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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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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 www.mariecurie.org.uk/teaparty
Baking with grandchildren? Take a look at our easy and delicious recipes
Imperial War Museum air shows
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.
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.
Best short walks with children
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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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!
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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