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Durham Park, National Trust

Things to do with kids during May Half Term in Somerset

May half term nearly upon us. If you’re planning your family days out in and around Somerset and Bristol, you’ve come to the right place.

Having grown up in Somerset, and now with three children of my own, it’s been fun sharing my favourite places with them and discovering new places of our own to explore.

Somerset has so much to offer families, whether you live here and you’re looking for inspiration, or you’re visiting while on holiday, the possibilities are endless! With hopefully lots of sunny days ahead, we have plenty of outdoor activities and places to go.

Famed for its rural villages, market towns, and historic cities, Somerset has so many day trip options.

Here is our local’s guide to the best family day’s out in Somerset this half term.

The best days out in Somerset

Caves:

Wookey Hole

Explore the vast underground chambers of Wookey Hole’s cave system and meet the legendary witch of Wookey Hole. Watch Scoob! 4D experience, have a game of Adventure Golf, visit the paper making museum, watch the Wookey Hole circus school and play the vintage penny machines.

Cheddar Gorge and Show Caves

Spring into Nature at Cheddar Gorge this May half term. All nature lovers are invited to go wild for wildlife with a series of interactive nature talks, help build a bug hotel, go on an informative bat trail and have a go at some arts and craft activities. All included in the admission price.

Cheddar Gorge

National Trust Properties:

Tyntesfield House and Estate

There is plenty for families around the estate at Tyntesfield. As well as the house, gardens and parkland there is the woodland adventure play, home farm play area, pavilion play area and sculpture trail.

Dunster Castle

May Half Term Trail (£3/trail including prize)

Barrington Court

Join Xtreme Falconry for two impressive flying displays on the South Lawn (May 31st & June 2nd)

Stourhead

Enjoy lawn games, a medieval colouring station, a hobby horse obstacle course and activity trail. There is a tree climbing event (for age 6+) in the garden (£30).

Stourhead National Trust

Dyrham Park

There’s lots of adventures to be had at Dyrham Park in May with a trail running all month and half term. The special event on Bank Holiday Monday is helping to create a flower wall made out of recycled and scrap material.

Dyrham Park, House (National Trust)

Animals:

Noah’s Ark Zoo

Get set for a farm-tastic experience this summer as an Augmented Reality trail starring Shaun the Sheep arrives at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.

Wild Place Project

Join in this May half-term for SpringFest – a fantastic street art exhibition in partnership with Upfest, plus fun games and crafts for everyone to get involved.

Puxton Park

Visit Puxton Park for an unforgettable family adventure during May Half Term! There is a spectacular lineup of daily entertainment, designed to keep the entire family entertained. From captivating shows to interactive experiences, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Court Farm

Visit a real working farm and see lots of friendly animals from ponies to pigs with lots going every day. From bottle-feeding lambs to the milking show and free tractor rides, there is something to suit all the family.

Farrington’s Farm

Visit Farrington’s Farm Park in May half term for PYO tulips, see the farm animals, straw pool, indoor soft play and play barn cafe.

Animal Farm Adventure Park

A full day out at the park includes animal encounters, indoor play barn, the adventure play castle, crazy golf and trampolines.

Avon Valley Adventure Wildlife Park

Dinosaur Valley is again taking over Avon Valley for a totally ROARsome, interactive eggstravaganza! Visit during May Half Term for the biggest and best dinosaur-themed day out in the south-west. Also included in the day-entry is the mini jeep safari, miniature railway, animals, adventure playground and much more.

Chew Valley Animal Park

Discover all the interesting animals at Chew Valley Animal Park with animal encounters and keeper talks.

North Somerset Bird of Prey Centre

Visit the North Somerset Bird of Prey Centre during the Open Day on 28th May and other dates throughout the year. See over 60 resident birds of prey, exotic mammals and reptiles.

Somerset Sheep Trekking

Visit a working farm for this truly unique, family friendly farm experience. Meet our lovable, friendly sheep and lead them on a stroll across fields and into woodland. The activity is great for a fun, family day out or a cute escape to the countryside and is suitable for young and old alike.

Somerset Alpaca trekking

Get ready for a fun packed experience at Somerset Alpaca. Walk the alpacas – these gentle animals are good with children. Meet the sheep and feed the chickens on this fun and unique day out. Appointment by bookings only.

Bath City Farm

Visit the community cafe and farm shop, farm animals, children’s playground, woodland and nature trails at Bath city Farm. Entrance is free however donations are very welcome.

Ferne Animal Santuary, Chard

This half term at Ferne Animal Sanctuary discover the rescue animals, buzzing blooms trail, flower seed bombs and rainbow scavenger hunt.

Tractor at Ferne Animal Sanctuary

Steam Trains:

West Somerset Railway

Visit the longest heritage railway in England. Take a trip on the historic steam trains through the Somerset countryside between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead.

East Somerset Railway

At the lovely village of Cranmore, near Shepton Mallet is the East Somerset Railway. Ride the steam train (approx. 35 minutes), visit the engine shed and workshop to see restoration in progress, museum, signal box, miniature railway, cafe and kids play area.

Avon Valley Railway, Bitton

On Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th June 2023, jump onboard the Brick Express steam-hauled train and enjoy the Lego building workshops with the world’s most popular construction toy whilst you travel the line.

Yeovil Railway Centre

Steam Day on Sunday 4th June. Experience steam train rides along the 1/3rd mile of the ex-Great Western Railway Clifton Maybank branch. Passengers travel in historic brake van vehicles or coach. Trains run every 20 minutes, unlimited trips on the day as well as on the Miniature Railway.

Cities:

Bath

Explore the beautiful city of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the Roman Baths, Jane Austen Centre, Bath Abbey, Royal Crescent, Victoria Park, Bath Abbey and Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon.

The Royal Crescent in Bath

Wells

Visit The Bishop’s Palace and gardens, the magnificent Cathedral, Vicar’s Close, the market place and many shops. See our guide to A Day Out in Wells.

The Bishop's Palace and Moat in Wells

Bristol

Head into the city of Bristol, explore the waterfront, SS Great Britain, shops, markets and museums. Discover the famous street art, Clifton Observatory and walk across Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Theme Parks:

Butlins, Minehead

During May half term visit Butlins for live shows from The Masked Singer, Stephen Mulhern and more. Book a day visit or stay over. There’s lots to do including fairground rides, pool and restaurants.

Brean Splash Park

Kids pools, indoor swimming & thrill rides at a family theme park with a lazy river & splash zones.

Brean Theme Park

Visit this seaside entertainment centre with fairground rides, water park, golf course and family restaurants. Experience over 40 attractions including indoor and outdoor Roller Coasters, Wild Water Log Flume, Dodgems, and Crazy Boats. From White Knuckle rides to more gentle Tots rides, there really is something for all ages.

On the water:

Waverly Paddle Steamer

Waverley Paddle Steamer at Clevedon Pier

Step aboard the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer. The Bristol Channel sailings run between 2nd – 18th June.

Hire a boat on the River Avon

The Bath Boating Station offers rowing, canoeing and punting, available for hire for 1 or 2 hours along a most beautiful stretch of the River Avon.

Clevedon’s Marine Lake

Bring your own, or hire a paddle board on the Marine Lake in Clevedon. You’re also welcome to swim, bring your canoe, inflatables and model boats.

Paddle boarding on Marine Lake in Clevedon

Clevedon Marine Active

CMA run holiday clubs on Clevedon Marine Lake. Fun in kayaks and on the Mega SUP, morning and afternoon sessions of 2.5 hours for £20/child. (Age 7-12 yrs). Tickets through Eventbrite.


Wimbleball Lake

Enjoy an action-packed May half term activity programme at Wimbleball Lake, with the chance to try your hand at archery, paddleboarding, sailing, windsurfing, high ropes, canoeing and kayaking.

The Wave, Bristol

Learn to surf or have some body boarding lessons at The Wave in Bristol. You can also be a spectator and enjoy a meal in the restaurant to the sound of the waves! You can now camp at the wave and stay on site in a safari tent.

Cycling in Somerset:

Strawberry Line Cycle Path (Bike hire and parking at Yatton Station)

The Strawberry Line is nine-miles of traffic-free riding through the Somerset countryside between Yatton and Cheddar. Don’t worry if you don’t have a bike, the not-for-profit cycle hire at Yatton station is situated right at the beginning of the Strawberry Line cycle route.

Read our Guide to cycling the Strawberry Line with kids

Crazy Golf:

Cheddar Crazy Golf

Visit this 18 Hole Crazy Golf Course which is set back in the hills of Cheddar.

Pirate Adventure Land Crazy Golf, Weston super Mare

Enter a land of pirates and delight in 18 holes of Adventure Golf.

Revo Glo Golf, Weston super Mare

Marine Parade, Weston-super-Mare BS23 1BE

A super-fun rainy day activity for all ages on the seafront in Weston super Mare. The old sea aquarium building has now been converted into a 9-hole, glow in the dark, indoor crazy golf course, with a stylish kitchen and bar. Current prices are £6/adults, £4 children and £5/concessions. Walk-ins only (no booking needed).

Lidos and outdoor water parks:

Greenbank Lido

In the heart of Street is Greenbank Lido, a heated outdoor swimming pool. There is a main pool and children’s pool and splash zone. Open between May and September.

Portishead Lido

A heated 33m outdoor pool with diving board, toddler pool, and sun terraces overlooking the Bristol Channel in Portishead. The community run Portishead Open Air Pool is a lovely family day out which is open between April and October.

Shepton Mallet Lido

Book a family swim session at Shepton Mallet Lido to enjoy the heated pools, the use of the children’s splash pad, outdoor tables, table tennis and small play area.

Wiveliscombe Lido

Wivey Pool is set in the heart of Wiveliscombe, in the beautiful Somerset countryside. A 27m outdoor heated pool is open for half term. Family swimming is between 1pm and 5pm on weekends and holidays.

Read our Guide to The Best Water Parks and Outdoor Pools in Somerset.

Historic Buildings:

Glastonbury Tor and Abbey

Kids go free every day at Glastonbury Abbey with one paying adult, and the Tor, owned by the National Trust, is free to visit for the whole family.

path up to Glastonbury Tor

Nunney Castle

Visit this picturesque English Heritage medieval castle in Somerset.

Wells Cathedral

Join the Family Holiday Activities – ‘Create a Coat of Arms’ on Tuesday 30th May, and ‘Discover Bats’ on Wednesday 31st May.

Wells Cathedral

Bishop’s Palace and Gardens

Spring Scavenger Hunt 27th May – 4th June, 9.30am-5.30pm

Experience the magic of Spring as you explore the beautiful Bishop’s Palace and Gardens.

Family Storytelling – 30th May, 11am & 12.30pm

Family Crafting1st June, 11am – 3pm

View over the lawns at the Bishop's Palace

Ford Abbey House and Gardens, Chard

The gardens alone are worth a visit, with the ponds, great fountain and arboretum to explore. The Abbey interior is a wonderful mix of restored monastic rooms and elegant staterooms. Restoration work in 1991 revealed a wall painting dating to the period 1270-1320. This is thought to be one of the oldest Cistercian paintings in England.

Clevedon Pier

Walk the boards of this 19th Century Victorian Pier in the seaside town of Clevedon where you can buy an ice cream from the Pagoda Cafe at the end of the pier and look out over the Bristol Channel to Wales.

Afterwards, visit Clevedon beach, Marine Lake, the seafront arcades and Salthouse Fields play park.

Weston Super Mare Grand Pier

Lots of rides and attractions to experience on the Grand Pier.

Farleigh Hungerford Castle (English Heritage)

Get ready for a right royal knees-up at the Kids Rule events this May half-term and see the glorious gardens come to life.

Outdoor Activity Centres:

Mendip Activity Centre

Enjoy a variety of outdoor activities at Mendip Activity Centre in Churchill. You can try archery, axe throwing, climbing, air rifle, frisbee golf, skiing, kayaking, tobogganing and lots more. (Some activities have a minimum age).

Mendip Basecamp

Back to basics, off-grid, family adventure camp. Bring your own tent or campervan, book a ready-to-go tent or stay in a bunk rooms with breakfast included. Book your own activities or book the all-inclusive camp, Camp Bigfoot.

Rock Outdoors

Try caving, climbing or abseiling with Rock Outdoors, based in Burrington Combe in North Somerset.

Channel Adventure

Hire a paddle board, kayak or canoe at Channel Adventure at the Centre for Outdoor Activity & Community Hub (COACH) based in French Weir Park, Taunton. Lessons are available too.

Also, located in Minehead – skateboard, bike, scooter bodyboard, SUP hire.

Laser Assault, Bruton

Fun for all ages, this is a fast-paced laser action outdoor activity at Laser Assault.

Wall Eden Adventure, Highbridge

The perfect place to visit for an action-packed day with your loved ones, with our wide range of adventure activities. Try archery, axe throwing, air rifle shooting, kayaking, canoeing or paddle boarding.

Parks and Gardens:

  • The Walled Gardens of Cannington, Bridgwater
  • Royal Victoria Park, Bath
  • Salthouse Fields, Clevedon
  • Hestercombe Gardens
  • Ashton Court (edge of Bristol)
  • Walled Garden, Mells
  • Portishead Lake Grounds
  • Yeovil County Park/Ninespring Lake
  • Blaise Castle Estate

paddling in the brook at Blaise Castle Estate

Museums

Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton

The Fleet Air Arm Museum is a must-see attraction with its wide range of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft exhibits, some of which date back over 100 years. Visit during May Half Term to hear the story of Conservation and find out about how the aircraft and collection are looked after.

Weston Helicopter Museum

See the largest collection of helicopters and other rotar craft in the world, with over 80 military and civilian craft currently on show. All exhibits are on display in an all weather undercover hangar. See thewebsite for prices, current opening days/times and special events. Check the website for Open Cockpit Days, usually held at least once a month, or book a helicopter flight.

Haynes Motor Museum

Crewkerne District Museum (kids free)

Somerset and Dorset Railway Museum, Watchet

Watchet Boat Museum (free)/ Market House Museum, Watchet

Chard Museum (kids free)

Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury

Wells and Mendip Museum

Museum of Somerset, Taunton

Sheppeys Cider Farm and Museum

Weston Museum

Visit Weston Museum to discover the history of Weston super Mare and the surrounding area, from prehistoric times to the present day. There are four main galleries: geology, archaeology, art and social history. During school holidays there are children’s activities and workshops, plus there are visiting exhibitions throughout the year. Check out the up coming events.

The Blake Museum, Bridgewater (free)

Oakham Treasures

Oakham Farm, Portbury Lane, Portbury, Bristol BS20 7SP

Step back in time when you visit Oakham Treasures, and see the Aladdin’s Cave of memorabilia dedicated to the history of farming and retail. There are lots of artefacts from everyday household items, clothing, agriculture, vintage cars and motorbikes, shops and more. There is a cafe on site too. Check website for prices and opening times. If you’re visiting on holiday, there is even a campsite here where you can stay.

The American Museum and Gardens

Beaches:

For a relatively cheap day out with the children, consider one of Somerset’s lovely beaches. If the sun is shining you can’t beat a day out at the seaside.

  • Weston Beach, WsM
  • Clevedon Beach or Ladye Bay
  • Uphill Beach, Weston super Mare

  • Burnham Beach, Burnham on Sea
  • Berrow Beach
  • Brean Beach or Brean Down (NT)

Brean Down

  • Sand Bay, WsM
  • Blue Anchor Bay, Minehead
  • Kilve Beach – great for fossil hunting

  • St Audries Bay, Taunton

Indoor Soft Play:

If the British weather lets us down, the best option is to head to an indoor soft play centre. We’ve listed a few here.

For family walks, click here.

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