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Top 5 Summer Park Activities for Families

22 March 2024

For a family looking for activities during the summer months, a park is an ideal space to burn energy, let off steam and generally have fun together, whether it be a country park, a play park, a zoological or safari park, etc.

We’ve listed 5 Top Summer Park Activities for Families to inspire you.

Play Parks/Adventure Parks

First and foremost are the play and adventure parks beloved by children and parents all over the country - if not the world! The play equipment includes, of course, the traditional swings, slides, roundabouts and see-saws, as well as rope swings and ladders, towers, tunnels, zip wires, and much more.

Located near most cities, towns, and villages, play and adventure parks are part of free community spaces of all sizes, from very small to vast. Catering to toddlers, school-age children, and teens, play and adventure parks provide many hours of activity—and often, a much-needed break for weary parents!

Take a picnic and make a day of it!

Nature Scavengers

Be Nature Detectives! Scavenger hunts are a fun and educational way for families to explore nature together. Most are free, can be completed almost anywhere, can be incorporated into a walk, and can be as long or short as you care to make them.

Choose a theme and create your own nature scavenger hunt at one of your local parks. For example, a spring scavenger hunt will find different items from an autumn hunt; a woodland scavenger hunt will differ from a beach hunt.

Alternatively, you can check out websites like the Woodland Trust or National Trust for ideas or participate in scavenger hunt events throughout the year at parks nationwide.

Pond Dipping

Why not try pond dipping as part of your scavenger hunt or as a separate summer activity?

If you don’t have a garden or village pond in your area, never fear; many country and recreational parks have ponds and lakes teaming with wildlife where you can take the kids to dip and explore. Some even have dedicated areas with accessible wooden dipping platforms and information boards about the wildlife.

Search online for free printable factsheets, education packs to enhance the experience, and helpful equipment lists. Make sure you put everything back in the water once you've examined it.

Alternatively, kickstart the pond dipping experience with a timetabled activity session led by a knowledgeable guide offered at many parks, particularly over the school holidays.

Boating Lakes

A little more dry-weather dependent than some other park activities, choose a fine day and take the kids for a boat trip on a park boating lake. 

Different parks offer boats of all shapes and sizes, from traditional rowing boats to pedalos and novelty character boats. Other activities may be available, including special bird food to feed the local swans, geese, and ducks and obstacles such as bridges or islands to navigate.

In addition to the famous royal parks in London, there are many others nationwide. Search online for the nearest to you.

NB: Boat hire charges are likely to apply.

Treetop Challenges

Treetop challenges like Go Ape are a more recent activity, usually found in country parks with plenty of woods and forests.

For younger visitors, it may be a netted boardwalk high among the treetops. For older children, think adventure and adrenaline rush! Obstacles constructed high among the trees will challenge you to climb, balance, zip and swing to navigate your route across them while admiring the aerial views and wildlife. Safety is a top priority at these venues, so you will be given prior instruction in using climbing harnesses and clips.

Expert guides will always be on hand to instruct and assist.

Please note there are age limits and restrictions on group numbers, so it’s worth checking at your chosen venue before booking!


Parks are available throughout the UK, and depending on your activities, they are free to use. What better way to spend time with your kids than on a family and friends park visit?

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva

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