Summer is here! You won’t be stuck for ideas for what to do with the kids with this bumper selection of 50 things to do in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Here you will find inspiration for family days out, parks and nature reserves to explore and children’s farms.
Please ensure that you follow the latest Government guidelines and social distancing rules. Respect the local area and the countryside. Take litter home, park responsibly and if somewhere is busy on arrival then consider leaving and returning at a later date.
Always check updated opening hours, ticketing information and protocols direct with venues before setting off as things may have changed since this post was published.
There are even more ideas on my blog gathering together some of the best free and cheap days out in Herts Beds and Bucks and a huge list of Country Parks in and near St Albans if you want to explore the countryside.
This Summer local charities need your help more than ever. St Albans Postboxes are back from Thursday 23rd July 2020, to help you enjoy a unique summer flower trail, whilst raising money for St Albans & District Foodbank and Open Door. Organised by local business Atlas Translations and Crochet Creative Candy Stuart, the St Albans Postboxes yarnbombs have received huge support from the community in the past and the team behind the postbox toppers are hopeful for a summer of fun and fundraising.
Family Days Out
Willows Farm Village, Coursers Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL4 0PF
Go along and enjoy the Willows Farm Summer Spectacular. Enjoy the Sheep Racing and live shows with Peter Rabbit and friends. Meet the farm animals, have an adventure in the Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground and take a ride on Tristan the Runaway Tractor. Don’t forget to visit their website to book tickets in advance.
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 2LF
Spend a day at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo discovering lots of different animals and finding out about their lives and conservation. Visit the elephant house, the penguins, see the giraffe, the lions, cheetahs, hippos and more, all in the stunning setting of the Chilterns. There are daily animal shows and you can ride the Jumbo Express steam engine through the zoo. Don’t forget to visit their website to book tickets in advance.
Cotton End Road, Wilstead, Bedfordshire, MK45 3DT
At Herrings Green Farm you can view some of the farm animals including guinea pigs, alpacas, chickens and even wallaby! You will also receive your own bag of animal food so you can feed some of the animals during your visit. Once you have spent an hour on the farm you can then go and spend an hour with the fantastic birds of prey. Visits MUST be booked in advance. Visit the website to book tickets and for more information.
Livingstone Drive, Newlands, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK15 0DT
Gullivers Land Theme Park in Milton Keynes is fantastic fun for families with children aged 2 to 13 years old. With over 70 rides and attractions there is something for everyone. Tickets must be pre-booked. Visit the website to book tickets or for more information.
Audley End Miniature Railway, Audley End, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4JB
Visit Audley End Miniature Railway for the Summer Festival! Enjoy a magical day and take one of the trains into the woods, enjoy the fairy and elf walk, as well as crafts and story telling. Tickets must be pre-booked. Visit the website to book your tickets.
Knebworth House, Knebworth, Hertfordshire, SG1 2AX
Visit Knebworth House and enjoy the dinosaur trail, 28 acres of formal gardens and take a picnic to enjoy in the idyllic setting. Visit the website to book your tickets in advance.
Gorelands Lane, Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire HP8 4AB
Chiltern Open Air Museum has an amazing collection of historic buildings, a working traditional farm and holds living history events. With 45 acres to run around in and explore children can have fun enjoying the gardens and grounds. Tickets must be booked in advance. Visit the website for more information.
Dunstable Downs, Whipsnade, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 2GY
Dunstable Downs is an area of outstanding natural beauty with views that stretch for miles and plenty of open space. It is the perfect place to fly a kite, have a picnic and enjoy a day in the fresh air. The National Trust shop sells kites if you don’t have one to hand. Car parking is £3.50 if you aren’t a member of the National Trust so make sure you take the correct change for the machines. Visit the website for the latest information on visiting.
Marlow Park, Grafham, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE28 0BH
Rumble Live is a laser tag live gaming experience for everyone from 8 years old and above. Book your Rumble Live adventure online; use the code MUMMYSPHERE10 for 10% off Rumble Live when you book and play before the end of August 2020. Visit the website to book your tickets in advance or for more information.
Sherwood Drive, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK3 6EB
Bletchley Park, once the top secret home of the World War Two Codebreakers, now opens its doors. Explore this amazing place, its history and its vital importance in World War Two. There are activities, challenges and puzzles you can solve with the whole family. Children can pick up a trail and explore the grounds. Timed entry slots are available to book on the website. Visit the website to book tickets or for more information.
Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, SG10 6EE
At Henry Moore Studios and Gardens you can explore over 60 acres of grounds and discover works by Henry Moore in the landscape of his family home. Open Wednesdays to Sunday (and Bank Holidays) 11am to 5pm during the Summer all tickets must be booked in advance. Visit the website to book tickets or for more information.
Akeman Street, Tring, Hertfordshire, HP23 6AP
The Tring Natural History Museum re-opens on Wednesday 5th August 2020. This museum is home to collections of stuffed fish, birds, reptiles and mammals including a polar bear, elephants and a rhinocerous. The museum is quite traditional and does not have many ‘hands-on’ experiences but it is a unique way for even very young children to get close to an enormous range of animals. The museum is open 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday but on Sundays it is only open 2pm to 5pm. Tickets must be booked in advance. Visit the website to book your tickets.
Take a look at our visit to the Natural History Museum at Tring, pre-Covid-19 for an idea of what to expect, however, please remember that this visit was before social distancing rules came into force.
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 0JH
Waddesdon Manor is a very impressive mansion house with vast, beautiful gardens. Children can play in the woodland playground, discover the magical Aviary, explore the gardens and then enjoy a relaxed picnic (hopefully in the sunshine)! Visitors must pre-book tickets. Visit the website to book your tickets or for more information.
Silsoe, Bedfordshire, MK45 4HR
Visit Wrest Park for the stunning gardens, sweeping countryside views and idyllic woodland walks. There’s over 90 acres to explore. Enjoy a day out in the fresh air. Tickets must be booked in advance. Visit the website to book your tickets or for more information.
Ivinghoe Beacon National Trust Car Park, Beacon Road, Nr Ivinghoe, Bedfordshire
Discover the beauty and rich natural environment of the chalk hills at Ivinghoe Beacon. You can enjoy stunning views and keep your eyes peeled for the chalk Whipsnade Lion, who looks out over the Ivinghoe Hills. This adventure in the countryside is only a 10 minute drive from the National Trust Ashridge Estate, which offers further points of interest. The ground at Ivinghoe Beacon is rugged, so wear sturdy shoes or wellies, depending on the time of year. Buggies are not recommended for this particular walk.
If you’d like to know more then take a look at our visit to Ivinghoe Beacon, pre-Covid-19 for an idea of what to expect, however, please remember that this visit was before social distancing rules came into force.
George’s Gate, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 5HX
Hatfield House is a stunning Jacobean mansion, surrounded by beautiful gardens and acres of park land. You can spend the day exploring the gardens and picnic in the park, or follow the woodland trails and visit the folly or a walk along the River Lee. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Visit the website to book tickets or for more information.
Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, HP9 2PL
Beckonscot Model Village and Railway is a unique miniature world, complete with a miniature railway. You can walk through the tiny landscape and admire more than 200 buildings and even more inhabitants, animals and vehicles. At busy times there is a little train that you can ride on, for an extra charge and there is also a playground for younger children. The model village is quite compact and best for children 6 years and under. Tickets must be booked in advance. Visit the website to book tickets or for more information.
Wendover Woods, Wendover, Buckinghamshire, HP22 5NQ
Enjoy a walk in the woods at Wendover Woods. At the time of publication the play areas and play trail have not re-opened and there are limited facilities available. Visit the website for the latest information on visiting.
Woburn Park, Bedfordshire, MK17 9QN
A visit to Woburn Safari Park will be packed with over 80 different species including lions and tigers. Enjoy the Road Safari and drive through animal reserves. Tickets must be booked in advance. Visit the website to book your tickets or for more information.
Lee Valley White Water Centre, Station Road, Waltham Cross, EN9 1AB
The Lee Valley Sculpture Trail takes you on a circular route around the River Lee Country Park, which is criss-crossed with footpaths and waterways. Download a map and follow the trail which is great for scooters, trikes, bikes and buggies. At the time of publication the Terrace Bar and Café at the Lee Valley White Water Centre remains closed.
If you’d like to know more then take a look at our visit to the Lee Valley Sculpture Trail, pre-Covid-19 for an idea of what to expect, however, please remember that this visit was before social distancing rules came into force. Please check details directly before travelling.
Stockwood Discovery Centre, Stockwood Park, London Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 4LX
Stockwood Discovery Centre re-opens on Thursday 6th August 2020. Spend some time exploring the gardens, enjoy an ice cream at the garden cafe and you can take a picnic to enjoy on the grass. Visit the website for more information on re-opening.
Rowley Lane, Arkley, Hertfordshire, EN5 3HW
You can enjoy Dinosaur Safari Adventure Golf surrounded by 9 dinosaurs from the Jurassic period, waterfalls, and tropical palm trees. Great fun, especially for dinosaur fans. Book your tickets in advance. Visit the website to book your tickets or for more information.
Bushey Mill Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD24 7AB
Play Topgolf or go along and enjoy the Adventure Golf putting course. Fun for all the family. Visit the website to find out how TopGolf are adapting to conform with current social distancing guidelines.
intu Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 2UB
Rock Up Watford re-opens on Saturday 25th July 2020. Have you tried the indoor climbing adventure at Rock Up Watford? Anyone can climb from 4 years old upwards, so parents and grandparents can watch and encourage or join in and have a go. Visit the website to find out how Rock Up Watford are implementing social distancing guidelines and to book your tickets in advance.
Parks and Nature Reserves
St Michael’s Street, S Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 4SW
Enjoy acres of picturesque grassland where you can have a picnic, or treat yourself to an ice cream at the Inn on the Park cafe. Please ensure that you take all your litter home with you. Visit the website for more information.
High Street, Sandridge, Hertfordshire, AL4 9DQ
Drive through Sandridge Village from St Albans and on the left you will see a sign for Heartwood Forest. From the car park walk up the hill on the bridleway and you will eventually come to Langley Wood. This ancient forest has a fantastic den building area but do take care to stay to the paths, to protect the wild flowers in the wood. Visit the website for more information.
Radlett Lane, Hertfordshire, WD7 9DW
At Shenley Park you can walk along the paths through the orchard or visit the walled gardens 12-4pm. Visit the website for more information.
Aldenham Road, Elstree, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 3BA
Explore the Winnie the Pooh trail, play pooh sticks or visit the farm. Enjoy a walk along the natural trail or around the lake and take a picnic to enjoy whilst you explore the countryside. Visit the website for more information.
Moneybury Hill, Ringshall, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 1LT
Enjoy the ancient woodland and the rolling chalk downlands of the Chiltern Hills. Hunt for butterflies, discover ancient trees or go for a stroll along Duncombe Terrace. Visit the website for more information.
St Leonards Road, Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, HP22 5NF
Explore the woodland, build a den, or try Go Ape! Tree Top Adventure, there are also picnic spots and a small cafe to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat. Visit the website for more information.
Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, SG12 8JS
Just past Rye House you will find RSPB Rye Meads tucked into a seemingly industrial landscape. Throughout the Summer you can go along and enjoy a walk in the countryside and discover the plants and animals on the reserve. Pack a picnic and binoculars, just in case you are lucky enough to spot a kingfisher! Visit the website for more information.
Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 2DL
The Lodge Nature Reserve has 5 miles of trails to explore. Opening hours are limited this summer. Visit the website for more information.
Old Linslade Road, Heath and Reach, Bedfordshire, LU7 0EB
Rushmere Country Park is a great place for a family walk in the fresh air. You can explore the woods and the sculptures along the trails and take a picnic. Visit the website for the latest information on opening.
College Lake Visitor Centre, Upper Icknield Way, nr Tring, Buckinghamshire, HP23 5QG
College Lake is a beautiful nature reserve created on the site of an old chalk quarry and now managed by Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust. There are a range of different habitats at College Lake including marsh, chalk grasslands, meadows and orchards. Walk around the lake, bring some binoculars and do a spot of bird-watching. Visit the website for the latest information on opening.
Woodside Road, Aley Green, Luton, LU1 4DG
At Woodside Animal Farm you will find lots of animals at this small, quaint children’s farm. Tickets must be booked in advance. Visit the website for more information.
Wilbury Road, Letchworth, Hertfordshire, SG6 4JN
Standalone Farm re-opens on 1st August 2020. You will see all the farm favourites at Standalone Farm from sheep to cows, goats to pigs, ducks to chickens and ponies too. Tickets must be booked in advance. Visit the website for more information.
Stanbridge Road, Bedford, LU7 9JH
Mead Open Farm in Bedfordshire is full of opportunities for fun, play and learning. Tickets must be booked in advance. Visit the website for more information.
Langleybury Lane, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, WD4 8RW
Langleybury Children’s Farm is run by volunteers and allows children to get closer to lots of animals including sheep, pigs, goats and geese. Please note that previously they did not take cards at the farm, so make sure you have cash when you visit as it is not clear if this is still the case. Tickets must be booked in advance. Visit the website for more information.
Ardeley, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG2 7AH
A relaxed and less commercial farm, Church Farm is a not-for-profit community farm. Explore the farm trail, see cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens. Tickets must be booked in advance. Visit the website for more information.
Details are correct at the time of publishing.
Please check details with the venue or event before you travel.