Best days out with grandchildren in 2017

Gillian Rowe / 31 May 2017

From airshows to woodland adventures and tea parties to hot air balloons, ideas for memorable days out with the grandchildren.

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The Royal Bath and West Show

Shepton Mallet, Somerset, 31 May – June 3

There are some fabulous rural shows across the UK for a full day’s entertainment for all the family. A top choice is the Royal Bath & West Show, which has more than 4,500 livestock, sheep shearing, and show jumping. It also hosts the British Cheese Awards and the British Cider Championships – so the grown-ups can enjoy a bit of me-time, too!

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Blockbuster films

If it’s raining, there’s always the cinema to while away a couple of hours and the summer holidays will have plenty of new releases on offer. Look out for Despicable Me 3 (in cinemas 30 June) and another big hitter will be Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (28 July), based on the children’s novels by Dav Pilkey.

The Blooming Great Tea Party

Nationwide, June 23 - 25

Pass on your baking skills while raising money for a good cause by throwing a tea party in aid of Marie Curie. Sharing family recipes is a lovely way to stay connected – why not show the grandchildren how to make their parents’ favourite bakes when they were young. For more information, visit

Baking with grandchildren? Take a look at our easy and delicious recipes

Imperial War Museum air shows

Duxford, Cambridgeshire

Air shows are usually a sure hit with children. The Imperial War Museum’s Flying Legends Air Show 2017 (July 8 – 9) and Battle of Britain Air Show (23 – 24 September) are both at Duxford in Cambridgeshire and feature rare aircraft from around the world, dog fights and aerobatics.

Woodland adventure

Into the Trees returns to the heart of the Ashdown Forest this September for a family treat that has proved a great hit. Pippingford Park in East Sussex is divided into six diverse woodland zones with areas to explore the tree canopies, demonstrations and workshops with tradespeople and traditional artists, and opportunities to learn about the wildlife. From September 9 – 10.

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The Museum of Science & Industry


Science museums are always a good bet for grabbing the attention of little ones. The excellent Museum of Science & Industry has several great events, including Creative Wonder Materials, on until 25 June, and MakeFest 2017, 19 – 20 August, an annual celebration of hands-on, do-it-yourself creating.

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Open-air Dickens


Two of Charles Dickens’ most popular stories are part of the 2017 season at London’s Regent Park Open Air Theatre. A Tale of Two Cities (7 July – 5 August) is an option for teenage grandchildren and the production of Oliver Twist (17 July – 5 August), aimed at everyone aged six and over, has daytime performances.

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The Cherry Fair

Kent, 16 July

There are more than 400 varieties of cherry in the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale, Kent, and the annual Cherry Fair is always a guaranteed great day out with the grandchildren. Entertainment includes a cherry pip spit, orchard tours, live music, local producers and a display of cherries that is a sight to behold.

Big Butterfly Count

14 July – 6 August

A great way to occupy children and get them involved in helping wildlife over the summer holidays. This nationwide public survey of butterfly numbers in gardens, parks and open land started in 2010 and has become the biggest event of its kind in the world, with more than 36,000 people taking part last year.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

10 – 13 August

Features more than 150 hot air balloons from across the globe and is held over four days at Ashton Court Estate. As well as the spectacle of seeing all the amazing balloons gliding through the skies, there are fairground rides and entertainment to keep the grandkids occupied. And, for early risers, the mass ascents at 6am are well worth setting the alarm for!

Countryfile Live

Oxfordshire, 3-6 August
For lovers of the British landscape, farming and rural heritage, this four-day show at Blenheim Palace features live arena shows, animal displays, debates, food, drink and great shopping – plus the Countryfile presenters and our own Saga Magazine stand.

Take advantage of our CountryFile Live offers

For our great feature on the changing role of grandparents, see the June issue of Saga Magazine. 

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