The school summer holidays are in full swing, and while there’s plenty on to keep the kids entertained, sometimes it can feel like you’ve exhausted every option for a fun-filled family day out.
Luckily, the end of the summer brings the August Bank Holiday weekend, which in turn means plenty of new and exciting one-off events, fun activities and special deals.
It’s basically the perfect excuse to fit in some last minute quality time with the kids before they head back to school.
And if you’re watching the pennies after a family summer holiday, have no fear!
There are a host of budget-friendly events and activities taking place across the UK – and to give you a helping hand, we’ve searched out the best ones.
From exciting obstacle courses to museum events and trips to the zoo, check out our top picks for the weekend – including Bank Holiday Monday itself…
The best Bank Holiday events
1. International Scooter Rally, Isle of Wight
From the 25th-28th August, over 5,000 Vespa and Lambretta scooters will be rounded up for one of the world’s largest scooter rallies – and it’s pretty incredible to watch.
Expect both modern and vintage scooters – all of which make the ultimate social media photo backdrop – not to mention there’ll be plenty of excitement around as bustling crowds cheer on the racers.
Oh, and if you’re still there on Sunday afternoon, it’s definitely worth watching the ride-out towards Sandown.
How much? The event is free to watch but you may want to head down a bit early to bag a good viewing spot. For more information visit visitisleofwight.co.uk
2. Meet the Alpacas, Lake District
Meet the resident herd of alpacas at The Lakes Distillery near Keswick, Cumbria.
It’s ideal for kids who love animals – although little ones need to be aged 6 or over – as you get to get up close to the furry alpacas, take them for a walk, feed them and plenty of other interactions.
It’s great fun for the entire family, and with sessions lasting from 30-60 minutes, you won’t have to give up a whole day if you’re short on time.
How much? Prices from £12 with the Lakes Distillery on notonthehighstreet.com .
3. Hallmark Hotel Little Truckers Afternoon Tea & The Leyland Truck Trail
Often kids-focused events don’t really cater to parents too, but this one’s an exception!
To celebrate Leyland’s 100 years of truck manufacturing heritage, Hallmark Hotel Preston Leyland has created an afternoon tea for little ones, before they head off to search for 13 six-foot trucks on the Leyland truck Trail.
The kids-friendly tea includes miniature sandwiches, cakes and a biscuit, as well as a choice between a soft drink or a glass of milk.
Parents can get involved too with the Grown Ups Truck Trail Afternoon Tea which has fresh baked scones, finger sandwiches, pastries, and a glass of prosecco.
How much? Prices start from £13.50 per adult, £5 per child. For more information visit hallmarkhotels.co.uk .
4. See exotic wildlife at Knowsley Safari , Merseyside
This 5-mile safari drive, the longest in the UK, is home to everything from cheeky baboons to magnificent lions in the drive-through enclosure.
You can expect rhinos, zebra, wildebeest and forest buffalos, as well as camels, wolves and tigers too.
The best part is, while the drive takes about an hour to complete, you can go around as many times as you want – so there’s plenty of opportunity to spot your favourite animals.
How much? Prices start from £17.50 per adult, £13.50 per child – but until 3rd September Knowsley Safari is offering 20% off all online bookings. For more information visit knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk .
5. Visit the Ironbridge Gorge Museums, Shropshire
The museums will be hosting an exciting variety of drop-in family workshops from the technical to the creative, so there’s bound to be something for everyone!
A the Enginuity science and technology centre in Coalbrookdale, where youngsters can try their hand at making paddleboats from craft items, then sail them in the museum’s pool! (£1 extra on top of admission).
Otherwise there’s the Coalport China Museum where budding artists can get inspiration from bottle kilns before painting ceramic money boxes and fridge magnets with the designs – or even paint china flowers. (£1-4 extra on top of admission, depending on chosen ceramic).
How much? Entrance at each one is £8.85 adults, £7.95 60+ and £6.95 children 5-16 years, under 5s free. For more information visit ironbridge.org.uk .
6. Pok é mon Swap Shop, Scotland
Pokémon fans, rejoice! M&D’s is set to host another free swap shop at their Starcast Fun Stage on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th, where you can trade cards and build up your collection and meet fellow fans.
Plus there’ll be a ton of new Pokémon merchandise on offer, as well as three Pokémon Go Pokéstops for fans of the game that took the world by storm last summer.
For more information visit Scotlandsthemepark.com .
7. Forest Jump, Wales
Adrenaline junkies should head to Celtic Manor Resort where they can take to the treetops in Forest Jump, located in woodland on the resort’s grounds.
The high rope course is closed until September, but this bank holiday weekend you can explore the Low Ropes Course with bridge walkways, challenging obstacles and even a ‘Power Fan’ freefall jump.
How much? Prices from £11 per person. Open to those aged over 6 years with minimum height requirement of over 1.4m. For more information visit celtic-manor.com .
8. The world’s largest inflatable obstacle course, London
Aptly named ‘The Beast’, this 272m long extreme bouncy castle has 32 obstacles for you to climb, jump over and hurtle through – so it’s not surprising that the event is limited to those aged 16 or over.
When you’re done with all the excitement, you can recover at host venue Alexandra Palace where there will be plenty of street food, cocktails, craft beers and Prosecco on tap, all to the music chosen by the live DJs.
How much? Tickets cost £30 (plus a £2 booking fee) for one full circuit on The Beast. For more information visit thebeastlondon.com .
Where to find deals and discounts on days out
Whether you’re looking to hit a theme park with the kids or explore a new city on a family break, there are plenty of ways you could save money this bank holiday weekend.
Check out our round-ups of the best offers and discounts below.