Family activity ideas in Staffordshire and beyond

Summer’s here, the sun is coming out, and there are plenty of long, lazy days stretching out in front of you.

It’s the perfect excuse to spend quality family time together, whether you enjoy a homemade picnic or take the kids to meet Thomas and Friends™ at Europe’s only Thomas Land.

Ready to get everyone involved in a summer full of old-fashioned fun? We’ve put together a list of family activities to try in summer, perfect for everyone in Staffordshire and beyond.

  1. Enjoy a themed picnic
  2. Teach the kids how to bake
  3. Competitions in the garden
  4. Discover nature on your doorstep
  5. Arts and crafts
  6. Have a water fight
  7. Make a treasure hunt
  8. Explore the local area
  9. Go camping
  10. Have a great day out at your local theme park


  1. Enjoy a themed picnic

When the sun comes out, having a picnic is a brilliant way to get everyone away from their screens. Scout a location (such as your local park, woodland, or even your back garden) and ask everyone what their favourite foods are. Take some games, such as a Frisbee, and you’ll easily turn a normal afternoon into one packed full of fun. This easy summer family activity is a great way to get outdoors – it’s hard for anyone to resist their favourite picnic treats!

For a real lunchtime treat, why not make it themed picnic? If you’re not sure where to start, a ‘pirate picnic’ is a great opportunity to involve chocolate coins and a treasure hunt. It’s a great way for little ones to burn off some energy while you relax.


  1. Teach the kids how to bake

Do you remember being taught how to bake? There’s nothing like getting stuck in with a pile of ingredients and a recipe book, trying to recreate classic treats like iced biscuits or fairy cakes. Pass on your skills, or learn some new ones, and get busy with the kids in the kitchen.

You don’t have to be a pro in the kitchen to enjoy baking, or even know how to bake already. Choose a simple recipe – biscuits are a good idea – gather your ingredients, and have a go. Even if they don’t look like the photo, they’re bound to taste delicious!

Make the most of your efforts by taking your baked goods on a picnic, or get everyone together and organise an afternoon tea party for friends and family.


  1. Competitions in the garden

With this energetic summer family activity, the only limit is your imagination.

Get outside and make the most of the balmy weather with competitions in the garden. Who can hop on one foot the longest? Complete a homemade obstacle course? Hit the target with a ball from the furthest distance? The afternoon will whizz by with your own mini sports day, and it’s a great way to stay active, too.

Even older kids are likely to want to get involved; simply up the challenge to suit their abilities, or get everyone to invent tests for each other. When you’re finished, there’s nothing like cooling down with a well-earned ice cream.

  1. Discover nature on your doorstep

Do you remember watching tadpoles grow, skimming insects from the top of a pond with a net, or growing beans in a jar? No list of family activities would be complete without this all-time favourite.

It’s easy to forget the amazing things nature leaves on our doorsteps, but summer is a great time to discover it again with the family. Head to the local park or wood – or even stay in your own garden – and inspire the kids with the natural world.

It’s amazing how absorbing this activity can be. Challenge the kids to count as many different types of bird as they can, spot interesting insects, name plants, or make a collage from things they find – like sticks, leaves, and pebbles. Even better, take the time to decorate a bird box or create a ‘bug hotel’ from things you find, so you can enjoy the rewards in your garden all year round.

If your little ones are real nature lovers, why not take them to the zoo for a fantastic day out? If you live in Staffordshire, visit us at Drayton Manor Zoo and discover a whole new world of animals from around the globe.


  1. Arts and crafts

This family activity idea is perfect for when the weather isn’t always brilliant. An arts and crafts session is a brilliant way to spend a few hours with younger kids, and better yet, it doesn’t need to break the bank.

Everything from lolly sticks to cardboard tubes can be turned into an amazing creation. From decorating old photo frames to creating a robot from cardboard boxes, you’ll discover there’s no limit to their imaginations.

So get the glue out, recycle your old cardboard, and enjoy quality family time together with an amazing crafts session.


  1. Have a water fight

When it’s really hot outside, sometimes there’s only one option – a water fight!

If you have water pistols, brilliant – if not, plastic cups will do, or you could challenge everyone to create their own water bombs using paper and a little ingenuity. Make sure everyone’s wearing clothes that can get soaked, then let the fun begin. Who can avoid getting hit? Who has the best aim? Don’t just leave this one to the kids – it’s a great game for the grown-ups, too.

A water fight is a brilliant way to get everyone active, and an ever better way to cool down. Just make sure you have the towels ready.


  1. Make a treasure hunt

This is a brilliant summer family activity for young and old. Create your own treasure hunt around the garden or another open space – all you have to do it write a series of clues on pieces of paper that lead your treasure hunters to the next location.

Use a mix of tricky and easy clues, so everyone can be involved with working them out. Then choose a reward for the end – an ice cream rarely goes down badly!


  1. Explore the local area

It can be easy to get stuck in the same old routine, visiting the same few places over and over again. Discover something new by exploring your local area and trying something new, whether it’s a local walk or a visit to a nearby attraction.

A great way to do this is to get everyone looking at a map, or searching a local guide, and ask them to pick a couple of places. Put everyone’s choices in a hat and let someone choose with their eyes closed (in the interests of fairness, or course – and for the surprise!) It’s a brilliant way to get the whole family out and about. And you never know, you might just find a new favourite place.


  1. Go camping

Camping is as popular as it’s ever been, and for good reason. It’s a brilliant way to enjoy a cost-effective holiday with the whole family. It’s easy to make your camping holiday whatever you want. Whether you spend your time playing games, setting up the BBQ and putting on a spread, or visiting the local area, there’s something for every member of the family.

Camping is a great opportunity to get everyone away out of the house, enjoy the fresh air and each other’s company. Make sure you take your camera and capture those all-important memories – including trying to put up the tent!

      10. Go camping Have a great day out at your local theme park

For a real treat, relive those brilliant memories of days out with the family and visit your local theme park.

If you live nearby, pay a visit to Drayton Manor and discover something for everyone. Thrill seekers have plenty of white-knuckle rides to choose from, while those looking for something more sedate will enjoy rides and attractions such as The Haunting, our 4D cinema, and a whole host of family favourites.

Meanwhile, young Thomas fans can meet Thomas and Friends™ at Europe’s only Thomas Land. Ride on Thomas the Tank Engine, take a spin on Bertie Bus, race around on the Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster, and discover plenty more amazing rides and attractions. Thomas Land is the perfect place to capture memories that will last forever, whether you’re young or old – it’s the perfect place for a family day out that you’ll remember forever.

So this summer, step away from your usual routine and embrace fun-filled family activities that everyone will enjoy. To find out more about summer at Drayton Manor, read about our Summer of Fun and discover our amazing ticket offers.