If you’re planning a family day out over the August Bank Holiday then you’ve come to the right place! I’ve gathered together a selection of 20 fantastic August Bank Holiday family events in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire to suit all budgets, from free days out like a visit to St Albans Museum + Gallery to see the Barbara Hepworth Exhibition before it closes in September, a visit to the Lee Valley Sculpture Trail or kite flying on Dunstable Downs… to treat days out like a visit to Paradise Wildlife Park’s World of Dinosaurs or ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, as well as plenty of ideas in-between.
Whatever you decide to do, I hope that you enjoy the August Bank Holiday events in the three counties!
The weather can change and so can the details of events, so please check directly with the venue or organisers, BEFORE you travel.
Rye Road, Stansted Abbotts, Hertfordshire, SG12 8JS
Throughout August visit RSPB Rye Meads between 10am-4pm and take part in the self-guided trail where you can make your own treasure chest, explore the reserve, collect ‘treasures’, walk the plank, see the mysterious ‘blue flash’, build a crow’s nest and even enter the photo competition by taking a photo in the Sea Raven. A trail sheet is £2 per child. Parking is £4 for non-RSPB members (there is no cash machine and there are no card facilities on site, so make sure you take cash and small change for parking, drinks and ice creams). Visit the website for more information.
Market Place, St Peter’s Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 5DJ
Visit the St Albans Museum + Gallery for one of the last chances to see the latest major exhibition, Barbara Hepworth: artist in society 1948-53, before it closes on Sunday 8th September 2019. Explore a short but significant period in the life of one of Britain’s most celebrated artists. This poignant exhibition introduces sculptures, drawings and archival material, reuniting works that have not been seen together since they were first created. Entrance is free. Visit the website for more information.
Van Hage Great Amwell – Summer Circus
Van Hage Great Amwell, Pepper Hill, Hertfordshire, SG12 9RP
Every year we look forward to August Bank Holiday family events like the return of the circus to Van Hage Great Amwell! Enjoy the new acts at the John Lawson’s Circus for 2019 from Saturday 17th to Monday 26th August 2019, with shows at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Tickets are £6.50 per person and children 2 years and under go free but must sit on an adult’s knee (booking fees apply). Visit the website to book tickets or for more information.
Benington Lordship Gardens, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG2 7BS
On Saturday 24th, Sunday 25th and Monday 26th August 2019, enjoy the fun at Benington Chilli Festival 10am-5pm. Check out over 60 pitches of fantastic independent chilli traders with chutneys, sauces, pickles, cheese and even chocolate! There will be face painting and sand art for the children! Visit the website 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. It gets our seal of approval as one of the best free August Bank Holiday family days out, just as long as you have the weather for it. Download a map and follow the trail which is great for scooters, trikes, bikes and buggies. You can also visit the Terrace Bar and Café or the Finish Line Café at the Lee Valley White Water Centre for a drink and a snack. Take a look at our visit to the Lee Valley Sculpture Trail for some tips on making the most of your visit.
St Albans South Signal Box, Ridgmont Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 3AJ
St Albans South Signal Box Open Day takes place on Sunday 25th August 2018, 2-5pm. Signalling demonstrations run continuously on the operating floor and there are full size signals and other exhibits in the garden. Light refreshments also available. Visit the website for more information.
Willen Lake, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DJ
Enjoy a session on the Aqua Parcs inflatable obstacle course at Willen Lake in Milton Keynes. Great for children aged 8 years + who are looking for an active, fun adventure on the water. You must be able to swim 25 metres unaided to take part. Take a look at my review for top tips and what to take with you.
Gorelands Lane, Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, HP8 4AB
Visit the Chiltern Open Air Museum on Sunday 25th and Monday 26th August 2019 this August Bank Holiday. There are over 30 historic buildings at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, each of them was either the workplace or home of ordinary people from the Chilterns area. Over the Bank Holiday weekend a number of the historic buildings will be inhabited by costumed re-enactors who will be telling and showing visitors what life would have been like for past inhabitants. All activities are outdoors and are subject to change and weather. Visit the website for more information.
Knebworth Classic Motor Show
Knebworth, Hertfordshire, SG1 2AX
On Sunday 25th and Monday 26th August 2019, 10am to 5pm (last entry 4pm), visit Knebworth Classic Motor Show and marvel at the huge number of classic cars on display. Vehicles include saloons, sports, American, commercial and military, as well as classic motorcycles. A fantastic day out for the family as the Gardens, Dinosaur Trail, Park and Adventure Playground ticket includes the Classic Motor Show. Visit the website to book tickets or for more information.
Elbrook Meadow, Elbrook Lane, Ashwell, Hertfordshire, SG7 5NE
On Monday 26th August 2019, 8.30am-5pm, visit the Ashwell Show and experience a country show that’s full of fun for the whole family. Hawkeye Falconry UK will be putting on an amazing display. See Joseph’s Amazing Camels and Forest School is back with mud painting, clay creatures, stick men or the chance to make a bow and arrow. All the Ashwell Show favourites will be there too: the horse show, dog show, birds of prey demonstrations, vintage cars, tractors, craft tent and shopping stands. For families there’s hours of fun with face painting, children’s craft tent, children’s entertainer, mini farm and pony rides. When it comes to food, there’s a huge menu on offer, plus a G&T and prosecco bar and beer tent. Advance tickets available at a 20% discount, under 5’s are free, visit the website for more information.
Audley End Miniature Railway, Audley End, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4JB
Visit Audley End Miniature Railway throughout August and take one of the miniature trains through the woods, picnic on the grass and enjoy the enchanted Fairy and Elf Walk! There’s also crafts, storytelling and facepainting. Audley End Miniature Railway is perfect for a fine day but there isn’t a lot of shelter, so aim for a dry day if you can. Book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Visit the website to book tickets or for more information.
Royal Gunpowder Mills, Beaulieu Drive, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1JY
Visit Royal Gunpowder Mills from Sunday 25th to Wednesday 28th August 2019 for Professor Nitrate’s Test Zone! There’s a fantastic mix of science and fun throughout each day. Visit the website to book tickets or for detailed information about this event.
Welwyn Roman Baths, Welwyn Bypass, Hertfordshire, AL6 9FG
On Monday 26th August 2019, 2pm to 4pm, come along to Welwyn Roman Baths, learn about the Romans and practise your weaving skills to make a fabric wall-hanging! No booking required but come at the start of the session as places are limited and it is first come, first served. Suitable for children aged 4 years old and above. This activity session is £3.50 per child and children must be accompanied by an adult at all times (free admission for one adult with each child taking part in a paid activity). Visit the website for more information.
Paradise Wildlife Park, White Stubbs Lane, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, EN10 7QA
Visit Paradise Wildlife Park and discover the NEW World of Dinosaurs! You’ll find amazing animatronic dinosaurs in the woods, see them moving and hear them roaring! Once you have explored the World of Dinosaurs, then you can venture into Paradise Wildlife Park, meet some amazing animals and find out how you can help to ensure they don’t become extinct. Take a look at my review for some top tips for your visit or go to the website to book your tickets or for more information.
Silsoe, Bedfordshire, MK45 4HR
Visit Wrest Park for the August Bank Holiday weekend and enjoy music in stunning surroundings. Whether you’re picnicking with friends, or taking a stroll through the grounds, enjoy the fantastic Bank Holiday bands on Sunday 25th and Monday 26th August 2019, 12noon-4pm. Make the most of the outdoor space, grab an activity pack and audio trail designed for kids and head out to explore the grounds, then enjoy the fantastic play area which includes its very own pavilion to climb and a zip wire. Visit the website for more information.
St Albans Vegan Fair
Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre, Holywell Hill, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 2DL
On Monday 26th August 2019, 10am to 4pm, visit Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre for the St Albans Vegan Fair. There will be over 70 stalls selling a huge variety of vegan products, such as food and beverages, cosmetics, ethical clothing, jewellery and accessories, items for children, recipe books and more. Tickets on the door will cost £3 (children 12 years old and under go free). Visit the website for more information.
Dunstable Downs, Whipsnade, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 2GY
Dunstable Downs is a stunning area of outstanding natural beauty managed by the National Trust. The views are spectacular, there’s woodland to explore and it’s the perfect place to fly a kite (take your own, or there’s a great selection of kites in the shop). There’s also a café in the Chilterns Gateway Centre. Take a look at our visit to Dunstable Downs.
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 0JH
Waddesdon Manor is a very impressive 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)! If you want to treat yourselves, book afternoon tea in the Manor restaurant. Visit the website 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 have fun in the workshops inspired by the Codebreakers, or pick up a trail and explore the grounds. Family activities are included in the admission price and your ticket includes free unlimited entry to Bletchley Park for a year. Visit the website to book tickets or for more information.
Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 2LF
This summer, spend the day at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo discovering familiar and not-so-familiar animals, find out about their lives and the conservation work that goes on to protect the world’s wildlife for generations to come. Visit the new aquarium, the UK’s first Aquarium dedicated to conserving the world’s most endangered freshwater fish. See the elephant house, the penguins, giraffes, lions, cheetahs, hippos and much 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. If all that wasn’t enough, then you can also play in the Hullabazoo Adventure Play and Indoor Play Centre. Take a look at my review of the new aquarium.
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. Visit the website for more information.
Details of events are correct at the time of publishing.
Please check the details of an event and opening times directly with the venue or organisers, before you travel.