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 the new St Albans Museum + Gallery, 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.
So far this summer has been full of sunshine, so fingers-crossed it lasts, so we can enjoy blue skies this August Bank Holiday.
The weather can change and so can the details of events, so please check directly with the venue or organisers, BEFORE you travel.
Market Place, St Peter’s Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 5DJ
The new St Albans Museum + Gallery opened its doors to the public in June 2018. Enjoy a range of exhibitions this August Bank Holiday and you can also explore the historic Cells and the old Courtroom. Pick up the FREE family activity trail and explore the historic buildings in St Albans! There’s even a café which offers drinks, snacks and delicious lunches. Take a look at our visit to St Albans Museum + Gallery for some top tips on making the most of your visit. Visit the St Albans Museum + Gallery on Saturday 25th August 2018, 11.30am-12.30pm and again 3-4pm, as Freshwater Theatre run an immersive workshop introducing children to a host of pioneering women. With a range of time periods, locations and histories to explore, this session is bound to delight and inspire. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. This activity is free and all children must be accompanied by an adult. 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 2018 from Saturday 18th to Monday 27th August 2018, 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. Visit the website to book tickets or for more information.
Benington Lordship Gardens, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG2 7BS
On Saturday 25th, Sunday 26th and Monday 27th August 2018, 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 events, 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 26th 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.
Chiltern Open Air Museum – Medieval Warbow
Chiltern Open Air Museum, Gorelands Lane, Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, HP8 4AB
Visit the Chiltern Open Air Museum on Sunday 26th and Monday 27th August 2018, and see the Free Company Aquitaine demonstrating the art and skill of the medieval warbow. Watch demonstrations of archery, see and learn about the arming of the knight and talk to the blacksmith/armourer, bowyer, spinster and surgeon about the medieval way of life. Come and enjoy this family friendly living history event this August Bank Holiday. All activities are subject to change and weather, so check the details before you travel. Visit the website for more information.
Knebworth House, Knebworth, Hertfordshire, SG1 2AX
On Sunday 26th and Monday 27th August 2018, 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 27th August 2018, 8.30am-5pm, visit the Ashwell Show and experience a country show that’s full of fun for the whole family. The Spectacular Knights of the Crusades will be centre stage with their energetic, crowd-pleasing show that’s steeped in history and high in adrenalin with pyrotechnics and audience participation a-plenty. Plus the Essex Dog Display Team will be putting on an amazing spectacle. This year the Ashwell Show will play host to a forest school – for little ones there will be a mud kitchen and mud painting and for older children there will be the chance to make a headdress, clay creatures, stick men or 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 free face painting, free children’s craft tent, children’s entertainer, mini farm, pony rides and a reptile tent. When it comes to food, there’s a huge menu on offer, plus a prosecco bar and beer tent. Advance tickets available at a 20% discount, visit the website for more information.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 steam or diesel engines through the Audley End Estate Woodland, picnic on the grass and enjoy a walk through the enchanted Fairy and Elf Walk! 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 – Summer of Science
Royal Gunpowder Mills, Beaulieu Drive, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1JY
Visit Royal Gunpowder Mills from Sunday 26th to Wednesday 29th August 2018 for Professor Nitrate’s Summer of Science! 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.
Market Place, St Peter’s Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 5DJ
Visit the St Albans Museum + Gallery on Monday 27th August 2018, 2-4pm, and take part in a self-guided craft session inspired by the work of the pioneering women of St Albans, past and present. The perfect way to keep the whole family happy, there free activities are suitable for children of all ages. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please note that at busy times you may be asked to wait a short while before taking part. This activity is free and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Visit the website for more information.
Welwyn Roman Baths, Welwyn Bypass, Hertfordshire, AL6 9FG
On Monday 27th August 2018, 2pm to 4pm, come along to Welwyn Roman Baths, learn about how Romans painted onto wet plaster to create frescos in their houses and make your own using clay and paints! 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, otherwise admission is £3.50 per adult). 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 Bank Holiday weekend and enjoy music in the stunning surroundings of Wrest Park. Whether you are picnicking with friends, or taking a stroll through the grounds, enjoy the fantastic Bank Holiday bands on Sunday 26th and Monday 27th August 2018, 12noon to 4pm. Make the most of the outdoor space, grab an activity backpack 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.
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.
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. If all that wasn’t enough then you can also play in the Hullabazoo Adventure Play and Indoor Play Centre.
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.