There’s still plenty of life left in summer and seemingly no let-up in the great weather we’ve all been enjoying. Are you looking for some fun things to do with the kids over the school holidays? Plymouth’s fantastic location and busy events calendar means there is always something happening for everybody.
We’ve put together a list of exciting activities taking place around Sutton Harbour and Plymouth throughout August and September. These will be the perfect way to spend time together as a family this summer.
The Barbican is just a cobblestone’s-throw away
There is plenty to see and do at The Barbican even if no events are happening.
If you want to get stuck into something creative, Clay Art lets you paint an array of items that you get to keep afterwards. A great reminder of the fun you all had during the summer holidays.
School might be out—but learning doesn’t have to be. Why not head to the Mayflower Museum to discover the Mayflower story? Ideal for your older children, this insight into Plymouth’s history can be followed up by a trip to the Mayflower Steps.
Just a few minutes away sits the Elizabethan House. Built around the late 1500s, it’s a real walk through history. Have a look around the house which has been dressed in props and scenes to bring it to life.
Kick things off with a bang at Plymouth’s Firework Championships
On the 17th and 18th August, the British Firework Championships return to Plymouth’s seafront. Six pyrotechnic companies will pull out all the stops as they battle over two days and light up the Sound.
With this year’s theme being the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, spectators will be treated to ten-minute displays from each. The event is free to watch from anywhere along The Hoe. There will also be fairground rides, food, and refreshments.
The first displays will begin at 9:30pm each day with a ten-minute interval between shows. So, be prepared to stay up a little late!
West End Carnival is full of festivities
On the 27th August, the West End Carnival returns to the streets of Plymouth. With an array of free activities for your kids to take part in, it makes for a fun-filled day. There’s plenty for parents and guardians too, with musical performances, a parade and circus performers.
Artist Scott Walker will be inviting people of all ages to contribute to his street art. ‘Up Against the Wall’ allows you to get creative and get colouring in.
Also, be sure not to miss Sea in the Park at Frankfort Gate. Here you can interact with a portable rockpool to learn about Plymouth’s native marine species. See dolphin skulls, whale bones and even shark eggs.
Soak up all things seafood at the Seafood & Harbour Festival
On the 17th and 18th September, the Seafood & Harbour Festival returns to Sutton Harbour and the Barbican. The festival is free and celebrates the fishing heritage and sustainably caught fresh food of Britain’s Ocean City. Talk to local fishermen, chefs and tradespeople whilst enjoying fresh fish dishes and refreshments.
There are loads of free activities for the kids to get involved in, too. There will be plenty of opportunities to take part in lots of colouring in and even some shell painting.
The Barbican Theatre will be performing on Commercial Wharf telling a comedic story called ‘Shodyssey’.
The Sea Life Trail will have you exploring nearby shops and restaurants to find all the sea creatures. All submissions will be entered into a competition to win a prize.
Visit the Ocean Conservation Trust crew at their stand for fun whilst learning. Your kids will be treated to an array of activities, demonstrations, and competitions.
Snorkel side-by-side with sea turtles, stingrays, and sharks
For the first time in its history, the National Marine Aquarium is opening its Atlantic Ocean tank to guest snorkellers.
Every Wednesday to Sunday throughout August and September, two people can swim inside their biggest tank. All participants must be over 10 years old, and an adult will need to accompany anyone under 16.
This amazing opportunity is not one to be missed. You can find out more information here.
If you’d prefer to stay outside of the tank, there is still lots to see and do to keep the whole family entertained.
Swim by the sea
If you’re closer to the Hoe, then Tinside Lido is an amazing place to go for a swim. You get the same experience as swimming in the sea but in a safer environment. There’s both a shallow and a deep end as well as some fun water features. Plus, the sundeck makes the perfect space to relax.
It’s best to book to ensure you can definitely swim, simply choose a day and a session time.
Mount Wise swimming pools are also a great way to soak up the sun and get the experience of swimming in the sea. The pools are open from May until September – so there is still time! There are two pools. One is 25 metres and perfect for lane swimming. The other is a fun pool with fountains, a whirlpool, and a bubble pool. There is also a small pool perfect for paddling with your kids.
There is no need to book, and the Mount Wise pools are completely free. They’re a bit further afield, located in Devonport. However, the views across the Sound to Mount Edgcumbe make the extra travel time worth it.
Get creative at The Box
The Box museum makes for the perfect rainy-day activity. They are hosting several creative sessions for little ones to learn about the National Marine Park throughout August into September.
Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday there will be a different topic of discovery as well as an activity. These range from Super Seagrass to how we can all help protect marine habitats.
Every Friday morning there is also half an hour of storytelling perfect for under 5s. There’s no need to book and admission is free.
With so many fun, family activities happening this summer in Plymouth—your kids won’t have time to say, “I’m bored”.