Trips to distant theme parks don’t have to be on the agenda in the holidays. Along with enjoying traditional pastimes such as Pooh sticks and pond dipping there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained locally.
The National Trust offers activities such as gladiator battles, knights and princess quests, craft time and treasure trails across many venues regionally and throughout the country. Pay individually or take out annual membership to get the most value. www.nationaltrust.org.uk
At Studley Grange Craft Village & Butterfly World by Junction 16 there are many activities to thrill youngsters, from sand workshops, jewellery making sessions, painting, cake decorating, a children’s play area. Butterfly World has 30 species of butterflies and over 200 varieties of tropical plants, as well as an animal paddock. New residents include four otters and two meerkats. Manager Phil Noon said, “we’re moving into more exotic animals and eventually hope to breed the meerkats. We think the kids will love them.” www.studleygrange.co.uk
At Lower Shaw Farm there’s a residential week of family creativity and relaxation from 15 to 22 August. Art, crafts, games, outings, yoga classes, juggling, baking, and jam-making, with evenings around the campfire.
Or how about Juggling and Circus Skills from 27 to 30 August? A long residential weekend learning juggling, pole spinning, human pyramids, diabolo, devil stick, plate spinning, clowning and new this year is aerial work, including trapeze. All levels of ability welcome. www.lowershawfarm.co.uk
At Roves Farm, until 20 August, take part in a bear hunt on the back of a trailer pulled by a tractor, helping the intrepid explorer find the bear.
Fom 21 August to 5 September test your sunflower knowledge on the tractor-trailer ride and watch the sunflower grow. Make your own in the arts and craft sessions. www.rovesfarm.co.uk
At Farmer Gow’s Activity Farm, just off the A420, there are baby lambs and kids to feed, cute little piglets to see, trailer rides and exciting play areas.
Grass art offers free amazing time
Thanks to David Oborn, youngsters and adults can pit their wits working out how to escape from his maze in Old Shaw Lane.
For the last five years he has mown letters and shapes into the wide grass verge outside his bungalow. Last year David designed a fiendish labyrinth based on a 4,000 old pattern.
This summer he has created a mind bending maze which has become a local attraction. “It intrigues people walking up and down the lane,” said David. “Kids love it and there can be six or seven trying to work out how to get out of the maze. They tell each off if there’s any cheating going on. You often hear parents in the morning telling children they can try the maze in the afternoon because they’re late for school.”
David’s wife Pat said she loves hearing comments over the garden hedge. “You hear the children laughing
and having fun, the maze is a talking point and provides a lot of fun for the community.”
David is a keen dowser and says the maze is mown on several lay lines and is influenced by energy fields which is probably why it has been received so positively.
Pictured, right: Marshall Thompson discovers his way out of the Old Shaw Lane maze, watched by mum Karen, right, and Pat Oborn