite Green Flag Park. It includes natural features such as grassland, woodland, rivers and a 30 acre lake over the over 450 acres.
Mote Park was originally the main water source for a Roman villa. Then, in later years, Mote Park House became a country estate and the owners planted and developed the park around their home. The original mansion house was demolished in 1793 and rebuilt by 1800. At this time, the River Len was also dammed to form the lake and internal roads were added, along with walls, and a boathouse.
The large children’s play area was re-built in 2019 and has plenty of exciting activities to suit all ages. It is situated near the main car park. There is also another small play area near the School Lane entrance. For those looking for a thrill seeking experience, Mote Park Outdoor Adventure complete with high ropes, climbing wall, mini golf and Segways adds the adrenaline rush.
The park is perfect for walking and cycling with lots of paths and trails to follow. For the more adventurous, there is a BMX track. The jumps and spins add an extra dimension and the track offers a great challenge for those bringing their bikes to the park.
Canterbury Roman Museum
Canterbury Roman Museum’s story began on what appeared to be a rather unremarkable day in 1868. When workmen, digging trenches for a new drainage system, reached eight feet below street level they unwittingly unearthed a beautifully preserved Roman floor mosaic. Fast-forward to the aftermath of the Second World War, when excavations began under the cellars of shops destroyed by bombing, and another startling discovery was made. Archaeologists had just revealed an under-floor heating system, wall paintings, and a dazzling mosaic corridor The site was no longer an isolated floor mosaic, but the remains of a very large, and no doubt very costly, Roman Town House. Over time a museum arose to encompass the remains and preserve what is now known to be one of the UK’s only remaining in situ Roman pavement mosaics and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Canterbury Roman Museum is Kent’s only Roman Museum; providing a fascinating and family-friendly insight into life in Roman Britain. Visitors can explore Canterbury’s history, wander through the marketplace and discover hidden treasures as they step back, and down, to the streets of Roman Canterbury.
Another bonus is that children's admission is free this Summer! Check their website for more details
Wingham Wildlife Park
Enjoy a walk on the wild side at Wingham Wildlife Park. Get unrivalled close access to some of their animals with free roaming birds & wallabies, walk through enclosures, and experience hands-on encounters where you can meet reptiles, insects and hand reared mammals.
See the park’s jumping Cuban Crocodile and the only Penguins in a Kent zoo – watch the Penguins under water too. Wingham’s 27 acre park currently houses over 166 different species ranging from Parrots, Swans, Pelicans and Birds of Prey through to Primates, Meerkats, Raccoons, Pigs, Porcupines and Bats. The reptile house also allows you to face your fears with Spiders, Scorpions, Lizards, Crocodiles, Frogs and Snakes.
As well as a perfect family day out (including a café and huge play area) they also cater for special experience days including Keeper For the Day, Meerkat Experiences and Penguin & Lemur encounters, see the park’s website for more details.
Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Miniature Railway
Kent’s ‘Mainline in Miniature’, captivating visitors of all ages since 1927.
For the past nine decades, the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway has been an integral part of the landscape of the Romney Marsh, creating lasting memories for it’s visitors – winding through the pastures against a backdrop where the sky is always three-quarters of the landscape.
The railway’s world famous one-third full size steam and diesel locomotives power their way along the 13.5 miles of track, from the Cinque port town of Hythe, terminating in Dungeness – a National Nature Reserve and one of the largest shingle landscapes in the world.
Wildwood have over 200 native animals set in 40 acres of beautiful ancient woodland. See Wolves, Arctic Foxes, Bears, Bison, Deer, Otters, Wild Boar, Lynx, Wild Horses, Badgers, Beavers and more as you make your way around the park.
Let your children go wild in their amazing adventure playground with Kent’s largest drop slide, tube slide, wild fort, tree-top towers and more!
Check out the Wildwood website for more information on events, experiences, conservation courses and more.
Diggerland is where children and adults alike can ride, drive and operate REAL diggers, dumpers and other full- size construction machinery.
Fun for all ages (subject to height restrictions), Diggerland with its 20 different rides and drives and an array of additional activities is the ideal theme park for small to large groups looking for something exciting and truly unique.
Get to grips with real JCBs and Komatsu excavators, take a head-reeling turn or two on Spindizzy, rise to lofty heights and enjoy the views on the Skyshuttle, enjoy an off-road ride on the Groundshuttle, or have a go on the Dodgems and Go-Karts! There are indoor and outdoor play areas, coin operated rides and much more where younger visitors can let off steam while their parents can just sit back, relax and watch the fun… or join in!
All parks boast a Diggerland Goodie Store where visitors can mark their day with a memorable souvenir as well as buy gifts, toys and other merchandise, and there are cafeterias that offer a wide selection of hot and cold snacks, meals and beverages.
The Diggerland parks have lots to offer for all the family. The parks are aimed at children between 4 and 14 years of age, however we have many visitors of all ages enjoying a great day out!
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